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Author Topic:   Can mutation and selection increase information?
Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 36 of 222 (811018)
06-04-2017 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by bluegenes
05-25-2017 9:08 AM


Re: From "junk" to genes: De Novo information.
The most significant post From "junk" to genes: De Novo information (bluegenes) has forced me to join the discussion.
Being a dedicated amateur evolutionist, I some time ago have come to the utterly surprising conclusion that biological evolution is a self-learning process: evolution all the time has been learning (by doing) how to better evolve. That is, the evolutionary process has incepted as a “blind watchmaker”, yet it eventually ascended to the “intelligent design” heights. At that, there is nothing supernatural here – just the prose of cybernetics.
Two significant circumstances prompted the conclusion: first, the presence of enormous "junk" DNA amounts in eukaryotic genomes. And, second, the absence of any chances for multi-cellular eukaryotes to accidentally evolve as fast as they actually did. The truth is in measure: even if we were of opinion that accidental changes could have effectively promoted the evolution of prokaryotes, this wouldn’t account for the evolution of comparatively very thin eukaryotic species.

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 38 of 222 (811244)
06-06-2017 8:22 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by bluegenes
06-05-2017 1:07 PM


Re: From "junk" to genes: De Novo information.
Thanks for the kind greeting, bluegenes. Of course, I am aware of the “evolution of evolvability” idea (Richard Dawkins, 1988; Robert L.Carroll, 2002; etc.) Yet, I would like to make a somewhat different and, perhaps, more strong statement.
For the sake of simplicity and clarity, let’s consider a clone of asexually reproducing organisms – say, bacteria. Bacterial genomes already contain some (modest) amounts of seemingly non-functional DNA – this "junk". Suppose, among the "junk" DNA, a genetic instruction accidentally emerges that compels a gene duplication procedure. Then, in case the procedure effectively facilitates the “gemmation” of new viable bacterial forms, the specific genetic instruction would widely proliferate within genomes of the newly originated clones.
More generally, any genetic instruction, which accidentally emerges among the "junk" DNA and effectively facilitates the “gemmation” of new viable lifeforms (of new species, in the world of sexual reproduction), would widely proliferate – quite automatically. This simple hypothesis entails a few rather strong inferences concerning the essence of biological evolution.

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 40 of 222 (811729)
06-11-2017 8:35 AM


Mutations and new infirmation
Well, it is time to consider the actual parts of (random) mutations, on the one hand, and of natural selection, on the other hand, in creation new genetic information. In order to avoid usual blah-blah, let’s consider the most simple and transparent “lexical” model. Suppose, the appellative noun “bit” is “viable” and therefore is able to produce its “digital” copies – just like bacteria in the course of binary fission. The copies are so accurate that they also able to produce their own copies: the process of self-replication takes place. Besides, archaea and bacteria are natural self-replicators, so this peculiar phenomenon is literally omnipresent.
Suppose, being “viable”, the form “bit” is also more or less “fit” (say, rated by the Google Ngram Viewer statistics) with regard to certain – say, the English literary – environment. Then the clone “bit” would grow in number exponentially, and from time to time, some (point) mutations inevitably would happen. Mutant forms would spontaneously emerge: “ait”, …, “bt”, …, “bite”, …, “rbit”, …, etc.
In general, any appellative noun is considered “viable” – granted, first, it comprises at least three characters of the Roman alphabet. And second, it is present in a dictionary of at least one of the languages which make use of this very alphabet. Obviously, almost all mutations are quite barren, and resulting mutant forms – such as “ait”, “bt”, “rbit”, etc. appear “inviable”. And yet, very rarely, fortunate mutation happens, so that resulting mutant turns out “viable” – as for example the form “bite”.
The process diverges, diverse nouns emerge, and some of them reveal greater complexity (by number of characters) than their progenitors. In other words, spontaneous evolution takes place.

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 46 of 222 (811888)
06-13-2017 8:33 AM


Mutations and new information
Bluegenes comments right on the point. Of course, without constraints, there is no such thing as function. Well, here are the constraints: only the “bite” form – out of all the above mutants – qualifies as functional (“viable”) since it proves its adequate meaning. A rare score… That is, “viable” forms dwell by no means in a void but in the dense “lexical” environment.
Moreover, self-replication is only possible in a permanent flow of matter and energy. Controlled metabolism takes place, etc. In other words, new genetic information doesn’t emerge as a free gift, though I see no need to focus here on these banalities.
The thing is that living entities spontaneously evolve, yet not only living things evolve. For example John von Neuman’s self-reproducing automata spontaneously evolve – at least, in principle. After all, viruses are inanimate entities, yet they happily evolve because they are replicated by living cells. Early self-replicators (arguably ribozymes) were no more animate than present-day viruses, yet they initiated the evolution of all the living things. So there is, in fact, no matter of dispute here, and we should only do away with the blinders of worm-eaten stereotypes.
All in all, spontaneous evolution takes place, in the model, and the new form “bite” evidently contains 33.3…% more meaning heritable information than the primordial noun “bit”. In other words, the process of self-replication is inevitably accompanied by chance mutations and, in this way, it generates new information.
As Henry Quastler, 1908-63, commented, “The ‘accidental choice remembered’ is a mechanism of creating information...” [The Emergence of Biological Organization, 1964, p. 16] That is, the emergence of the “viable” form “bite”, capable of producing – in suitable environment – its “digital” copies, denotes that the accidental choice is remembered. So the above case delivers, by Quastler, the example of spontaneous creation of new information. To avoid misunderstanding, note that Henry Quastler has here in view the “choice”, not “selection” (though he mentions natural selection, in other contexts).

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 49 of 222 (812166)
06-15-2017 9:05 AM


Mutations and new information
Spontaneous evolution takes place, in the model, and you may trace various feasible paths of advancement yourself. And also evaluate the probabilities of evolutionary progressions up to some interesting forms. Of course the accidental emergence of a new “viable” form by no means always signifies any quantitative increase in information content. Say, mutant form “bat” is quite “viable” yet the quantity of information it carries remains the same as in the primordial noun “bit”.
As often as not, the evolution also displays some loss in information content. That is, the form “kite” might spontaneously “germinate” the “viable” form “kit” (these special cases are at times specified as “involution”). Yet even in the cases of the forms “bat” and “kit”, the process creates qualitatively new meanings – the evolutionary phenomena of no less importance than the increase in quantity of information. Incidentally, the quite “viable” noun “kit” turns out to be poorly “fit” with regard to the English literary context 2000-08 – see the Google Ngram Viewer statistics at books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=kit&year_start=2000&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=1&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ckit%3B%2Cc0

Being poorly “fit”, the clone “kit” wouldn’t grow in number, and it wouldn’t be able to originate any mutant forms. A sort of evolutionary dead end… Besides, in 1850-58, the same “kit” form was well “fit”, and the clone might happily grow in number. Life is changeful…


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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 56 of 222 (812530)
06-17-2017 8:31 AM


Mutations and new information
Anyway, try and trace the path “bit”, …, “evolution” – with considerable gain in both the quantity of information and “lexical” meaning. Or any other paths you would like…
Amusingly, even this simple a model readily displays the possibility of new heritable information emergence – due to accidental mutations. This is because spontaneous evolution is, in fact, the game of numbers. Once a clone attained great enough number, it would inevitably “germinate” mutant forms. And among mutants some “viable” forms may emerge – NS or no NS.
Once again, chance mutations are able to create new heritable (and meaning) information – in principle. Yet, it is known that the truth is in measure. Indeed, until the process of self-replication operates within the area of comparatively simple forms – say, “birth”, “suite”, etc. – it faces no insuperable difficulties in its creative activities.
Then consider the advanced form “evolution”: the clone “evolution” would be able to sooner or later accidentally create the new form “revolution”. And here the awkward question suggests itself: are chance mutations able to create even more complex forms? Would the clone “revolution” be able to originate such form as, for instance, “counterrevolution”?

  
Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 72 of 222 (815891)
07-26-2017 6:03 AM


Can mutation and selection increase information?
I see, guys, you prefer blah-blah to model experiments. Well, this is quite understandable… Still I continue along my line of argument.
Once again, chance mutations are able to create new heritable (and meaning) information – in principle. Yet, it is known that the truth is in measure. Indeed, until the process of “lexical” self-replication operates within the area of comparatively simple forms – say, “birth”, “suite”, etc. – it faces no insuperable difficulties in its creative activities.
Then consider the advanced form “evolution”: the clone “evolution” would be able to sooner or later accidentally "gemmate" the new form “revolution”. And here the awkward question suggests itself: are chance mutations able to create even more complex forms? Would spontaneous evolution be able to originate such form as, for instance, “counterrevolutionary”? Or any other 20-character English noun?

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 76 of 222 (815964)
07-27-2017 5:17 AM


Can mutation and selection increase information?
With a single phrase “Words don’t reproduce” New Cat’s Eye has tossed all the population genetics in the garbage (its proper place, too). Attaboy!
And yet, would the clone “revolution” be able to spontaneously evolve to such complex form as, say, “counterrevolution”? Apparently, point mutations are of no avail here: there are merely no “fit” enough intermediate forms, between “revolution” and “counterrevolution”. Incidentally, this is the very case of the so-called “irreducible complexity” associated with the notorious William Paley’s doctrine.
Paley or no Paley, the problem of “irreducible complexity” is the sad evolutionary reality, and we are to consider the possibility of macromutations, along with those point. Say, 7-fold chance mutation +counter would settle the problem, yet what are the chances for such a lucky occurrence to happen?

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 90 of 222 (816032)
07-28-2017 5:16 AM


Can mutation and selection increase information?
Apparently, NoNukes so far didn’t grasp the textbook basics. What did fitness get to do with probabilities of this or that mutation? True Darwinists tend to slip down to Lamarckism – without fail. And no wonder, since the founder of Darwinism himself remained Lamarckist till the end of his days.
An exercise would be of certain use: will you try and trace an evolutionary path from “bit” to “counterrevolution”? Or even further – to “counterrevolutionary” (or any other 20-character English noun)? Then you will be pleasingly surprised: to advance along such a path due to chance mutations, it will take, under more or less realistic assumptions, longer space than all the time depth of living nature…
At that, you will see what obstacles would natural selection put up, en route. And does anybody believe that the evolutionary creation, due to chance mutations, such a form as, say, a sea mollusk Nautilus pompilius – not to mention a chickadee or a house mouse, – would take less time than a primitive 20-character noun?

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 94 of 222 (816091)
07-29-2017 5:18 AM


Self-learning evolution
Guys, you shouldn’t disgrace good old Richard Dawkins. Indeed, he declared a lot of inanities, and METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL seems by no means the most flagrant. In return, he was one of the first evolutionary theorists who actively promoted the fundamental idea of self-replication. And Dawkins didn’t feel shy to display the non-existence of Darwinian natural selection, in the world of sexual reproduction. You, guys, are still unable to perceive the significance of this revelation.
Anyway, there are no chances for spontaneous evolution to create, due to random mutations, more or less complex life forms. “For complicated things, random creation is not an option.” [John Mayfield. The Engine of Complexity: Evolution as Computation, 2013, p. 136] So sad…
Then how did biological evolution manage? The off-the-wall answer is: the evolution of so-called MODULAR self-replicators – for example, see ubiquitous bacteria – is capable of self-learning (by doing). The prose of informatics and cybernetics.
Therefore, genetic changes are not so much random, and biological evolution turns out to be a purposeful expedient process. For detail see the Evolution: from Mythology to Theory book, 2017, by Anatoly Nikolaev (published by Amazon), chapter Learning by Doing and so on. Scientific knowledge is paradoxical, isn’t it?

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 99 of 222 (816226)
08-01-2017 5:16 AM


genetic difference
It should be commented that, being an adamant Darwinist, Richard Dawkins has repeatedly caused heavy damage to the only true evolutionary doctrine. Of course, he has altogether unintentionally...
I’m saying that Taq is, first, to try and puzzle out if spontaneous evolution were able to advance, in a reasonable time space, from “bit” to any (any!) 20-character English noun. And then he/she would be able to reason upon the significance of genetic difference between humans and chimps, etc.
You know, from simple to complex. Otherwise the so-called theory adds up to mere blah-blah. A shame.

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 109 of 222 (816269)
08-02-2017 5:27 AM


Non-random genetic changes
Well, Taq still remains unaware of modeling (incl. imaginary experimenting) as of one of the principal methods of science. He/she still do not surmise that changes in genetic 4-character texts (as distinct from these 26-character) propel biological evolution.
Sheer ferity… No wonder, Taq produces nothing beyond the inexhaustible torrent of blah-blah.
Guys, you arduously chew all the same banalities over and don’t see the very essential: long ago, self-learning evolution did away with dependence on (random) mutations. Instead, biological evolution deftly handles targeted genetic changes – for example, see [James Shapiro. Evolution: a View from the 21st Century, 2011] This is the only way for evolution to create incredibly complex living systems.

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 113 of 222 (816342)
08-03-2017 5:22 AM


Mutations and fitness
Well, perhaps Taq is going to invent a quite adequate model of spontaneous evolution … sometime… At that, Taq is apparently acquainted with James Shapiro’s book only by hearsay. Actually, Shapiro has proposed the hypothesis of natural genetic engineering (NGE) – fitness or no fitness.
Moreover, there is no such appearance as individual fitness, in the world of sexual reproduction. An asexual bacterium is endowed with the property of fitness, while an individual, even being quite viable, is not, in the world of sex. Only heterosexual (conspecific) pairs are more or less fit – and for good reason. So Taq, as usual, is merely beating the air. A militant ignorance…

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 116 of 222 (816410)
08-04-2017 5:22 AM


Fitness and sexual reproduction
Once again, in the world of asexual reproduction, individuals – say, bacteria – are more or less fit. Yet the world of sex is just another pair of shoes: no individual per se is able to reproduce there. Regrettably, only heterosexual (conspecific) pairs are. Wily Mother Nature…
The idea of fitness is all about reproductive success, about producing viable progeny. At that, in the world of sex, progeny are the system effect of a heterosexual pair and, in science, breaking a system effect down by the system’s components is just prohibited. So, we may talk of individual viability while we by no means may reason upon individual fitness. No way.
Some 7-8 decades ago, the founding fathers of the so-called Modern Synthesis had no idea of system properties, system effects, etc. And so they, in good conscience, operated with the anecdotic idea of individual fitness. Let them do. Yet we live in the second decade of XXI century, and reasoning upon the individual fitness, as regards sexual reproduction, appears sheer ferity.
Then once evolutionary theorists acknowledged invalidity of the individual fitness idea, the whole Modern Synthesis construction would collapse like a rickety house of cards. So sad…

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Vlad
Junior Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 27
Joined: 06-03-2017


Message 124 of 222 (816477)
08-05-2017 6:33 AM


Individual fitness
Sapienti sat while Pressie’s got a salad in the head. Too bad.
Well, your trouble, guys, is that you still stay then – in the first half of the XX century. You do along with the founding fathers of the mainstream evolutionary doctrine, and you follow their arithmetical mode of thinking. Individual fitness… Immaculate conception… A scream! How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
But why, anybody is free to stay where he/she pleases. Who cares?

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