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To: PZ Myers (myersp{at}morris.umn.edu)
Subject: New post to an old blog

Well, PZ has apparently tired of this issue (no new posts, which makes it necessary for further
discussion to do the unspeakable, post on an old blog!) And still Myers has not given a coherent
explanation of how new information is generated by evolution. Some of his followers seem to believe
in spontaneous generation. Many don't recognize irony (from an opponent, anyway. eg "I was talking
to PZ")

Richard Dawkins at least hemmed and hawed before coming up with his answer for the dilemma. See
www.tccsa.tc/articles/dawkins_pause.html and scroll down to Dawkins explanation of information (by
elimination). In summary it goes like this. A friend has had as baby and you ask, "Is it a boy or girl?"
The information is a result of the elimination of one possibility, which is "selection." Therefore,
mutations do not increase information but natural selection does.

Since the Blogosphere does not seem particularly strong on analysis, let me draw a picture.
Information by subtraction does not add anything. It means you have to start with something and
keep on taking away from it. This DOES NOT build new body plans or behaviors as evolution needs.
Yet the mythology is out there that "Dr. Dawkins 'dealt with' the challenge."

As to students taught BOTH ID and evolution (for that is the hope -- not one to the exclusion of the
other) the thesis that exposure to ID disables students for further success is unsupported. Dr. Myers
rightly states that they would not pass tests in his classes (unless they gave the answers he wanted
whether they believed them or not). That, of course, strengthens Bergman's argument that there is
discrimination and censorship in academia. But put one of those evolution-only graduates in a job
where a product is necessary -- like Microsoft or Medtronics -- and see if their theory of information
spontaneously arising with the input of energy gets them anywhere. It is TRUE that being
indoctrinated is beneficial in academia where outliers are culled from the herd. But the brain that does
not contain the missing information is actually less viable in the wild, just as a bacterium without a cell
wall would be outside of a Petri dish full of penicillin.

The evidence for ID is design which cannot be accounted for by natural processes. It is not just a
process of elimination but we make positive determinations of design all the time. We distinguish an
e-mail full of random letters from an actual meaningful message (although some are borderline.) We
know that an arrowhead is made by an intelligent being and if a coherent message were received by
SETI, they would conclude that somebody is out there.

As the complexity of living things is further elucidated, the design signature is more and more evident.
There are frame shift genes, which is equivalent to writing a book, moving the word spacing three
characters to the right and having a totally different book that makes complete sense. In some areas
there are genes on the "anti-sense" strand -- the template which allows the gene to be duplicated.
This is equivalent to writing a book, reading it backwards and finding it to make complete sense as a
different book.

Darwin, who was humbler and more honest than his disciples, may well have considered his theory
falsified were he alive today.

Ross Olson