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Dawkins could not give an example of increasing information (Talk.Origins)
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- In an interview in 1997, Richard Dawkins was asked to "give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome." Apparently unable to answer, he paused a long time and finally responded by changing the subject.
- AIG, 1998. Skeptics choke on Frog: was Dawkins caught on the hop?
- Keziah Films, "From a Frog to a Prince" (video)
The claim is accurate. The footage from this interview can be seen in the documentary titled "From a Frog to a Prince: Biological Evidence of Creation" An on-line clip of the interview can be seen here. (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)
1. Dawkins paused because the question revealed that the interviewers were creationists, that he had been duped about their motives. He paused to think about how to handle them, and the change of subject occurred due to several minutes being cut out when he confronted them.
- It is not explained how asking for examples of the mutations necessary for evolution reveals the questioner to be a creationist.
- The interviewers never claimed to be evolutionists, and Dawkins never asked if they were creationists.
- Dawkins did not confront the interviewer. After trying to think of an answer, he asked for the camera to be switched off while he thought of one. This was done. After having time to think, he asked for the camera to be switched back on, and the answer shown on the video is the one he gave.
- The film's producer was actually testing a second camera at the time, and this one was not switched off. The footage from that camera was not included in the film, but it confirms the events detailed in the previous paragraph.
- In Gillian Brown's response to Barry Williams she mentions this but Williams and other parties seem to have dismissed the second video tape without viewing it.
See also Gillian Brown answers Barry Williams
2. The question is equivalent to asking how complexity could evolve, which Dawkins has covered in at least four books (The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, and A Devil's Chaplain). He has answered the question at great length.
Asking for examples of something happening is not the same as asking how something could happen.
3. The ability of a single person to answer a question is largely irrelevant. The scientific literature is rife with examples of information increasing.
Most people would disagree that the inability of one of evolution's main promoters, especially one who has supposedly answered this question many times before, to give examples of evidence, is irrelevant. If those who are recognised as the main proponents of evolution cannot give examples of things supposedly "rife" in scientific literature, then it causes one to wonder how someone so ignorant could be so respected. This raises doubts about either:
a. The general theory of evolution; or
b. The proponent (Richard Dawkins) as a knowledgeable and trustworthy representative of the theory