So, we’ve been talking about directed mutations a bit the last few days, whether reactivating pseudogenes, or recognizing that cells can direct mutations to genes that need mutating. The point that I made to Bob was that there is a middle ground between “general mutation rate” and “mutations going to a specific base pair that needs changing”. There’s a HUGE middle ground that is decidedly non-Darwinian.
As far as I’m aware, I’m the only one who has attempted to come up with a measurement for this phenomena.
The paper, published a year and a half ago, is titled Measuring Active Information in Biological Systems. Essentially, this shows how we can use the Dembski/Marks “Active Information” metric, which Dembski/Marks/Ewert use to show (and measure) that someone has pre-encoded information in computer evolution simulations, to show (and measure) that there is pre-encoded information in *actual* evolution that directs mutations.
The nice thing about this is that it actually has a potential use in labs – if a mutation has significant active information, it means that there is probably a mechanism worth looking for. Finding mutational mechanisms is an expensive chore, so knowing *that* a mutational mechanism exists helps isolate cases where they are worth looking for.
If someone knows of another measurement of this phenomena in the literature, let me know! It’s possible mine is not the best measurement, but I wanted to at least get the conversation started on how to measure this effect, and thus the paper. Also, I think there is also design in non-selection-driven-mutations, but that is an entirely different topic for another time.