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Do random mutations never increase information? Ever?

Sometimes they do. A single mistake might be neutral or beneficial. Suppose a couple of entrepreneurs plan a weekend community newspaper. In the flyers they send out to potential advertisers, they call their proposed publication “The Sundry Times.” There is one wrong letter (bit) of information in the title; they had meant to write: The Sunday Times.

But that wrong bit of information may turn out to be neutral. While “The Sundry Times” is hardly a grabber, it conveys at least some meaning as a name for a publication. If the community their proposed paper is intended to serve happens to be called Sundry Place, the accidental name may be widely accepted, and therefore beneficial.

But what if the flyers asking for advertisers’ cash had gone out introducing the “Sundzy Times”? The “Sunfay Times”? Or the “Sundy Times”? Would you advertise with a publication that makes such errors in its own promotional copy?

As anyone who types knows, there are many more ways to make such a mistake that are harmful than helpful. And as any reporter knows, no long chain of random letters is going to turn out to be a local news story by accident.

It works the same way in genetics. Mutations are far more likely to introduce a problem than a benefit. And no long string of such mutations is going to happen to produce a complex new physiological system.

G’bye, Darwin.

*Australian biology writer Stephen E. Jones offered an initial similar analogy which I (O’Leary for News) have slightly reworked: Stephen E. Jones, found at ASA List, May 14 2000: http://tinyurl.com/9srssjq

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27 Responses to Do random mutations never increase information? Ever?

  1. One wrong letter (out of 26 possibilities) is actually 4.7 bits of information.

  2. Is there a point to this? DNA isn’t much like a language, and, in any case, no evolutionary biologist would argue with

    “Mutations are far more likely to introduce a problem than a benefit. And no long string of such mutations is going to happen to produce a complex new physiological system.”

    So, what’s the point?

  3. “…these and many other factors are part of the expressive language through which our genes speak and are spoken.”

    “Proteins and DNA are caught up in a continual conversation of mutual influence and qualitative transformation.”

    – Stephen L. Talbott, The Myth of the Machine-Organism

  4. Notes:

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – May 2013
    Excerpt: It is almost universally acknowledged that beneficial mutations are rare compared to deleterious mutations [1–10].,, It appears that beneficial mutations may be too rare to actually allow the accurate measurement of how rare they are [11].
    1. Kibota T, Lynch M (1996) Estimate of the genomic mutation rate deleterious to overall fitness in E. coli . Nature 381:694–696.
    2. Charlesworth B, Charlesworth D (1998) Some evolutionary consequences of deleterious mutations. Genetica 103: 3–19.
    3. Elena S, et al (1998) Distribution of fitness effects caused by random insertion mutations in Escherichia coli. Genetica 102/103: 349–358.
    4. Gerrish P, Lenski R N (1998) The fate of competing beneficial mutations in an asexual population. Genetica 102/103:127–144.
    5. Crow J (2000) The origins, patterns, and implications of human spontaneous mutation. Nature Reviews 1:40–47.
    6. Bataillon T (2000) Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? Heredity 84:497–501.
    7. Imhof M, Schlotterer C (2001) Fitness effects of advantageous mutations in evolving Escherichia coli populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:1113–1117.
    8. Orr H (2003) The distribution of fitness effects among beneficial mutations. Genetics 163: 1519–1526.
    9. Keightley P, Lynch M (2003) Toward a realistic model of mutations affecting fitness. Evolution 57:683–685.
    10. Barrett R, et al (2006) The distribution of beneficial mutation effects under strong selection. Genetics 174:2071–2079.
    11. Bataillon T (2000) Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? Heredity 84:497–501.
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – May 2013
    Conclusions: Our analysis confirms mathematically what would seem intuitively obvious – multiple overlapping codes within the genome must radically change our expectations regarding the rate of beneficial mutations. As the number of overlapping codes increases, the rate of potential beneficial mutation decreases exponentially, quickly approaching zero. Therefore the new evidence for ubiquitous overlapping codes in higher genomes strongly indicates that beneficial mutations should be extremely rare. This evidence combined with increasing evidence that biological systems are highly optimized, and evidence that only relatively high-impact beneficial mutations can be effectively amplified by natural selection, lead us to conclude that mutations which are both selectable and unambiguously beneficial must be vanishingly rare. This conclusion raises serious questions. How might such vanishingly rare beneficial mutations ever be sufficient for genome building? How might genetic degeneration ever be averted, given the continuous accumulation of low impact deleterious mutations?
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    Response from Ralph Seelke to David Hillis Regarding Testimony on Bacterial Evolution Before Texas State Board of Education, January 21, 2009
    Excerpt: He has done excellent work showing the capabilities of evolution when it can take one step at a time. I have used a different approach to show the difficulties that evolution encounters when it must take two steps at a time. So while similar, our work has important differences, and Dr. Bull’s research has not contradicted or refuted my own.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9951

    Epistasis between Beneficial Mutations – July 2011
    Excerpt: We found that epistatic interactions between beneficial mutations were all antagonistic—the effects of the double mutations were less than the sums of the effects of their component single mutations. We found a number of cases of decompensatory interactions, an extreme form of antagonistic epistasis in which the second mutation is actually deleterious in the presence of the first. In the vast majority of cases, recombination uniting two beneficial mutations into the same genome would not be favored by selection, as the recombinant could not outcompete its constituent single mutations.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ach-other/

    Mutations : when benefits level off – June 2011 – (Lenski’s e-coli after 50,000 generations)
    Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually.
    http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/1867.htm?theme1=7

    A Serious Problem for Darwinists: Epistasis Decreases Chances of Beneficial Mutations – November 8, 2012
    Excerpt: A recent paper in Nature finds that epistasis (interactions between genetic changes) is much more pervasive than previously assumed. This strongly limits the ability of beneficial mutations to confer fitness on organisms. ,,,
    It takes an outsider to read this paper and see how disturbing it should be to the consensus neo-Darwinian theory. All that Darwin skeptics can do is continue to point to papers like this as severe challenges to the consensus view. Perhaps a few will listen and take it seriously.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66061.html

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – ‘The Fitness Test’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995248

    the main claims of Darwinists, for information generation, are refuted here:

    Hopeless Matzke – David Berlinski & Tyler Hampton – August 18, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....75631.html

  5. OT: Dr. Michael Egnor outdid himself with this article:
    “Did Christianity (and Other Religions) Promote the Rise Of Science?” – Michael Egnor October 24, 2013
    Excerpt: Neither the Greeks nor Islam produced modern theoretical science. The Greeks produced sublime philosophy and mathematics, but no theoretical science. They excelled in mathematics but never applied mathematical models to the systematic study of nature.
    Islam produced no real theoretical science. It invaded the Christian Middle East, Christian North Africa and Christian Spain, and expropriated the culture and work of Christians and Jews and pagans in the conquered lands. Centralized government and fresh availability of booty fostered a modest bit of science produced by the conquered locals — the vast majority of whom were not Muslim for centuries
    It took several centuries before most of the conquered peoples under the Islamic boot converted to Islam — Islamic rulers coveted the dhimmi taxes and were not quick to force conversion — and when Islamic lands became wholly Islamic, science became wholly dead.
    (read more here – The article is brimming with useful information)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....78281.html

  6. @ Cantor

    One wrong letter (out of 26 possibilities) is actually 4.7 bits of information.

    But is information just another word to describe probabilities?

    Every character has 4.7 bits of information by your measurement; but the level of meaning contained in the strings “asdfjkl” is not the same as “seventy”, even though they have the same number of characters.

    A word with meaning carries information. Does a word with no meaning carry “information”? (Funnily enough, “asdfjkl” does carry some information since it is an arrangement of letters on the ubiquitous QWERTY keyboard)

  7. SirHamster,

    The measurement of the amount of information is divorced from the actual information content of the message. It’s a common misunderstanding with respect to Shannon’s theory.

    Does a word with no meaning carry “information”?

    A meaningless message? God forbid.

    “A message in its most general meaning is an object of communication. It is a vessel which provides information.

    – Wikipedia

    If it provides no information it’s hardly a vessel of information and therefore not a message.

  8. The measurement of the amount of information is divorced from the actual information content of the message. It’s a common misunderstanding with respect to Shannon’s theory.

    True, though I don’t think I made that mistake, since I was questioning a response to the OP’s question, “Do random mutations never increase information?”, and I think the OP used information in the sense of having functionality/meaning.

    “information” has different meaning based on context/topic – using raw information theory analysis; a longer string will always carry more information than a shorter string. A random mutation that extended string length will increases the information of the string.

    But for this discussion, while the longer string may have more information carrying capacity; depending on context it may actually have less information (in a non InfoTheory sense).

  9. SirHamster:

    “information” has different meaning based on context/topic

    Yes, and I would say that this is very much so the case when it comes to talking about “Shannon information.”

    SirHamster:

    using raw information theory analysis; a longer string will always carry more information than a shorter string.

    The amount of info per symbol can be different, and therefore a shorter string could convey more information than a longer string.

    “Do random mutations never increase information?”, and I think the OP used information in the sense of having functionality/meaning.

    As you say, it’s important to not equivocate over the sense in which information is being used. To me the question is incomplete and I think it equivocates over the use of the term.

    Take for example:

    But that wrong bit of information may turn out to be neutral.

    By speaking in terms of bits, one is immediately drawn to Shannon’s theory, where the unit of measurement is the bit.

    But the OP itself also uses words and changing their meanings by changing their letters to try to make the point. And this equivocates over different meanings of information.

  10. 10
    TheisticEvolutionist

    Australian biology writer Stephen E. Jones?

    This guy?

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Stephen_E._Jones

    Sorry but a crank! He believes the Shroud of Turin is genuine evidence.

  11. TheisticEvolutionist, actually if you hold that the Shroud of Turin is not genuine, and on that basis you hold Stephen Jones to be a ‘crank’, then since, after much study, I find the Shroud of Turin to be genuine, and all the arguments to be simplistic and superfluous, then using your very own criteria for judgement, of whether someone is a crank or not, then you are the one who is the ‘crank’!

    In a fairly recent breakthrough, the carbon dating question has been thoroughly addressed and refuted by Joseph G. Marino and M. Sue Benford in 2000. Their research, with textile experts, showing the carbon testing was done with a piece of the Shroud which was subject to expert medieval reweaving in the 1500’s had much historical, and photographic, evidence behind it. Their historical, and photographic, evidence was then scientifically confirmed by chemical analysis in 2005 by Raymond Rogers. Thus, the fact that a false age was shown by the 1989 carbon testing has been accepted across the board as far as the scientific evidence itself is concerned.

    Shroud of Turin – Carbon 14 test proves false (with Raymond Rogers, lead chemist from the STURP project) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxDdx6vxthE

    The following is the main peer reviewed paper which has refuted the 1989 Carbon Dating:

    Why The Carbon 14 Samples Are Invalid, Raymond Rogers
    per: Thermochimica Acta (Volume 425 pages 189-194, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California)
    Excerpt: Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud. The fact that vanillin can not be detected in the lignin on shroud fibers, Dead Sea scrolls linen, and other very old linens indicates that the shroud is quite old. A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggests that the shroud is between 1300- and 3000-years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as 840 years.
    http://www.ntskeptics.org/issu.....oudold.htm

    Rogers passed away shortly after publishing this paper, but his work was ultimately verified by the Los Alamos National Laboratory:

    Carbon Dating Of The Turin Shroud Completely Overturned by Scientific Peer Review
    Excerpt: Rogers also asked John Brown, a materials forensic expert from Georgia Tech to confirm his finding using different methods. Brown did so. He also concluded that the shroud had been mended with newer material. Since then, a team of nine scientists at Los Alamos has also confirmed Rogers work, also with different methods and procedures. Much of this new information has been recently published in Chemistry Today.
    http://shroudofturin.wordpress.....s-of-time/

    This following is the Los Alamos National Laboratory report and video which agrees completely with the Rogers’ paper:

    “Analytical Results on Thread Samples Taken from the Raes Sampling Area (Corner) of the Shroud Cloth” (Aug 2008)
    Excerpt: The age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case……. LANL’s work confirms the research published in Thermochimica Acta (Jan. 2005) by the late Raymond Rogers, a chemist who had studied actual C-14 samples and concluded the sample was not part of the original cloth possibly due to the area having been repaired. – Robert Villarreal – Los Alamos National Laboratory
    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/

    Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating Overturned – Robert Villarreal – Press Release video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041193

    Of related note;

    The Shroud of Oviedo
    A cloth that covered the face of Christ
    http://www.piercedhearts.org/t.....oviedo.htm

    The following study was able to find an even more precise date by using advances in non-destructive dating techniques:

    Turin Shroud ‘is not a medieval forgery’ – 28 Mar 2013
    Excerpt: Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ.,,,
    The analysis is published in a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University,,,
    Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud,,,
    The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.,,,
    Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man’s body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.
    He said his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land.,,,
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....rgery.html

    Moreover, the way in which the image was formed on the Shroud by light belongs to the world of ‘discrete’ quantum action and not to the world of classical physics:

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    Kevin Moran, a scientist (optical engineer) working on the mysterious ’3D’ nature of the Shroud image, states the ‘supernatural’ explanation this way:

    “It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    http://www.shroudstory.com/natural.htm

    Moreover the image density does not vary:

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    http://www.academicjournals.or.....onacci.pdf

  12. TheisticEvolutionist, actually if you hold that the Shroud of Turin is not genuine, and on that basis you hold Stephen Jones to be a ‘crank’, then since, after much study, I find the Shroud of Turin to be genuine, and all the arguments to be simplistic and superfluous, then using your very own criteria for judgement, of whether someone is a crank or not, then you are the one who is the ‘crank’!

    In a fairly recent breakthrough, the carbon dating question has been thoroughly addressed and refuted by Joseph G. Marino and M. Sue Benford in 2000. Their research, with textile experts, showing the carbon testing was done with a piece of the Shroud which was subject to expert medieval reweaving in the 1500’s had much historical, and photographic, evidence behind it. Their historical, and photographic, evidence was then scientifically confirmed by chemical analysis in 2005 by Raymond Rogers. Thus, the fact that a false age was shown by the 1989 carbon testing has been accepted across the board as far as the scientific evidence itself is concerned.

    Shroud of Turin – Carbon 14 test proves false (with Raymond Rogers, lead chemist from the STURP project) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxDdx6vxthE

    The following is the main peer reviewed paper which has refuted the 1989 Carbon Dating:

    Why The Carbon 14 Samples Are Invalid, Raymond Rogers
    per: Thermochimica Acta (Volume 425 pages 189-194, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California)
    Excerpt: Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud. The fact that vanillin can not be detected in the lignin on shroud fibers, Dead Sea scrolls linen, and other very old linens indicates that the shroud is quite old. A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggests that the shroud is between 1300- and 3000-years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as 840 years.
    http://www.ntskeptics.org/issu.....oudold.htm

    Rogers passed away shortly after publishing this paper, but his work was ultimately verified by the Los Alamos National Laboratory:

    Carbon Dating Of The Turin Shroud Completely Overturned by Scientific Peer Review
    Excerpt: Rogers also asked John Brown, a materials forensic expert from Georgia Tech to confirm his finding using different methods. Brown did so. He also concluded that the shroud had been mended with newer material. Since then, a team of nine scientists at Los Alamos has also confirmed Rogers work, also with different methods and procedures. Much of this new information has been recently published in Chemistry Today.
    http://shroudofturin.wordpress.....s-of-time/

    This following is the Los Alamos National Laboratory report and video which agrees completely with the Rogers’ paper:

    “Analytical Results on Thread Samples Taken from the Raes Sampling Area (Corner) of the Shroud Cloth” (Aug 2008)
    Excerpt: The age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case……. LANL’s work confirms the research published in Thermochimica Acta (Jan. 2005) by the late Raymond Rogers, a chemist who had studied actual C-14 samples and concluded the sample was not part of the original cloth possibly due to the area having been repaired. – Robert Villarreal – Los Alamos National Laboratory
    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/

    Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating Overturned – Robert Villarreal – Press Release video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041193

    Of related note;

    The Shroud of Oviedo
    A cloth that covered the face of Christ
    http://www.piercedhearts.org/t.....oviedo.htm

    The following study was able to find an even more precise date by using advances in non-destructive dating techniques:

    Turin Shroud ‘is not a medieval forgery’ – 28 Mar 2013
    Excerpt: Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ.,,,
    The analysis is published in a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University,,,
    Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud,,,
    The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.,,,
    Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man’s body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.
    He said his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land.,,,
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....rgery.html

    Moreover, the way in which the image was formed on the Shroud by light belongs to the world of ‘discrete’ quantum action and not to the world of classical physics:

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    Kevin Moran, a scientist (optical engineer) working on the mysterious ’3D’ nature of the Shroud image, states the ‘supernatural’ explanation this way:

    “It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    http://www.shroudstory.com/natural.htm

  13. Moreover the image density does not vary:

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    http://www.academicjournals.or.....onacci.pdf

    Forensic evidence precisely matches what is describe in the Bible for the crucifixion:

    Detailed Forensic Evidence of The Shroud – video
    Excerpt: it is definitely an anatomically and forensically correct depiction of a victim of a Roman crucifixion.
    http://www.shroud-enigma.com/w.....ology.html

    Here is a more comprehensive list of the substantiating evidence for the Shroud:

    List of Evidences of the Turin Shroud – 2010
    http://www.acheiropoietos.info.....istWeb.pdf

    Here is the main website for the Shroud of Turin (est. 1995 with links to all the peer reviewed papers on the Shroud and etc.. etc.. (established by Barrie Schwortz – photographer for STURP)
    http://www.shroud.com/

    Here is a recent talk by Barrie Schwortz in which he speaks of debating atheists taking them apart in debates since he knows the science of the shroud so much better than they do:

    Shroud of Turin: Hoax or Proof of Resurrection? (feat. Photographer of Los Alamos, Barrie Schwortz) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCyK2BzLy3Y

    The Shroud of Turin, with its Photographic Negative/3-D holographic image, is simply the most enigmatic piece of ancient Linen on Earth:

    Shroud Of Turin – Photographic Negative – 3D Hologram – The Lamb – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5664213/

    Turin Shroud Enters 3D Age – Front and Back 3-D images – articles and videos
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1gDY4CJkoFedewMG94gdUk1Z1jexestdy5fh87RwWAfg

    Verse and Music:

    John 20:6-8
    Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

    Empty (Empty Cross Empty Tomb) with Dan Haseltine Matt Hammitt (Music Inspired by The Story)
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=F22MCCNU

  14. correct to post 11

    and all the arguments “against the Shroud” to be simplistic and superfluous,

  15. I wonder if the shroud contains CSI and how much information has been lost or gained due to random mutations.

  16. The measurement of the amount of information is divorced from the actual information content of the message.

    Or perhaps better stated:

    The statistical measure of information-carrying capacity is divorced from the information content of the message.

    Shannon’s measure can’t tell us whether we are dealing with any real, useful information. That isn’t what it is measuring. It is only measuring the information-carrying capacity of the particular medium.

    It is one of the unfortunate historical quirks of this debate that the Shannon calculation is referred to as “Shannon information.” We would all have been a lot better off (and much unnecessarily spilled ink would have been saved) if it had been called the “Shannon measurement” or the “Shannon capacity calculation” or something. It tells us very little, other than the information-carrying capacity of a medium.

    Important, to be sure, for data compression, storage, transmission; but largely irrelevant to what we generally have in mind when we talk of “information.”

  17. wd400:

    Is there a point to this?

    Yes, definitely. While I may agree with you that:

    no evolutionary biologist would argue with

    “Mutations are far more likely to introduce a problem than a benefit. And no long string of such mutations is going to happen to produce a complex new physiological system.”

    it is equally obvious that evolutionary biologists would certainly argue with the following:

    “no long string of such mutations is going to happen to produce a complex new physiological system”,

    exactly as:

    “no long chain of random letters is going to turn out to be a local news story by accident”.

    That is the whole point, that you seem to miss. CSI is the whole point.

    And yes, the DNA code is definitely an information storing language.

  18. There is a very interesting article over on ENV.

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....78301.html

  19. gpuccio,

    I’m an evolutionary biologist. I think the probability that “a long string of such mutations is going to happen to produce a complex new physiological system” is as close to zero as to make no difference. That’s because evolution isn’t just about random mutations, but about how such mutations do.

    And as for the DNA being like langauge – I don’t know of many languages in which randomly changing a letter doesn’t change a word at all ~25% of the time, but that’s true of mutations in protein coding genes. It’s important not to let metaphors mislead us.

  20. wd400: Where are the beneficial mutations in man?

    Critic ignores reality of Genetic Entropy – Dr John Sanford – 7 March 2013
    Excerpt: Where are the beneficial mutations in man? It is very well documented that there are thousands of deleterious Mendelian mutations accumulating in the human gene pool, even though there is strong selection against such mutations. Yet such easily recognized deleterious mutations are just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of deleterious mutations will not display any clear phenotype at all. There is a very high rate of visible birth defects, all of which appear deleterious. Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why are no beneficial birth anomalies being seen? This is not just a matter of identifying positive changes. If there are so many beneficial mutations happening in the human population, selection should very effectively amplify them. They should be popping up virtually everywhere. They should be much more common than genetic pathologies. Where are they? European adult lactose tolerance appears to be due to a broken lactase promoter [see Can’t drink milk? You’re ‘normal’! Ed.]. African resistance to malaria is due to a broken hemoglobin protein [see Sickle-cell disease. Also, immunity of an estimated 20% of western Europeans to HIV infection is due to a broken chemokine receptor—see CCR5-delta32: a very beneficial mutation. Ed.] Beneficials happen, but generally they are loss-of-function mutations, and even then they are very rare!
    http://creation.com/genetic-entropy

  21. 21

    I would like to know how the author is measuring genetic information and what units they are using.

    For example, how many of these (unspecified) units of ‘information’ does this genetic sequence contain:

    GTA ATT TAC GGA

    Does the following sequence contain more or less information:

    GTA ATT TAC GGA GGA

    Analogies to human languages are invalid because changing a DNA sequence leads to a differently shaped protein, not a meaningless protein. Changing a letter in a word can change it into a meaningless word or a different word. Adding letters to a word is more likely to make it a meaningless word whereas adding parts to a protein will create a brand new protein, i.e. new information.

  22. 22
    TheisticEvolutionist

    Bornagain77 the Shroud of Turin was a hoax.

    The following is taken from Terence Hines book “Pseudoscience and the Paranormal”

    A simple rubbing technique was used in which a piece of cloth is placed over a bas relief and pigment is then applied. Using just such a simple technique, Nickell (1978 1999) has been able to produce images that look exactly like the image on the shroud. They even duplicate the “photographic negative” quality of the shroud image that proponents of the authenticity of the shroud state could not have been produced by any artistic means. The rubbing technique was known to artists as early as the 1100s (Mueller 1981–82), more than two hundred years before the shroud appeared.

    The shroud appeared at a time when the manufacture, sale, and collection of Christian relics was big business (Nickell 1983; MacRobert 1986). It has been said with considerable truth that there were enough pieces of the True Cross floating around Europe at the time to build the ark. Wealthy nobles and merchants collected relics. There were many other shrouds to be found in Europe; the Shroud of Turin is simply the most famous.

    The conclusion from the historical and scientific analysis of the shroud is clear: It is a fake relic created sometime in the early or mid-1300s. In 1989 this conclusion was dramatically confirmed by carbon dating of the shroud (Damon et al. 1989). Until that time the church had not permitted any such testing of the shroud. The results dated the shroud to the year 1325, plus or minus sixty-five years.

    MacRobert, A. 1986. “Reality Shopping: A Consumer’s Guide to New Age Hokum.” Whole Earth Review 52:4–14.

    Nickell, J. 1978. “The Shroud of Turin—Solved!” Humanist 38(6):30–32.

    Nickell, J. 1999. Inquest on the Shroud of Turin. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books.

    Damon, P. E., D. J. Donahue, B. H. Gore, et al. 1989. “Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin.” Nature 337:611–15.

  23. TheisticEvolutionist, despite your ignorance of the Shroud, and contrary to the utterly laughable links you provided, the Shroud of Turin is not a hoax. For example, Joe Nickell, who you list for a reference, is NOT a scientist, and has ignored the results that Rodgers produced! Read what Ray Rogers, the lead chemist on the STURP project, who overturned the carbon dating of the shroud, wrote to the editor of Skeptical Inquirer about Joe Nickell. Rogers wrote:

    Dear Editor:

    Joe Nickell has attacked my scientific competence and honesty in his latest publication on the Shroud of Turin. Everything I have done investigating the shroud had the goal of testing some hypothesis [Schwalbe, L. A., Rogers, R. N., "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin: Summary of the 1978 Investigation," Analytica Chimica Acta 135, 3 (1982); Rogers R. N., Arnoldi A., "The Shroud of Turin: an amino-carbonyl reaction (Maillard reaction) may explain the image formation," in Melanoidins vol. 4, Ames J.M. ed., Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2003, pp. 106-113].

    My latest paper [Rogers, R. N., "Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the Shroud of Turin," Thermochimica Acta 425/1-2, 189-194 (2005)] is no exception. I accepted the radiocarbon results, and I believed that the “invisible reweave” claim was highly improbable. I used my samples to test it. One of the greatest embarrassments a scientist can face is to have to agree with the lunatic fringe. So, Joe, should I suppress the information, as Walter McCrone did the results from Mark Anderson, his own MOLE expert?

    Incidentally, I knew Walter since the 1950s and had compared explosives data with him. I was the one who “commissioned” him to look at the samples that I took in Turin, when nobody else would trust him. I designed the sampling system and box, and I was the person who signed the paper work in Turin so that I could hand-carry the samples back to the US. The officials in Turin and King Umberto would not allow Walter to touch the relic. Walter lied to me about how he would handle the samples, and he early ruined them for additional chemical tests. Incidentally, has anyone seen direct evidence that Walter found Madder on the cloth? I can refute almost every claim he made, and I debated the subject with his people at a Gordon Conference. I can present my evidence as photomicrographs of classical tests, spectra, and mass spectra.

    Now Joe thinks I am a “Shroud of Turin devotee,” a “pro-authenticity researcher,” and incompetent at microanalysis. If he ever read any of my professional publications, he would know that I have international recognition as an expert on chemical kinetics. I have a medal for Exceptional Civilian Service from the US Air Force, and I have developed many microanalytical methods. I was elected to be a Fellow of a national laboratory. A cloud still hangs over Walter with regard to the Vinland map. Joe does not take his job as “Research Director” very seriously. If he thinks I am a “true believer,” I will put him solidly on the “far-right” lunatic fringe.

    Joe did not understand the method or importance of the results of the pyrolysis/mass spectrometry analyses, and I doubt that he understands the fundamental science behind either visible/ultraviolet spectrometry or fluorescence. He certainly does not understand chemical kinetics. If he wants to argue my results, I suggest that we stick to observations, natural laws, and facts. I am a skeptic by nature, but I believe all skeptics should be held to the same ethical and scientific standards we require of others.

    Sincerely,
    Raymond N. Rogers
    Fellow (Retired)
    University of California, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Los Alamos, NM, USA

    TE, I suggest that you catch up on Shroud research before trying to dismiss something you clearly know little about. Who knows once you learn a little you might actually become more reasonable than you currently are. A good place to start learning would be shroud.com

  24. 24
    TheisticEvolutionist

    According to Wikipedia;

    “Rogers’ conclusions are however based on a study of a few threads that Rogers believed were taken from the C14 shroud sample, but there is no evidence to support their provenance or that they are indeed representative of the C14 sample.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.....d_of_Turin

    The scientific community have not taken Rogers claims seriously he made errors.

    “According to shroud investigator Joe Nickell, Rogers “relied on two little threads allegedly left over from the sampling” and the word of “pro-authenticity researchers who guessed that the carbon-14 sample came from a ‘rewoven area’ of repair.”

    http://skepdic.com/shroud.html

    It was a hoax, just the Bible is a hoax.

    “No matter what date is correct for either the cloth or the image, the date cannot prove to any degree of reasonable probability that the cloth is the shroud Jesus was wrapped in and that the image is somehow miraculous. To believe that will always be a matter of faith, not scientific proof.”

    “All empirical evidence and logical reasoning concerning the shroud of Turin will lead any objective, rational person to the firm conclusion that the shroud is an artifact created by an artist in the fourteenth-century.” –Steven D. Schafersman

  25. Like I said TheisticEvolutionist, please educate yourself on the Shroud before you try to dismiss it:

    List of Evidences of the Turin Shroud – 2010
    http://www.acheiropoietos.info.....istWeb.pdf

    The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part One: To Edessa
    https://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2013/03/14/The-Shroud-of-Turins-Earlier-History-Part-One-To-Edessa.aspx#Article

    THE SHROUD AS AN ANCIENT TEXTILE – Evidence of Authenticity
    http://www.newgeology.us/presentation24.html

    The Sudarium of Oviedo
    http://www.shroudstory.com/sudarium.htm

    Shroud Of Turin – Sewn From Two Pieces – 2000 Years Old – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109101

    Turin Shroud ‘is not a medieval forgery’ – 28 Mar 2013
    Excerpt: Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ.,,,
    The analysis is published in a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University,,,
    Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud,,,
    The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.,,,
    Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man’s body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.
    He said his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land.,,,
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....rgery.html

    Scientific tests of Shroud point to supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: The Italian scientists found they could achieve a Shroud-like coloration of linen yarns in a narrow range of irradiation parameters, using ultraviolent lasers that were completely unknown in the Middle Ages.
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?f.....eId=380633

    etc.. etc..

  26. corrected link:

    The Sudarium of Oviedo
    http://www.shroud.com/guscin.htm

  27. Here is a fairly dated documentary on the shroud (1998), before the carbon dating was overturned, that is very well done none-the-less, with good information

    In Pursuit of the Shroud (Discovery) – 1998 film
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....bc5X_m11ri

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