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Author Topic:   Mutations
quicksink
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 18 (8311)
04-08-2002 6:45 AM


Is a sufficient number of mutations accumulated over time to create the mind-blowing diveristiy and complexity of today?

Could random and rare mutations create the following:

a second stomach in a cow

echolocation

limbs from fins

fully functional lungs

brains from single-celled organisms

vertebrates

venus fly traps

wings

feathers (the perfect design of feathers would have to come immediately- crude feathers would cause the death of the animal and the loss of the mutation)

nervous systems (these would also have to come about in one massive and miraculous mutation- half a nervous system is not good)

senses for detecting the magnetic field of the planet (again, half a sense is no good- we're not talking about quantum leaps and enormous mutations that somehow work perfectly and create fully functional senses, limbs, organs, etc.)

flowers that attract pollenators and attach "pollen packs" to the pollenator (again, some systems, like that of the orchid, are extremely complex- half a pollenation system would cause the extinction of the specie)

mosquitos and chemicals that numb surrounding skin (mosquitos that were unable to numb the pain caused by their bite would become quickly extinct- what mutation could bring around a random mechanism that would just happen to produce a chemical that would just happen to numb an organisms skin.

fingernails

etc.

Please don't tell me that these questions needn't an answer because evolution occurred, no matter how you turn it. Occam's razor states that a theory that cannot produce sufficient answers for all questions is most likely incorrect. If evolution can only carry half its weight, then less likely and less possible theories must be condsidered, in the case that they are the only solutions.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by nator, posted 04-08-2002 9:45 AM quicksink has not yet responded
 Message 4 by Peter, posted 04-22-2002 11:00 AM quicksink has not yet responded
 Message 6 by ksc, posted 05-04-2002 10:30 AM quicksink has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2051 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 2 of 18 (8315)
04-08-2002 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by quicksink
04-08-2002 6:45 AM


quote:
Originally posted by quicksink:
Is a sufficient number of mutations accumulated over time to create the mind-blowing diveristiy and complexity of today?

Could random and rare mutations create the following:

a second stomach in a cow

echolocation

limbs from fins

fully functional lungs

brains from single-celled organisms

vertebrates

venus fly traps

wings

feathers (the perfect design of feathers would have to come immediately- crude feathers would cause the death of the animal and the loss of the mutation)

nervous systems (these would also have to come about in one massive and miraculous mutation- half a nervous system is not good)

senses for detecting the magnetic field of the planet (again, half a sense is no good- we're not talking about quantum leaps and enormous mutations that somehow work perfectly and create fully functional senses, limbs, organs, etc.)

flowers that attract pollenators and attach "pollen packs" to the pollenator (again, some systems, like that of the orchid, are extremely complex- half a pollenation system would cause the extinction of the specie)

mosquitos and chemicals that numb surrounding skin (mosquitos that were unable to numb the pain caused by their bite would become quickly extinct- what mutation could bring around a random mechanism that would just happen to produce a chemical that would just happen to numb an organisms skin.

fingernails

etc.

Please don't tell me that these questions needn't an answer because evolution occurred, no matter how you turn it. Occam's razor states that a theory that cannot produce sufficient answers for all questions is most likely incorrect. If evolution can only carry half its weight, then less likely and less possible theories must be condsidered, in the case that they are the only solutions.


That is not what Occam's Razor states.

From Talkorigins:

"Occam's razor, or the law of parsimony, requires us to choose among several possible hypotheses that which has the least assumptions and arbitrary constants."

There is a further discussion here:

http://www.skepdic.com/occam.html


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by quicksink, posted 04-08-2002 6:45 AM quicksink has not yet responded

    
derwood
Member (Idle past 674 days)
Posts: 1455
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 3 of 18 (8317)
04-08-2002 10:30 AM


I can echolocate.

Not as well as some bats and some aquatic mammals, to be sure, but I can do it nonetheless. In fact, we do it all the time. Say you are outside and someone calls your name. What do you do? And how do you do it?

By the way, those 'quaestions' look awfully familiar. Do you know Karl Crawford?


    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1332 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 4 of 18 (8772)
04-22-2002 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by quicksink
04-08-2002 6:45 AM


quote:
Originally posted by quicksink:
Is a sufficient number of mutations accumulated over time to create the mind-blowing diveristiy and complexity of today?

Could random and rare mutations create the following:

a second stomach in a cow

echolocation

limbs from fins

fully functional lungs

brains from single-celled organisms

vertebrates

venus fly traps

wings

feathers (the perfect design of feathers would have to come immediately- crude feathers would cause the death of the animal and the loss of the mutation)

nervous systems (these would also have to come about in one massive and miraculous mutation- half a nervous system is not good)

senses for detecting the magnetic field of the planet (again, half a sense is no good- we're not talking about quantum leaps and enormous mutations that somehow work perfectly and create fully functional senses, limbs, organs, etc.)

flowers that attract pollenators and attach "pollen packs" to the pollenator (again, some systems, like that of the orchid, are extremely complex- half a pollenation system would cause the extinction of the specie)

mosquitos and chemicals that numb surrounding skin (mosquitos that were unable to numb the pain caused by their bite would become quickly extinct- what mutation could bring around a random mechanism that would just happen to produce a chemical that would just happen to numb an organisms skin.

fingernails

etc.

Please don't tell me that these questions needn't an answer because evolution occurred, no matter how you turn it. Occam's razor states that a theory that cannot produce sufficient answers for all questions is most likely incorrect. If evolution can only carry half its weight, then less likely and less possible theories must be condsidered, in the case that they are the only solutions.


Just to pick on one .... why would crude feathers cause the death
of the individual ?

Feathers probably originated before flight, and developed
over time into the feathers that enable flight in modern birds.

There are suggestions that some dinosaurs had rudimentary
feathers (do a search like +feathers +scales in yahoo), and
then there are legends of Quetzocoatl the feathered serpent, which
may have a basis in fact long ago.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by quicksink, posted 04-08-2002 6:45 AM quicksink has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3281 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 5 of 18 (8773)
04-22-2002 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Peter
04-22-2002 11:00 AM


Just one quibble 'cause I'm actually an evil pedant in disguise. Most archeologists studying Mesoamerican cultures think that the form for Quetzalcoatl was inspired by my pseudonym-sake: the Central American Quetzal (Pharomacchrus mocinno). It is known that many of the really fancy Aztec headdresses were composed primarily of quetzal feathers (why not? the birds have a 2 meter tail!). They (the birds) were considered royalty (or at least reserved for royalty) by the Maya, among others. When it flies, it undulates very like a snake with wings - just like the representative drawings of Quetzalcoatl.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Peter, posted 04-22-2002 11:00 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
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ksc
Unregistered


Message 6 of 18 (9215)
05-04-2002 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by quicksink
04-08-2002 6:45 AM


Just to form these incredible body parts or systems the mutations ...through RANDOM chance.... highlite on the RANDOM , must occur over and over again in the same DNA strand responsible for the body part or system.

So what are the odds of a RANDOM mutation effecting a particular DNA strand in the first place? Then to do it again and and again..by chance?

Not to mention that most (almost all) mutations are harmful with a few that are neutral.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by quicksink, posted 04-08-2002 6:45 AM quicksink has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by nator, posted 05-05-2002 9:36 AM You have responded
 Message 15 by derwood, posted 05-08-2002 1:23 PM You have not yet responded

    
nator
Member (Idle past 2051 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 7 of 18 (9232)
05-05-2002 9:36 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by ksc
05-04-2002 10:30 AM


quote:
Originally posted by ksc:
Just to form these incredible body parts or systems the mutations ...through RANDOM chance.... highlite on the RANDOM , must occur over and over again in the same DNA strand responsible for the body part or system.

So what are the odds of a RANDOM mutation effecting a particular DNA strand in the first place? Then to do it again and and again..by chance?

Not to mention that most (almost all) mutations are harmful with a few that are neutral.


First, what you completely miss is that evolution is not completely random. Natural selection, by definition, is not random.

Those organisms which have heritable characteristics which enable it to succeed in reproducing itself within particular environmental conditions will therefore spread it's genetic material more rapidly through a population that those which reproduce less-successfuly.

The environmental selection is non-random. Mutations are, however.

BTW, you are wrong anbout most mutations being detrimental. Most mutations are neutral as regards to fitness. Please provide full references to the professional literature that says otherwise.

If most mutations are detrimental, then why haven't all or most species spiraled into extinction??

------------------
"We will still have perfect freedom to hold contrary views of our own, but to simply
close our minds to the knowledge painstakingly accumulated by hundreds of thousands
of scientists over long centuries is to deliberately decide to be ignorant and narrow-
minded."

-Steve Allen, from "Dumbth"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by ksc, posted 05-04-2002 10:30 AM ksc has responded

Replies to this message:
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ksc
Unregistered


Message 8 of 18 (9236)
05-05-2002 10:22 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by nator
05-05-2002 9:36 AM


Schraf:First, what you completely miss is that evolution is not completely random. Natural selection, by definition, is notrandom.


ksc:Whether natural selection is or isnít is debateable. What you have forgotten is that the mutations that you claim are naturally selected are RANDOM

Schraf:Those organisms which have heritable characteristics which enable it to succeed in reproducing itself within particular environmental conditions will therefore spread it's genetic material more rapidly through a population that those.


ksc:Genetic differances will spread, but not differances produced by your mutations. For starters the changes would be so small that the environmental conditions would not even recognize them. In fact the time needed between a noticable morphological differance produced by mutations would be extremely long. So long that the environmental conditions would have probablty moved on long ago.


Schraf:which reproduce less-successfuly.

The environmental selection is non-random. Mutations are, however.

BTW, you are wrong anbout most mutations being detrimental. Most mutations are neutral as regards to fitness. Please provide full references to the professional literature that says otherwise.


ksc:I think you can find it in just about any book on evolution that talks honestly about the subject.

Schraf:If most mutations are detrimental, then why haven't all or most species spiraled into extinction??



ksc:Because evolution doesnít happen

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Fedmahn Kassad
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 18 (9246)
05-05-2002 5:46 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by ksc
05-05-2002 10:22 AM


quote:
Originally posted by ksc:
ksc:Because evolution doesnít happen

Ah, the typically enlightening post by Karl. Evolution doesn't happen? Correct me if I am wrong, but you do believe that a horse and a zebra share a common ancestor, do you not? How about a chihuahua and a wolf? A leopard and a lynx? If not, then they were all on the Ark together. If you agree that they do share a common ancestor, then you believe in evolution. Which is it?

FK


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 15616
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 10 of 18 (9249)
05-05-2002 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by ksc
05-05-2002 10:22 AM


ksc replying to Schraf:

Whether natural selection is or isnít is debateable.

It's only debatable if you want to change the context. The current discussion is considering the evolutionary pressure on organisms in a constant envirnoment.


What you have forgotten is that the mutations that you claim are naturally selected are RANDOM.

Shraf is well aware of this, as would be almost any evolutionist. Are you under some misimpression that this is a point in your favor?


Genetic differances will spread, but not differances produced by your mutations. For starters the changes would be so small that the environmental conditions would not even recognize them. In fact the time needed between a noticable morphological differance produced by mutations would be extremely long. So long that the environmental conditions would have probablty moved on long ago.

Organisms are not generally lucky enough to have a mutation occur simultaneous with environmental change. Most mutations just sit idle and recessive in the genome until an environmental change occurs for which they confer some advantage.

Schaf writes

BTW, you are wrong anbout most mutations being detrimental. Most mutations are neutral as regards to fitness. Please provide full references to the professional literature that says otherwise.

ksc replies:

I think you can find it in just about any book on evolution that talks honestly about the subject.

I think not. Did you perhaps misunderstand what Schraf said? You appear to be taking issue with a fact that almost everyone on both sides of the debate concedes to be true.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by ksc, posted 05-05-2002 10:22 AM ksc has not yet responded

    
nator
Member (Idle past 2051 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 11 of 18 (9257)
05-06-2002 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by ksc
05-05-2002 10:22 AM


quote:
Originally posted by ksc:
[b]Schraf:First, what you completely miss is that evolution is not completely random. Natural selection, by definition, is notrandom.


ksc:Whether natural selection is or isnít is debateable.[/QUOTE]

Really? Please provide references from the professional literature which states that natural selection is random.

BTW, how can something that is selected based upon certain characteristics be described as random?

[QYOTE]What you have forgotten is that the mutations that you claim are naturally selected are RANDOM



Right. What is your point here?

quote:
Schraf:Those organisms which have heritable characteristics which enable it to succeed in reproducing itself within particular environmental conditions will therefore spread it's genetic material more rapidly through a population that those.


ksc:Genetic differances will spread, but not differances produced by your mutations. For starters the changes would be so small that the environmental conditions would not even recognize them.

So, do you recognize that small changes do occur?

Please explain, then, how small changes, such as a slightly longer prehensile tail which enables an individual to reach more fruit, or a slightly different shaped beak which enables an individual to crack seed hulls more quickly, would not be recognized by the environment? If you are able to get even a little bit more food in you, wouldn't that mean that your offspring would be better fed by the mother because the mother could produce more milk, in the case of mammals, and therefore more of your offspring would survive?

quote:
In fact the time needed between a noticable morphological differance produced by mutations would be extremely long.

Morphological change isn't the only kind of change. What about the resistance/immunity that some Caucasions have to HIV due to a mutation? It seems that people who's ancestors survived the Black Plague in Europe passed on a mutation of a certain protein to their descendents which affords partial protection from or full immunity to HIV-1 to those which have the mutation, depending upon if it is a partial or full mutation.

Read more here:

http://www.sciam.com/0997issue/0997obrien.html

quote:
So long that the environmental conditions would have probablty moved on long ago.

Uh, are you actually implying that the environment changes extremely rapidly in all ways, everywhere, at all times? That is demonstrably not true.

quote:
Schraf:which reproduce less-successfuly.

The environmental selection is non-random. Mutations are, however.

BTW, you are wrong anbout most mutations being detrimental. Most mutations are neutral as regards to fitness. Please provide full references to the professional literature that says otherwise.


ksc:I think you can find it in just about any book on evolution that talks honestly about the subject.



Great, then you will have no problem providing full references to the literature here to back up your assertions.

BTW, any good book on the ToE is going to be heavily referenced to the professional literature. I don't care much about what people say in popular press books unless they reference peer-reviewed professional literature. Popular press books are not peer-reviewed and are not really good sources of reliable scientific information unless they arewell-referenced.

[QUOTE]Schraf:If most mutations are detrimental, then why haven't all or most species spiraled into extinction??



ksc:Because evolution doesnít happen
[/b][/QUOTE]

Uh, you just said that most mutations are detrimental. This means that you acknowledge that mutations occur, right?

Therefore, to follow your logic, if most mutations are detrimental, then we would have all species rapidly becoming extinct.

Try again.

------------------
"We will still have perfect freedom to hold contrary views of our own, but to simply
close our minds to the knowledge painstakingly accumulated by hundreds of thousands
of scientists over long centuries is to deliberately decide to be ignorant and narrow-
minded."

-Steve Allen, from "Dumbth"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by ksc, posted 05-05-2002 10:22 AM ksc has not yet responded

    
derwood
Member (Idle past 674 days)
Posts: 1455
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 12 of 18 (9266)
05-06-2002 12:00 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Fedmahn Kassad
05-05-2002 5:46 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Fedmahn Kassad:
Ah, the typically enlightening post by Karl. Evolution doesn't happen? Correct me if I am wrong, but you do believe that a horse and a zebra share a common ancestor, do you not? How about a chihuahua and a wolf? A leopard and a lynx? If not, then they were all on the Ark together. If you agree that they do share a common ancestor, then you believe in evolution. Which is it?

FK


Not to mention the 950+ species of bat in more than a dozen genera in more than one family...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Fedmahn Kassad, posted 05-05-2002 5:46 PM Fedmahn Kassad has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3281 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 13 of 18 (9274)
05-06-2002 4:23 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by derwood
05-06-2002 12:00 PM


Or the 9,800 species of birds.

Welcome back SLP. We missed you.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 15616
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 14 of 18 (9276)
05-06-2002 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by derwood
05-06-2002 12:00 PM


Is this the original SLP? If so, your original SLP account still exists. If you need the password there's a "Forgot your password?" link on the page where you type your messages, assuming you remember the email address you used to open the SLP account.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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derwood
Member (Idle past 674 days)
Posts: 1455
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 15 of 18 (9367)
05-08-2002 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ksc
05-04-2002 10:30 AM


quote:
Originally posted by ksc:
Just to form these incredible body parts or systems the mutations ...through RANDOM chance.... highlite on the RANDOM , must occur over and over again in the same DNA strand responsible for the body part or system.

So what are the odds of a RANDOM mutation effecting a particular DNA strand in the first place? Then to do it again and and again..by chance?


Ah - silly me. I should have read this before posting my question.

Some questions for karl - questions which have been asked several times before (not just by me), but which have gone unanswered.

What is a "DNA strand" as you are using it?

Why MUST these mutations occur "over and over again in the same DNA strand responsible for the body part or system"?

Your last paragraph belies your shallow understanding of development and genetics. Maybe you should be asking questions insteqad of making these multi-year-old proclamations over and over again.

Percy - I have tried to use my old password/ID and I kept getting error messages, so I re-registered. I explained this in another thread a few weeks ago.


This message is a reply to:
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