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Author Topic:   What mutations are needed for a particular trait (e.g. wings) to arise?
Woodsy
Member (Idle past 2128 days)
Posts: 301
From: Burlington, Canada
Joined: 08-30-2006


Message 30 of 111 (345244)
08-30-2006 9:02 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by PaulK
08-30-2006 5:56 PM


Re: Is it possible mathematically?
I hope you will forgive me for butting in. I'm new and still learning the customs here. I recently read a book called "Lightning Strikes" about probability. The author points out that if you run a coin-flipping tournament with (I think) 1024 contestants, you are guaranteed to wind up with a winner who won ten times in row. You just wouldn't be able to predict who it would be beforehand. Perhaps this is related to the difficulty here?

Edited by Woodsy, : spelling


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by PaulK, posted 08-30-2006 5:56 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by PaulK, posted 08-31-2006 6:05 AM Woodsy has responded

  
Woodsy
Member (Idle past 2128 days)
Posts: 301
From: Burlington, Canada
Joined: 08-30-2006


Message 32 of 111 (345364)
08-31-2006 7:22 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by PaulK
08-31-2006 6:05 AM


Re: Is it possible mathematically?
In these discussions, we quite naturally focus on the "winners" and lose sight of the vast numbers of individuals who do not "win". The point of the coin-tossing example was that "extreme dumb luck" can happen naturally and is in no way way miraculous. We are impressed by the sequence of wins, but the chances surely reset at each cycle, so each win is just as likely as any of the others, and if there are many players, we should expect strings of wins to show up.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by PaulK, posted 08-31-2006 6:05 AM PaulK has not yet responded

  
Woodsy
Member (Idle past 2128 days)
Posts: 301
From: Burlington, Canada
Joined: 08-30-2006


Message 37 of 111 (345476)
08-31-2006 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by skepticfaith
08-31-2006 2:52 PM


Re: Finite possibilities - not infinite..
codegate: That's a very clear account.
skepticfaith: Are you expecting mutations in response to changes in selection pressure? As I understand it, evolution is not forward looking, or even sideways. One would expect that random mutations give rise to variations in a population that can then accommodate a new selection pressure or opportunity. When we add the antibiotic to the Petrie dish, it is the microbes who happen to be already resistant who survive. As another thought experiment, after a new tree with tough nuts grows in the neighbourhood, a bird who happens by chance to grow a stronger beak is in luck.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by skepticfaith, posted 08-31-2006 2:52 PM skepticfaith has not yet responded

  
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