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Thread: How did DNA language evolve?

  1. #1
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    How did DNA language evolve?

    The "language" of DNA is exceedingly well structured, very well (not perfect, but very good) at correcting errors. It is not a scattering of codons higglety-piggelty. If it was originally random, how did it evolve?
    If a mutation occurred in the coding, it would have mutated every gene in the proto-bacterium and killed it. So how did such a system evolve?

  2. #2
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    Natural Selection. What worked well enough to reproduce did so, what didn't did not. Things that worked better than other things became more numerous.

    I'm not sure what you might mean by "if it was originally random." While there may be elements of randomness that may have some impact, at least depending on context, chemical processes are not remotely random at the macro scale. They proceed in regular patterns based on their constituent properties and the environment. Which can quickly become very complex, but not random.

  3. #3
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    I am debating a YEC. He referred to this:
    https://creation.com/dna-remarkable-language
    This is not my background and I could use help.

  4. #4
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    There is debate as whether DNA or RNA evolved first it is thought some precursors to bacteria could use just RNA and that could evolve from amino acids as a self replicating molecule almost a missing link between molecules and life. Maybe in hot vents rather than the warm puddle but it may have started several times in many places over the long period while the planet was settling down. While random changes have allowed us to evolve, DNA is amazingly stable, some species seem not to have changed for hundreds of millions of years. That's just as impressive as the mutations that allows evolution to cope with changes in the environment.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  5. #5
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    You should take a look at Koonin & Novozhilov (300KB pdf), in particular the section entitled "The code is evolvable".

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
    I am debating a YEC. He referred to this:
    https://creation.com/dna-remarkable-language
    This is not my background and I could use help.
    Good luck with that, it's a hard grind in my experience. Especially countering that argument, if it's so complex how can it evolve by chance? But of course that is not any kind of scientific argument. Many good scientists have shown in detail the way the eye evolved for example, that used to be a favourite with creationists, but maybe they gave up on the eye and focussed on DNA.
    Since you are arguing about a belief it is hard work because it is an understandable if uncritical belief. One area I find separates people is the concept of geological, ie very long time. Whole mountain ranges reduced to sand by wind and rain, whole eons of sea life raised up into chalk hills that seem so permanent to us. It is so recent that we started to realise how long the process was. Creationists are taught it all happened on a few thousand years so of course that makes development tricky. Comprehending tens or hundreds of millions of years is a big leap, yes, of faith, in the evidence rather than texts a few thousand years old.
    I have had heated discussions, especially when they try, and they do, to indoctrinate children, but I think I have never managed to break through. And it's getting worse if I may say so, in the USA. But good for you, we must win this argument in the context of education. But if someone will listen, there is loads of evidence to present. The story starts with the stars and the elements, it's a great scientific story. It's a better story in my opinion, but the creationists like the so called simple explanation of a cosmic designer. There is zero evidence for that, just naive wonder.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    There is debate as whether DNA or RNA evolved first it is thought some precursors to bacteria could use just RNA and that could evolve from amino acids as a self replicating molecule almost a missing link between molecules and life.
    Yes.

    I think it is fairly widely agreed that RNA evolved before DNA. I think most of the debate is whether RNA evolved first, proteins evolved first, or both at the same time.

    A pro-protein article

    A pro-RNA article
    So biologists are getting tantalisingly close to creating an RNA molecule, or perhaps a set of molecules, capable of replicating itself.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
    I am debating a YEC. He referred to this:
    The article is basically argument from incredibility, denial and obsession with Richard Dawkins. They describe roughly how evolution produces error corrections ("How does our DNA code minimize the effect of copying errors?"), are incredible about it and so deny it. They accuse Dawkins of being wrong but that has nothing to do with evolutionally theory being wrong.

    So the answer to the YEC is simply that argument from incredibility is invalid.

  9. #9
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    http://www.talkorigins.org/ is often the go-to site for combatting YEC claims, they tend to repeat the same sillyness again and again. Or just for hours and hours of browsing.
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