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Unread July 29th, 2006, 08:53 PM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 257
Default Re: Selling Evolution

Originally Posted by Fred H.
I’m not terribly clear what you mean by “effectively random . . . with respect to their effect upon organisms,” but if you simply mean that “mutation” is random,” I’m inclined to disagree.
Mutation is effectively random, unless and until we can plot the paths of all energetic particles and the DNA in reproductive (sperm and egg) cells.

One cause of mutation is the natural radioactivity of the uranium in the earth. Radioactivity sends alpha particles (protons) in various directions. Occasionally, one of those particles makes a direct hit on a reproductive cell that is still healthy enough to become part of a fertilized egg. This sometimes causes the birth of an organism with a different DNA pattern, which changes the sequence, which changes (or activates or deactivates) a protein which actually affects the fitness of that individual.

(Radiation sickness is not a problem with someone having too much radiation in them; it is the overall effect of many cells being disrupted by the alpha particles that flew through them and chopped up too much DNA and proteins.)

That is what I mean by random mutation. Granted, in a deterministic world, all mutations are actually predetermined. But at a level that naturally appears random to us.

You're welcome, Fred.
Originally Posted by Fred H.
I’m inclined to disagree.
Then what causes mutation that's not random???
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