Monday, November 25, 2013

IDHEF - Chapter 6, Addendum #4: Yes, different words can create the same meaning.

This is part of my breakdown of the book "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist." Related posts can be found by clicking here.

Back in part one of Chapter 6, the authors thought they'd present the speculation that just one change in a letter could produce an entirely different meaning. Even though there really is no need to entertain pure speculation since speculation alone tells us nothing about what it true, I did ofter a counter-argument that multiple changes can result in virtually no difference in meaning. (My examples were the change from "god" to "deity" and "dog" to "canine".) Well, I've been listening to interviews of Marlene Zuk, author of the book, Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live. In this book, she talks about how multiple groups of humans that raised cattle gained a tolerance to lactose. Additionally, the genes that produced the tolerance are different per for each locale that developed each tolerance. In other words, it was essentially a different combination of letters producing the same result. If this is true, then it would appear that my counter-argument actually has evidence to back it up.

Now, to be fully honest, I do suspect that there is truth to what the authors claim about one change in a letter potentially generating a difference in "meaning." However, there is no reason to believe that would be some point that cripples the theory of evolution. (And with examples such as the above, it would seem that the evidence shows that it does not cripple the theory.) Indeed, evolutionary theory actually accounts for such changes. With evolution, changes that produce a different "meaning" that are disadvantageous get "weeded out" as the organism with the change will then be less likely to reproduce and pass on the change to offspring.

This also furthers my point back in part one where I stated, "It is simply not true that comparing cell information to encyclopedias is a one-to-one relationship." At that point, I mentioned about how encyclopedias will tend to be bigger as time progresses as there will be more information to include. One other consideration that was not made is that there can be multiple ways to assemble an encyclopedia. There is not just one encyclopedia. Britannica makes encyclopedias, but so does World Book. Then, there is my favorite: Wikipedia (which I often link in posts as a reference). So there are multiple ways in which to configure an encyclopedia and still have a valid encyclopedia. Likewise, it would seem there can be many ways in which to "configure" an organism and still have a functional organism.

No comments:

Post a Comment