How Evolution Causes an Increase in Information

Here I show how evolution via natural selection will increase information stored in DNA. In short, mutations are random events occurring in the genome. If a mutation occurs that is beneficial, it will be selected for (remember, selection is NOT random). Since selection is a product of the environment, that mutation stores information about the environment. For example, in an environment with malaria, having normal hemoglobin is a bad thing, you are susceptible to the disease. But if you have a mutation in hemoglobin, you have an increased resistance. This mutation therefore gives us information about the environment, it contains the pathogen malaria. In the video I show other examples as well.

We also know that genes can duplicate. This increases the raw material on which mutations can act. Clearly increasing information.

Finally, I present the scientific evidence that one of the genes responsible for nylon digestion came about via a frame shift mutation in a previously existing gene. Frame shifts alter the reading frame and therefore result in an entirely new protein. This is an example of an entire protein appearing at once. Clearly an increase in information. That enzyme however does not have great activity (though it is enough for the bacteria to survive on nylon alone). It takes two more point mutations to increase the activity 200-fold.

So when a creationist asks, are there examples of mutations that increase information, the answer is simple. ALL mutations that are selected for add information to the genome.

Here's an interesting quote from another peer reviewed scientific paper where they simulate organisms to evaluate if information will increase or not in their genomes:

" In particular, we show that, in fixed environments, for organisms whose fitness depends only on their own sequence information, physical complexity must always increase."

Adami et al. PNAS 2000

Related Videos