Total Posts:80|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Is darwinian evolution even a theory?

janesix
Posts: 3,467
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.
user13579
Posts: 822
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2016 3:52:26 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Show that the same mutation happens every time you introduce the same change in environment. And I mean the first mutation that happens. Not the "end result" of a long chain of trillions of mutations.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/8/2016 4:27:26 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for randomness only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Darwin didn't actually know what caused variation outside species norms. He just assumed that something did, because it had been seen in (for example) farm animals. So his original conjecture doesn't need 'pure' randomness (whatever that might mean) -- it just needs a wide spread of possible changes that could be beneficial or detrimental in different environments.

Nevertheless, with the benefit of gene sequencing, the kinds of mutations that can occur are now classifiable, with the principle changes of interest including insertions, deletions and translocations. The rate of mutation in different genomes is also observable, and has been linked to environment, the creature's biology and the length of the genome itself. Mutations can also be classified by effect on function and fitness. As it happens, from what I've read, mutations occur all the time; most are neutral, some are detrimental and a few are beneficial -- as one would expect from a random but successful process.

So Darwin's conjecture was definitely falsifiable. In fact, he spent a chapter talking about how to falsify it, as a scientist should. (Please poke me for links.)

But biology has also moved on since Darwin. His conjecture remains sound and accurate in its basic mechanisms, but has since been elaborated and extended. So evolution is not Darwin's alone any more.

I hope that may be useful.
janesix
Posts: 3,467
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2016 8:32:40 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 3:52:26 AM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Show that the same mutation happens every time you introduce the same change in environment. And I mean the first mutation that happens. Not the "end result" of a long chain of trillions of mutations.

This thread is about proof that mutations are random. Do you have any proof?
janesix
Posts: 3,467
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2016 8:35:20 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 4:27:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for randomness only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Darwin didn't actually know what caused variation outside species norms. He just assumed that something did, because it had been seen in (for example) farm animals. So his original conjecture doesn't need 'pure' randomness (whatever that might mean) -- it just needs a wide spread of possible changes that could be beneficial or detrimental in different environments.

Nevertheless, with the benefit of gene sequencing, the kinds of mutations that can occur are now classifiable, with the principle changes of interest including insertions, deletions and translocations. The rate of mutation in different genomes is also observable, and has been linked to environment, the creature's biology and the length of the genome itself. Mutations can also be classified by effect on function and fitness. As it happens, from what I've read, mutations occur all the time; most are neutral, some are detrimental and a few are beneficial -- as one would expect from a random but successful process.
For a random process, I would expect that most mutations would be detrimental.

So Darwin's conjecture was definitely falsifiable. In fact, he spent a chapter talking about how to falsify it, as a scientist should. (Please poke me for links.)

But biology has also moved on since Darwin. His conjecture remains sound and accurate in its basic mechanisms, but has since been elaborated and extended. So evolution is not Darwin's alone any more.

I hope that may be useful.
TBR
Posts: 9,991
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2016 8:54:16 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/9/2016 8:35:20 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/8/2016 4:27:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for randomness only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Darwin didn't actually know what caused variation outside species norms. He just assumed that something did, because it had been seen in (for example) farm animals. So his original conjecture doesn't need 'pure' randomness (whatever that might mean) -- it just needs a wide spread of possible changes that could be beneficial or detrimental in different environments.

Nevertheless, with the benefit of gene sequencing, the kinds of mutations that can occur are now classifiable, with the principle changes of interest including insertions, deletions and translocations. The rate of mutation in different genomes is also observable, and has been linked to environment, the creature's biology and the length of the genome itself. Mutations can also be classified by effect on function and fitness. As it happens, from what I've read, mutations occur all the time; most are neutral, some are detrimental and a few are beneficial -- as one would expect from a random but successful process.
For a random process, I would expect that most mutations would be detrimental.

So Darwin's conjecture was definitely falsifiable. In fact, he spent a chapter talking about how to falsify it, as a scientist should. (Please poke me for links.)

But biology has also moved on since Darwin. His conjecture remains sound and accurate in its basic mechanisms, but has since been elaborated and extended. So evolution is not Darwin's alone any more.

I hope that may be useful.

Many ARE. Many are so determent that the offspring does not even survive. Many more are not SO detrimental as to kill, but may end in shorter life-span, or inability to function properly etc. Others still are hardly noticed, right?
janesix
Posts: 3,467
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2016 8:59:30 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/9/2016 8:54:16 PM, TBR wrote:
At 5/9/2016 8:35:20 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/8/2016 4:27:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for randomness only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Darwin didn't actually know what caused variation outside species norms. He just assumed that something did, because it had been seen in (for example) farm animals. So his original conjecture doesn't need 'pure' randomness (whatever that might mean) -- it just needs a wide spread of possible changes that could be beneficial or detrimental in different environments.

Nevertheless, with the benefit of gene sequencing, the kinds of mutations that can occur are now classifiable, with the principle changes of interest including insertions, deletions and translocations. The rate of mutation in different genomes is also observable, and has been linked to environment, the creature's biology and the length of the genome itself. Mutations can also be classified by effect on function and fitness. As it happens, from what I've read, mutations occur all the time; most are neutral, some are detrimental and a few are beneficial -- as one would expect from a random but successful process.
For a random process, I would expect that most mutations would be detrimental.

So Darwin's conjecture was definitely falsifiable. In fact, he spent a chapter talking about how to falsify it, as a scientist should. (Please poke me for links.)

But biology has also moved on since Darwin. His conjecture remains sound and accurate in its basic mechanisms, but has since been elaborated and extended. So evolution is not Darwin's alone any more.

I hope that may be useful.

Many ARE. Many are so determent that the offspring does not even survive. Many more are not SO detrimental as to kill, but may end in shorter life-span, or inability to function properly etc. Others still are hardly noticed, right?

How would we know if a mutation was "neutral"?
Rukado
Posts: 527
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2016 9:04:50 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

Logically, nothing is random. But, proving randomness experimentally is a bit like proving a negative. "I couldn't predict the coin flip, therefor it's random." "I don't see a horse pulling the carriage, therefor it moves without cause (i.e. randomly)."
janesix
Posts: 3,467
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2016 9:05:31 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 3:52:26 AM, user13579 wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Show that the same mutation happens every time you introduce the same change in environment. And I mean the first mutation that happens. Not the "end result" of a long chain of trillions of mutations.

In the new study, published online today in Public Library of Science Biology, Doebeli and colleague Matthew Herron, also at UBC, went back to the frozen samples from three of their test tubes and sequenced 17 gene samples from various stages of the experiment. The DNA showed that in some cases identical mutations appeared independently in all three test tubes: despite the random nature of mutations, the same changes in the environment favored the same genetic solutions.

http://www.scientificamerican.com...
janesix
Posts: 3,467
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2016 9:08:15 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/9/2016 9:04:50 PM, Rukado wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

Logically, nothing is random. But, proving randomness experimentally is a bit like proving a negative. "I couldn't predict the coin flip, therefor it's random." "I don't see a horse pulling the carriage, therefor it moves without cause (i.e. randomly)."

I agree. That's why saying mutations are random is just an assertion, not something that's been proven. At the same time, there are experiments that show NON randomness of mutations.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2016 9:11:20 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/9/2016 8:59:30 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/9/2016 8:54:16 PM, TBR wrote:
At 5/9/2016 8:35:20 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/8/2016 4:27:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for randomness only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Darwin didn't actually know what caused variation outside species norms. He just assumed that something did, because it had been seen in (for example) farm animals. So his original conjecture doesn't need 'pure' randomness (whatever that might mean) -- it just needs a wide spread of possible changes that could be beneficial or detrimental in different environments.

Nevertheless, with the benefit of gene sequencing, the kinds of mutations that can occur are now classifiable, with the principle changes of interest including insertions, deletions and translocations. The rate of mutation in different genomes is also observable, and has been linked to environment, the creature's biology and the length of the genome itself. Mutations can also be classified by effect on function and fitness. As it happens, from what I've read, mutations occur all the time; most are neutral, some are detrimental and a few are beneficial -- as one would expect from a random but successful process.
For a random process, I would expect that most mutations would be detrimental.

So Darwin's conjecture was definitely falsifiable. In fact, he spent a chapter talking about how to falsify it, as a scientist should. (Please poke me for links.)

But biology has also moved on since Darwin. His conjecture remains sound and accurate in its basic mechanisms, but has since been elaborated and extended. So evolution is not Darwin's alone any more.

I hope that may be useful.

Many ARE. Many are so determent that the offspring does not even survive. Many more are not SO detrimental as to kill, but may end in shorter life-span, or inability to function properly etc. Others still are hardly noticed, right?

How would we know if a mutation was "neutral"?

A neutral mutation is anything that doesn't have a functional effect. So neutral mutations are generally pretty easy to spot. Almost any substitution that results in the same protein being synthesized would be neutral, for instance.
janesix
Posts: 3,467
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/9/2016 9:13:29 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/9/2016 9:11:20 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 5/9/2016 8:59:30 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/9/2016 8:54:16 PM, TBR wrote:
At 5/9/2016 8:35:20 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/8/2016 4:27:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for randomness only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Darwin didn't actually know what caused variation outside species norms. He just assumed that something did, because it had been seen in (for example) farm animals. So his original conjecture doesn't need 'pure' randomness (whatever that might mean) -- it just needs a wide spread of possible changes that could be beneficial or detrimental in different environments.

Nevertheless, with the benefit of gene sequencing, the kinds of mutations that can occur are now classifiable, with the principle changes of interest including insertions, deletions and translocations. The rate of mutation in different genomes is also observable, and has been linked to environment, the creature's biology and the length of the genome itself. Mutations can also be classified by effect on function and fitness. As it happens, from what I've read, mutations occur all the time; most are neutral, some are detrimental and a few are beneficial -- as one would expect from a random but successful process.
For a random process, I would expect that most mutations would be detrimental.

So Darwin's conjecture was definitely falsifiable. In fact, he spent a chapter talking about how to falsify it, as a scientist should. (Please poke me for links.)

But biology has also moved on since Darwin. His conjecture remains sound and accurate in its basic mechanisms, but has since been elaborated and extended. So evolution is not Darwin's alone any more.

I hope that may be useful.

Many ARE. Many are so determent that the offspring does not even survive. Many more are not SO detrimental as to kill, but may end in shorter life-span, or inability to function properly etc. Others still are hardly noticed, right?

How would we know if a mutation was "neutral"?

A neutral mutation is anything that doesn't have a functional effect. So neutral mutations are generally pretty easy to spot. Almost any substitution that results in the same protein being synthesized would be neutral, for instance.

Ok thanks.
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 1:36:46 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Alright, im just going to ask

Why do you want it to be non-random mutations?
Meh!
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 4:11:56 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Okay, so I presume that we can both agree that mutations do actually happen. We've seen variation occur, we have seen novel changes in almost every type of organism.

The next step is to agree what "in the original population" actually means. This sounds stupid, but much in the way of pseudoscience hides behind sloppy definitions.

So, obviously, a "mutation" not present in the original population is one where neither of the two parents of an organism do not have a particular gene sequence present in the child.

That can indeed be shown; it can be shown that natural variation in your DNA replication happens a few hundred times per individual. So we know, most assuredly that mutations can happen and do happen when they aren't in the parent population.

If you want to argue that "already present in the population" means something else, it needs to be justified as why that is a relevant definition to use. If a particular DNA sequence is not present in parents, and is then present in child; it's new. I can't see any reason not to include this definition: What I have just defined above as a "new mutation" is all evolution needs to have occur; it doesn't matter whether you want to call it something else; if a new gene variant appears which isn't in either parent then evolution can happen and calling it something different is really just semantics as the key process required by evolution to operate still happens whether you want to call it "new" or not.

Now, we need to define what "random" means. The top card in perfectly shuffled deck is random, a pack of cards that contains Ace of spades is non-random. However, you could have ten times more Aces than 2's, and while aces are more likely to come up than 2's as a result, it's still effectively random, but not statistically equal.

In this case, it is within the realms of possibility that some area's of DNA maybe more likely to change than others; I haven't seen enough definitive research to accept or reject it, but this doesn't really affect the randomness.

Now, given that we can probably now agree that mutations that "are required for evolution to operate" do actually happen (regardless of what you want to call them); so the question comes back to the fundamental one you've asked. Are they random, to any degree.

Now, as I've stated, there is no reason to assert equally weighted mutations, I can readily accept that there could be chemical, and biological reasons why mutations would be more likely in one location than another.

What I will also say is that mutations that prevent an organism from surviving won't happen in a surviving living organism so won't be seen in any living analyzed organisms.

These two together do not mean mutations are not random, but can bias the effects you measure.

Finally, before going into more detail, a key point you really need to consider is to do with "abductive reasoning". We really have two fundamental options; random to some degree, or not random.

If there is no hard evidence for random mutations, the default position is not "non-random" it's "I don't know" because non-randomness, is a positive claim and so needs it's own evidence.

Using abductive reasoning, it should be clear that we need to work out whether random is more likely or non-random is more likely. Leading to a key point that we don't need evidence for random mutations provided we can definitively show that mutations are definitely not non-random.

So, lets look at the evidence.

Firstly, the way the chemistry works to bring about genetic error, is fundamentally random. There is bias in the nature of substitutions, that one letter is more likely to be replaced with one specific letter than any other, but we know from the actual chemistry involved that the process is stochastic or at best chaotic (meaning that while it is non random is affected so trivial by all the different circumstances so as to appear stochastic.

Random 1. Non-random: 0.

Secondly, analysing genomes, comparing conserved proteins and conserved genetic regions shows a fairly smooth random substitution rate between two species. IE: comparing chimps and humans (which can be independently verified as related by other means), show a broadly random set of substituted base pairs. This pattern holds true when comparing any other two species too.

Random 2: Non-random 0.

Thirdly, there are actually very few instances of observed new features, new proteins, or new changes with sequencig support that don't appear or can't be explained by manipulation of existing sequences with random mutations. Moreover, many examples of features differences between organisms can indeed be explained by this same process.

Random: 3. Non-random 0.

Fourthly, there is no known, measured, theorized, observed, non-random process or function that could be used to explain or predict when, how and why all mutations occur. While it cannot be discounted, with the amount of research and sequencing in modern genetics, patterns, stochastic and repeated observed instances of non-random changes would likely have been observed by this point. Some mutational mechanism maybe non-random, I don't know of any, but that ALL of them that are evolutionary relevant are non-random is not just unsupported, but given the amount of research conducted thus far, should be supported by now if valid.

Random 4: Non-random 0.

Finally. Statistical analysis of gene variants genomes doesn't throw up significantly deterministic patterns that qualify as what we've defined as non-random. While one could potentially argue some area's of the genome are more prone to change than others, there is no deterministic pattern indicating that they are non-random.

Random 5: Non-random 0.

So, given this, mutations fully conform in all measurable ways to a stochastic unguided and non-deterministic process both in how it operates, and the genomic evidence we have thus far. Non-random mutations would show broad, detectable patterns if they occur significantly and while randomness may not be equal, the key requirement of not being predictable in any form and can occur pretty much anywhere is what the evidence appears to indicate.

Now, with abductive reasoning, it's perfectly valid to claim that non-random or guided mutations are not impossible (which they aren't, they could all be non-random), the evidence seems to indicate that guided mutations are simply idle speculation, and do not overturn the indications of the evidence mentioned above.

You're free, by any means you so chose, to "believe" mutations are guided, but to claim that this is what they are requires evidence, of which there is none whatsoever that overturns the evidence that indicates they are random; and to make that claim scientific you have to provide evidence that significantly tips the scales.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,050
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 4:13:30 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
'Random' in this context is not as precise a term as it used by mathematicians.

Consider an experiment where E Coli is put in a medium in which it can survive but not thrive. Also suppose that a single, known point mutation would result in the E Coli thriving in that medium.

The idea is that the required mutation will not be favoured to occur over any other mutation. Mutations occur all along the genome 'at random' as usual as a consequence of accidents in the copying process. Almost all of these accidental changes result in individual e coli cells that are either worse at surviving (deleterious) or much the same (neutral). Enentually, one mutation happens to hit the 'sweet spot' and the mutant type will begin to take over.

In theory all you have to do is count the number of mutations of all types that occur to see if the 'special' mutation crops up more often, or sooner than expected.

The problem is that its hard to count all the mutations that occur, because most of them will produce either no viable cell or just a very few cells in a test-tube containing millions of unmutated cells.

Nonetheless, experiments can be designed to overcome such technical problems and these have been done. On relatively rare occasions there is some indication that a beneficial mutation is slightly favoured (although must mutations continue to be deleterious/neutral). But - AFAIK - in the overwhelming number of cases getting a beneficial mutation seems to be a matter of pure luck, like winning the lottery.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,504
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 2:34:43 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?


You really should define "random", I think. Here are a few options to get you started:

1) Events with no deterministic physical cause. This is a terribly wrong definition - it actually could be a synonym for magic - but it seems this is what people often mean by random.

2) Undirected events. That is, events not controlled by a sentient agent. This is not the sort of random you can run a repeatable experiment on, but it's generally pretty easy to identify as a practical matter.

3) Noise. That is, wideband (varied) events with no obvious pattern. And this definition can be mathematically qualified, if not exactly tested for. It's generally not a binary yes/no kind of thing - most real world excitation contains both recognizable patterns and apparent noise.
This space for rent.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,050
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 4:02:54 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
The next step is to agree what "in the original population" actually means. This sounds stupid, but much in the way of pseudoscience hides behind sloppy definitions.

It's perfectly possible for some evolution to occur without any new mutation. If there are two distinct alleles of a gene in a population it is possible that their ratio is affected by changing conditions by natural selection, or even in the absence of any selective pressure due to genetic drift. So if, for example, allele A tends to produce larger individuals than allele B an environmental change that favours larger individuals will result in the ratio of A alleles to B increasing (by natural selection), with a consequent increase in the average size of the species. Of course alleles can affect any characteristic, not just size, so a change in allelic frequency can result in an increase in stripiness, or jaw strength, intelligence whatever.

It is the adaptive usefulness of 'allelic' evolution that gives value to genetic diversity. A genetically uniform population can be superbly adapted to its environment but get totally screwed if that environment changes because it would have to rely on getting just the right mutation to survive.
Rukado
Posts: 527
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 4:12:25 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 4:02:54 PM, keithprosser wrote:
It's perfectly possible for some evolution to occur without any new mutation. If there are two distinct alleles of a gene in a population it is possible that their ratio is affected

You are Stupid, Keithprosser? Do you not understand the concept of relevancy? Change in allele frequency itself is not a relevant to skepticism of Darwinism. You're a moron if you don't see that you're committing the error of Bait and Switch.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,050
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 4:43:29 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I quoted Ram to indicate which point I was addressing, ie how mutations already 'in the original population' has a meaningful interpretation he may have overlooked. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clearer. Allelic evolution is not on the main track of the thread agreed, but neither is a impolite attack on my intelligence. My stupidity is undeniable, but it was not mentioned in the OP so I hope we will now both return to the topic in hand.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,504
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 5:40:26 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 4:43:29 PM, keithprosser wrote:
... My stupidity is undeniable, but it was not mentioned in the OP so I hope we will now both return to the topic in hand.

I had a laugh at the rather bizarre attack on you, and I love the classy response :-)
This space for rent.
distraff
Posts: 1,005
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 5:56:44 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

The theory of evolution claims that animals evolved from natural selection and mutations. Mutations do not have to be completely random for evolution to work.

Whether or not mutations are random is another question and is not the theory of evolution. We know how mutations are caused and this cause would create random mutations. Also, we have observed mutations happen and they seem to be happening randomly.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,050
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 6:39:03 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Mutations are not random according to most maths based definitions. Some sections of DNA are much more prone to mutation than others. It is not the case that any base at any locus is as likely to mutate as any other.

But it isn't really the mathematical sense of random that matters. What matters is whether beneficial mutations are more likely than deleterious ones, that is whether the cell (or DNA whatever) 'knows' (or is told by an intelligent designer) what mutation to make to improve fitness.

There is not much evidence to suggest beneficial mutations occur anymore often than random chance would predict. It doesn't look as if there is an intelligent designer tweaking DNA - it looks like a non-intelligent tinkerer is hacking away using trial and error, or Mutation and Natural Selection as it is sometimes called.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,504
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 7:15:03 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 6:39:03 PM, keithprosser wrote:
...

There is not much evidence to suggest beneficial mutations occur anymore often than random chance would predict. It doesn't look as if there is an intelligent designer tweaking DNA - it looks like a non-intelligent tinkerer is hacking away using trial and error, or Mutation and Natural Selection as it is sometimes called.

I'd say it looks like a well-oiled machine is slowly running down. That is what can be observed in real time. I watched a dopey movie last night about a couple of old guys who tried to walk the Appalachian Trail which runs some 2K miles through the Eastern US. At one point Robert Redford's character comments on how several species of hardwoods are now basically gone from the eastern US. Redford is a big global warming alarmist, btw, but yeah, that's what's happening - a slowly decaying ecosystem. The fossil record is, among other things, a long history of species going extinct.

I think physical life does in fact proceed by natural physics. The adaptability of the DNA provides astonishing fault tolerance, but the observable trend is towards eventual collapse of the system. "Upwards" evolution is speculated but never observed, nor can any demonstrable model of upward evolution be shown. But of course death and extinction are readily observable. So I think nature is a spinning top that eventually slows and topples. Perhaps the spinning top has been refreshed at times in the past, so what we have is punctuated creation instead of punctuated evolution, but the overall trend is a natural one - that of slow decay, not spontaneous growth.

That the whole darwinian thing is just spectacularly wrong in several respects, is something one has to at least consider.
This space for rent.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,504
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 7:18:06 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/8/2016 4:27:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
...

So Darwin's conjecture was definitely falsifiable. In fact, he spent a chapter talking about how to falsify it, as a scientist should. (Please poke me for links.)


Yes, it was quite clever - he'd have made a great politician. "I propose that all faeries are red. Anyone could prove me wrong just by showing a blue faerie". But of course the failure to show blue faeries would not confirm my theory of faeries. Darwin's tests only confirm that his hypothesis is coherent.
This space for rent.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 7:37:08 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 7:18:06 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/8/2016 4:27:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Darwin's conjecture was definitely falsifiable. In fact, he spent a chapter talking about how to falsify it, as a scientist should. (Please poke me for links.)
Yes, it was quite clever - he'd have made a great politician. "I propose that all faeries are red. Anyone could prove me wrong just by showing a blue faerie". But of course the failure to show blue faeries would not confirm my theory of faeries. Darwin's tests only confirm that his hypothesis is coherent.
V, scientific models are verified and falsified the same way: by making specific, significant, testable predictions. By which I mean:
* Specific: you know when they've occurred;
* Significant: they're not readily explained by other mechanisms than those used in the model;
* Testable: there's some way of observing them

Predictions that fail falsify the theory, demanding that it is changed or replaced; while predictions that succeed verify it without proving it. Thus, it's always possible to find some other model that also satisfies the observations, but that model can only replace the previous by making a prediction the first cannot.

There are many key predictions made by evolution that differentiate it from other models. One is the constant adaptation of species to environment (which does not falsify creationism, but does strain it.) But the most significant prediction is common ancestry, for which abundant supporting evidence now exists both in the fossil record and genetically, and no refuting evidence.

Sadly, it's the not the mechanisms of evolution but the prediction of common ancestry that most offends religious zealots. The part they don't realise is that any model replacing evolution must embrace common ancestry too, since that's already supported by evidence.

Biblical creationism is all gone, V, never to return.

I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not. You were born with it already debunked, in a society where the relevant information is abundantly available and free to acquire. The problem isn't with the theory, or the information available, just in your failure to adapt.
janesix
Posts: 3,467
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 8:37:35 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 1:36:46 AM, Axonly wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Alright, im just going to ask

Why do you want it to be non-random mutations?

I don't "want" it to be non random. I want to get at the truth. If there is a purpose to us being here, I want to know what it is.
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 9:02:32 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 8:37:35 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/10/2016 1:36:46 AM, Axonly wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Alright, im just going to ask

Why do you want it to be non-random mutations?

I don't "want" it to be non random. I want to get at the truth. If there is a purpose to us being here, I want to know what it is.

Come off it, there's always a reason by wanting an unusual unproven hypothesis to be true
Meh!
user13579
Posts: 822
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 9:12:41 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 8:37:35 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/10/2016 1:36:46 AM, Axonly wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:
Can the theory that mutations are random be falsified? Is it even possible to come up with an experiment to test for randomness?

There is very little on this issue to be found on the internet, and ive spent a substantial amount of time looking. The only experiments i've seen that claimed to be testing for random ess only proved that the mutations were in the original populations, not that they were random.

Alright, im just going to ask

Why do you want it to be non-random mutations?

I don't "want" it to be non random. I want to get at the truth. If there is a purpose to us being here, I want to know what it is.

Ok, let's just assume they're not random. Now how does that help you find the "purpose"?
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
janesix
Posts: 3,467
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 9:15:01 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 4:11:56 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 5/8/2016 3:39:11 AM, janesix wrote:

Okay, so I presume that we can both agree that mutations do actually happen. We've seen variation occur, we have seen novel changes in almost every type of organism.
Yes

The next step is to agree what "in the original population" actually means. This sounds stupid, but much in the way of pseudoscience hides behind sloppy definitions.

So, obviously, a "mutation" not present in the original population is one where neither of the two parents of an organism do not have a particular gene sequence present in the child.

That can indeed be shown; it can be shown that natural variation in your DNA replication happens a few hundred times per individual. So we know, most assuredly that mutations can happen and do happen when they aren't in the parent population.
Of course

If you want to argue that "already present in the population" means something else, it needs to be justified as why that is a relevant definition to use. If a particular DNA sequence is not present in parents, and is then present in child; it's new. I can't see any reason not to include this definition: What I have just defined above as a "new mutation" is all evolution needs to have occur; it doesn't matter whether you want to call it something else; if a new gene variant appears which isn't in either parent then evolution can happen and calling it something different is really just semantics as the key process required by evolution to operate still happens whether you want to call it "new" or not.
No disagreement here.

Now, we need to define what "random" means. The top card in perfectly shuffled deck is random, a pack of cards that contains Ace of spades is non-random. However, you could have ten times more Aces than 2's, and while aces are more likely to come up than 2's as a result, it's still effectively random, but not statistically equal.
By random, I mean unidirectional and accidental.

In this case, it is within the realms of possibility that some area's of DNA maybe more likely to change than others; I haven't seen enough definitive research to accept or reject it, but this doesn't really affect the randomness.


Now, given that we can probably now agree that mutations that "are required for evolution to operate" do actually happen (regardless of what you want to call them); so the question comes back to the fundamental one you've asked. Are they random, to any degree.

Now, as I've stated, there is no reason to assert equally weighted mutations, I can readily accept that there could be chemical, and biological reasons why mutations would be more likely in one location than another.

What I will also say is that mutations that prevent an organism from surviving won't happen in a surviving living organism so won't be seen in any living analyzed organisms.

These two together do not mean mutations are not random, but can bias the effects you measure.

Finally, before going into more detail, a key point you really need to consider is to do with "abductive reasoning". We really have two fundamental options; random to some degree, or not random.

If there is no hard evidence for random mutations, the default position is not "non-random" it's "I don't know" because non-randomness, is a positive claim and so needs it's own evidence.
There is evidence for non-random mutation, which I've pointed out many times on these threads, which everyone chooses to ignore. So if there is no hard evidence for randomness, but evidence for non-randomness, what other conclusion can I make?

Using abductive reasoning, it should be clear that we need to work out whether random is more likely or non-random is more likely. Leading to a key point that we don't need evidence for random mutations provided we can definitively show that mutations are definitely not non-random.

So, lets look at the evidence.

Firstly, the way the chemistry works to bring about genetic error, is fundamentally random. There is bias in the nature of substitutions, that one letter is more likely to be replaced with one specific letter than any other, but we know from the actual chemistry involved that the process is stochastic or at best chaotic (meaning that while it is non random is affected so trivial by all the different circumstances so as to appear stochastic.
I agree that genetic error is random. The mechanism for true directional mutations obviously come about by a different, unknown mechanism.

Random 1. Non-random: 0.

Secondly, analysing genomes, comparing conserved proteins and conserved genetic regions shows a fairly smooth random substitution rate between two species. IE: comparing chimps and humans (which can be independently verified as related by other means), show a broadly random set of substituted base pairs. This pattern holds true when comparing any other two species too.
Got proof of that? I would like to see it.

Random 2: Non-random 0.

Thirdly, there are actually very few instances of observed new features, new proteins, or new changes with sequencig support that don't appear or can't be explained by manipulation of existing sequences with random mutations. Moreover, many examples of features differences between organisms can indeed be explained by this same process.
Again, you are just assuming that the mutations are random.

Random: 3. Non-random 0.

Fourthly, there is no known, measured, theorized, observed, non-random process or function that could be used to explain or predict when, how and why all mutations occur. While it cannot be discounted, with the amount of research and sequencing in modern genetics, patterns, stochastic and repeated observed instances of non-random changes would likely have been observed by this point. Some mutational mechanism maybe non-random, I don't know of any, but that ALL of them that are evolutionary relevant are non-random is not just unsupported, but given the amount of research conducted thus far, should be supported by now if valid.
They have been observed.

Random 4: Non-random 0.

Finally. Statistical analysis of gene variants genomes doesn't throw up significantly deterministic patterns that qualify as what we've defined as non-random. While one could potentially argue some area's of the genome are more prone to change than others, there is no deterministic pattern indicating that they are non-random.
Provide evidence, please.

Random 5: Non-random 0.


So, given this, mutations fully conform in all measurable ways to a stochastic unguided and non-deterministic process both in how it operates, and the genomic evidence we have thus far. Non-random mutations would show broad, detectable patterns if they occur significantly and while randomness may not be equal, the key requirement of not being predictable in any form and can occur pretty much anywhere is what the evidence appears to indicate.

Now, with abductive reasoning, it's perfectly valid to claim that non-random or guided mutations are not impossible (which they aren't, they could all be non-random), the evidence seems to indicate that guided mutations are simply idle speculation, and do not overturn the indications of the evidence mentioned above.

You're free, by any means you so chose, to "believe" mutations are guided, but to claim that this is what they are requires evidence, of which there is none whatsoever that overturns the evidence that indicates they are random; and to make that claim scientific you have to provide evidence that significantly tips the scales.
We are out of room now. I know there is little evidence, but there IS some.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,504
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2016 9:15:31 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 7:37:08 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/10/2016 7:18:06 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/8/2016 4:27:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Darwin's conjecture was definitely falsifiable. In fact, he spent a chapter talking about how to falsify it, as a scientist should. (Please poke me for links.)
Yes, it was quite clever - he'd have made a great politician. "I propose that all faeries are red. Anyone could prove me wrong just by showing a blue faerie". But of course the failure to show blue faeries would not confirm my theory of faeries. Darwin's tests only confirm that his hypothesis is coherent.
V, scientific models are verified and falsified the same way: by making specific, significant, testable predictions. By which I mean:
* Specific: you know when they've occurred;
* Significant: they're not readily explained by other mechanisms than those used in the model;
* Testable: there's some way of observing them


That's not how it works in my world, lol. In my world science doesn't have to be testable, it has to be actually tested.

Predictions are a cop-out. Any good circus fortune teller can make predictions through careful observation. No, science is something quite different, or at least it used to be.
This space for rent.