Why, yes, I did gain some new information.

Part III of Daniel Jarvis’ series “Consider the evidence,” which takes on evolution and supports intelligent design, is up. My take on part one here and part two here.

This article presents the “no new information” argument against evolution. Simply put, where did the information required for increasingly complex life forms come from? I have to admit to not knowing much about his argument. I had heard it before, but had yet to absorb the refutation. However, I need to note that I mentioned in the previous two installments that Jarvis has yet to present any evidence for intelligent design. None. And here we are in part three with still no drop of evidence to be found. He’s taking the typical tactic of attacking evolution, claiming he has evolution on the ropes, and then magically declaring intelligent design the winner. Even if he did manage to bloody evolution’s nose, which he has yet to do, that still doesn’t say a thing about intelligent design. He hasn’t presented any positive evidence to support it. We’re still waiting Jarvis.

As I said, I’m not knowledgeable enough about the “no new information” argument to take it on off the top of my head. So, I fired up Google and look what I found: new information!

Here are some snippets from a good explanation:

Individuals don’t evolve. Populations do. So in linking information theory to evolution, one must consider the information in the population, which creationists do not do.

It is important to realize that evolution occurs even if information is lost. It also occurs when information is gained or without any change in the amount of information at all. Thus no-new-information arguments do not actually address evolutionary theory. By focusing on individuals and not populations, no-new-information claims never even get close to disproving evolution. In fact, the actual claim, when applied to biology, is that the information capacity of an individual’s genome cannot increase. However, this claim is false because there are known types of mutations that can increase the length of the genome and thus its capacity to hold information.

Talkorigins has something to say, of course (do a search for the word “information” to find the post):

But what about the actual claim, that mutations *add* no new information? That’s questionable as well. Mutations aren’t always single changes in the bases of DNA. Duplications, transpositions and fusions are mutations that can also occur which increase the total length of DNA in the cell. Even a perfect duplication of a single gene will increase genetic information by some degree (And yes, even perfect duplications of a single gene can find an adaptive role).

Also see here about “Apolipoprotein AI Mutations and Information.” Also take a look at the index of creationist claims.

luna_the_cat does a great job explaining things (part one and part two).

Thank you, Jarvis. After my little bit of research and reading, I gained some new information. Amazing! Readers, please offer up any additional links or information you have.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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4 Responses to Why, yes, I did gain some new information.

  1. quork says:

    I checked out The Faith Connection page today, and the ID posts are gone! The posts are still there if you follow a direct link though. Has Jarvis thrown in the towel?

  2. Dan Jarvis says:

    I haven’t thrown in the towel, but I also noticed the posts are gone, and Part VI was has not been published. I need to check with the paper on this. For your entertainment, however, I’ll give you the heads up on Part IV so you can begin the “dissection” process early. I appreciate your comments in the spirit of good debate.


    Consider the evidence IV: Three Proofs for the Creator

    This is the fourth in a Faith Connection series on creation, intelligent design, and evolution. Previous articles can be accessed at http://www.marcoislandflorida.com.

    To me, one of the most interesting facets of the debate about origins is the fact that both sides are examining the same evidence. Both sides examine the empirical realities of the world; fossils, natural laws, complexity, etc. The difference isn’t in the evidence, it’s in the presuppositions that both sides bring to the table.

    For example, a Darwinist might say that the similarities he sees in the animal kingdom prove a “common ancestor” for all living things. A Design-proponent, on the other hand, would look at the same evidence and say that it proves a “common designer” had a hand in the creation of all things. Same evidence, different conclusion.

    If someone is honest enough to grant that the presupposition of a designer could be an answer to the origins question, I believe the following evidences will be helpful:

    1. Design. Everything about our existence offers evidence of a designer; from the blood stream to the water cycle, the smallest cell to the largest galaxy. There are laws, order, and systems so well-conceived that even modern science (which does utilize “intelligent design” in its experiments) cannot reproduce them. Of course, an evolutionist would see the evidence in the opposite light: since a creator is a non-option, the world only has an appearance of design – the “order” is actually a result of natural laws at work. (Was the shoe made for the foot, or the other way around?)

    2. Complexity. When a system needs all of its components to function (and no simpler version is possible), the term “irreducible complexity” is applied. That is, there is no way to reduce the system and still have function. If any irreducibly complex systems exist in nature, they offer positive, absolute proof that they were “designed” rather than “developed.” Again, evolutionists examine the same evidence and reach for the opposite conclusion, affirming that evolution “added parts” (magically, I assume?) and then “made them necessary” due to the removal or change of existing parts. However, their arguments seem to be the simple-man’s way out of a difficult quandary. Suggesting that evolution can “add parts” to a living system “before they are needed” ignores the problem of “information” (described in part 3 of this series) and cause for the new parts.

    3. Origins of Everything. Without a creator-option for origins, not only did life arise from non-life, but non-life arose, somehow, from non-existence! Evolution is an attempt to explain origins without a beginning; or more precisely, a beginning without a beginner. Naturalists must have faith (yes, the religious kind) that there was “something” in the beginning; or, as some science textbooks put it, “nothing” in the beginning. Either way, evolution is reduced to an unsubstantiated assumption about the past, with every natural law pointing in the other direction (is there empirical evidence that things can just “pop” or “bang” into existence?). Naturalists can play games with missing links and mixed chemicals, but if you go back far enough, their hypothesis looses credibility at the beginning – exactly at the point where it counts the most. Either “nothing” began the universe, “something” began the universe, or “someone” began the universe. All three require faith in the supernatural; a cause beyond nature that falls outside the range of empirical observation.

    It takes faith to understand what or who that beginner may have been. Since “nothing” is an absurd answer and “something” still had to come from “somewhere,” I’m banking on “Someone” as the best (and most scientifically-credible) answer.

    Perhaps the Bible does have it right: “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” (Hebrews 11:3, NLT)

    Submitted to Marco Island Sun Times for October publication.

  3. quork says:

    Three Proofs for the Creator

    Anothe bad title. ID has tried oh-so-hard to claim that it is not Creationism. Identifying the Intelligent Designer as the “Creator” at the outset cripples this subterfuge.

    say that it proves a “common designer” had a hand in the creation of all things.

    If it were possible to breed camels and llamas, would this be sufficient evidence for you to believe that they had common ancestors? If various “kinds” were created separately by the same Creator, why did He try so hard to make them look like they came from a common ancestor? Because the evidence; fossil, anatomical and genetic, makes it appear that they did.

    If someone is honest enough to grant that the presupposition of a designer could be an answer to the origins question,

    You are very confused. Are you proposing that a designer is a presupposition, or an answer? Adding unnecessary presuppositions is never a valid answer. Presuppositions (i.e. axioms) should be kept to an absolute minimum, and even then, they are open to question. Example: relativity, with its claims of gravitation warping space-time, calls for a revision of the presumption that the universe is adequately represented as three-dimensional Euclidian space, with time as an independent variable. If you can only arrive at a certain answer by presuming it is true in the first place, you can legitimately be accused of circular reasoning.

    modern science (which does utilize “intelligent design” in its experiments)

    Not so. If you think otherwise, show your work.

    Of course, an evolutionist would see the evidence in the opposite light: since a creator is a non-option

    Not so. The possibility of a creator is not off-limits for a scientist, it is merely not supported by any evidence, and is therefore not an appropriate conclusion ot draw.

    (Was the shoe made for the foot, or the other way around?)

    I note that you don’t supply your answer for that. Besides, Voltaire beat you to it.

    When a system needs all of its components to function (and no simpler version is possible), the term “irreducible complexity” is applied.

    Creationists such as former scientist Michael Behe apply that term. Those familiar with evolutionary theory understand that well-established mechanisms exist for the creation of complexity. Prime example: exaptation. Other examples: Scaffolding. Other parts could have been a part of the system, but got removed when they were no longer necessary. Recombination, either through sexual reproduction or endosymbiosis.


    You fail to even mention the chief criticism of this argument: Who created the Creator? If you say that every entity must have a beginning, then you are at a loss to explain why this requirement does not apply to your Creator. Your solution fails to meet your own criteria, and is thus logically inconsistent, not to mention unparsimonious.

  4. Dan Jarvis says:

    As for the last paragraph in your rebuttal, you are right that I did not attempt to answer that question (who created the creator?). As one who is willing to admit faith-presuppositions in my worldview, I don’t feel compelled to have the answer to this question. Evolutionists face the same quandry — where did the material/energy/etc. the universe come from? It was either from someone or something. Can you prove which?

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