Topic: Information theory and Physics do not admit evolution as science

Mar 2001 - CSFNM Rebuttal to NMSR Essay
by Roger X. Lenard

This is Essay5b in a series of debate topics between CSFNM and NMSR.
See CSFNM Homepage for details.

NMSR states that information theory only confuses the evolutionary issue. The reductionist approach to biogenesis and life's development fails badly. Physical sciences provide an explanation of how evolution occurs - the problem: it doesn't work. The lack of transitional forms is well-known. Dawkins agrees: “Modern animals had a last common ancestor which lived at some (in principle) discoverable moment in geologic history (1)”. In principle admits the complete lack of transitional forms. “Our understanding of ... biological sciences ... obliges us to abandon purely reductionist explanations of complex biological processes (2). … Some aspects … of Darwinian evolution … need revision”. “Pre-adaptive changes in the hominid brain that enhanced the capacity to use symbolic communication over 2.5 million years cannot be fully explained in terms of the usual dynamics of Darwinian evolution (3)”. As we pointed out earlier, symbolic communication requires implementing the 6 steps to generate, and receive information it’s the heart of the problem with evolution, not a confusing side show (4).

Matter must operate in specifically directed ways to enable life. It is a property of the information in life that directs the matter, never the reverse - there is no known law of nature that allows matter to form life in any materialistic system - open or closed.

Creationists call micro-evolution changes that occur in the phenotype over time - most are corrupting, not melioristic. They aren’t naturalistic evolution. The former manifests information loss the other, ex-nihilo information gain - a physical impossibility.

CSFNM addressed the issue of highly ordered structures, e.g., snowflakes earlier, crystals have substantial order, but little information, because highly ordered systems are repetitive sequences. Dawkins agrees.

NMSR’s assertion of confusion by addressing the information issue is flawed. Dawkins admits in the evolutionary community, information content and flow is controversial. Gould believes information decreases, Dawkins perceives it may increase. Both agree information content synonymous with complexity. Dawkins claims to have answered the information issue. He hasn't - Dawkins mistakenly ascribes minimalist changes as synonymous with natural selection, on the basis of a single genotype - we have shown that the survival probability is essentially zero(5). Dawkins assertion of information content of the human genome as gigabits is in error, it's actually hundreds of orders of magnitude greater.

Dawkins shows a plausible evolutionary path for hemoglobin, but nowhere does he cite evidence that this actually happened, other than the lamprey, which may be a tautology. No mechanism other than the typical feasibility arguments is mentioned - true science requires causal mechanisms - none has been stated.

Dawkin's primary error: information increases through duplications and deletions, frame shifting, although none of these mechanisms has ever demonstrated increased information content. Dawkins attempts to escape by the arabesque that it is a hard thing to estimate the total information content in the Shannon sense; he suggests we look at the working model. The creation and flow of information is evolution’s irreducible dilemma. Dawkins approaches the issue; retreats because it’s "too hard". That’s Darwinism – it doesn’t work.

(1) Dawkins, R. "The Information Challenge"challenge
(2) Nadeau R. and Kafatos, M. "The Non-Local Universe" The Oxford University Press, 1999 p 12.
(3) Ibid. p. 13.
(4) Gitt W. "In the Beginning was Information" Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung e.V. Bielefeld, 1997.
(5) Spetner, L. "Not by Chance" The Judiaca Press, Inc.New York. 1997, 1998.