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From: Ross Olson [ross{at}rossolson.org]
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:41 PM
To: PZ Myers (myersp{at}morris.umn.edu)
Subject: Posting on your blog

So my e-mail was "patronizing?" I was on my best behavior for e-mail. For a mud wrestler, Dr. Myers
seems to have very thin skin.

Let's talk about the response regarding information:

Me: To be addressed is your claim that evolution adds information. That needs to be supported.

Myers: Of course evolution adds information: it's a process driven by random variation of a string of
information, with subsequent filtering to find viable and more fit variants. My children are not identical
to my wife and myself; they contain novel combinations of genes and many new mutations.

I'll add that development is also a process that adds information. The adult multi-cellular organism that
is PZ Myers is a concentrated node of complex information of much greater volume than the fertilized
single-celled zygote that my parents made in 1956. As individuals and as a species, we extract energy
and information from our environment to increase our personal information content.

Me again:

You have not proved your point and misled your followers.

The difference between you and your children is due to recombination, not new information. And
duplicating a gene, even though it requires perhaps one more bit to describe it, is not new information
and does not support evolution.

The adult P. Z. Myers is the outworking of the information in the zygote P. Z. Myers, multiplied many
times. In fact, I would venture to say that there has been a net loss of useful information, since the
aging process includes many mutations which produce the diseases of aging including cancer. Those
mutations you worship as part of your trinity along with time and natural selection, are not your
friends and do not come up with new body plans needed to prove the tree of life. Speciation does not
prove bacteria to biologist transformation.

Now there is one aspect that does have merit and is interesting. The production of memories stored
in your brain as well as immunologic memory in lymphocytes do indeed represent increased
information, but are of absolutely of no use to evolution because they are not genetically passed on to
the next generation. (And even if you try to tell your kids anything you have learned, they instinctively
discount anything a parent says at least 99%.)

And energy does not increase information. Raw energy degrades information. It is educational
malpractice to say that because the earth is open to the sun, solar energy overcomes entropy.
Compare a living plant in the sun (with its complex mechanism for capturing and storing energy) with a
dead fish in the sun (which does NOT turn into something better.)

So again, I challenge you to come up with real scientific data, not Aristotelian arm chair philosophizing.

What have the Zebra fish done to support your contentions? It is ironic that you belittle Jerry Bergman
as an insecure overachiever (sort of like the poor students accuse the good students of being brown
noses). Your own publishing history is extremely narrow, yet you pontificate on nearly everything.