I've read the past two pages and I have trouble understanding what the problem here is. It seems there are plenty of examples of beneficial mutation for the picking. Human based, bacterial based, animal based...if we tried hard enough we could probably find plant based ones too. Damn it, in research we regularly introduce beneficial mutations. By regularly I mean everyday. Think that it doesn't count because it is done by humans? Well there is nothing humans do to DNA which nature didn't do first. just because we choose to make these mutations does not mean they can't happen naturally!
So in theory I could present a millions different mutations which could then be argued as beneficial. And they would need to be argued as beneficial because that muscular cow could be seen as benficial if humans wanted muscular cows (and hence bred that cow a lot) or detrimental if humans decided that it was ugly and hence never bred it.
Beneficial is very contextual. (As a general rule...) Sometimes its obvious that having your skin inside out is never going to be beneficial. But having thicker or thinner skin would be a cost/benefits scenario, and so a mutation which caused those changes would be arguably beneficial, or arguably detrimental accordingly.
Either way, because it is conceivable of a situation in which it would be beneficial, it is therefore a fact that beneficial mutations exist.
A mutation which can concievable benefit the organism that has undergone that mutation.
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
Well sexual reprooduction is that normal predictable method of producing variations. More specifical, recombination is the variation creator. mixing alleles from two parents just works to move around pre-existing genes. Recombination actually re-organises some of those alleles and has a potential chance of changing things permanently.
As a general rule all mutations are avoided by organisms where possible because heritability is the most important aspect of life. if you didn't replicate yourself accurately, then your offspring probably wouldn't survive (all possible combinations of DNA considered far more would be dead than living). So accurate replication of self is THE most important thing. Hence mutations are 'avoided'
any organism which succeeded in this first tenant too well would die in the not too distant future. If any organism ever succeeded in STOPPING mutation, then it would never change ever again. one virus could kill everyone of them. A bacterial superbug which they had no immunity to. Or they could be outcompeted by a new predator or new competing species which wants their niche.
I just want to take a moment to show my respect to Fatih. Never before have I seen someone who clearly doesn't believe in Evolution seriously trying to come to understand the science around it. Honestly, I am impressed with your efforts, and I will do my best to understand where you are coming from and sort out the differences.
Traits are simply the selected product of the variety of alleles already present in a population, which were designed into the creature, not created by mutation.
So I was not talking about traits, but only about the supposedly beneficial mutations that are currently claimed to have been observed, more than one of which is like the Sickle Cell genetic disease which is strongly selected because of its protection against malaria.
OK, I am trying to work from your point of view, and hopefully I understand what you are trying to establish. We are assuming that all species have been created as they are. Lets suppose for the sake of argument that the Earth was created by the Magratheans 1000 years ago ala Hitch Hikers Guide to the galaxy. They created humans and all other species with a degree of variety there so that sexual reproduction could continue to mix alleles and continue to maintain variety in the species.
Have any mutations created new improvements in humans since that time?
Would this premise and question be somewhat in line with what you are trying to understand?
I need to understand exactly what you want to be shown. I am from a Molecular Biology background, so the mechanisms of mutation and the affects on the DNA -> Protein -> Phenotype process arising from a mutation is rather familiar to me. However it is very difficutl for me to name a "Beneficial Mutation" to you which is 1. In humans, 2. Not related to a disease 3. Not only beneficial given specific circumstances. If you want those criteria then the only beneficial mutations possible are ones which we simply can't detect and ones which you can easily argue as "Pre-existing traits" and hence not mutations.
This last point is really the catch 22. Anything which has happened could be argued as a pre-existing trait which has been repressed or ressesive until now. And anything which hasn't happened we can't assume will happen. And thus, we have no examples of beneficial mutations in humans.
I hope you can see how restrictive this criteria would be, and I hope you don't intentionally impose it. Particularly since this thread was supposed to be about whether any mutation could be beneficial.
Also, this article looked to be of interest
When more is less: Study into Human Genome vs Chimpanzee genome. Loss of function = improvement http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0040076
I spent probably over an hour on my last post (mostly surfing looking for examples, so sorry it was a little late and much has been said in between.
However, my intention was not to understand how evolution views anything, but what science has to say about mutations
Oh, well in that case, let me tell you all about mutations.
There are MANY types of mutations, and MANY causes of mutation. Attempted to list all of the causes of mutations would be futile, but breifly some of the more obvious causes are errors during copying and no correction, radiation, retroviral insertion, transposon insertion or removal, recombination and oxidative damage.
Read that entry, and read any of the entries that are linked from terms you don't understand.
When you understand exactly what mutations are, you can see it is simply a changing of genetic material. Changing a base pair, inverting a sequence, moving a sequence, deleting a sequence, adding a sequence, copying a sequence.... Shuffling DNA in one form or another. Since DNA is directly translated into proteins, and proteins tend to have functions in cells and directly or inadvertantrly affect phenotypes, it is obviously possible for mutations to have beneficial outcomes.
This thread blew out 3 pages while I slept, and I was starting to feel like it what going to hell while I was reading thrrough them all, but you rlast post faith at least gives you and I something to work on, and I hope everyone will excuse me if I ignore everything else that has been said, and try to work from Faiths assumptions rather than our own.
the idea that they produce anything beneficial is very much in question, despite the various examples given. This doubt comes from my creationist assumptions, by which I can't call beneficial something that produces disease even if it also protects against another disease. It's a definitional matter, and one problem in these discussions is that the evolutionists announce their definitions as if they were some kind of proof of something, or as if such a definition can't be challenged as to whether it fairly reflects reality. This harping on the evolutionist definition of "beneficial" as anything that spreads in a population for whatever reason simply pre-empts the creationist definition.
This is why I went on to my second post on outright mutations. I got caught up in the discussion with everyone else and thought this was about Mutations being beneficial in evolution, but it seems you want to discuss whether mutations, as a concept can be beneficial. So, I will use my assumption above, pretend evolution is non-existent and discuss mutation with you.
*unfortunately you will have to excuse me for a few hours. I have to go out and I have already spent an hour trying to put together a reply. I have saved it and will return to it later. I don't want to post a half arsed effort :)
I have had a few hours to think about your perspective faith, and I hope you can understand that, because clearly your perspective is not how I see it, so I am trying my best to think outside the box.
As such, I think I can see exactly what your concern is. Humans are highly complicated system, incredibly well refined on the molecular level, the cellular level and the physical level. We are so well balanced so precisely aligned (within our bounds of variability) that it is hard to imagine any chance which wonâ€™t disrupt our equilibrium. Firstly, because of the nature of genetic mutation and phenotypic realization of that mutation, it is very difficult for anyone to find an actualized phenotypic change brought about by a single mutation. That made me think about mutations which affect the cellular or molecular level, since generally a mutation will have a 1 to 1 relationship on that level. That is, it is easy for a single mutation to have an effect on the expression of a protein, or the silencing of a complimentary gene or something like that. And as soon as I thought about that level of mutation, I realized that any mutation I could suppose happening in a human, would most likely have far reaching negative effects. This is due to the high level of refined processing that our cells undergo.
This is what I believe you are looking at, and clearly having trouble understanding how any change in DNA could possibly improve our body when it seems it is already â€˜fine tunedâ€™.
Assuming I am on track, and assuming the CCR5 example and Sickle Cell example arenâ€™t sufficient enough as examples, I will give up now trying to find examples, because while I believe they exist, it will be far harder to find them and conclusively show that they are both 1. Caused by mutation and 2. Obviously beneficial in any sense. Trying to do so would be very time consuming, and possibly impossible (for the problems touched upon above with regards to single mutation phenotypic changes and the refined nature of our molecular machinery).
So I wish to try a different angle, and hope that this will suffice for the sake of discussion.
Basically, I wish to argue that since mutation is simply an indiscriminant shuffling of a coding sequence, it must be accepted that â€œanythingâ€ is possible. The changing of code is un-moderated entirely, but the consequences of the change have very definite effects. More often than not, the mutation will have no effect on the ongoing replication of the genetic code that has been mutated. Sometimes the mutation will cause the replicative process to stop abruptly. While sometimes the mutations will have a detrimental effect on the success of replication of the organism. And then some mutations, obviously the far less frequent mutations, will in fact increase the likelihood of replication, or rate at which the gene is replicated from generation to generation.
Obviously the final assertion there is your main concern so I will attempt to justify it. Basically we can see that some species are more successful than others. We can also see that some organisms are more successful than other organisms within the same species. This is clearly observable, and also an assumed premise in your question. Now each of these organisms have a genetic code which determines exactly how their cells will develop in light of their environment, and therefore how likely their success in survival and then replication will be. We can compare the genome of these organisms and see that they are different. They each (between species or within species) have different genomic sequences. This is observable.
SO since we know that DNA determines the phenotypic consequence of an organism, and the phenotype of organisms determines their success, the more successful organisms clearly have more â€˜beneficialâ€™ differences in its genome vs the less successful organisms.
Accepting this, it is therefore an easy step to assume that any of the differences in the genome between the two compared organisms which constitute better/worse, could feasible be created in the worse off organism by a mutation.
I will leave it there to get some feedback on how I am going, and see what I need to re-think or clarify or whatever.