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Old 3rd September 2007, 09:19 AM   #106
Critical Thinker
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 334
Originally Posted by Earthborn View Post
In other words: suppose a Star Trek like transporter scans an entire human being and places all necessary information to rebuild a human in its buffer. You would need a whole lot more memory space than the 750 MB needed to store the human being's DNA sequence, even when compressed. If you believe (a view wogaga attributes to "neo-Darwinists") in the misleading analogy that DNA is a sort of computer program to build a human, you might get the impression that
TransporterBuffer - 750 MB = MissingInformation
Of course, the information is not really missing. It is just that nobody in his right mind argued that it was to be found in DNA.

A human body of 100 kg consists of around 10^28 atoms. 5 bit are enough to specify the atom by its atomic number, and 93 bit are needed to give an unambiguous reference number to each of the 10^28 atoms. Let us ignore gaseous regions e.g. in the lungs and assume that every atom has direct neighbours, on average 14. This results in 10^28 * 14/2 pairwise connections. Also a few bit are probably needed in order to specifiy the connection or the chemical bond.

This results in a "TransportBuffer" of around 10^30 bytes, and is obviously not an adequate starting point to estimate the missing genetic information. In order to do that, we must deal with the number of freedom degrees of the relevant properties. We can also ask, how many degrees of freedom have for instance bolts and nuts, and how much information is used in the production process of a bolt or a nut. If bolts and nuts belong together, they can share some information. Sharing information however can also entail new problems, e.g. undesired dependencies.

If we take seriously our close relationship with chimpanzees, we must conclude that a continuous spectrum of bodies ranging from chimpanzees to humans has existed, all of which with a genetic information of around 750 MB (or less than 15 MB, if we exclude non-functional DNA). The difference between a chimpanzee body and a human body is quite substantial. Let us only deal with the macroscopic level:

"The human skeleton consists of both fused and individual bones supported and supplemented by ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilage." "At birth a newborn baby has approximately 300 bones, whereas on average an adult human has 206 bones (these numbers can vary slightly from individual to individual)." "There are approximately 650 skeletal muscles within the typical human. However, the exact number is difficult to define because different sources group muscles differently." (Wiki)

How many degrees of freedom has one single bone, one single muscle? How many ways exist to combine the bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilages with each other?

The environment of a developing egg/embryo cannot provide relevant (constructive) information concerning the ontogenetic design of a primate. And the genetic information present in the ferilized egg is obviously not enough to determine all the relevant degrees of freedom. So why should the hypothesis that non-material information could be involved not at least be taken into consideration?

Cheers, Wolfgang

The upright gait was only one of many traits which had to evolve in us after our separation from chimps. For that to happen, the structures of bones, of muscules and of tendons had to gradually change. Let us ignore that in fact the bone structure (involved in the upright-gait evolution) alone consists of several bones with each several traits.

So let us make the completely unrealistic simplification that one 'progressive' single-step mutation in the genetic factor of each (i.e. bone, muscle and tendon) structure is enough to entail a relevant increase in fitness.

Let us further assume that the probability of such progressive mutations in newborns is each as high as 10^-5. So we conclude that among 10^15 newborns (i.e. a billion newborns of a million generations), only one indivudual will carry all three necessary mutations.

Because a change in only one or two of the three involved structures cannot lead to a relevant increase in fitness (rather the contrary), it becomes obvious that the upright gait cannot have evolved in a neo-Darwinian way.
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