Answer by Diane Eager

Genetic code is stored as organised long sequences of chemicals (such as Adenine and Thymine etc) which behave in the same way as the printed letters in a written document. For the chemical letters to convey meaningful information they must also be grouped into genetic “words” and “sentences”. Genetic “words” consist of three chemical letters each. Genes are very long sentences of many such words. Genes are linked together in structures called chromosomes. Each time a cell divides the genetic information must be copied and sometimes the cell does make extra copies of letters, words, genes or even whole chromosomes so this does qualify as an increase in information. But does adding more text improve the quality of the information so the cell could evolve?

When you are copying a document and by mistake you copy a page twice, you will have increased the number of sentences in the document so it will contain a larger quantity of information. However, the document has no new information. So the extra quantity of information does not increase the overall quality of the document. It may even decrease its usefulness by making it confusing and hard to read. The same occurs in the genetic code. Simply adding an extra copy of a gene or chromosome does not provide any more useful information, simply because genes do not work in isolation. They have to be under the control of the cell they are part of, being turned on or off as the information on them is needed to be read and acted upon.

Sometimes an extra gene copy is ignored, in which case no harm is done, but there is no benefit either. However, it is more usual for the extra copies to confuse the cells gene control and gene reading mechanisms and this causes problems. An example is seen in Down’s syndrome where the cell has added an extra copy of a whole chromosome by mistake. This is a large increase in duplicate information, but it only results in many problems in brain and body development.

Extra information inserted within a gene also causes problems. Because a gene behaves as a very long sentence, its information content will not be improved by randomly throwing in a extra letters or words (eg extrrrra let letterrrs ororor woords and let). The added words and letters have to be meaningful in the context of the whole sentence. If they don’t, the gene sentence no longer says what it was meant to say, and now may contain wrong information, or it may become completely garbled and be useless. Insertions of extra genetic letters or words into a gene is known to cause some very serious genetic diseases. For example, in Huntington’s disease extra genetic words have been added to a gene, so that the protein which is made now contains extra amino acids. This abnormal protein leads to cell death in the brain.

The only way to add useful information to an individual gene, or the genome as a whole, is for an outside intelligence, who knows the meanings of genetic information, to add the extra piece in the right place where it will work in co-operation with the rest of the genetic information in the cell. The closest we come to seeing this in the real world is in a genetically modified organism, but these are not the result of chance random or naturalistic processes. They are the result of intelligent understanding of the genes involved and creative manipulation by the human Genetic Engineers who are creatively inserting them into the organism. In other words it happens only when man plays at being Creator which shouldn’t surprise us as genetic information was invented by the Original Creator – back in the beginning.

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