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Author Topic:   Is there really such a thing as a beneficial mutation?
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1521 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 106 of 223 (343222)
08-25-2006 6:40 AM
Reply to: Message 104 by Belfry
08-25-2006 6:19 AM


Re: Trade-offs
I think the point was that most traits that could be considered "beneficial" do indeed involve compromises and trade-offs, which is in response to your Message 14, in which you speak of "the functioning precision and elegance in so many living things, most of which functions without the compromises and trade-offs accepted as beneficial mutations."
Another thing is that you are apparently assuming, as per the ToE, that all "traits" are the result of mutation. This is understandable, it is what the ToE dictates. But creationists question this of course. Traits are simply the selected product of the variety of alleles already present in a population, which were designed into the creature, not created by mutation.
So I was not talking about traits, but only about the supposedly beneficial mutations that are currently claimed to have been observed, more than one of which is like the Sickle Cell genetic disease which is strongly selected because of its protection against malaria.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Belfry, posted 08-25-2006 6:19 AM Belfry has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by Wounded King, posted 08-25-2006 7:07 AM Faith has replied
 Message 111 by Belfry, posted 08-25-2006 7:16 AM Faith has replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2247 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 107 of 223 (343223)
08-25-2006 6:54 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by Faith
08-24-2006 10:40 PM


quote:
You are all repeating yourselves, saying nothing I don't already know.
If you already know what we've said, why won't you explain why you don't accept what we've said?
Gene CCR5, Faith. You've simply pretended, over 400 posts now, that nobody has mentioned it.
Also, which is more "viable" as a population;
One that all of the individuals have been killed by malaria, or one in which a percentage of the population, which nubers in the millions and spreads across several continents, has SCD?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Faith, posted 08-24-2006 10:40 PM Faith has not replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2247 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 108 of 223 (343224)
08-25-2006 7:00 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Faith
08-25-2006 1:33 AM


quote:
The "overwhelming evidence" is an illusion. But there is no point in arguing this with a dozen people who are only going to use their numbers and their being on the side of the "right" opinion, plus ridicule, to win their point, instead of arguments, and who just can't bear it when we aren't persuaded.
Welcome to the rigors of scientific inquiry.
And nobody has used ridicule to win their point.
You handed all of us our points on a silver platter because you haven't addressed most of them with anything other than personal incredulity, and the rest you haven't addressed at all.
Gene CCR5, for example.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 1:33 AM Faith has not replied

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 109 of 223 (343225)
08-25-2006 7:07 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by Faith
08-25-2006 6:40 AM


Re: Trade-offs
Designed into the creaures when? How many creatures? What was the initial population size and how long ago was this?
What possible criteria distinguish the character of the genetic differences seen in beneicial alleles from the many experimentaly observed or genetically documented forms of genetic mutation? What barrier prevents the same mutations happening to produce exactly the beneficial alleles you are ascribing to prior design?
It isn't just an understandable assumption because it is what the ToE dictates but because it is consistent with all the known mechanisms of genetics and with the many observed forms of genetic mutation. All the novel traits we have seen develop de novo are the products of mutation so what reason, other than a prior bias, would there be for assuming that other traits are not?
TTFN,
WK

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 6:40 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 7:36 AM Wounded King has replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2247 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 110 of 223 (343226)
08-25-2006 7:07 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by Faith
08-25-2006 6:28 AM


Re: Trade-offs
quote:
but the trade-offs I had in mind weren't adaptations, they were active diseases vs. active diseases.
Why are you so focused on those? What is the difference, anyway, WRT survivability in a species?
Remember, evolution doesn't care that individuals live long, healthy lives. That's you anthropomorphizing evolution.
I addressed this already in the last thread, and in this one
here

This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 6:28 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 7:16 AM nator has replied

  
Belfry
Member (Idle past 5163 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 111 of 223 (343227)
08-25-2006 7:16 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by Faith
08-25-2006 6:40 AM


Re: Trade-offs
Faith writes:
So I was not talking about traits, but only about the supposedly beneficial mutations that are currently claimed to have been observed, more than one of which is like the Sickle Cell genetic disease which is strongly selected because of its protection against malaria.
I understand that, and in message 14 you implied that these mutations were distinct from previously existing traits because they involve compromises and trade-offs, whereas you said existing traits do not. The point is, compromise is the rule rather than the exception in existing traits as well.
Edited by Belfry, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 6:40 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 7:20 AM Belfry has not replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1521 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 112 of 223 (343228)
08-25-2006 7:16 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by nator
08-25-2006 7:07 AM


Re: Trade-offs
You have the usual fanciful and totally hypothetical scenario about how everything came about according to the ToE. I'm trying to talk about actual evidence, not the standard evo fantasies. I address the specific examples given, such as the sickle cell mutation and people answer with standard ToE hypotheses. Not kosher.
Again, I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW already that evolution doesn't give a fig about long healthy lives or anything else except survival and propagation. Good grief, this is tiresome. But it is not anthropomorphizing anything to suspect that what is observed of what IS healthy could not possibly have come about by a system that pits disease against disease, and that calling that "beneficial" flies in the face of reason. Such a system is not a viable system even for survival let alone evolution.
But since this logic is not convincing to anyone who is stuck on the ToE, that's fine, I'm ready to stop discussing this since it is going nowhere.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by nator, posted 08-25-2006 7:07 AM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by nator, posted 08-25-2006 10:02 AM Faith has not replied
 Message 138 by Jazzns, posted 08-25-2006 11:23 AM Faith has not replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1521 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 113 of 223 (343229)
08-25-2006 7:20 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by Belfry
08-25-2006 7:16 AM


Re: Trade-offs
I understand that, and in message 14 you implied that these mutations were distinct from previously existing traits because they involve compromises and trade-offs, whereas you said existing traits do not. The point is, compromise is the rule rather than the exception in existing traits as well.
Adaptations of the sort described ARE elegant and precise by the terms I was using, they are NOT "compromises" of the sort of disease vs. disease. I'm questioning the very idea that such adaptations could ever have come about by such a process as mutation as described in the few examples so far given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by Belfry, posted 08-25-2006 7:16 AM Belfry has not replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1521 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 114 of 223 (343231)
08-25-2006 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by Wounded King
08-25-2006 7:07 AM


Re: Trade-offs
Designed into the creaures when? How many creatures? What was the initial population size and how long ago was this?
If scientists weren't so besotted with the ToE we might be able to come up with some answers to such questions. They'll never stand a chance when people's minds are turned in the opposite direction.
What possible criteria distinguish the character of the genetic differences seen in beneicial alleles from the many experimentaly observed or genetically documented forms of genetic mutation? What barrier prevents the same mutations happening to produce exactly the beneficial alleles you are ascribing to prior design?
I have no idea. The fact appears to be that they don't, that's all, but instead produce all kinds of useless or deleterious alleles in some amazing proportion, and besides that, I know you think the short list of beneficial mutations so far discussed on the other thread is sufficient evidence that this could be the cause of all traits, but I simply despair of anyone's seeing how obviously it can't possibly be so. And I know you despair of my seeing how it is.
It isn't just an understandable assumption because it is what the ToE dictates but because it is consistent with all the known mechanisms of genetics and with the many observed forms of genetic mutation.
You have to be somehow dismissing the implications of the enormous preponderance of deleterious mutations and supposedly functionless mutations that simply snuff out alleles right and left to who-knows-what ultimate end. Yes, I know selection supposedly weeds all this out, but but that's just theory, not actual fact. There's a lot of useless junk and various less-than-desirable mutations in all our genomes so obviously a lot didn't get weeded out.
All the novel traits we have seen develop de novo are the products of mutation so what reason, other than a prior bias, would there be for assuming that other traits are not?
Well, this is where I'd like to see a really comprehensive list of these so-called novel traits you have actually seen develop de novo that are viable or beneficial. I'm not impressed with the short list so far. This isn't about my assumptions, it's just about the claims for this list against what actually exists. I suppose my assumptions make it possible for me to think against the ToE of course.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by Wounded King, posted 08-25-2006 7:07 AM Wounded King has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by Percy, posted 08-25-2006 9:03 AM Faith has replied
 Message 118 by Wounded King, posted 08-25-2006 9:09 AM Faith has not replied
 Message 139 by Jazzns, posted 08-25-2006 11:33 AM Faith has not replied

  
ramoss
Member (Idle past 689 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 115 of 223 (343234)
08-25-2006 8:15 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by mjfloresta
08-24-2006 5:04 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation
That is easy enough. Look at the development of the ear. We have fossil evidence on how that developed. it can be shown, via fossil evidence, how selection caused the ear to form.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 5:04 PM mjfloresta has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 8:24 AM ramoss has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1521 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 116 of 223 (343238)
08-25-2006 8:24 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by ramoss
08-25-2006 8:15 AM


Re: Beneficial mutation
That is easy enough. Look at the development of the ear. We have fossil evidence on how that developed. it can be shown, via fossil evidence, how selection caused the ear to form.
All fossil evidence can show is a variety of designs of the ear. The idea that one is related to another genetically is a purely hypothetical assumption imposed on the data.
Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by ramoss, posted 08-25-2006 8:15 AM ramoss has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 123 by ramoss, posted 08-25-2006 10:12 AM Faith has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22606
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 117 of 223 (343246)
08-25-2006 9:03 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by Faith
08-25-2006 7:36 AM


Re: Trade-offs
Hi Faith,
You started out trying to learn enough about mutations to understand how they could be beneficial, but you were gone for a short while during which time mjfloresta drew the thread off-topic. AdminNWR issued a topic drift alert, and when you returned you went into denial mode, triggered perhaps by Jazzns's Message 73. Could we return to discussion?
Perhaps the confusion is related to the definition of beneficial. There's definitely a component of your approach to to thinking this that seems to be saying, "How could a mistake ever be beneficial? This is obviously impossible!"
A beneficial mutation is one that confers differential reproductive success upon the organism. Differential reproductive success means that the organism with the mutation is differently successful than other organisms without the mutation at producing offspring. If the mutation causes the organism to become better at producing offspring, then to a degree governed by the laws of genetics and the details of the organism's reproductive process its offspring inherit the mutation, and it spreads throughout the population because of the greater ability to produce offspring.
But if the mutation causes the organism to become less successful at producing offspring, then the mutation tends not to spread through the population because the organism produces less offspring than other individuals. In the worst case the mutation causes death before the organism reaches sexual maturity, the organism produces no offspring at all, and the mutation dies out in a single generation.
What's most important about a mutation is its effect on an organism's ability to produce offspring. If the mutation enables it to produce more offspring, then it is beneficial. If the mutation makes the organism less able to produce offspring, then it is harmful.
Another component to your approach to thinking about beneficial mutations seems related not to single mutations during single reproductive events, but multiple beneficial mutations over long periods of time and many reproductive events. But once you've accepted the possibility of a beneficial mutation in a single reproductive event, since the probability of a beneficial mutation is largely independent of past reproductive events, future reproductive events are about as likely to produce beneficial mutations as ones in the past. Just like a throw in dice of boxcars (6 on each of two die) does not affect the likelihood of the next throw being boxcars, a reproductive event resulting in a beneficial mutation does not affect the likelihood of another beneficial mutation in the next reproductive event.
You have to be somehow dismissing the implications of the enormous preponderance of deleterious mutations and supposedly functionless mutations that simply snuff out alleles right and left to who-knows-what ultimate end.
I thought you said you were going to try and understand things this time. Where did you get the idea that functionless mutations snuff out alleles?
Yes, I know selection supposedly weeds all this out, but but that's just theory, not actual fact.
It's not fact, but it *is* theory supported by massive piles of evidence. You're now denying a process that is so well established that students in biology programs observe this very process experimentally when they do their genetics labs. This is why people keep mentioning bacterial experiments to you. The bacterial experiments aren't popular because the process only happens in bacteria. They're popular because they can be done in less than a week. The same kind of reproductive errors and selection observed with bacteria are observed with other organisms, both in the lab and in the wild, but over much longer time periods.
There's a lot of useless junk and various less-than-desirable mutations in all our genomes so obviously a lot didn't get weeded out.
I guarantee you that no one living in the world today possesses a fatal mutation that is dominant expressive. That's because they're filtered (selected against) very well. In other words, 100% of fatal mutations are filtered. Mutations that are less than 100% fatal or that have recessive qualities so they can easily hide in the genome are of course filtered to a lesser degree. But since they do not contribute positively to people's differential reproductive success and because they can, under conditions that cause them to be expressed, contribute negatively to differential reproductive success, they cannot help but be filtered to some degree from the population because the affected individuals produce fewer offspring.
Well, this is where I'd like to see a really comprehensive list of these so-called novel traits you have actually seen develop de novo that are viable or beneficial. I'm not impressed with the short list so far.
I've seen no indication that you've understood anything on the short list so far, though that hasn't stopped you from saying you're unimpressed and rejecting them. You seem to believe it's valid to conclude that that which you don't yet understand is false.
I suppose my assumptions make it possible for me to think against the ToE of course.
Nobody minds this. The problem is rejecting arguments and evidence before you understand them. Could we once more leave denial aside and go back to discussion?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 7:36 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 9:14 AM Percy has replied
 Message 125 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 10:16 AM Percy has replied

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 118 of 223 (343248)
08-25-2006 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by Faith
08-25-2006 7:36 AM


Re: Trade-offs
You have to be somehow dismissing the implications of the enormous preponderance of deleterious mutations and supposedly functionless mutations that simply snuff out alleles right and left to who-knows-what ultimate end.
no I don't, there is no reason why mutation can't give rise to both deleterious and beneficial mutations. I'm not sure what you mean by 'funtionless' mutations, do you mean silent mutations, neutral mutations or mutations which render a gene non-functional?
Yes, I know selection supposedly weeds all this out, but but that's just theory, not actual fact.
No it isn't just a theory and there is no call for selection to weed out all of what you consider deleterious mutations, or even all deleterious mutations. It is not mere theory that embryonic lethal mutations or mutations which cause sterility will not be passed on. Less significantly deleterious mutations need not be selected out of the population, although they may tend to be.
TTFN,
WK

This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 7:36 AM Faith has not replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1521 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 119 of 223 (343250)
08-25-2006 9:14 AM
Reply to: Message 117 by Percy
08-25-2006 9:03 AM


Re: Trade-offs
What is "denial mode?" What am I denying? Your personal characterization of my motives is unwelcome. Please take it back.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Percy, posted 08-25-2006 9:03 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by Percy, posted 08-25-2006 9:54 AM Faith has replied
 Message 128 by Aegist, posted 08-25-2006 10:30 AM Faith has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22606
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 120 of 223 (343256)
08-25-2006 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 119 by Faith
08-25-2006 9:14 AM


Re: Trade-offs
Faith writes:
What is "denial mode?" What am I denying?
You supposedly joined this thread to understand what evolution says about beneficial mutations. It was pointed out in other threads that you were making many inaccurate statements and needed to understand evolution better before you could criticize it. It was also pointed out that understanding it isn't the same thing as accepting it, but that such an understanding was necessary in order to criticize it for things it actually says, rather than things you think it says.
But after Jazzns's Message 77 you changed tack and decided that the ToE perspective is off-limits, saying things like this:
If scientists weren't so besotted with the ToE we might be able to come up with some answers to such questions.
You began participation in this thread with the apparent intention of understanding how ToE views beneficial mutations, but now you seem to believe that understanding anything from a ToE perspective is something you're going to actively avoid. I'd like to see you return to your original mode of participation by addressing the substance of my Message 117.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 9:14 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Faith, posted 08-25-2006 9:59 AM Percy has replied

  
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