Evolutions counter-argument to this?

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Let’s first consider the recent Eyre-Walker & Keightley article in Nature magazine3. By comparing human and chimp differences in protein-coding DNA, they arrived at a deleterious (harmful) mutation rate for humans of U=1.6 per individual per generation. They acknowledge that this seems too high, but quickly invoke something called “synergistic epistasis” as a just-so explanation (I’ll address this later).
What is not adequately conveyed to the reader is just how bad this problem is for evolution. It is related to the renowned geneticist J.B.S. Haldane’s reproductive cost problem that Walter Remine so eloquently elucidated in “The Biotic Message”4. What we will determine is how many offspring are needed to produce one that does not receive a new harmful mutation during the reproduction process. This is important since evolution requires “beneficial” mutations to build up such that new features and organs can arise (I say “beneficial” loosely, since there are no known examples where a mutation added information to the genome, though there are some that under certain circumstances can provide a temporary or superficial advantage to a species5). If over time harmful mutations outpace “beneficial” ones to fixation, evolution from molecules-to-man surely cannot occur. This would be like expecting to get rich despite consistently spending more money than you make.
So, to determine the reproductive impact, let
p = probability an individual’s genome does not receive a new defect this generation
A female is required to produce two offspring, one to replace herself and her mate. So, she needs to produce at least 2/p to pay this cost and maintain the population. Let B represent the birth threshold:
B = 2/p
The probability p of an offspring escaping error-free is given by e^-U6. Therefore, making the substitution,
B = 2e^U. For U=1.6, B = 9.9 births per female!
What pray tell does this mean? What are the authors failing to make crystal clear? It says that females need to produce over 10 offspring just to keep genetic deterioration near equilibrium! A rate less than 10 means certain genetic deterioration over time, because even the evolutionist’s magic wand of natural selection cannot help (in fact Eyre-Walker & Keightley had already factored in natural selection when they arrived at a rate of 1.6)
Now consider that extremely favorable assumptions for evolution were used in the Eyre-Walker & Keightley article. If more realistic assumptions are used the problem gets much worse. First, they estimate that insertions/deletions and some functional non-genic sequences would each independently add 10% to the rate. Second, and more importantly, they assume a functional genome size of only 2.25% (60K genes). When they assume a more widely accepted 3% functional genome (80K genes), they cite U = 3.1, which they admit is “remarkably high” (even this may be a favorable assumption, considering Maynard Smith estimates the genic area to be between 9 – 27%7).
Widely recognized geneticist James Crow in an article in the same Nature issue agrees that the deleterious rate is more likely twice the rate cited by Eyre-Walker and Keightley8. So if we use Crow’s revised rate of U=3, we get:
B = 2e^3 = 40 births before we get one offspring that escapes a new defect!

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the_meadowlander

So you’re saying that evolutionary science is a good field to enter because there are still interesting problems to solve and areas to study.

Thin Kaboudit

You clearly have not grasped the idea of the mechanism of evolution in the slighest!
If a weed grows out into a crack in the road, if it grows up it gets squashed, if it grows left, right or down it reaches concrete, but it continues to try; eventually you get a weed that exactly fits the crack. By the “logic” of the above argument, the odds of a weed growing the exact shape of the crack it lives in are close to zero, yet if you go look at the street outside your house I’ll bet you can find one!
What the above “arguments” fail to take into consideration is that the probability of us being just the way we are is ALREADY “1”. If you are standing in Cleveland, you might use the above sort of logic to calculate the odds of you getting there by chance from, say, Puerto Rico, and conclude you could not possibly be where you are!
Silly goose!

eri

Nice cut-and-paste job. But since you didn’t write it, I have no way of knowing if you understood it, and therefore would have any chance of understanding my answer. So I’m not going to bother.

jonmcn49

40 births to escape a new defect? I guess my amblyopia and flat feet make me ” defective “, but I did manage to reproduce. Whoever you pasted that article from does not understand evolution and natural selection very well; let alone statistics.

Ray

I appreciate your evaluation. Evolutionists do fish a lot.
Now let’s get down to basics and smile a little in the process.
THE FIRST JOHN (Not – I John )
If the primordial evolutionary event of abiogenesis was indeed true as claimed, it had continue if it was to be successful. Here is a first-time scenario for your studied consideration :
When the conditions were just right- enough for a beginning, some carbon, some nitrogen, some oxygen and some hydrogen elements individually decided to either divorce themselves from their existing inorganic chemically bonded relationships which they felt to be too confining or else to relinquish their unattached free ionic states because they were unfulfilling. This was intended both independently and coincidently in order to mutually form themselves into an as yet unheard-of collective, autonomous entity. So they convoked and did succeed in creating a confederation both philosophically and physiologically to become the very first living cell of protoplasm. Then by mutual consensus, following the ever- popular one- gene-one- vote principle, this unique primordial cell decided to address itself as “John”. However, the conditions were just not right enough for it to continue because there was no other protoplasm around for it to ingest nor with which to propogate because there was no “Marsha” for it to to, er, ah – , well, you know, spawn. Alas, poor John soon died hungry and horny.
* * *
The original “John and Marsha ” , the humorously risqué audio recording was done by Stan Freeberg in Feb 1951. It included only two words- the two names spoken to romantic background music by the amorous pair with varying emotional crescendos as you might be quite familiar or may even vaguely recollect ( I hope). And of course you can imagine the furor it caused in the somewhat less “sexually liberated” early 1950’s. Freeberg later did,”The Chickens are in the Chimes” a parody popular at the time regarding the commercialization of Christmas. Stan is a Jew. The Catholics then said he should not be a hypocrite by commercializing this mockery of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song at Christmas time. Well, when else ?
* * *
The anthropomorphic style of the above is intended to mimic those same writing styles found in “bad science” texts , especially those which attempt to explain the topic of random organic auto-synthesis or whatever that evolutionary process is supposed to be. This style of employing the human personification of volition to the inanimate is found it technical writing everywhere even though it is technically incorrect. This seems to reflect the mind set of the supposedly scientific organic evolutionists that those little buggers (1) are really us, after all. However, a brainless entity cannot really choose anything unless, of course, it is to become an affiliate of SETI (2), or of the ACLU, or the (pick one) political party.
(1) The Concise Theory of Evolution: “The early universe became filled with nothing but hydrogen ions which, when given enough time, turned into people.” Anonymous
(2) Search for Exter-Terrestrial Intelligence (Previously federally funded, now privately funded by people with too much easy money to give away to others with too much time on their hands.) RHKing 2006
Antonio,
Yes. But lighten-up, it is a spoof. Read the whole thing.
Ray

Antonio D

When the conditions were just right- enough for a beginning, some carbon, some nitrogen, some oxygen and some hydrogen elements individually decided to either divorce themselves from their existing inorganic chemically bonded relationships which they felt to be too confining or else to relinquish their unattached free ionic states because they were unfulfilling. This was intended both independently and coincidently in order to mutually form themselves into an as yet unheard-of collective, autonomous entity. So they convoked and did succeed in creating a confederation both philosophically and physiologically to become the very first living cell of protoplasm.
Thats impossible scientific fact is life must come from life.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
directed to ejc : are u really honestly believing what you say?? Mutations aren’t harmful to humans, although you cleverly switch your argument to all creatures this is about monkeys and humans no other creatures were mentioned.
now lets look at some mutations in humans chernobyl hi mutations , iraq hi mutations. o yes very neutral and beneficial… NOT
look at cancer in humans now can u keep listing points that mutations aren’t harmful to humans??????
face it buddy the above statement proves that monkey’s aren’t evolving so how can they turn into a higher life form.
are you googling this stuff? do u believe humans came from monkeys without a shred of scientific evidence???
its only a theory never proven with the scientific method.
heres a theory animals go extinct all the time so where is the evolution?? there is none at all. no scientific basis for evolutions only hypotheses not a single fact.
lol mutations are neutral/beneficial hahah thats funny i guess u live on a different planet. one where we all evolved mysteriously.

ejc11

First off, the U=1.6 has been used since 1998 (Drake et.al.) In fact, U=3 was used as an estimate in 2000 (Nachman and Crowell). What does this *really* mean:
1) Mutations are not necessarily harmful. A significant fraction of all mutations are beneficial or neutral, and harmful/beneficial are very dependent on the environment in which the organism lives. Because most harmful mutations don’t survive long, and beneficial mutations survive much, much longer, you would expect more accumulation of beneficial deletions than harmful mutations.
2) >>I say “beneficial” loosely, since there are no known examples where a mutation added information to the genome
This statement is complete nonsense. If a mutation can do something, it can just as easily undo something. Mutations (whether beneficial or harmful or neutral) do add information by adding variation to the genomes.
3) High mutation rates are actually more beneficial in some environments than low rates. If you take the example of bacteria that live in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, high mutation rates would benefit them more if it gave them the ability to withstand changes in antibiotic treatments.
4) Mutations are only part of the story in terms of evolution. All mutations essentially do is add variation to a genome (or a gene pool, if it is heretable). As I said above, the environment (selection for different variations) plays another role. The random variation that mutations add to a population is the variation on which selection acts, and that selection is the transfer of information in the environment to information in the genome.
5) You’re operating off bad information. Haldane’s work that you (or whoever made this crap up) are talking about was done in 1957. It was invalidated because of simplifying assumptions he made in his calculations. He also assumed that it would take twice as long for 2 mutations to become fixed in a population as it would for 1 mutation, which, when you take into account sexual reproduction, is not true–recombination during sexual reproduction would mean that 2 mutations can become fixed just as quickly, if not moreso, than 1. Plus, there is the simple fact that 50 years of research have added to our understanding of these probabilities–a little irresponsible to ignore that.

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