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Coffee!! You cannot be naturally selected to win big if you are well-armed against tropical diseases at Earmuff Central


A friend put me onto this human genetic research program (no, no, it all sounds reasonable, keep your shirt on; no one is looking for the  missing link andyou are him and the genetic police are waiting outside … wake UP, will you?):

Ethnically diverse people are donating DNA to science, and the wealth of genomic data emerging from the project already is shedding light on human evolution.A decade ago it was a big deal to spell out the entire DNA sequence of a single human being. That event marked the success of the initial Human Genome Project. Now hundreds of human genomes have been decoded. Scientists who study human evolution are using the new data to make discoveries about how Homo Sapiens may have adapted to an ever-changing, ever-challenging environment.

But a puzzling claim immediately follows:

New traits become established in human populations because they confer a survival and reproductive advantage. In Darwinian terms they are “positively selected.” Individuals who lacked the genetic variant responsible for an important trait often did not survive long enough to leave progeny.Mutations in general may be harmful or of no consequence, but some mutations make for a better-adapted organism. Over time these new and advantageous genetic variants can usurp those that dominated previously.

Yes, but one problem that set me thinking was loss of adaptive traits. I tried explaining it to a friend in this way:

Let us say that, as an evolutionary legacy, a woman is immune to leprosy. She has always lived in a northern climate where she was unlikely to be exposed to the disease. If her daughters marry immigrant men who do not have that immunity and the trait is lost over time, it would still be of no consequence provided they all stayed in that climate.In the end, no one would get leprosy, maybe no one would know about the existence of the trait, and the trait, which doesn’t matter where they live anyway, would just get lost.

So, I asked, don’t beneficial evolved traits get lost all the time? Is this correct?

The friend wrote back to say,

Yes, they do get lost all of the time, and they are more likely to be lost when there is no consequence to the loss.

Hmmm. Still more trouble for Darwinism: The rare beneficial trait that results from natural selection has no special protection from just getting lost.

Off topic, but you may want to read. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/magazine/27FOB-WWLN-t.html?_r=1 This is a shocker I think -- if I am understanding it correctly. Is the NYT part of the loony left? I think the theme of this article is that the left is good, the right is stoopid, Obama is the savior of the world, and constructivist science is dangerous. Yet in my experience post-moderns tend to be liberal leaning lefties. Is this article therefore trying to land the punches on the left or right? It sounds to me like the left are entering group-think palace where consensus and power are all that count. Or perhaps I am missing something? NZer
Seeing that beneficial is relative- as you pointedout what is beneficial in one environment can be neutral or even harmful in another. So when there isn't any positive selection what can be ignored can go away. The bigger problem is "being human" isn't a trait. Being a whale isn't a trait. Being a chimp isn't a trait. Blue, brown, hazel, green eyes are traits of humans. But there isn't aything in genetics that says we are the sum of our genome. No one knows what determines what makes a human a human other than a human baby is born from the successful mating of two humans- one male one female (just in case same sex marriage advocates were wondering). Joseph
I find it ironic how proponents of Darwinism/Evolutionism (I think they don't like being called that for some reason) never seem to see the errors of their claims. To want a better world and improve our society we need to be Open about our views and be prepared to Question what we believe, this is especially true in the Scientific Community (or the ones that claim to be part of it) and what I feel we always (as ID followers) get accused of "not doing". The sad outcome of it all is that their theory of evolution just goes down the drain whiles our children get force feed the "truth of it" in school rather then including ID as another option for the kids. Gabriela Gabriela

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