Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 62 (9057 total)
69 online now:
jar, PaulK, Phat, Tangle, Theodoric (5 members, 64 visitors)
Newest Member: drlove
Post Volume: Total: 889,714 Year: 826/6,534 Month: 826/682 Week: 61/445 Day: 7/10 Hour: 6/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Is there really such a thing as a beneficial mutation?
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 4143 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 211 of 223 (343597)
08-26-2006 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 209 by Faith
08-26-2006 1:16 PM


Re: Re:closed group
Sorry, I am burdened with it. I know it can be improved. I will try more later.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 209 by Faith, posted 08-26-2006 1:16 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 555 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 212 of 223 (343602)
08-26-2006 1:24 PM
Reply to: Message 208 by nwr
08-26-2006 1:08 PM


Re: Regrouping
I appreciate the distinction, but the whole thing is hypothetical in any case, this idea that this directionless or nonteleological or nonintentional change -- in dialectic, as it were, with environmental conditions -- has produced what exists. Intuitively, just from what I've learned so far about the different forms of mutations, no way could those changes explain what exists. I hardly see that my intuition is any less scientific than the intuition that says otherwise; both are pure guesses and both rely on hypothetical thinking to justify them.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 208 by nwr, posted 08-26-2006 1:08 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 213 by Brad McFall, posted 08-26-2006 1:34 PM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 216 by Admin, posted 08-27-2006 10:08 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 4143 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 213 of 223 (343608)
08-26-2006 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by Faith
08-26-2006 1:24 PM


Re: Regrouping
"Duty" vs. "a selfish view" comes up in Kant two pages later. As a "dialectic" I would agree with you also.

"Change" is a hard word.

Edited by Brad McFall, : post not stopped


This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by Faith, posted 08-26-2006 1:24 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 3205 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 214 of 223 (343893)
08-27-2006 4:48 AM
Reply to: Message 208 by nwr
08-26-2006 1:08 PM


Re: Regrouping
Yet the term "beneficial" is an intentional term.

No it isn't. 'Beneficial' is a post hoc assessment of the impact of a particular trait or mutation. I don't dispute that there is a lot of usage of teleological language in evolutionary biology but I don't think that 'beneficial', which represents a concrete and quantitative measure of fitness, is one of them despite its colloquial usage.

I don't see hwy any caveats about context for mutations are needed except for people who aren't actually familiar with evolutionary theory. Anyone with a moderate understanding should understand the contingent nature of beneficial mutations. I'm not sure why the whole language of evolutionary biology should be changed to accomodate people who can't be bothered actually finding out what the theory really says.

WHat would you propose as an alternative term for a gene conferring an increase in reproductive success on its posessor, 'an enabling genetic change for environment X'?

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 208 by nwr, posted 08-26-2006 1:08 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 217 by nwr, posted 08-27-2006 10:53 AM Wounded King has responded

  
qed
Inactive Member


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).


  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12749
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 216 of 223 (343908)
08-27-2006 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 212 by Faith
08-26-2006 1:24 PM


Re: Regrouping
Hi Faith,

Note that I am again replying as Admin.

I'd like to request that you address the specifics of the arguments. For example this:

Faith writes:

I appreciate the distinction, but the whole thing is hypothetical in any case, this idea that this directionless or nonteleological or nonintentional change -- in dialectic, as it were, with environmental conditions -- has produced what exists.

Is an assertion with no supporting argument or evidence, and which addresses none of the many specifics that have been provided throughout this thread.

Intuitively, just from what I've learned so far about the different forms of mutations, no way could those changes explain what exists. I hardly see that my intuition is any less scientific than the intuition that says otherwise; both are pure guesses and both rely on hypothetical thinking to justify them.

This, too, is a simple assertion of your opinion, one which you have stated in various forms throughout this thread.

It is well past time for you to stop merely stating your opinion and to proceed on to making the case for it, either by direct rebuttal to the evidence and argument that has been presented to far, or by introducing your own counter-evidence and argument, or any combination of the two.

If you instead choose to only restate your opinion then please stop participating in this thread. Any future posts or replies you make in this thread that only state your opinion or that go off topic to complain about other's behavior will result in a suspension. If you have complaints about other members or about moderation, please take them to the appropriate thread.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by Faith, posted 08-26-2006 1:24 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5880
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 8.7


Message 217 of 223 (343919)
08-27-2006 10:53 AM
Reply to: Message 214 by Wounded King
08-27-2006 4:48 AM


Re: Regrouping
WHat would you propose as an alternative term for a gene conferring an increase in reproductive success on its posessor, 'an enabling genetic change for environment X'?

You seem to be describing a Goldschmidt hopeful monster mutation. I have no problem calling that beneficial. But such cases are surely so rare as to not account for the evolution we see.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by Wounded King, posted 08-27-2006 4:48 AM Wounded King has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 218 by Brad McFall, posted 08-27-2006 1:48 PM nwr has responded
 Message 221 by Wounded King, posted 08-28-2006 5:26 AM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 4143 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 218 of 223 (343964)
08-27-2006 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 217 by nwr
08-27-2006 10:53 AM


Re: Reducing if not hierarchical
quote:
NWR
Yet the term "beneficial" is an intentional term.

WK
No it isn't. 'Beneficial' is a post hoc assessment of the impact of a particular trait or mutation.



Click to enlarge

WK did not necessarily remove “mind” here. Any actual implementation (in the sense I, BSM, have or would have indicated or intended depend on rather uncertain dangers


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge

quote:

Click to enlarge

But if one had Kitcher’s thought of a screw


Click to enlarge

then what might only be approximated (maxiumum likelihood)biologically with econometric adavances to the questionable path no matter the reproduction (as in Shipley above) the caveat *may* be needed if the latency therethrough resovled (understand this is hypothetical, it has not occurred to my knowledge) can be yoked to artifical advances that natural selection isnot known at that time to be able to accomplish. In which case NWR observation about “benefits” would indicate that

Click to enlarge

has already been bettered even if we have not really been able to communicate on EVC why, very well. Working the "latency" out of the possibly random slopes in the data seems to be why we would also then be stuck in a concurrent thread at the "trap" of the meaning of "kind."

Now if one felt against Gould that no-heirarchy is HERE then this synthesis I suggest is possible theoretcially need not support an (occult-Aristotelian) analysis valid nonethemore but if one feels with Gould that some hierarchicalization is needed, more, in biology but disagrees that species effects can be normalized logically(only piece meal advances possible) this commensuration by intention would not even post hoc benefit the furtherance of biology.

The “caveat” may apply to some other part of evolutionary theory then the effect of mutation directly. There are multi-generation views of mechanisms. But if Gould is wrong then a benfit’s worth might actually have De Vries’ connotation singly and soley but only Huxley was wrong globally as such to separate modification and mutation. A prejudice then when not an error was and an actual “natural purpose” (Kant) would be productively delimitable. This would permit one to approach a notion of kind from within evo-devo but the a simple outline is not the mutation. WK does not think we have enough to say why this must be so. I only say it may be.

One of the problems with the statistical nature of biology is that one DOES need some terms to refer to statistical results, so if, benefit"" is simply the post-hoc label of the process it need not affect the pattern the logic still needs to dogmatize.

I am not sure of the reference to the non-grouped picture links. I think they are from
What Functions Explain:


This message is a reply to:
 Message 217 by nwr, posted 08-27-2006 10:53 AM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 219 by nwr, posted 08-27-2006 5:58 PM Brad McFall has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5880
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 8.7


Message 219 of 223 (344020)
08-27-2006 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 218 by Brad McFall
08-27-2006 1:48 PM


Re: Reducing if not hierarchical
WK did not necessarily remove “mind” here.

That's not necessarily a problem. If you use intentional language in discussing biology, you could be relying on the mind of a creator. Or you could be allowing that the biological system has some kind of primitive mind. The first is a problem, in that there is no actual evidence to support it.

I don't see the problem in the second alternative, that the biology itself can produce something akin to a primitive mind. And that's roughly what WK's comment allows.

The text in your first image is concerned that intentional analysis will "admit an external agent into the worldview", but I don't see that as a consequence of what I called the second alternative.

We could say that the purpose of evolution is to produce humans. That's leads to classical teleological explanations, where we explain in terms of the "final purpose" - what is to be produced. That kind of intentional language is a problem for science, because science is about mechamisms rather than final purposes.

With the alternative use of intentional language, we can observe that biological systems appear to be in a struggle for survival. But that could be simply an observation about the internal mechanisms of biology. Since the struggle may be unsuccessful (the species could go extinct), there is no reliance on final purpose as part of an explanation. But that use of intentional language does allow us to think of evolution as a kind of trial-and-error learning system, where a species experiments with recombinant DNA in the effort to enhance its odds of survival.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 218 by Brad McFall, posted 08-27-2006 1:48 PM Brad McFall has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 220 by Brad McFall, posted 08-27-2006 6:32 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 4143 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 220 of 223 (344029)
08-27-2006 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 219 by nwr
08-27-2006 5:58 PM


Re: Reducing if not hierarchical
I am pretty much in agreement with your first three paragraphs. The fault is probably mine in trying to communicate.

It is my hunch that expansion of evolutionary theory into a hierarchical empircism LEADS to the kind of "mind" accepted by this author but is really probably a "creature". Thus you, me and WK may allow a creature of lower form where mind is denoted in this literature.

My feeling is that if this is the case then there are logical junctions the hierarchical view can scientifically associate but presently result in claims of what counts for science and what does not. I linked to Shipley's work to indicate how the research might be furthered to find these nodes of propostional conflict so as to remove any idea that they might be in a "mind" but are rather simple things like WK saying the the term "benefit" is post-hoc.

It is my reading of Kant that before one can say really anything about "final purposes" anyway, one needs to see some subset of ecological interactions on the one hand as possibly due to future recoverable artifical selections rather than for instance, cows being for the purpose of man eating hamburgers, as you point to in the fourth paragraph.

I simply tried to show how hierarchically extended evolutionary theory may faciliate the sorting of ecological moments into various causal paths that either ARE "primitive mind" or the future science of this to be named post-hocness. The internal mechanisms become enlarged in a future science like this, rather than being DETERMINATIVELY judged as ultimately not a part of biology/evolution itself.

The place of the reflexion will always be with the human researcher as the lower-form-creatures do not have cognition as we do. I do not consider making a carbon-silicon organ translator as anything but science fiction in my projection.

The Purpose"of evoltuion" becomes then for me a simple writing of human economics (well beyond Keynsian changes) that does not hold necessarily the Mathlus influence as inherent but is plyed between future artifical selection advances and past understanding of natural selections in territories or on terranes (not necessarily on Earth). If this has to be a "benefit" or an intention then I so it so. I think Erhlich to have been too conservative about conservation when it comes to technological harnessing of organic knowledge.

Edited by Brad McFall, : small comprehsion issues


This message is a reply to:
 Message 219 by nwr, posted 08-27-2006 5:58 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 3205 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 221 of 223 (344209)
08-28-2006 5:26 AM
Reply to: Message 217 by nwr
08-27-2006 10:53 AM


Re: Regrouping
I was simply basing the term on what you yourself said.

NWR writes:

3. But it is when change becomes necessity (adapt or go extinct), that the organisms will begin to make important use of some of the enabling possibilities that they have accumulated from past mutations.

I'd agree that there is an element of the hopeful monster here in as much as you seem to posit that the mutations are pre-existent. But in the phrase I proposed there is no necessity for the mutation to be pre-existing. A mutation could easily allow more energy efficient habitation of a particular environment in which the population in which it arose already existed.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 217 by nwr, posted 08-27-2006 10:53 AM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Equinox
Member (Idle past 4252 days)
Posts: 329
From: Michigan
Joined: 08-18-2006


Message 222 of 223 (344727)
08-29-2006 12:13 PM


Another example of a beneficial mutation
Hi-

In earlier discussion Faith asked for examples of benefical mutations, and at last count I think we had come up with a baker's dozen. Some, Faith didn't like, like the sickle-cell one, but others were agreed to be beneficial, like the buttocks mutation, etc.

I happened upon another one today, a case were some algae evolved in aquariums to be better than their wild ancestors. So much better, in fact, that they are taking over the Meditteranian, and here in the U S we are hopeing no one accidentally releases some here.

Here is the article:
shortened link

here is a snippet from it:

quote:

The alga is a mutant, aquarium-derived clone of the Mediterranean's Caulerpa taxifolia. Although the species is native to Florida and Caribbean waters, the lagoon's variant only vaguely resembles its wild brethren. Native C.taxifolia behaves like shy, runty pantywaists. Its aquarium-derived kin acts like a towering conquistador bullying coastal ecosystems. This rogue Caulerpa is undeterred by low light or chilly temperatures that normally kill the species.

Being a conquistador instead of a pantywaist does seem benefical to me. On a side note, this species is a nice demonstration of a transitional form between single-celled algae and more complex plants. As we've seen, there are many easy ways single celled organism can evolve into multi-celled organisms.

All the best-

Equinox

Edited by AdminJar, : shorten long link, use peek to see how it was done.


Replies to this message:
 Message 223 by kuresu, posted 08-29-2006 1:20 PM Equinox has not yet responded

  
kuresu
Member (Idle past 1624 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 223 of 223 (344741)
08-29-2006 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 222 by Equinox
08-29-2006 12:13 PM


Re: Another example of a beneficial mutation
being a conquistador helps if your neighbors are mere sheep--which is what seems to happening here.

It outcompetes them very successfully, it seems, and all due to a few mutations. if that isn't beneficial, I don't know what is.

thanks for the link.


All a man's knowledge comes from his experiences

This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by Equinox, posted 08-29-2006 12:13 PM Equinox has not yet responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2022