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ChatGPT Debate Pt7: New Genetic Information



In Part 6 of my debate with ChatGPT, the Artificial Intelligence chatbot, the bot confessed that humans have never observed eyesight evolution but attempted to provide evolutionary explanations. I challenged the bot with the following: “…natural selection leads to loss of genetic information over time, rather than any gain of genetic information as required by evolution.” Below is Part 7 of 8 of my debate with ChatGPT, where the bot uses common evolutionary arguments for the supposed gain of new genetic information.

 

ChatGPT:

It is true that natural selection alone cannot account for the origin of new genetic information or novel features. However, evolutionary theory proposes that new genetic information arises through various mechanisms such as genetic mutation, gene duplication, horizontal gene transfer, and hybridization. These mechanisms have been observed and studied extensively in various organisms.


Additionally, while natural selection can lead to a decrease in genetic diversity within a population, it can also promote the spread of beneficial traits and the accumulation of genetic variations over time, leading to speciation and the formation of new species.


It is also important to note that evolutionary theory is supported by a vast amount of evidence from various fields such as genetics, comparative anatomy, paleontology, and biogeography. While there are still unanswered questions and ongoing debates within the scientific community, the overwhelming evidence supports the theory of evolution as the best explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.

Kevin:

Genetic mutation, gene duplication, horizontal gene transfer, and hybridization are simply distortions of existing genetic information. Nobody can say that they have observed novel features, such as eyesight, being developed through such mechanisms.


ChatGPT:

While it is true that genetic mutation, gene duplication, horizontal gene transfer, and hybridization are distortions of existing genetic information, it is also true that they can result in the emergence of novel features. For example, gene duplication can create new copies of genes, which can then undergo mutations that result in the evolution of new functions. Horizontal gene transfer can introduce new genetic material into an organism's genome, which can then be subject to further evolution. Hybridization can result in the combination of genetic material from two different species, which can lead to the emergence of new traits and features.


Moreover, it is important to note that the development of novel features through these mechanisms is not a matter of faith or belief, but rather a matter of scientific observation and experimentation. There are numerous examples in the scientific literature of organisms evolving new features through these mechanisms, such as the emergence of nylonase enzymes in bacteria that can break down synthetic materials, the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria through horizontal gene transfer, and the emergence of new flower colors and shapes through hybridization in plants.


While it is true that the development of novel features through these mechanisms may not always be directly observable, scientists can use a variety of tools and techniques, such as comparative genomics, experimental evolution, and computer simulations, to study and understand the evolutionary processes that lead to the emergence of novel traits and features.


Kevin:

Bacterial resistance to drugs/antibiotics is an example of genetic loss of information, not gain. A basic example is this: a normal strand of bacteria produces an enzyme that reacts with the protein of the antibiotic; yet, the mutant bacteria no longer produces that particular enzyme, so it no longer reacts with the antibiotic. While this is a beneficial mutation for a specific environment, it’s still a loss of genetic information, not a gain.

 

I chose not to directly respond to every single point that ChatGPT made, because by this time I realized that the longer my response, the longer the bot’s reply would be. Therefore, I was selective in seeing what admissions the bot might make. The bot admitted that “It is true that natural selection alone cannot account for the origin of new genetic information or novel features." Some evolutionists will admit that, but many will not. The bot also made a few other partial admissions, such as "it is true that genetic mutation, gene duplication, horizontal gene transfer, and hybridization are distortions of existing genetic information." As for the other points that the bot brought up, I’ve heard them and addressed them in previous debates.


The bot brought up nylonase enzymes in bacteria. I addressed this with a humanist about six years ago in one of my earlier debates: Overwhelming Evidence Part 1.


The bot referenced horizontal gene transfer, gene duplications, and so forth. I addressed this in Overwhelming Evidence Part 3.


Moreover, in another earlier debate, I addressed the fact that genetic mutations, copy errors, and so forth, do not actually add any new information. For example, I made the point that mere copying errors will not change a copy of the Declaration of Independence into a fantasy fictional novel. Also, while computer simulations may provide the appearance of evolution in action, such simulations were created by intelligent design. You can read about that in Fairy Tales and Evolution Part 4, Randomness vs. Information.


The discussion on genetics, gain of information, and eyesight evolution continues in Part 8 of 8 of the debate, which I will share in my next blog post.


#biology #evolution #bacteria #genetics #naturalselection


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