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The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Postby Tomn » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:31 pm

I was reading my textbook's chapter on evolution (Miller) and found that evolution had several different types of engines which it runs by. I was looking at the various mechanisms, and I had some questions and doubts. I thoroughly disagree with evolution on account of several holes in the theory, but I have been repeatedly told that i am "dumb", "uneducated", that I "don't know what I'm talking about", and wrong. However, not one evolutionist has bothered to answer my questions or clear any misconceptions I might have. Answering to my statements rather than a cop-out would be much more productive. I would appreciate if I could get some REAL answers accompanied with SOLID evidence, not porous conjecture. I would also like to know the specifics of how evolution explains HOW these engines work.

1)Mutation

Mutations, as stated by the book, are mostly lethal. However, evolution is predicated upon the random possibility that those mutations are positive. Evolution sais that most aren't, and there are the rare few that are not. Add to this the random chance of a beneficial mutation, and this becomes highly implausible. Even if by chance there was a beneficial mutation, it is only passed down if both mates have the mistake in DNA. A mutation is not a trait that can be passed down, but it is a mistake in DNA that randomly occurs and has a very low possibility of ever being a beneficial mutation.

2)Speciation

I was reading the Miller book, and it had the same conclusion about evolution which I had deduced from a long time ago without reading the book: the genetic information has to already be present in order for it to appear in the population. Often, favorable genes are recessive (f), and the other unfavorable gene is dominant (F). If this is so, wouldn't the statistics presented by the punnet square only allow 25% to have the favored gene (ff), and 50% to be carriers of that gene (Ff). I understand from the book that 100% can have the favorable recessive gene if 2 that are ff mate, but that would be a miracle generation because of the small chance of them meeting. Also, if ff and ff mate, then 4 ff offspring are produced. The 4 offspring have to mate with other genes, Ff and FF (preferably Ff) in order to maintain genetic diversity and eliminate a "kissing cousins" situation. This need to mate with others also prevents differential reproductivity and keeps the population of favorable genes (ff) proportional to the population to other genes (Ff and FF).

3)Coevolution

The book states that this is competition between 2 species, thus causing the two to adapt to each other and strengthen each other's genes. My question is WHERE does the genetic information come from? As previously stated, the book sais that the information has to be there PREVIOUSLY. And if there previously, did it have those adaptations when that species had first appeared? I think no because the adaptation is a genetic response to a threat, environment, etc. Therefore, how could it have those adaptations when the species was never threatened? Also, if the individual never had this adaptation, and the adaptation was never present in the population, how can it appear as genetic information when the threat begins? Wouldn't the individual perish rather than adapt? By then, it has no adaptation. Also, how do individuals who have never encountered this threat able to adapt to it, especially since the threat which has not been adapted to kills individuals that it comes in contact with. Despite these obstacles, how is this possible?

4)Evolutionary Divergence

The book tells me that this creates specialist species, which result from generalist species. The book's example of this is the variety of honeycreepers. However, where is the fossil of the common ancestor? Also, one example by which evolution is founded are the finches on Galapagos island. Assuming they have been there for quite some millions of years, or several hundred thousand, why has a common ancestor fossil not been found on Galapagos island? Also, according to the book, the genetic information has to be previously present. All the genetic information for each finch's dietary preference, color, type of beak, etc must all be in the ancestor. Therefore, the ancestor should be able to lay eggs, each with a different type of finch because all of the genetic information is present in the ancestor and each type of finch is simply a genetic trait that determines the different finch in each egg based on dominant or recessive traits. Otherwise, how can one finch, without the traits for different finches in its DNA, possibly produce different kinds of finches? Continuing on this deduction: If all finches are from the same ancestor, and all finch types are traits, they should also be able to mate with each other and produce different finches already present in genes from the ancestor. However, this is not observed in the natural world at all. Am i wrong in this? I have simply deduced from information in the book what is necessary for evolution to be true. However, these things are not observed in the natural world. If not be these devices and very slim possibilities are not how evolution developed the finch, please elaborate.
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Postby biohazard » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:36 am

I am sorry but you certainly seem to have misunderstood a whole lot of things, and maybe it is no wonder if evolution seems implausible to you. I do not have time to cover all aspects of your post now, but I'll start with a few and maybe someone else adds to them.

1) Firstly, you say that the mutation must be present in both mates in order to be passed on to following generations, but that is incorrect. If only one of the mates has the mutation, the mutated allele can be passed on to the offspring (the offspring is heterozygote for the given gene). Depending on the mutation, one allele may or may not have an effect on its own. But as generations pass and if the mutation prevails in the population, the chances are that two heterozygotes mate, possibly producing a homozygous offspring and the full effect of the mutation can be seen.

Depending on the usefulness of the given mutation against the organism's environment, the mutation may be deleted (severely debilitating mutation), it may prevail as a heterozygote (no obvious harm or benefit), or it will increase in numbers (beneficial as heterozygous or as homozygous). In certain environments even a "bad" mutation can do well, a famous example of this would be the association of malaria and sickle cell aenemia.

2) There is no such association that favourable mutations would be recessive and unfavourable ones dominant. Quite to the contrary, unfavourable genes can prevail in the population as recessive forms in heterozygous carriers even if it were lethal in homozygous form. If the same allele was dominant, it would always be lethal and so it would eliminate itself from the gene pool. If the mutated allele was not lethal but still unfavourable, it would anyway lessen the chances of its carrier's survival and thus would likely be removed from the gene pool of become very rare in the course of time.

3) I do not think I quite understood your question here. However, in coevolution the same rules apply as in "normal" evolution: random mutations give traits, good or bad or neutral, to their carriers. If there is a change in the environment (and there always is some change, or pressure), one of those mutations is likely to have some effect on its carrier's survival chances. In coevolution, however, the mutations in one species reflect to the other species as well, improving or decreasing its fitness as well.

4) Briefly: the finches can acquire new genetic material from mutations. But this need not be the case. For example, if the finches carry a gene or genes that determine how long their bill will become (similar to humans' genes for height, for example), there are finches of different bill lengths in the population, just like there are humans of different height - pretty much in a Gaussian way. Now, if on one island most of the finches' food would require a long bill to reach to, the long-billed ones would do well, mate with one another and produce more long-billed finches. If on the other island the food the finches eat would require a robust and short bill, the opposite would happen. In due time, there would be two types of quite different finches. The same idea is used when humans create different breeds of animals. This was perhaps a bit simplified example, but hope you get the idea.

And what comes to the fossil of the first common ancestor - this is one of the forever questions in evolution. Despite dozens of fossils of common ancestors that have been discovered for several species, this question always pops up. It is worth remembering that the different developmental phases of species is often very challenging to identify from fossils alone and thus often only the most obvious cases can be identified with certainty. Furthermore, the fossil record is and always will be incomplete, because, for example, many regions that once were land now remain deep under the sea, and that could just as well be the only place when this much sought for common ancestor used to live.

Hope my answers helped to cover some of your questions, and I hope I did not make many mistakes myself when trying to explain things. Perhaps others can continue from this and point out if I managed to include errors in my text.

Over & out.
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Re:

Postby Crucible » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:20 pm

biohazard wrote:
Depending on the usefulness of the given mutation against the organism's environment, the mutation may be deleted (severely debilitating mutation), it may prevail as a heterozygote (no obvious harm or benefit), or it will increase in numbers (beneficial as heterozygous or as homozygous). In certain environments even a "bad" mutation can do well, a famous example of this would be the association of malaria and sickle cell aenemia.
Even a terrible seeming thing such as cancer-proneness can be retained. When they find it has been retained in more than one
way ( finding within an organism, the ability to go genetically cancerous by more than the one pathway) it shows the importance of something related to that apparently very deleterious effect, which is producing a net positive.
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Postby Tomn » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:27 pm

Biohazard:
1)You wrote "even a 'bad' mutation can do well, a famous example of this would be the association of malaria and sickle cell aenemia."
I wonder if you could explain this as a positive association. I do not know of this information. Also, a bad mutation turning out to be good is rare and hardly observed in the natural world, especially when it comes to multi-cellular organisms. Also, keep in mind that most mutations are lethal, and thus they do not continue. The probability of a mutation being positive is also extremely low and very close to impossible, and has not been shown or observed to increase at the passage of time. Also, the probability of positive mutations does not increase the more mutations occur in a population.

2)I could indeed be wrong in saying that mutated genes are recessive. I did say that this was an assumption, although, it was more a deductive reason for why mutations do not dominate. However, I would like to know where it has been observed that mutations are dominant (my thing with evolution is that evolution has not been observed in the environment or replicated in the environment- I will post on "Life in a Tube" in the near future).

However, consider the probability of a mutation, then the probability of that mutation being beneficial, then 2 in that population of the same generation and of different sexes and with the same matching, beneficial mutation, and then consider the probability that they will meet and mate with each other. This is so far fetched to the point of simple impossibility.

3)Since when has a mutation in one species been observed, which is not unlikely to occur, and then even more unlikely to be positive? The probability of a positive mutation does not increase the more mutations occur in a population, and it does not increase with time. The problem with coevolution is that a mutation in one species does not provoke a genetic mistake, which must be beneficial, in another species, especially because genetics is not dictated or altered by the environment or other species. An organism's genetic make up does not change just because of a competing species or a predator or geological separation. It is a mistake, nothing more nothing less, with the extreme unlikelihood of being positive. The chromosome is not aware of surroundings. The chromosome is not a living thing. It does not change or make a random mistake that will somehow turn into a positive "adaptation".

4)Yes, evolution sais that if 2 finches in the same area feed on 2 different things, and one island has the food for one and the other island the food for the other, each of the finches will not be able to stay on the other island. This one portion of this science is excepted and observed. Not to belittle evolution, but obviously, if a species does not have food in one area, then it will not survive there. This would ring true regardless of evolution. What I am debating is the repeatedly stated "fact" of evolution that sais that 2 finches come from one finch. This common ancestor, evolutionary divergence, and genetic drift from genetic mistakes is very near impossible.

Crucible: I can see that cancer proneness can continue. However, cancer proneness is not a beneficial mutation (if it is a mutation). It is a harmful genetic trait. Imagine the possibility of a positive mutation. This is very near impossible.

Biohazard & Crucible: I encourage both of you to stay around the evolution string and look for more of my topics. I will be posting on several issues. I promised "Life in a Tube" to Biohazard, so I think I will start there. I enjoy the conversation and difference of opinion and appreciate the debate. Although, in all honesty, I am a Christian and would like to see the facts considered, and to see evolutionists move off of this theory. However, this is the only time I will include religion in the discussion. I will talk about facts etc etc. However, if you wish to discuss religion, message me. My next topic title is "Flaws of Life in a Tube". It will be much shorter than this piece, I can assure you.
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Postby Tomn » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:44 pm

Correction: this is not the only time I will mention religion. I will soon enough want to hear what you all have to say on the Bible, creationism, etc. But first, I will be posting a myriad of proofs against evolution.
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Re:

Postby JackBean » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:57 am

Tomn wrote:1)You wrote "even a 'bad' mutation can do well, a famous example of this would be the association of malaria and sickle cell aenemia."
I wonder if you could explain this as a positive association. I do not know of this information. Also, a bad mutation turning out to be good is rare and hardly observed in the natural world, especially when it comes to multi-cellular organisms. Also, keep in mind that most mutations are lethal, and thus they do not continue. The probability of a mutation being positive is also extremely low and very close to impossible, and has not been shown or observed to increase at the passage of time. Also, the probability of positive mutations does not increase the more mutations occur in a population.


Sickle cell anemia is disease, where haemoglobin is mutated in one amino acid and this causes bad-shaped red blood cells and that makes another problems. It is even lethal when homozygous. However, it is beneficial when one gets sick by malaria, because the malaria somehow cannot reproduce (see this and futher). That's the reason, why there are so many heterozygotes in the sub-saharian Africa (however, the homozygoty is still lethal).
Just take into account, that during each replication, you get about 3 mutations per your genome. With this it's much higher chance to get something beneficial, isn't it?
Moreover, you must consider, that recently we are adapted to our environment and everything, but in the origin, the enzymes and proteins were not that much adapted, so the chance that they will be improved was much higher.

Tomn wrote:2)I could indeed be wrong in saying that mutated genes are recessive. I did say that this was an assumption, although, it was more a deductive reason for why mutations do not dominate. However, I would like to know where it has been observed that mutations are dominant (my thing with evolution is that evolution has not been observed in the environment or replicated in the environment- I will post on "Life in a Tube" in the near future).


yeah, it's common to assume things which are good for us

Tomn wrote:3)Since when has a mutation in one species been observed, which is not unlikely to occur, and then even more unlikely to be positive? The probability of a positive mutation does not increase the more mutations occur in a population, and it does not increase with time. The problem with coevolution is that a mutation in one species does not provoke a genetic mistake, which must be beneficial, in another species, especially because genetics is not dictated or altered by the environment or other species. An organism's genetic make up does not change just because of a competing species or a predator or geological separation. It is a mistake, nothing more nothing less, with the extreme unlikelihood of being positive. The chromosome is not aware of surroundings. The chromosome is not a living thing. It does not change or make a random mistake that will somehow turn into a positive "adaptation".


Take it the other way. Imagine there is a mutation and it is not lethal. Such individual is even able to reproduce having several offspring.Thus in the next generation there will be several individuals with the same mutation, right? If they will be able to reproduce again, the mutation will spread. And so on and so on. The level of the mutation will fluctuate, but it may rise slowly. Due to several mechanism, it can disappear or even become dominant version (in the means of representation, not domination/recessivity). Anyway, after few generations, there can easily be two individuals mating who both posses the same mutation.
However, I don't see the link to topic; how it matters.

Tomn wrote:My next topic title is "Flaws of Life in a Tube". It will be much shorter than this piece, I can assure you.


Are you sure?
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Postby Tomn » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:05 am

Jackbean: I would appreciate if you could explain our adaptation to the environment. And yes, that statistic on the frequency of the occurrence of mutations may be true. However, each mutation is an individual case, unaffected by the other. Its not like its there are 10 possibilities and one good, and as each mutation occurs, the bad options are striked until eventually the good is chosen. For each mutation, there is a extremely probability of a lethal or neutral mutation, and then the next impossible for a good mutation. The possibility does not increase with each mutation.

Hmm. Yes it is. I should look that up and research that. There should be a definite scientific fact that sais that all or most mutations are either dominant or recessive. By the way you post that comment, you attribute assumptions and a lack of truth to my personality. If I was truly morally incorrect, I would have argued with you and never admitted to the fact that I assumed that based on deductive reasoning.

3) The level of mutation will not increase. While there are those who produce the mutated gene in the next generation, there are the majority who are producing the regular gene. The growth between the two is proportional. There is no differential reproduction. Also, this mutation must be positive. This is near to impossible. Each mutation is an individual event unaffected by the other, and the probability of beneficial mutation does not increase with each mutation.
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Re:

Postby JackBean » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:37 pm

Tomn wrote:Jackbean: I would appreciate if you could explain our adaptation to the environment.

The current organisms are adapted to the enviroment, where they live, no matter, whether you think they evolved into such adaptation or whether they were created, right? Think about the animals in desert, who need to deal with high temperature and high water loss, or how different birds are adapted to different food sources.
Let's assume, the evolution is right for a moment. In such a case, they were not adapted like this, but they were noobs in survival in particular enviroment. Thus, the probability of beneficial mutations was much higher. However, after milions of years of evolution, they are perfectly adapted and the chance to get something even more beneficial is still lower and lower.

I didn't understand much to the rest of the first paragraph.

Tomn wrote:3) The level of mutation will not increase. While there are those who produce the mutated gene in the next generation, there are the majority who are producing the regular gene. The growth between the two is proportional. There is no differential reproduction. Also, this mutation must be positive. This is near to impossible. Each mutation is an individual event unaffected by the other, and the probability of beneficial mutation does not increase with each mutation.


You're wrong. That would be true, if the population was growing, but if it's size is stable, then the number of offspring will be approx. the same each year (or generation). Thus the mutation must spread. Of course, it can be eliminated fastly, but it can also become fastly dominant. That depends on several factors, which you knew better, if you studied the mechanism of evolution better.
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Postby Tomn » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:00 pm

1)You said "In such a case, they were not adapted like this, but they were noobs in survival in particular enviroment. Thus, the probability of beneficial mutations was much higher."

This is the simple reality of a organism that is in an environment that it is not suited to live in, such as a canary in the desert: the organism will die. Period. An organism not suited for an environment will not reproduce, and it will not be concerned with finding a mate. An organism in the desert will not know how to find water and will not have the genetic information suited to retaining water. Thus it will die.

A threat to an organisms life does not bring about the greater possibility of a mutation. Threats towards an organism has no direct effect in altering an organism's genetic traits.

2)Keep in mind that the mutation must be positive. This is a near impossibility. It does not occur in nature. If adaptations are mutations, then this means that adaptations we see today in nature should be present in one generation, disappear the next, and then reappear. And if not successive generations, then over several generations. However, this has never been observed in the natural world.
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Postby JackBean » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:54 pm

1) you're taking it little bit too extreme. The evolution is not such big jumper. If the animal cannot survive, than you will have, surprisingly, no evolution. But living organisms are much versatile and have broad spectrum of livable environments.

2) you're still assuming, that the probability of positive mutation is near zero. However, as I tried to explain you, it's not that true.
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Postby Tomn » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:02 pm

Answer this question: are most mutations neutral or lethal?

The answer is yes, as according to Miller AP Environmental Science Book. (Chapter 5 is on evolution)

Then, if most are lethal or neutral, can the possibility of a positive mutation be not near impossible? The fact of the matter is that the probability of a positive, beneficial mutation is near impossible. If this is not so, then why does it take million of years for the theory of evolution to unfold?

The probability of a beneficial mutation is near impossible. In fact, so near, that it is impossible, thus making the engine for evolution an impossibility and the theory of evolution an impossibility.

I do not know if you have looked at my reply on the digestive system evolution, but I will relate to you something of the same. The theory of evolution sais that "life comes from life", and a prokaryotic cell, which is alive, can come from the randomly accomplished organization of chemicals, which is not alive. A complex, alive, functioning system cannot come from basic chemicals which are not alive. Chemical are not alive and thinking, and cannot start as complex chemicals arrange themselves into more complex chemicals (this is called the chemical revolution), and then the complex chemicals arrange themselves into a complex, single cell, which is the simplest form of life. And then more complex forms come from simpler forms of life. If any normal person were to use their common sense, they can clearly see this is an impossibility (you may say that I do not know how evolution works, but we have previously discussed mutations and their impossibility).
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Re:

Postby biohazard » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:55 am

Tomn wrote:Answer this question: are most mutations neutral or lethal?

The answer is yes, as according to Miller AP Environmental Science Book. (Chapter 5 is on evolution)

Then, if most are lethal or neutral, can the possibility of a positive mutation be not near impossible? The fact of the matter is that the probability of a positive, beneficial mutation is near impossible. If this is not so, then why does it take million of years for the theory of evolution to unfold?

The probability of a beneficial mutation is near impossible. In fact, so near, that it is impossible, thus making the engine for evolution an impossibility and the theory of evolution an impossibility.


You seem to be underestimating the number of DNA replications occuring in the nature. Let us assume that one mutation in a billion is beneficial (just a random number for the sake of example). In terms of probability it is near impossible. But there are billions and billions germline cells produced by all organisms every hour. And since virtually every new cell has several mutations, you can calculate that among a myriad bad or neutral mutations, there will be huge amount of potentially good ones as well. Heck, a single ejaculate from a human male contains some 500 million candidates for a beneficial mutation. Of course, there is a long way to go to fertilization and a healthy baby that can benefit from their mutation. But unlike harmful mutations that get usually aborted in the early pregnancy, neutral or beneficial mutations have much higher chance to survive. Thus, even though the rate of such obviously beneficial mutations among people or animals is low, it is still a lot higher that you seem to think.

Let us take quite an extreme example of a situation where you are almost guaranteed to stumble upon a beneficial mutation: HIV and antiretroviral treatment. HIV is an single-strand RNA virus, which means it is very prone for mutations because of its lack of proof-reading enzyme activity due to one strand only and due to its RNA genome. Now, since it is prone to mutations, you would expect that many new HIV viruses have bad mutations in them and do not survive. And that is correct: big portion of all new HIV particles are inactivated and "sterile" because of the deleterious mutations. Despite this, they hide inside immune cells, where they undergo replications constantly, millions and millions of them during the course of time. And since they are under pressure from antiretroviral drugs, at the very moment there is a mutation that helps to fight the drug, that particular viral strand takes over and the disease starts to progress. If the patient is treated with only one antiretroviral drug, the virus with a beneficial, protective mutation will emerge within months - practically always. Even with the most sophisticated combination treatments there will eventually be a mutant that is resistant to all the drugs. The chances for this are so small that it can take decades to happen, but usually it will happen nonetheless.

If you do not accept HIV as a model organism since it is a virus (thus bordering the line of living vs. non-living), we can take some other similar example, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is famous for developing multiple drug resistances in the course of time if it is under selective pressure of antimicrobial drugs. Surely, many other bacteria do the same, just do not get confused with plasmid-mediated resistance here, which is not caused directly by a mutation within the bacterial genome. Furthermore, some higher organisms develop similar resistances, e.g. pest insects targeted by pesticides. However, the "higher" the organism and longer the life cycle, the longer it takes for the beneficial mutation to emerge and enrich in the population.

The examples are many and there for everybody to look upon, you just have to remove your blindfold for a minute and let yourself see them.
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