Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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We're not dealing with addition ...

Posted by Bob on December 2, 1999, at 20:14:45

In reply to Evolution doesn't add up., posted by CC on November 29, 1999, at 23:04:11

> I still don't see how you could ever hope to accumulate favorable mutations....

There is no such thing as a favorable mutation withthe spin you're putting on it. Mutations simply are.

There certainly are deleterious mutations ... such as those that produce cancer or, in the case of reproduction, mutations which result in a non-viable offspring. But "favorable" mutations result through a better organism/environment fit. Go back to the coyote example. I can't remember the details well enough, but it involved genetic drift in coat coloring. The difference in coloring comes from a rather common genetic variation that, when placed in context with some environmental factor such as protective coloration as (1) an aid for hunting or (2) better concealment from predators, the "mutation" hasn't done anything "good" for those who become dominant -- it simply is and, in this case, what it *is* is a better fit with environmental conditions conducive to survival and, even if you base it solely on statistics and not on any "instinctual" mechanism to seek out "good" mates, conducive to replication in following generations.

It's a purely mechanical process brought about by brute empiricism. Don't anthropomorphise it by saying that somehow some mechanism in nature picks out what is good and what is bad before it even gets filtered against survival within an environmental context.


(oops! drop my interpretive trousers for a moment and I get caught with my empirical boxers on...)




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