Unsurprisingly, it doesn't take long before the fallacies show up:
There is an extreme multiplicity of life-forms around us, and even a simple unicellular organism is much more complex and purposefully designed than anything that human inventiveness can produce.Already, we have an implied argument from personal incredulity. Complexity is not a sign of design: Simplicity is usually a better indicator. One of the principles of engineering I often hear is that you're not done when there's nothing left to add, but when there's nothing left to take away.
Matter and energy are basic prerequisites for life, but they cannot be used to distinguish between living and inanimate systems.There's a bit of implied vitalism right there. Life can be difficult to define precisely, but that doesn't mean anything for the argument.
The central characteristic of all living beings is the “information” they contain, and this information regulates all life processes and procreative functions. Transfer of information plays a fundamental role in all living organisms. When, for example, insects carry pollen from one flower to another, this is in the first place an information-carrying process (genetic information is transferred); the actual material employed is of no concern. Although information is essential for life, information alone does not at all comprise a complete description of life.So, how do you define and measure this information? This is a classic problem many Creationists avoid. Of course, skeptics have had a lot to say about IT as it relates to Creationist claims.
Man is undoubtedly the most complex information-processing system existing on earth. The total number of bits handled daily in all information-processing events occurring in the human body is 3 x 1024. This includes all deliberate as well as all involuntary activities, the former comprising the use of language and the information required for controlling voluntary movements, while the latter includes the control of the internal organs and the hormonal systems. The number of bits being processed daily in the human body is more than a million times the total amount of human knowledge stored in all the libraries of the world, which is about 1018 bits.I smell a standard Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy in progress. After this, they get into a lot of nitty-gritty details which seem uncontroversial, based on my knowledge. It doesn't last, though:
Figure 20: A simplified representation of the cyclic information controlled process occurring in living cells. The translation is based on pragmatics, but it is involved in the cyclic process of semantic information, since the DNA synthesis can only take place under enzymatic catalysis. This sketch clearly illustrates that such a cyclic process must have been complete right from the start, and could not have originated in a continuous process. The structure of this example of a complex information transfer system also corresponds to Figure 24.I was pretty sure this was on Talk Origin's Index of Common Creationist Claims, but I must have missed it. Naturally, though, I found they had a different page that covers it.
Perhaps lipid synthesis, in a precursor form of modern synthesis, could have made the system more independent. The RNA system could have, bit by bit, ‘invented’ protein synthesis – as mentioned, the modern ribosomes still contain ribozymes (catalytic RNA) that catalyze the formation of peptide bonds which eventually result in proteins. In a compelling study (Wolf and Koonin 2007) the authors propose a stepwise model for the origin of the protein translation system, in which each step confers a distinct advantage onto an ensemble of co-evolving genetic elements. The goal of development of translation would not have been required, a foresight which evolution does not have. The initial cause for the emergence of translation would have been the ability of amino acids and peptides to stimulate reactions catalyzed by ribozymes (for peptides experimentally shown, see Robertson et al. 2004). Even if it will turn out that several steps in the evolution of translation probably have been different from the proposed model, the study clearly demonstrates that there is nothing in the emergence of the translation system that would represent a case of ‘irreducible complexity’, incapable of being subject to stepwise Darwinian evolution.Granted, this looks like a fair bit of hypothetical stuff, but the fact that scientists can devise hypotheses is a blow against the IC argument of incredulity. Alleged weaknesses and unknowns in abiogenesis or evolution do not constitute evidence for Creationism.
Back to the AiG page:
In accordance with the theorems formulated in chapters 3 to 5, in particular the impossibility theorems at the end of chapter 4, it is clear that the information present in living organisms requires an intelligent source. Man could not have been this source; so, the only remaining possibility is that there must have been a Creator. We can now formulate the following theorems:
Theorem 26: The information present in living beings must have had a mental source.
A corollary of Theorem 26 is:
Theorem 27: Any model for the origin of life (and of information) based solely on physical and/or chemical processes, is inherently false.
Guess I'll have to check back on those theorems... Huh. Looks like this is just a sample from a book, and those other chapters aren't available.
Oh well, I can already see fallacies: Argument from incredulity, false dichotomy. You can't put "I don't know" in an evidence locker for a positive hypothesis like "Magic man done it." Knowing what I know of Creationist, the "theorems" described are probably also arguments from incredulity.
Anyway, let's move on ahead to the bit about genetic algorithms, since that's what I searched for:
Genetic algorithms: The so-called “genetic algorithms” are yet another way of trying to explain how information could originate in matter [F5, M4]. The combination of words is deliberately chosen from biology and numerical mathematics to suggest that evolutionary events are described mathematically.This is rather stupid to say.
1. They're called genetic algorithms because they simulate genes. Random number generators simulate mutations of the genes, and if sex is programmed in, recombination of the parents' chromosomes. The selection criteria, fitness landscapes, etcetera act like natural selection. What else would you call it?
2. Of course evolutionary events are described mathematically! Mathematics is what we use to describe the universe when we get precise. What made the modern synthesis of evolution the modern synthesis was the inclusion of population statistics. Statistics is a branch of mathematics.
What is actually involved is a purely numerical method used for the optimization of dynamic processes. This method can be used to find, by repeated approximations, the maximum value of an analytic function numerically (e.g., f(x,y) = yx - x4), or the optimal route of a commercial traveler. The effects of mutation and selection can thus be simulated by computer. Using predetermined samples of bits (sequences of noughts and ones), each position is regarded as a gene. The sample is then modified (mutated) by allowing various genetic operators to influence the bit string (e.g., crossover). A “fitness function,” assumed for the process of evolution, is then applied to each result. It should be pointed out that this genetic algorithm is purely a numerical calculation method, and definitely not an algorithm which describes real processes in cells. Numerical methods cannot describe the origin of information.They're not being used to describe the origin of information as a whole, but they do produce new information, novel features, and such when executed, which many Creationists say is impossible. Genetic algorithms simulate evolution once you've got reproduction. What you're asking for is abiogenesis, and even if you reject all abiogenesis theories, you still don't have a good argument for Creationism.
Evolutionary models for the origin of the genetic code: We find proposals for the way the genetic code could have originated in very many publications [e.g., O2, E2, K1], but up to the present time, nobody has been able to propose anything better than purely imaginary models. It has not yet been shown empirically how information can arise in matter, and, according to Theorem 11, this will never happen.Again, argument from incredulity and ignorance. Just because scientists don't know the answer with great confidence at this time is not a good reason to believe a magic man did it.
So, I looked over a decent chunk of a "semi-technical" article hosted by AiG, and it still looks like standard fallacious Creationism. I skipped over a lot, but if any Creationists would like to bring up specific parts, feel free.