Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Nobel Prize winner HJ Muller, unwitting pioneer of genetic entropy theories

Share
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Flipboard
Print
Email

hj muller

Muller received the Nobel Prize for “for the discovery that mutations can be induced by x-rays”. He studied the effects of mutation on populations, and indirectly spawned ideas which were elaborated in the book Genetic Entropy by Cornell geneticist John Sanford.

The theory of genetic entropy has the potential to overturn Darwinism on empirical grounds alone. Darwinism argues for inevitable progress, genetic entropy argues the opposite.

The thesis of genetic entropy can be explored by considering the amount of mutation in the human genome at present. Muller offers his thoughts:

it would in the end be far easier and more sensible to manufacture a complete man de novo, out of appropriately chosen raw materials, than to try to fashion into human form those pitiful relics which remained…

it is evident that the natural rate of mutation of man is so high, and his natural rate of reproduction so low, that not a great deal of margin is left for selection…

it becomes perfectly evident that the present number of children per couple cannot be great enough to allow selection to keep pace with a mutation rate of 0.1..if, to make matters worse, u should be anything like as high as 0.5…, our present reproductive practices would be utterly out of line with human requirements.

Hermann Muller quoted by John Sanford
Appendix 1, Genetic Entropy

“u” is the mutation rate. As John Sanford observes, Darwinian selection cannot keep pace with reality. Deterioration of the genome seems to be in evidence, and the efficacy of Darwinian mechanisms has been essentially falsified with respect to the human genome. Here is an excerpt of Sanford commenting on Muller’s work:

Muller calculated that the human fertility rate of that time (1950) could not deal with a mutation rate of 0.1. Since that time, we have learned that the mutation rate is a least 1,000-fold higher than he thought. Furthermore, fertility rates have declined sharply since then.

John Sanford

Walter ReMine was kind enough to point me to a more modern day version of Muller’s concerns: Why have we not died 100 times over? by Kondrashov (also from Cornell).

It is well known that when s, the selection coefficient against a deleterious mutation, is below 1/4 ~ Ne , where Ne is the effective population size, the expected frequency of this mutation is ~ 0.5, if forward and backward mutation rates are similar. Thus, if the genome size, G, in nucleotides substantially exceeds the Ne of the whole species, there is a dangerous range of selection coefficients, 1/ G less than s less than 1/4 N e . Mutations with s within this range are neutral enough to accumulate almost freely, but are still deleterious enough to make an impact at the level of the whole genome. In many vertebrates Ne ~ 10 , while G ~ 10 , so that the dangerous range includes more than four orders of magnitude. If substitutions at 10% of all nucleotide sites have selection coefficients within this range with the mean 10 , an average individual carries ~ 100 lethal equivalents. Some data suggest that a substantial fraction of nucleotides typical to a species may, indeed, be suboptimal.

Darwinian evolution doesn’t clean out all the bad in a population. Kondrashov’s observations discredit Darwin’s implicit claim of inevitable progess and the supposed survival of the fittest. The problem is that if genetic entropy is true, the ancestors are the fittest not the decendants. In that sense, the fittest don’t survive. To use Muller’s words, what remains in the end are not the fittest, but “pitiful relics”.

Kondrashov offers a supposed “fix” to the paradoxes so as to bolster Darwin’s failing theory. His fix is an appeal to “synergistic epsitasis”, but Sanford responds to this supposed “fix”:

one will encounter the term “synergistic epistasis”. When I first encountered this phrase I was very impressed. In fact, I was intimidated. It seemed to speak of a very deep understanding, a deep knowledge, which I did not possess. As I have seen it used more, and have understood these issues better, I believe I understand the term better. It is a sophisticated-sounding expression, signifying nothing. It has all the appearance of deliberate obfuscation. Literally translated, synergistic epistasis means “interactive interaction.”

Genetic Entropy by John C. Sanford is available at Amazon. I wrote a little bit about Sanford 2 years ago here: Respected Cornell geneticist rejects Darwinism.

Comments
gpuccio, We can share the worms as well as the beetles so they will be our worms and our beetles. I do not have any problem with the worms looking similar but having substantially different genomes. It could have arisen via micro evolution or some other means a long time ago. Suppose the following (and I am no means proposing this as truth or the way it happened so no one say that this is what I believe:) Each worm had the same common ancestor, another worm with all the genes of both. Then two separate sub populations broke off and over time lost part of their genome which included the genes in question, They had 90 million years to devolve in such a way. I am not aware that there is any genetic principle that prevents a species from losing part of its genome over time. All the controversy is over whether it can gain any. (Now the Darwinist would say that each had the common ancestor but that each sub population separated and then added the genes in question over time through macro evolution processes. Nothing supports that this is possible so I prefer something similar to mine.) And if none of these genes affect the morphology of the worms then they could look and act alike today. I have no idea if this is true but we could ask some evolutionary biologist if such a scenario was possible. My assessment of what has happened in general is that there is much of a chunk of life that is a mystery as to its origins. However, until micro evolution is ruled out, I am going to defend it for most of our beetles and hypothesize that they are descended from some population of beetles that existed a long time ago and through separation, environmental pressures and selection numerous sub populations developed until we now have 350,000 species. My guess this number is way too high and the only difference between many of the species is the voluntary inter breeding, That is they could breed but won't for a variety of reasons. And because of this they are listed as separate species. I also do not believe anyone could really check this many different beetles out so the actual number is an estimate. I believe the evidence supports such a scenario for most individual species but will have to wait for the genomes to be mapped till we see just how varied they all are and see how they could have evolved or a better word is devolved from an original gene pool. Now many will not agree with such a scenario but to me it sounds the most reasonable based on what we know today,jerry
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
03:07 PM
3
03
07
PM
PST
jerry: I hope you didn't resent my "your beetles". It was just friendly irony. I am quite happy with "my worms", anyway. :-) But let's get serious. In brief: I was not making a point about genetic entropy. As you have noticed, I don't get too much involved on that subject. In general, I believe in the principle of genetic entropy and in the intelligent control in genomes as a measure against it, but I am not too sure about the details. I was trying to make a point about the huge differences at genomic level even in apparently almost identical species. That, in my opinion, is a sign of independent design even at the species level. And I am sure that it would be even more clear with "our" beetles. Obviously, it is possible that those differences are just a sign of neutral mutations, but do you believe it? More than a thousand different protein coding genes? I agree with you that there are a lot of things we don't understand, and many more we are discovering daily. I was just suggesting that the differences between similar species are just one of those things, and that they are not easily explained by microevolution models. Anyway, I will certainly go back to my worms in the future. They are at present the best known model of multicellular organization we have. C. elegans is the only living being of which we know practically each single cell and nervous connection!gpuccio
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
02:13 PM
2
02
13
PM
PST
I do not know how any of this relates to blind adherence since it is I who am questioning Sanford, not defending him without evidence. No Evidence? It is entirely in line with the accidental nature of naturally occurring mutations that extensive tests have agreed in showing the vast majority of them to be detrimental to the organisms in its job of surviving and reproducing, just as changes accidentally introduced into any artificial mechanism are predominantly harmful to its useful operation” H.J. Muller (Received a Nobel Prize for his work on mutations to DNA) “Mutations, in summary, tend to induce sickness, death, or deficiencies. No evidence in the vast literature of heredity change shows unambiguous evidence that random mutation itself, even with geographical isolation of populations leads to speciation.” (Lynn Margulis - Acquiring Genomes [2003], p. 29). “But there is no evidence that DNA mutations can provide the sorts of variation needed for evolution… There is no evidence for beneficial mutations at the level of macroevolution, but there is also no evidence at the level of what is commonly regarded as microevolution.” Jonathan Wells (PhD. Molecular Biology) "The neo-Darwinians would like us to believe that large evolutionary changes can result from a series of small events if there are enough of them. But if these events all lose information they can’t be the steps in the kind of evolution the neo-Darwin theory is supposed to explain, no matter how many mutations there are. Whoever thinks macroevolution can be made by mutations that lose information is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but thought he could make it up on volume." Dr. Lee Spetner (Ph.D. Physics - MIT) "I have seen estimates of the incidence of the ratio of deleterious-to-beneficial mutations which range from one in one thousand up to one in one million. The best estimates seem to be one in one million (Gerrish and Lenski, 1998). The actual rate of beneficial mutations is so extremely low as to thwart any actual measurement (Bataillon, 2000, Elena et al, 1998). Therefore, I cannot ...accurately represent how rare such beneficial mutations really are." (Sanford; Genetic Entropy page 24) The fate of competing beneficial mutations in an asexual population (Philip J. Gerrish & Richard E. Lenski) "Clonal interference is not the only dynamic that inhibits the progression of beneficialmutations to fixation in an asexual population.Asimilar inhibition may be caused by Muller’s ratchet (Muller, 1964; Haigh, 1978), in which deleterious mutations will tend to accumulate in small asexual populations. As shown by Manning and Thompson (1984) and by Peck (1994), the fate of a beneficial mutation is determined as much by the selective disadvantage of any deleterious mutations with which it is linked as by its own selective advantage." http://myxo.css.msu.edu/lenski/pdf/1998,%20Genetica,%20Gerrish%20&%20Lenski.pdf Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? (Thomas Bataillon) Abstract ......It is argued that, although most if not all mutations detected in mutation accumulation experiments are deleterious, the question of the rate of favourable mutations (and their effects) is still a matter for debate. http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v84/n5/full/6887270a.html High Frequency of Cryptic Deleterious Mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans ( Esther K. Davies, Andrew D. Peters, Peter D. Keightley) "In fitness assays, only about 4 percent of the deleterious mutations fixed in each line were detectable. The remaining 96 percent, though cryptic, are significant for mutation load...the presence of a large class of mildly deleterious mutations can never be ruled out. " http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/285/5434/1748 ” Bergman (2004) has studied the topic of beneficial mutations. Among other things, he did a simple literature search via Biological Abstracts and Medline. He found 453,732 “mutation” hits, but among these only 186 mentioned the word “beneficial” (about 4 in 10,000). When those 186 references were reviewed, almost all the presumed “beneficial mutations” were only beneficial in a very narrow sense- but each mutation consistently involved loss of function changes-hence loss of information.”bornagain77
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
01:30 PM
1
01
30
PM
PST
Salvador, you asked "Cite some evidence of large scale genomic improvement and evidence that more species are being created rather than going extinct via Darwinian evolution or micro-evolution in today’s world. Cite some evidence that there are comparable numbers of good mutations to bad ones….." All irrelevant questions. I never said there was evidence of large scale genomic improvement. In fact I claim the opposite, there is little if any improvement. Read #131. Do I have to repeat it a zillion and one times? By the way this does not mean there is genomic deterioration nor does it mean that a species can not become more fit over time. I happen to believe that genomes are deteriorating but from micro evolution processes and not genetic entropy. Future genome mappings will either negate this or support this hypothesis. I do not know how many species are going extinct today but as Dave has pointed out they are due to micro evolution reasons. I think the number is probably exaggerated to day because of political reasons. How many species are being created? I have no idea but how that relates to genetic entropy, I haven't a clue. Denton's book "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis" discusses some examples. And by the way I understand the problem of how does one define a species. The answer is there is no good way. I have no idea how many good mutations there are but they have little relation to anything I have said. I shall I repeat again that what I say gets distorted. My guess is that beneficial mutations are few and far between. Except for the obligatory ones such as skin or fur color and length, I am at a lost, Maybe you could provide some examples. They have no relevance for much or anything I have said. I do not know how any of this relates to blind adherence since it is I who am questioning Sanford, not defending him without evidence.jerry
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
01:03 PM
1
01
03
PM
PST
Dave, Are you saying that most of the genome is junk or are you saying that on the non junk parts that mutations may not make a difference till many accumulate? On the first part I believe that there are some junk parts in many species but nearly not as much as once was hypothesized, On these junk parts there should be no limit to the number of mutations that could accumulate since it is just junk. So this will never lead to extinction. On the non junk parts who is to say that even one so called neutral mutation might not abort the fetus. I have a hard time understanding how a host of these so called neutral mutations could accumulate before causing havoc and aborting the fetus or preventing the organism from having offspring if the part of the genome is essentially to functioning of the fetus or organism. And this would have to happen to all the members of the population. By the way whatever happened to the large section of the genome that was knocked out and the mice continued to do just fine. Was that section full of a large number of near neutral mutations? I thought it was a preserved section. Isn't the concept of preservation antithetical to Stanford's ideas? Whatever happened to all the homologous genes in various organisms that are similar such as the various forms of hemoglobin? How could all these survive with genetic entropy causing random changes in each individual genome of a species or as it seems a whole kingdom. I would think this would be enough to shoot down Sanford. I will ask you a question about my pet beetles. How did all these species come about? And if there are truly 350,000 of them is it not possible that a few are at the end of the road while the rest of them are fine? If that is the case then isn't that a refutation of Sanford? And are there other possibilities for this end game for these few unfortunate beetles besides Sanford's genetic entropy? And are some of these possibilities a continual narrowing of the gene pool due to environmental and selection pressures and maybe even occasional mutations? The last I believe is called Darwinian micro evolution. I too think that many species are getting "old" but not because of Sanford's ideas but mainly because they are losing variety in the gene pool. This is a prediction of Darwinian micro evolution and is one of the problems the Darwinists have is that their own theory predicts doom. Their way out is that mutations will add variety over time. Something which I don't believe has ever happened.jerry
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
12:33 PM
12
12
33
PM
PST
Blind adherence Jerry? The genetic evidence we do have good record of all points to the same thing, loss of information on sub-speciation and deterioration of species from random mutations. In the fossil record, there is even record of entire branches of phyla going extinct since the Cambrian. Yet you look around and say "Hey look at all this profusion of life around us and thus Genetic Entropy must be false!" Yet in the very next breath, and I find this a complete disconnect in logic, you say no new information can arise by micro-evolutionary processes. Well you won't admit to deterioration of genomes and you won't claim generation of new information in genomes, so what exactly is your mo^del for biology?bornagain77
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
12:22 PM
12
12
22
PM
PST
The biological world is doing fine. ... What I see is blind adherence,
Before you keep accusing me and others of blind adherance, here are some relevant data points you can provide:
Cite some evidence of large scale genomic improvement and evidence that more species are being created rather than going extinct via Darwinian evolution or micro-evoltion in today’s world. Cite some evidence that there are comparable numbers of good mutations to bad ones…..
Then maybe you'll be a bit more justified in accusing us of blind adherance.scordova
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
12:02 PM
12
12
02
PM
PST
Salvador, As I said, I find the tone the most interesting thing and that somehow this man's ideas must be defended at all costs. The main refutation to Sanford is right out your window. The biological world is doing fine. If you think not then you are welcome to your view but you are seeing a different world than I. You can push Sanford. Certainly that is your prerogative. I will look for what I consider more relevant explanations but I will continue to raise my objections to his ideas as he gets brought up in the future because I have yet to see anything that supports his thesis. The occasional sick species or even the massive number of extinctions in the past are not support. I am always open to new information but have not seen it on this thread so far. What I see is blind adherence,jerry
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
11:47 AM
11
11
47
AM
PST
jerry micro evolutionary processes are the main cause for modern extinction If by "micro-evolutionary processes" you mean random mutation & natural selection then yes, I agree. When the mutations are predominantly slightly deleterious such that they can't be "seen" and "eliminated" by natural selection then they accumulate in the gene pool in larger and larger number over millions of years making the species progessively less and less fit. Think of it like individuals that get weaker as they grow older - they get more prone to accidents and disease, eyesight gets worse, bones get brittle, joints get arthritic, etcetera. Species age this way too. Glad you finally saw the light about genetic entropy.DaveScot
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
11:43 AM
11
11
43
AM
PST
lots of evidence to contradict them.
Say what Jerry? Cite some evidence of large scale genomic improvement and evidence that more species are being created rather than going extinct via Darwinian evolution or micro-evoltion in today's world. Cite some evidence that there are comparable numbers of good mutations to bad ones.....
So when you bring up the occasional problem with a genome because of mutations you are not talking about genetic entropy.
You brought up the beetles as being fine, and it became evident you didn't even look to see if they were fine. They are not all fine, and many species are dead.... What was in evidence in the cases I cited was the inability of selection weed out that bad, and that supports the thesis of genetic entropy by way of micro example. And as far as the large number extinct species, are you saying their genomes are healthy? :-) The hypothesis might get further confirmation with more exploration. But to argue that there is NO evidence merely because we've not sequenced genomes world-wide is wrong headed. There is at least some evidence, and if you'd open your eyes, you'd see there is more. You can't see it if you just pull examples out the air without even looking....
You then go on to cite catastrophes as a cause for extinction. This is a micro evolution event.
I beg to differ. Darwinian micro-evolution involves competition among individuals such that inherently better traits have the chance to reach fixation. This is known as Phyletic transformation. This competition can not even take place if all the individuals are dead due to a catastrophe. Therefore this could hardly be clasified as micro-evolution, unless one defines it in such a loose way as to be totally meaningless. And even when individuals compete, genetically superior genomes are not favored that much more than inferior genomes because of random selection.
If the catastrophe caused changes to the genomes through some type of radiation or other contaminant that is not Sanford’s genetic entropy which is caused by the slow accumulation of mutations over time
That's a strawman, Jerry. Genetic Entropy in sum:
Mutational entropy appears to be so strong within large genomes that selection cannot reverse it. This makes eventual extinction of such genomes inevitable. I have termed this fundamental problem Genetic Entropy. Genetic Entropy is not a starting axiomatic position -- rather it is a logical conclusion derived from careful analysis of how selection really operates.
Mutational entropy can be induced by radiation. Sanford does not preclude that possibility. See page 25 for a discussion of what happens when radiation is a source of mutational entropy. Careful analysis of how Darwinian selection operates shows that Darwinain selection doesn't work if all the individuals of a population are dead. Duh! Sanford was generous to grant the assmumption that individuals were even alive in the first place so that competition was possible in order to supposedly save the genome. To try to prove that Darwinain micro-evolution works by citing only examples where it works is like aguing PZ Myers is swell guy except when he's not. It's a meaningless statement. There are more examples of where nature does not folow the Darwinain micro evolutioanry model than those that do. Sanford shows theoretically that even in the cases where micro-evolution might work, it won't in the long run.scordova
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
11:06 AM
11
11
06
AM
PST
Salvador, The interesting thing going on here is the tone of the discussion. As I said people tend to distort what I say to suit their purposes. Read the abstract on insects. It mentions a change of environment as the reason for the extinctions. This is one aspect of micro evolution. You then go on to cite catastrophes as a cause for extinction. This is a micro evolution event. The genomes of the species affected by the catastrophe could not handle the new environment. There is no indication that the genomes have deteriorated and this is the reason for their extinction, If the catastrophe caused changes to the genomes through some type of radiation or other contaminant that is not Sanford's genetic entropy which is caused by the slow accumulation of mutations over time. So catastrophes are not related to genetic entropy. It is interesting why you would bring up such an example. If you want to deflect from the basic issue of massive near-neutral mutations by bringing up random selection and the idea of cost of selection and call my focussing on the mutations a straw man argument then so be it, The essential part of Sanford's ideas are all the mutations that have accumulated slowly over time. So use what rhetoric you wish. It has nothing to do with the basic criticism of Sanford's ideas which have no real world examples as verification. And remember the occasional genome gone awry is not support for Sanford. He is painting a massive deterioration of genomes world wide and that is what one has to find to support Sanford. So when you bring up the occasional problem with a genome because of mutations you are not talking about genetic entropy. No one would care a rat's rear end about someone's theory who said an occasional genome went astray because of mutations. As I said it interesting why Sanford's concepts have to be defended so vigorously when there is no evidence to support them and lots of evidence to contradict them. Everyone here has run into a similar blind adherence with the Darwinists.jerry
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
09:59 AM
9
09
59
AM
PST
Also what has random selection have to do with Sanford genome deterioration scenario since it is only an occasional thing?
Random selection is NOT an occasional thing, it is the major mechanism of what really happens in the wild. Darwinian selection is the exception, not the rule. See page 90-91 and onward.
almost all of this "natural selection for the fittest", will really only be selection for the luckiest -- not the genetically superior.
scordova
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
09:31 AM
9
09
31
AM
PST
you have no basis for making the claim that genetic entropy was the cause of the particular problems of the beetles you cited. There is no evidence of this result being caused by massive accumulation of neutral mutations. The result was probably the result of some mutation but this is not necessarily Sanford’s genetic entropy.
Genetic entropy happens when bad mutations aren't weeded out and the good mutations aren't preserved by Darwinian selection. I never said genetic entropy was SOLEY a massive accumulation of neutral mutations, neither did Sanford. You're making a strawman argument. Massive near-neutral mutations are part of the reasons for genetic entropy, but there are other issues like random selection and the cost of selection that preclude weeding out the bad even if the deleterious mutations are not neutral. Those are also part of Sanford's theory...scordova
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
09:23 AM
9
09
23
AM
PST
jerry wrote: . Based on the abstract it seems that micro evolutionary processes are the main cause for modern extinction.
If an environmental catastrophe happens and species go extinct as a result, do you classify that as micro evolution? I'd classify it as a case of unrecoverable genetic entropy. This is genome "damage" in the extreme.scordova
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
09:11 AM
9
09
11
AM
PST
Jerry you state, No where did I ever say micro evolution created new information. --- So if no new information is being created, how is Genetic Entropy falsified, since it is semi-directly tied to the second law?bornagain77
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
08:52 AM
8
08
52
AM
PST
Dave, Thank you for the link on insect extinctions. Based on the abstract it seems that micro evolutionary processes are the main cause for modern extinction.jerry
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
08:38 AM
8
08
38
AM
PST
Just to reiterate for the zillionth time. No where did I ever say micro evolution created new information. On some very rare occasions it may create a trivial new capability and if this is information creation so be it. Behe gives the example of the ice fish in the Edge of Evolution. This is new information but it is small and within his edge. It will be interesting to see how people distort what I say since few read it closely. Salvador, you say "I cited these examples to point out that genetic entropy happens in beetles. Who is to say we won’t find more if we are willing to look." you have no basis for making the claim that genetic entropy was the cause of the particular problems of the beetles you cited. There is no evidence of this result being caused by massive accumulation of neutral mutations. The result was probably the result of some mutation but this is not necessarily Sanford's genetic entropy. At best you are speculating like the Darwinists do about macro evolution. And if even this was the case in this particular situation then of what relevance is it unless all the rest of the beetles were also so inflicted. It is interesting why Sanford has to be so defended by many people here. Also your citing of random selection is irrelevant because it is a natural process that effects some species events but it does not mean that this is the only thing operating nor is it the main thing operating nor does it mean that after a random selection event that natural selection can not operate. I am not sure what you are trying to get at by invoking it. Are you saying that all speciation events are random. No one will buy into that, It also sounds like an anti ID philosophy to me. We are the result of random processes. I do not buy into that. Also what has random selection have to do with Sanford genome deterioration scenario since it is only an occasional thing? I know he mentions it but it seems to be a weakness in his arguments since random events could just as easily go the other way and make it easier for a beneficial mutation to survive. And over time you would expect this to happen millions of times.jerry
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
08:27 AM
8
08
27
AM
PST
One thing that I found in the work of Sternberg and Cavenaugh and the rest of the Baraminology study group was that even where the creationists agreed with the evolutionists about particular common ancestors, there seemed to be precisely defined radiations from a common ancestor. The patterns of diversification did not look random! They created a software tool called ANOPA to detect these non-random radiations. Johnnyb is more adept at this topic than I. Sternberg and Cavenaugh published the ANOPA work in peer-reviewed literature. All this to say, I don't think Darwinian micro-evolution explains the origin of subspecies, especially the more interesting radiations from a common ancestor. Who is to say that mutations (in the front-loaded past) don't lead to species that are pre-adapted to new environments?scordova
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
08:14 AM
8
08
14
AM
PST
gpuccio, I am not sure what you are trying to get at. Did these two worms get this way by genetic entropy? Are they the result of massive changes in the genome caused by the accumulation of neutral mutations? Are they both going extinct after 90 million years? I am not sure what the point you are making? By pointing to an interesting question, one does not undermine a basic process somewhere else. I am sure if you dig deep enough you will find lots of interesting questions that are not yet solved. Are you saying that the two worms could not have evolved through micro evolutionary processes? I did not get that from your post that this was an impossibility. Are you saying they were created that way with all those introns and have essentially remained the way they are now for 90 million years. By the way they are not my beetles. I only pick beetles because they represent the largest number of a type of species I could find. As I said, I know very little about them. They are everybody's beetles and apparently some have some wild capabilities that involve sophisticated biological systems which could not easily evolve through micro evolutionary processes. But for the most part they are very similar but I would expect many of them would have genomes as dissimilar as your two worms despite the similarity. After all, there are after all over 300,000 of them. But so what. It has nothing to do with the point I am making. And if some how their genomes were mapped we might learn a lot as to how species change over time. We could probably see the different path each little variant took.jerry
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
07:48 AM
7
07
48
AM
PST
Following up on Sal's point about what we'd find (regarding beetles) if we looked: Modern Insect Extinctions, the Neglected MajorityDaveScot
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
07:30 AM
7
07
30
AM
PST
Jerry you stated: Micro evolution predicts that many lines will reach extinction because of the basic processes of selection and drift and environment change. It now includes a whole host of other processes that affect the genomes of gametes and embryos. All I am saying is that micro evolution is a more likely explanation of the declines and extinctions we see and also for the thrivings that we also see. If one wants to deny that there is a lot of life thriving in a potpourri of wild environments then they are in big time denial. Jerry micro-evolution, even as you are using it in this "limited" sense is unfalsifiable. You say that it is both the cause of extinction and the cause of the potpourri of life. Yet you have provided no evidence that micro-evolution can generate meaningful information other than to point at the diversity of life and say that it happened.bornagain77
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
07:26 AM
7
07
26
AM
PST
So pointing out the problems with a few is really an admission that most are doing well.
That's not correct because the rest might only appear to be doing well because we have such sickly ones. This is like someone trying to tell you you're well off by listing the excessive misery of others... I cited these examples to point out that genetic entropy happens in beetles. Who is to say we won't find more if we are willing to look. I went through the trouble of digging because I didn't want the readers to walk away with the impression beetles don't suffer from gentic entropy as well. But consider if such a horrible thing which happened to beetles happened to humans, it would be like missing arms and missing testis...these are powerful examples that natural selection (micro evolution) doesn't weed out the bad and preserve the good as Darwin erroneously suppposed. Why so many beetle populations? If we show that there is not a steady influx of new alleles today as the engine of subspeciations (such as happened in the branching of a common ancestor into dogs,wolves, jackals, foxes), it would imply a front-loaded infusion of alleles that happened over a short time span, or special creation, or both. The fittest don't survive, but rather the sickest (in a manner of speaking, not literally).... And if Random selection mechanisms are far more powerful than natural selection, most supposed speciation events in the wild aren't attributable to Darwinian micro-evolution either! Origin of species via geographic isolation, genetic drift and nearly neutral mutation might be a more valid model (next to front loading and special creation). I don't believe the mutation rates were approximately constant over time, but rather there were times when the mutation rates were explosive -- punctuated evolution. Nor do I believe that the most important mutations were random, but rather designed. I think there was a major de-repression that happened over a short time span which was not repeated. That is why we will be able to trace the Cohen Haplotype and many other lineages... The existence of the well-defined Haplotypes is suggestive of a front loaded infusion of alleles. We might even be able to estimate when this event happened and whether it happened simultaneosly to all species. Why would it happen to all species at once? Perhaps a common environmental stress like a global cataclycsm where extreme chemical and radioactive events (like cosmic radiation).scordova
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
07:22 AM
7
07
22
AM
PST
Good post gpuccio: somewhat in relation: Greatest Mysteries: How Many Species Exist on Earth? http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/070803_gm_numberspecies.html excerpt: The National Science Foundation’s “Tree of Life” project estimates that there could be anywhere from 5 million to 100 million species on the planet, but science has only identified about 2 million.bornagain77
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
07:20 AM
7
07
20
AM
PST
jerry: just to go back to an old discussion. We probably don't know the genones of your 300000 species of beetles. But can you explain by a microevolution model the known differences between the two best known worms? We know almost everything about C. Elegans, and very very much about its companion species, C. briggsae. The two animals are amongst the simplest multicellular beings, and they are almost indistinguishable. Still, they are two different species. Here are some data. Genome length: C. elegans: 102 Mb C. briggsae: 104 Mb Protein coding genes: C. elegans: 20,621 C. briggsae: 19,507 Note: Despite the similarity of the number of genes shared by the two species, C. briggsae has about 800 genes that have not be found in C. elegans, while C. elegans has 1,061 genes that have not been found in C. briggsae (Stein et al., 2003). Orthologs: The InParanoid database (April 2005 release), using a recent C. elegans gene set, lists 12,858 C. briggsae and C. elegans ortholog pairs. Introns: There are more introns per gene in C. elegans than in C. briggsae (see Table 1). Comparative analysis, by aligning orthologous protein-coding genes between C. briggsae and C. elegans, revealed 6,579 species-specific introns among the 60,775 introns in the orthologous pairs of protein-coding genes. Roughly two-thirds (4,379) are C. elegans-specific, while one-third (2,200) are C. briggsae-specific, which suggest rates of intron gains or losses of about 0.5 per gene in the 80–110 million years since the split between C. briggsae and C. elegans. This rate is dramatically higher than that of mouse and human, which is 0.01 intron gains or losses per gene in 75 million years Gene families: Altogether, TRIBE-MCL clustering analysis demonstrated that for gene clusters with five or more C. briggsae and C. elegans genes, there were 202 clusters (corresponding to gene families) with gene number differences of at least 2-fold between C. briggsae and C. elegans (Stein et al., 2003). Morphology: Morphologically C. briggsae is almost identical to C. elegans. However, as described above, a comparison of the genome sequences between the two species has revealed a significant number of species-specific genes (~2,000 in total; Stein et al., 2003). Hence, an obvious question is: why are these changes not reflected in significant morphological or behavioral differences? And so on. All these data are taken from Wikipedia and from the online WormBook. In conclusion, there are certainly many similarities, but also a lot of differences, especially in the genome, between the two species. And we are speaking of two species which are practcally indistinguishable, both morphologically and functionally, and of one of the simplest multicellular organisms. Moreover, there is no simple evolutionary (functional) explanation for those differences, as even the official sources say. What do you think we will observe when all your beetles'genomes will be sequenced? And, for those who have not noticed, it is useful to remark that those tiny and very "simple" worms have practically the same number of protein coding genes as humans.gpuccio
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
06:37 AM
6
06
37
AM
PST
Salvador, I use the 300,000 beetle species as an example a lot not because I am enamored with beetles but because it is such a large number and it begs the question of why so many. It is a form of hyperbole to make a point. I probably wouldn't know a beetle from most other bugs that inhabit the flower beds and trees around where I live. So if in fact there are 300,000 beetle species, why are there so many? (I got the 300,000 from Wikipedia; they use 350,000 in their current article) Given our understanding of mutations and genetic problems it is not unusual that a couple of them are having problems. So pointing out the problems with a few is really an admission that most are doing well. This does not in any way support Sanford's ideas. We would need a lot more than that. Those who support Sanford here are very much like the Darwinists. A lot of rhetoric but few examples. I find it quite similar. Sanford sounds reasonable but so does Darwin till you look at the details. Micro evolution predicts that many lines will reach extinction because of the basic processes of selection and drift and environment change. It now includes a whole host of other processes that affect the genomes of gametes and embryos. All I am saying is that micro evolution is a more likely explanation of the declines and extinctions we see and also for the thrivings that we also see. If one wants to deny that there is a lot of life thriving in a potpourri of wild environments then they are in big time denial. The pattern of life across the planet fits the micro evolution paradigm. It doesn't explain everything but it explains a lot. Maybe it won't be as robust when more about the genomes are understood. And yes it is attributable to Darwin and those who expanded on his theories. Darwin's problem and his successors is that like many men before them, they became arrogant in their knowledge and thought that their ideas explained everything. Consequently they shoe horned everything into their pet theory and it has failed miserably. But that does not mean that basic selection is not working on what the genetic processes produce in the world including deterioration of some or a lot of genomes. Darwinian macro evolution is a flop but like the life on the planet, Darwinian micro evolution is thriving, And before anybody accuses me of not supporting ID, forget it. There is no explanation for the origin of the original gene pools and to me micro evolution is God's gift to us and a masterful process worthy of a great designer after these gene pools came into existence. But science and life march on and as we learn more from future mappings of genomes we will probably revise just how it works.jerry
June 17, 2008
June
06
Jun
17
17
2008
04:35 AM
4
04
35
AM
PST
jerry wrote: A reasonable answer is that there is something wrong with the theory. We are looking at man in a lot of our examples but the 300,000 beetle species seem to be doing fine except where man encroaches.
I'm not so sure. There are beetle species that are wingless and even missing testis: Absence Asymmetry: The Evolution of Monorchid Beetles
ABSTRACT Asymmetrical monorchy, or the complete absence of one testis coupled with the presence of its bilateral counterpart, is reported for 174 species of the carabid beetle tribes Abacetini, Harpalini, and Platynini (Insecta: Coleoptera: Carabidae) based on a survey of over 820 species from throughout the family. This condition was not found in examined individuals of any other carabid beetle tribes, or of other adephagan beetle families. One monorchid taxon within Platynini exhibits symmetrical vasa deferentia at the beginning of the pupal stadium, suggesting that developmental arrest of the underdeveloped vas deferens takes place in pupation. The point at which development of the testis is interrupted is unknown. Complete absence of one organ of a bilateral pair—absence asymmetry—is rarely found in any animal clade and among insects is otherwise only known for testes in the minute-sized beetles of the family Ptiliidae, ovaries in Scarabaeinae dung beetles, and ovaries of some aphids. Based on current phylogenetic hypotheses for Carabidae, testis loss has occurred independently at least three times, and up to ?ve origins are possible, given the variation within Abacetini. Clear phylogenetic evidence for multiple independent origins suggests an adaptive or functional cause for this asymmetry. interaction among the internal organs of these beetles, possibly due to selective pressure to maximize the comparatively large accessory glands found in these taxa. However, as the ordering of these evolutionary events of testis loss and accessory gland size increase is not known, large accessory glands might have secondarily evolved to compensate for a decreased testicular output. ... Asymmetrical loss of a plesiomorphically paired organ is rare among bilateral metazoan animals. Among vertebrates, such losses are largely restricted to snakes or snake-like animals, where one or the other lung has been reduced during evolution of various lineages (Bellairs, 1970), and to birds, where most taxa are characterized by the loss of one ovary (Kinsky, 1971). Monorchy, or the presence of only one testis, is reported for many nonvertebrate ...
Notice they have to just attribute even a degenerative loss to natural selection -- "survival of the sickest". To them, it can't possibly be that selection doesn't work. But even granting selection selects for genomic deterioration, how can this be an argument against genetic entropy? Also SPECIES IN DECLINE
Large numbers of Britain's 4,000 beetle species are thought to be declining in abundance and range.
Even if man is partly the cause, it shows that Darwinian selection doesn't work to evolve a population out of danger due to environmental stress. It demonstrates Darwin's false assumption that species will always be given enough time to evolve. I think environmental wipeouts are fair arguments in favor of genetic entropy, where environmental wipeouts are an extreme form of genetic entropy. Darwin was overly optimistic that the environments wouldn't be so harsh as to actually destroy more species than it creates....he has zero evidence to support that optimism.scordova
June 16, 2008
June
06
Jun
16
16
2008
10:36 PM
10
10
36
PM
PST
It appears Muller’s ratchet applies to the Y-chromosome. A reasonable question is why are we still alive in light of these considerations?
Because we have an X chromosome? If the sex chromosomes started off as homologous, then the X chromosome would carry the same genes. Even as the Y chromosome decayed, the same genes would still be present on the X chromosome.Bob O'H
June 16, 2008
June
06
Jun
16
16
2008
10:25 PM
10
10
25
PM
PST
Jerry, I'll give this one more try: you stated: "Darwinian micro evolution will be king" All evidence that I have ever seen presented on this blog, and elsewhere, for evolution of even the "micro" variety always turns out to "micro-evolve" at the cost of a "parent" genomes complexity. Even the trumpeted HIV protein/protein binding site, which Darwinists tried to use to defeat "The Edge" with, came at a far greater cost of complexity for the life of the host it infected (people) than it ever gained in its hypothetical march to become a life-form itself. Thus even Darwinists most prime, and pathetic, example of a gain of information actually stayed well within the principle of Genetic Entropy, since it actually destroyed far more complexity than it ever gained. This "Entropic" fact; The fact that there has never been a clearly demonstrated gain in complexity of a sub-species over its parent species is what falsifies Darwinian evolution as far as science is concerned. The fact is that we consistently have the exact opposite of evolution going on even when adaptive advantages are gained by the organism. We have a constant slow methodical march in loss of complexity for life forms, even though a "mutation" may sometimes happen that is "compensatory" in its effect. Even the compensatory mutations of the organisms never achieve the level of complexity equal to the complexity of the parent species, unless, of course, it is just a "remutation" back to its original state. This consistent, demonstrated, loss of complexity from all "parent species" studied, ties semi-directly to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, Thus ID is now able to make almost a direct reference to a foundational principle of physical science. As well Genetic Entropy makes it crystal clear that life is NEVER evolving but is slowly decaying and dying, and will continue to be on this long slow downhill march as long as God continues not to directly intervene.bornagain77
June 16, 2008
June
06
Jun
16
16
2008
09:47 PM
9
09
47
PM
PST
Dave, We will know in few years a lot more about comparative genome structures. By then there may be a host of new theories about extinctions or lack of and their causes. And a lot more about potential paths species took over time. One thing I don't expect is a naturalistic explanation of macro evolution to appear but expect to see more evidence that there are very small differences between what we call species, genera and families. In other words Darwinian micro evolution will be king but Darwinian macro evolution will still be dead in the water. And the real mystery is where did it all come from in the first place.jerry
June 16, 2008
June
06
Jun
16
16
2008
07:52 PM
7
07
52
PM
PST
scordova, That was interesting, I get the impression that recombination may allow many "stopgap" measures in order to preserve functionality, but these examples you cited all seem to be done because of "entropic" necessity not evolutionary novelty. "This inconspicuous little rodent has managed to activate a gene relay one or two stages down the line from SRY. And only just in time." It is like the function is saying "Hey it is time to jump ship into a "leaky" lifeboat" This is all fine and well with the Genetic Entropy principle, and in fact may explain "why we have not 100 times over".bornagain77
June 16, 2008
June
06
Jun
16
16
2008
07:24 PM
7
07
24
PM
PST
1 2 3 5

Leave a Reply