Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 49 (9179 total)
7 online now:
Newest Member: Jorge Parker
Post Volume: Total: 918,227 Year: 5,484/9,624 Month: 509/323 Week: 6/143 Day: 6/13 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Is there really such a thing as a beneficial mutation?
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 24 of 223 (342990)
08-24-2006 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Faith
08-24-2006 12:06 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation
It describes something that exists, that had to come about by evolution if evolution is true, but appears to be something evolution couldn't have brought about even by accident.
It may be helpful to point out that, given the sequence of evolution, the most drastic novelty was all obtained very early on. It is not as though some advanced creature without eyes then gained eyes via successive mutation. The first eyes were just one primitive trait of a primitive creature that happened to radiate out to all the variety of things decended from it.
Evolution works by adapting what already exists. The basic body plan of the vertebrae has not changed much since fish. There is a very good reason why you don't find vertebrae with 8 legs, compound eyes, or other exotic features. Even though it would have been advantageous to evolve these things, since there was nothing to evolve them from it didn't happen.
Essentially, I am just trying to point out that most of the "big change" beneficial mutations you may be looking for as proof that they can exist took place a long time ago. This is not to say that the other examples of mutations are not valid, it is just simply that creationists seem to want to see something on the order of the eye coming to existance because it is percieved as more notable than how "beneficial" it is to go from fins to legs.
Also, on the subject of loss of information or deterioration, an example that is oft forgotten is the Hemoglobin C mutation in humans. It affords the immunity to malaria similar to sicle cell without the sicle cell disease. Humans being able to make a new type of blood that confers resistance to disease is a significant addition of information and also most certainly is beneficial. It is also an example of something that was not "built-in" to the "genetic potential" of humans. It is a brand new allele.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Faith, posted 08-24-2006 12:06 PM Faith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 2:03 PM Jazzns has replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 30 of 223 (343017)
08-24-2006 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by mjfloresta
08-24-2006 2:03 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation
The point is that beneficial mutations (or any method which introduces genetic variation) plus natural selection is observed to vary a populations traits producing descendants that vary from each other and even from their ancestor. All observed variation however, is variation of the same body plan - not variation of the body plan.
First of all that is just plainly false by direct observation. I didn't say that novelty cannot arise, just that it is harder and that it is not going to be as subjectivly drastic.
Even if what you said is true, which it is not, you still have some pretty drastic changes based on a common body plan. Creationists dispute fish-to-man, reptile-to-bird, both of which are pretty drastic yet follow the same body plan.
To date, there is no proven mechanism of variation of a body plan - including mutation. Whether through mutations, recombination, polyploidy, chromosome translocations, or any other, all observed variation involves reshuffling, eliminating, or duplicating, (and possibly restoration in the case of gene-reactivation) of the existing genetic material. Never has there been observed the introduction of the genetic material required for novel body plans and organs which have previously been present in that organism.
The reason being is just simply that in the beginning, primitive life had no body plans. It was a blank slate. The first breakthrough was being colonial multi-cellular. Then you get specialization which ONLY THEN you start to see some semblance of complexity from which to build on regarding the traits under discussion. The first complex organisms ARE constrained to the limitations imposed on the cell and construction method of colonialism.
Organisms alive today are carrying around billions of years of evolutionary baggage. They/we are constrained by that. This is not necessarily true of the most primitive organisms. This is also inherently seen in the fact that some of the most adaptable organisms on the planet today are also the most primitive.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 2:03 PM mjfloresta has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 3:38 PM Jazzns has replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 32 of 223 (343027)
08-24-2006 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by mjfloresta
08-24-2006 3:38 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation
If it's false by direct observation then what novelty have you or
anyone observed to have arisen?
There are plenty of known mutations that tweak the body plan of an organism. Adding/removing digits, teeth, and vertebrae come to mind.
Adaptable? how so? Do they develop fins, eyes, etc.? They don't of course; not merely because there is insufficient time for us to observe such change..but because there is no known method to provide for such change...
Every time a creationist seems to be talking reasonably about the ToE they always seem to end up bringing up this hopeful monster strawman of it. You are also false to assert that there is no known method to provide the change given enough time. We have watched unicellular organisms evolve colonialism. That in and of itself it the most drastic change you could ever want to witness as evidence for evolution.
But in the end, your reply completely avoided the thesis of my original post. In the context of searching for the "drastic" beneficial mutation, you have to account for the evolutionary history of the organism. Pigs are simply not going to grow wings out of their back and fly.
What is drastic in context though is the hemoglobin C allele. By its existence, the assertion of no information gain is immediatly refuted. Maybe creationists simply don't consider a whole new kind of blood to be all that big of a deal. If it is not wings, a third eye, etc, to them it is not a "beneficial" mutation.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 3:38 PM mjfloresta has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 4:29 PM Jazzns has replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 39 of 223 (343051)
08-24-2006 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by mjfloresta
08-24-2006 4:29 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation
These are examples of duplicating and or losing existing information - no new information is added
Then you have a very foolish and useless definition of information. Maybe you could change my mind by stating the actual defintion of information you are using to come to that conclusion.
rather to point out that the simple organisms you are talking about do not in fact develop a different more beneficial body plan whether through antibody-resistance or what have you...
Well that is good because I never said that they would develop more body plans. Therefore you are simply admitting that you are talking about something else entirely. While notable that you would fess up to that, it does not raise my confidence that you are reading my posts with the intent to understand them.
I simply said that they are much more adaptable which is indicative of a greater receptability to beneficial mutations because they are very primitive. A mutation in bacteria that confers resistence to extreme environments may in a more complex creature cause death.
So you believe that current evolutionary change is subject to the restraints of the evolutionary history of the organism?
Of course. If that was not true then we might expect at any moment now a child might be born with wings.
If so , you are concluding (a priori) that the mechanism of change has been altered/deactivated. Beyond that, you are assuming that there is a common mechanism of change between organsisms today and the supposed unicellular to colony" transition
You are simply and obviously not understanding what I am saying. Please try harder or ask for clarification on the points you feel you may be unclear about. The mechanism is the same, mutation plus selection. The constraints are very different though and part of those constraints is the existing phenotype of the organism. A pig simply will not mutate wings on its back. It is constrained by its evolutionary history to have no extremeties on its back that could potentially mutate into wings. Why does this seem like such a hard concept to grasp?
which by the way is indicative of nothing more than symbiotic activity, not increased complexity...
Once again you are going to have to give us your definition of complexty that allows you to come to this rediculous conclusion. You see to me, the adaptation of a heritiable trait that allows a unicellular organism to become a multi-cellular organism is a MASSIVE change in complexity.
I still assert that no mechanism has been found to account for the
production of novel body plans or organs...
It will remain your bare and ignorant assertion in the direct face of observed evidence to the contrary.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 4:29 PM mjfloresta has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 5:04 PM Jazzns has not replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 43 of 223 (343062)
08-24-2006 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by mjfloresta
08-24-2006 5:07 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation
I can't do that to your satisfaction without your definition of information or complexity.
In the real world where we use well understood and useful defintions of information and complexity, the examples I have already provided are sufficient.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 5:07 PM mjfloresta has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Brad McFall, posted 08-24-2006 5:38 PM Jazzns has replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 48 of 223 (343068)
08-24-2006 5:36 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Archer Opteryx
08-24-2006 5:24 PM


Re: Clarification of creation theory requested
It is not enough to alter the body plan. He wants an alteration of the body plan that "increases complexity" or is an "increase in information". Which or both of those two is necessary is still pretty vague. What those actually are has never been rigorously defined in a useful way by any creationist who has ever used those phrases.
I predict that he may actually produce definitions for those things, but those definitions will not allow for any way to calculate the information or complexity of something to be able to tell if those have increased or decreased.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Archer Opteryx, posted 08-24-2006 5:24 PM Archer Opteryx has not replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 51 of 223 (343073)
08-24-2006 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Brad McFall
08-24-2006 5:38 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation environment
I struggle to understand most of your posts but I think there is something important that I hope MJ and others read that I gleaned from this.
It is not enough just to produce ANY definition of information/complexity. In order to support the claim that information/complexity cannot increase, the ability to derive a METRIC MUST be a part of that definition.
Without that basic requirements, any discussion of loss or gain of information/complexity is nothing more than complicated sounding babble; the equivalent of conversations I have with my 6 month old son.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Brad McFall, posted 08-24-2006 5:38 PM Brad McFall has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by Brad McFall, posted 08-24-2006 5:51 PM Jazzns has replied
 Message 55 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 5:54 PM Jazzns has replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 57 of 223 (343085)
08-24-2006 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by mjfloresta
08-24-2006 5:54 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation environment
But, any ambiguity aside, is there any evidence of an organism acquiring a new organ derived from genetic information it did not previously posess?
I hope you notice that this is a VASTLY different question than the one of a different body plan.
Consequently, there is no reason to expect that this would ever happen in evolution. Except for initial specialization of cellular function, the story of evolution is one of duplication and co-option. That has been my point from my first post in this thread. If in order to see a "beneficial" mutation you must witness the wholesale evolution of the eye or equivalently wings growing on the back of a pig, you will never be satisfied.
On the topic of benefical mutations, I'll note that you totally ignored the example of Hemo C. It isn't a third eye, but don't you think that a new kind of blood is a pretty big deal?

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 5:54 PM mjfloresta has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 6:17 PM Jazzns has replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 58 of 223 (343086)
08-24-2006 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Brad McFall
08-24-2006 5:51 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation environment
The defintions of Shannon information probably are not good enough
for biological form-making at the point that MJ is differentitating
"organ" and body(Bauplane)plan.
I don't see why Shannon information isn't a perfectly good definition in the case of hox elements in the genes except for the fact that using that definition refutes MJ's claim. None of the "useful" definitions of information or complexity that exist when mapped to genetics show the impossibility of increase that creationists love to tout. Or at the very least, no one has shown how they do so.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Brad McFall, posted 08-24-2006 5:51 PM Brad McFall has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by Brad McFall, posted 08-24-2006 6:22 PM Jazzns has not replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 59 of 223 (343088)
08-24-2006 6:16 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by mjfloresta
08-24-2006 5:54 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation environment
And another point.
I think it's difficult to establish this Metric without going into
deeply into the genetics..
If you can't do it, then you cannot hold weight to the claim that information cannot increase. It is and will remain a bare and unsupported claim until the day that you or some other enterprising creationists actually does the job of being rigorous about it.
If I define the increase in information or complexity as being that information which is neccessary to produce a different organ or body plan, then I concede there may be some ambiguity, in the absence of comparing the actual genetic makeup of the organs that some organism is supposed to acquire.
Not only is it ambiguous, it is impossible to derive a metric and therefore equally as useless as no definition at all.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 5:54 PM mjfloresta has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 6:23 PM Jazzns has replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 68 of 223 (343101)
08-24-2006 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by mjfloresta
08-24-2006 6:17 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation environment
It's not a different question at all; I'm merely taking one step back so we can deal with first things first. A new body plan would be composed of new organs; starting with the generation of new organs then, seems like the place to start.
MJ, really I don't know how I can explain it any differently. It seems pretty obvious that you are not understanding what I am saying.
My point was, starting from a body plan, you are NOT going to get a vastly different body plan. Please notice the NOT in that sentence. The basic plan from fish to people is the same. Almost everything that differentiates us from fish in phenotype is a combination of duplication and co-option.
The vast majority of the origination of the body plans of todays organisms happened at the top of the evolutionary tree. That IS my point. You keep replying asking me to point out a case of novel body plan in new creatues when what I am saying is that you SHOULD NOT expect that. All you are doing is presenting a complicated request for an example of the hopeful monster. I am sorry MJ, evolution does not work like that.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 6:17 PM mjfloresta has not replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 69 of 223 (343102)
08-24-2006 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by mjfloresta
08-24-2006 6:23 PM


Re: Beneficial mutation environment
It's not that I can't do it; It's that we don't have the space for me to post the entire genetic sequence of (for example) the 1"several thousand genes" involved in drosophila eye development versus the several thousand genes involved in human eye development...
Well that is just silly now. I can define, for example, Shannon information without references to all the possible instantiations of information that it describes. Either you don't really understand what information is or you are just trying to cop-out of your responsibility to support your claim. I don't know which but based on this...
I said it was ambiguous not because there's no defintion, but rather because what comprises one body plan versus another is individualized to each body plan as detailed by tremendously complex genetic codes...
I am guessing it is the former. YOu need not, and in fact SHOULD not, reference a particular case of your information in order to define it.
It doesn't really matter though because if you are unwilling or unable to provide the definition and the metric then your claim simply forever will lie in the garbage heap of bare assertions. If you wish to continue in all intellectual honesty, you must abandon any references to the impossibility of an increase in information/complexity in the instance of a beneficial mutation.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by mjfloresta, posted 08-24-2006 6:23 PM mjfloresta has not replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 73 of 223 (343107)
08-24-2006 7:06 PM


Trying to steer the past sub-thread back on topic
My initial post was simply a warning about perception. From my perspective, it seems that in order for a creationist to agree that a mutation is "beneficial" that is must do something drastic.
All I wanted to point out is that any creationists wanting to discuss if a mutation is beneficial may need to adjust their expectations to what the ToE actually says is possible. The conversation ends when a creationist requires someone to present an example of, lets say, a lizard growing wings. This is a dead end. The ToE does not specifiy that a lizard will grow wings, but it says that a lizard may cop-opt a pair of feathered arms into wings.
My reasoning is simply that it seems that good examples of beneficial mutations are being overlooked for this pie-in-the-sky expectation of lizard evolving before our eyes. All that is needed to refute the original claim that there is no novel beneficial mutations is to simply show an example of a novel beneficial mutation. There is no requirment that this mutation cause an eye to grow in order for it to be considered beneficial. This false requirement is a distraction technique used by creationists to ignore the very good examples of beneficial mutations that have been presented.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Faith, posted 08-24-2006 7:18 PM Jazzns has replied
 Message 75 by Archer Opteryx, posted 08-24-2006 7:32 PM Jazzns has not replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 77 of 223 (343119)
08-24-2006 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Faith
08-24-2006 7:18 PM


Re: Trying to steer the past sub-thread back on topic
This is ridiculous. In other words you are saying we have to accept evolution, period.
Faith, please do not jump to conclusions. Please take what I said in context. It is silly to attempt to discredit a beneficial mutation by referencing the oft straw-man character of evolution based on the hopeful monster. That is all I am saying.
No one is saying that you have to accept evolution. What I am simply pointing out is that you shouldn't use a false characture of evolution to define what is and is not considered beneficial or the mechanism for change within evolution.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Faith, posted 08-24-2006 7:18 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by Faith, posted 08-24-2006 7:42 PM Jazzns has replied

  
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 4026 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 135 of 223 (343291)
08-25-2006 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by Faith
08-24-2006 7:42 PM


Evolutionary constraints
But your accusation that we are discrediting beneficial mutation by this hopeful monster idea is false. I am not doing that and I haven't seen anyone else doing that. I believe this is a misreading on your part, and it amounts to a very confusing straw man misrepresentation of our argument.
Well I HAVE seen it. It is par for the course for these types of discussion. In fact in this very thread MJ was asking for the very thing you claim is a straw man. He wanted a recent example of a mutation that changed the body plan of an organism.
I am coming from the perspective of having both read and participated in many of these discussion about beneficial mutations and the one area where most creationists fail at is simply the basic understanding that evolution is about co-option.
The best analogy I can think of is that evolution is like water trickling down a hill. The only place the water can go is dependent on where it has been.
I am not saying that you DONT get this. I know MJ was having a hard time with it. I was just simply trying to get this POTENTIAL confusion out of the way from the beginning because I have seen it destroy good conversations about beneficial mutations.

Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Faith, posted 08-24-2006 7:42 PM Faith has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024