Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
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11-10-2012, 11:44 AM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
(11-10-2012 11:33 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(11-10-2012 01:23 AM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  If all species are a result of their own journey through the random helpful mutation game, why do so many species have essentially the same face setup?

To start with, your initial premise is wrong. It's not random. Natural selection is never random. If a new trait helps the individual survive better in its environment AND is able to be passed on genetically to its offspring, then that trait is selected into the genetic line. If it's harmful to the creature, then that trait is selected out of the genetic line.

I'm not a theist, trying to dismiss evolution as chaotic chance. But the first instance of the helpful mutation IS random (to my understanding). The creature that first develops the clump of cells that is sensitive to light and movement does have a random mutation. It's just that that particular mutation is helpful and so it is passed on via higher survival rate.

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11-10-2012, 12:11 PM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
(11-10-2012 11:44 AM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  
(11-10-2012 11:33 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  To start with, your initial premise is wrong. It's not random. Natural selection is never random. If a new trait helps the individual survive better in its environment AND is able to be passed on genetically to its offspring, then that trait is selected into the genetic line. If it's harmful to the creature, then that trait is selected out of the genetic line.

I'm not a theist, trying to dismiss evolution as chaotic chance. But the first instance of the helpful mutation IS random (to my understanding). The creature that first develops the clump of cells that is sensitive to light and movement does have a random mutation. It's just that that particular mutation is helpful and so it is passed on via higher survival rate.




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12-10-2012, 07:41 PM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
(11-10-2012 11:44 AM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  
(11-10-2012 11:33 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  To start with, your initial premise is wrong. It's not random. Natural selection is never random. If a new trait helps the individual survive better in its environment AND is able to be passed on genetically to its offspring, then that trait is selected into the genetic line. If it's harmful to the creature, then that trait is selected out of the genetic line.

I'm not a theist, trying to dismiss evolution as chaotic chance. But the first instance of the helpful mutation IS random (to my understanding). The creature that first develops the clump of cells that is sensitive to light and movement does have a random mutation. It's just that that particular mutation is helpful and so it is passed on via higher survival rate.

From what I understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, the possible genes for say, a certain fur color, are always there...its just that some win out over others. If an animal's fur is always bright pink, then they won't last very long in the arctic, thus promoting the genes for white fur because all of the animals with pink fur will die out and not be able to pass on their genes. It's the same way with eyes, too. Granted, I have never seen an animal with pink fur, but when you think of it that way, it's not really random at all; natural selection is just nature's way of becoming more practical according to the conditions that the animal is under, so that it is better equipped to survive and pass on it's genes.

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13-10-2012, 03:23 PM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
Random mutation is the mechanism that provides novelty, that is new genetic material for evolution to act on. That process is essentially random, although there are factors that influence it. Organisms under stress have been shown to exhibit poorer quality DNA replication during meiosis, with more errors, giving more mutations that could be beneficial (or detrimental or neutral). Also keep in mind that a mutation in one organism may have no meaningful effect on that organism or species, but a few thousand or million years down the line that mutation could provide beneficial effects to that organisms' descendents. Mutations are forever (unless they mutate back) and they are inherited.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
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13-10-2012, 04:32 PM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
I am by no means an expert at all in the field( though I would like to be) but by saying mutations are random(while that maybe true) masks how easy it is for it to be a positive mutations. I might be wrong on this, but I generally put mutations in three categories: Positive/helpful for survivability, Neutral/no change in survivability, Negative/detrimental for survivability.

Perhaps I should elaborate.the three categories are used for OVERALL survivability not exact survivability. Now, all mutations except for a few fall into positive or negative, but only a few are negative for ALL environments.

Example: if you had a mutation that produced a tail is good for grasping and hanging onto trees, but you were placed into a plain, flat environment with no trees, that mutation would not be a positive mutation in the flat environment, but in the jungle, it definitly would.

So while the mutations are random, the environment has an important role in whether or not the mutation is positive, neutral, or negative.

I also don't believe they started their own journeys, but animals have based their journeys on DNA of their ancestors to edit, and tweak. Plus, evolution tends to follow the whole "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Type of philosophy, at least that's how I have observed it.

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13-10-2012, 04:41 PM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
(13-10-2012 04:32 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  I am by no means an expert at all in the field( though I would like to be) but by saying mutations are random(while that maybe true) masks how easy it is for it to be a positive mutations. I might be wrong on this, but I generally put mutations in three categories: Positive/helpful for survivability, Neutral/no change in survivability, Negative/detrimental for survivability.

Perhaps I should elaborate.the three categories are used for OVERALL survivability not exact survivability. Now, all mutations except for a few fall into positive or negative, but only a few are negative for ALL environments.

Example: if you had a mutation that produced a tail is good for grasping and hanging onto trees, but you were placed into a plain, flat environment with no trees, that mutation would not be a positive mutation in the flat environment, but in the jungle, it definitly would.

So while the mutations are random, the environment has an important role in whether or not the mutation is positive, neutral, or negative.

I also don't believe they started their own journeys, but animals have based their journeys on DNA of their ancestors to edit, and tweak. Plus, evolution tends to follow the whole "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Type of philosophy, at least that's how I have observed it.

You don't have it quite right.
Because most of the DNA in higher animals is non-coding (it doesn't do anything), most mutations are neutral because most happen in the non-coding areas.
Most mutations in coding DNA will be negative, some neutral, few positive. Whether a mutation is negative is not so much defined by the external environment but more on the likelihood that the mutation will create a non-functioning or unhealthy organism.

A mutation is not likely to produce anything as complex as a tail; that would require several mutations.

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13-10-2012, 04:45 PM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
(13-10-2012 04:41 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(13-10-2012 04:32 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  I am by no means an expert at all in the field( though I would like to be) but by saying mutations are random(while that maybe true) masks how easy it is for it to be a positive mutations. I might be wrong on this, but I generally put mutations in three categories: Positive/helpful for survivability, Neutral/no change in survivability, Negative/detrimental for survivability.

Perhaps I should elaborate.the three categories are used for OVERALL survivability not exact survivability. Now, all mutations except for a few fall into positive or negative, but only a few are negative for ALL environments.

Example: if you had a mutation that produced a tail is good for grasping and hanging onto trees, but you were placed into a plain, flat environment with no trees, that mutation would not be a positive mutation in the flat environment, but in the jungle, it definitly would.

So while the mutations are random, the environment has an important role in whether or not the mutation is positive, neutral, or negative.

I also don't believe they started their own journeys, but animals have based their journeys on DNA of their ancestors to edit, and tweak. Plus, evolution tends to follow the whole "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Type of philosophy, at least that's how I have observed it.

You don't have it quite right.
Because most of the DNA in higher animals is non-coding (it doesn't do anything), most mutations are neutral because most happen in the non-coding areas.
Most mutations in coding DNA will be negative, some neutral, few positive. Whether a mutation is negative is not so much defined by the external environment but more on the likelihood that the mutation will create a non-functioning or unhealthy organism.

A mutation is not likely to produce anything as complex as a tail; that would require several mutations.
I was only focusing on positive and negative overtly obvious mutations.

I get that a full blown tail wouldn't be produced in one go, but I was simplifying it so that you would get what I mean.

Basically I wasn't focusing on mutations that cripple the organisms, but rather mutations that alter the body that could be decided on the environment.

You are right though, I should have indeed elaborated on what exactly I was talking about though.

Thanks for the reply.

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13-10-2012, 05:23 PM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread



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13-10-2012, 05:58 PM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
Of course, while it takes multiple genes to encode for something complex like a tail, if organisms evolve away from the tails the genes that encode that tail might remain in place, just switched off. A single small mutation can possibly cause those genes to turn on again, giving the organism a tail. This is observed in humans, where a small number of children are born each year with what amount to vestigial monkey tails. These are usually removed surgically shortly after birth.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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15-10-2012, 04:44 PM
RE: Understanding Evolution: The Question Thread
Here's another question I have about evolution.

How and when did reproduction (procreation) become our method of spawning offspring?

If at one point, we were simply cells, then we must have asexually reproduced through cell division and such. How and why did we grow parts to stick into other parts to make more of us? Were we mammals at that point?

I honestly tried looking this up this time, but creationists have contaminated search engines to the point where I was learning about how Adam and Eve could have existed 30,000 years ago, since Carbon dating ("the only method available for dating organic material") only goes back that far.

I understanding evolution and I understand abiogenesis, but connecting the two events has always been difficult for me.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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