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Author Topic:   Is there really such a thing as a beneficial mutation?
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Message 215 of 223 (343902)
08-27-2006 9:00 AM

Back to it's roots
In trying to write this PNT I think I've figured out that there are two main areas of questions I have.
What is a "beneficial" mutation REALLY, and
Is it possible that at least one form of "mutation" is not a "mistake" but a normal predictable method of producing variations in the normal processes of reproduction, just as the process of mixing of alleles is?
Okay i thought i might try to bring this wild horse back to where it started.
1. MUTATION IS NOT THE (only or even the major) DRIVING FORCE FOR EVOLUTION. Once upon a time it was. Bacteria and virii are simple(r) organisms. They also reproduce very quickly and in great quantity allowing great diversity by "errors" in self replication &
created by interactions with free oxygen and background radiation
aka mutations.
When animals got bigger MUTATION WAS NOT ENOUGH. Sex was "invented"
to create much greater diversity. As an average human you have (44%) DNA copied from your father, 44% from your mother and 12% new "recombinant DNA" which are entirely new never before seen chunks of
allelle made by mixing the two (this no. varies from (0-25%), correct me if i'm wrong but i think the reasons for the hard 25% limit are still a mystery).
Mutation counts for only 124 base pairs which is pretty much 0%.
Anyway getting back to the point mutations are rare and by definition cannot be delibrate however it is not the be all and end all of evolution. Sexual reproduction is the MAJOR driving force for (the diversity needed for) evolution in mammals or anything else bigger than your thumb, to prove this take 100 race horses, breed 50 selectively and breed the other lot at random inside a radiation chamber (ok this is a bit silly but i hope you see the point).

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