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Tags evolution , genetics , neo-darwinism

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Old 13th April 2008, 05:41 PM   #41
sol invictus
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
I hope you agree that if the vast majority of this huge number of synaptic connections were built up randomly, a normal human behaviour could not emerge. On the one hand we a relevant genetic information of 10^7 or 10^8 byte for the total ontogenetic development, and on the other hand only in the brain an architecture involving 10^15 synaptic connections. This results in less than 10^-7 or 10^-8 byte genetic information per synapse.
So what?

I can write a few-line computer program that will generate an arbitrarily large amount of non-random data. Then I could compute the number of bytes of code per byte of output, and it would be an even smaller number (but equally meaningless).

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Old 13th April 2008, 05:45 PM   #42
Reality Check
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
A further example of the missing genetic information (quote from Wikipedia):
"The human brain has a huge number of synapses. Each of the 10^11 (one hundred billion) neurons has on average 7,000 synaptic connections to other neurons. It has been estimated that the brain of a three-year-old child has about 10^15 synapses (1 quadrillion). This number declines with age, stabilizing by adulthood."
I hope you agree that if the vast majority of this huge number of synaptic connections were built up randomly, a normal human behaviour could not emerge. On the one hand we a relevant genetic information of 10^7 or 10^8 byte for the total ontogenetic development, and on the other hand only in the brain an architecture involving 10^15 synaptic connections. This results in less than 10^-7 or 10^-8 byte genetic information per synapse.

So whereas the genetic information of a human only constitutes a small fraction of the storage capacity of a DVD disc of 4.7 Gigabyte, in order to store all the synaptic connections of a three-year-old child, around a million DVD discs are needed.
Congratulations Wolfgang - you have just proved that learning is impossible since all of the synapse connections in the brain are hard-coded in DNA !
As any biologist can tell you, neural development starts from a mostly random network of synaptic connections. Connections are then reinforced by learning.
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Old 13th April 2008, 06:38 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
Congratulations Wolfgang - you have just proved that learning is impossible since all of the synapse connections in the brain are hard-coded in DNA !
As any biologist can tell you, neural development starts from a mostly random network of synaptic connections. Connections are then reinforced by learning.
While competition within a random network of synapses is an important part of the developmental process, I just thought I'd note, completely tangentially, that the importance of new synaptic growth in adults is often overstated. As I understand it, most adult learning is actually just modification in the strength of synapses that were formed during childhood(or after traumatic brain injury).

But wrt this thread, I agree with you, reality. Wogoga's argument is ludicrous.

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Old 14th April 2008, 05:02 AM   #44
Dancing David
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
I hope you agree that if the vast majority of this huge number of synaptic connections were built up randomly, a normal human behaviour could not emerge. On the one hand we a relevant genetic information of 10^7 or 10^8 byte for the total ontogenetic development, and on the other hand only in the brain an architecture involving 10^15 synaptic connections. This results in less than 10^-7 or 10^-8 byte genetic information per synapse.
Oh man!

You really don't have a clue do you!

There is no architecheture to the growth of individual neurons, the architecture is a gross feature of scale. The arrangement of neuron is not like the paths on a silicon chip.

Um here is the deal, the way that neurons work is not predesigned like computer architechture, it is a conditioned thing that happens over time, first there is growth and exposure and then there is attenuation and potentiation. There is no predesigned soft ware package. It is [plastic, fluid and based upon exposure, development and then conditioning.

You are so wrong, you are not even close to being in the ball park. In fact you aren't even in the right town.
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Old 14th April 2008, 05:48 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
...
1. There are multiple mechanisms by which variation between individuals may occur in a population, that is all natural selection needs.
However, all these mechanisms leading to variation represent changes and therefore are considered mutations. Whereas variation is a property of a population or species at a given point in time, mutation is a change over time in individuals. The concept mutation normally covers all such changes.

If you start with one bacterium in a culture solution, we have (in the normal case) no variation. Replication cycles then lead to variation. By the way, pandualist evolution leads to this prediction: If the original bacterium has an artificially induced silent mutation in a given gene, then mutations from the artificial form to the wild form are substantially higher than other mutations. See also
2. I showed you a mathematical demonstration, albeit simplified, where it is shown how natural selection might increase a trait in a population.
I'm sorry, what you have shown seems to me not a mathematical demonstration but a simple obfuscation by bluffing. Please present the argument in a reasonable way or provide a link with a reasonable presentation.
3. You have not demonstrated in the least why genetic miscopies would always be detrimental.
I said that "the probability of detrimental effects is substantially higher than of useful effects". Yet to demonstrate the simplest and most obvious is sometimes the most difficult.

Think about randomly changing a few bits or bytes of a computer program. Think about random changes in a production process. Think about replacing, doubling, removing randomly characters, words and sentences in a text. Think about the easiness to destroy the function of proteins by artificially induced mutations and the difficulty to increase fitness of proteins by such mutations. Think about the easiness to induce by artificial mutations defects (e.g. blindness in fruit flies) and the difficulty to induce positive effects.

Some mutations are essentially switches from one known allele to another known allele, or from one known strain (e.g. normal bacterial strain) to another known strain (e.g. resistant).
4. You show mistaken logic by saying that since there are other mechanisms through which variation can occur, mutations can not lead to variation that natural selection can act upon.
My logic seems confused to you only because of your strange distinction between changes called mutations and changes not called mutations. The normal interpretation of your statement
"You don't need mutations, variation in the expression of traits is sufficient!"
in the context of this discussion is equivalent to
No further genetic changes were needed in the evolution of humans from proto-chimp/humans, the already existing variation in the proto-chimp/human population was sufficient.
Cheers, Wolfgang
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Old 14th April 2008, 06:39 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
I said that "the probability of detrimental effects is substantially higher than of useful effects". Yet to demonstrate the simplest and most obvious is sometimes the most difficult.

Think about randomly changing a few bits or bytes of a computer program. Think about random changes in a production process. Think about replacing, doubling, removing randomly characters, words and sentences in a text. Think about the easiness to destroy the function of proteins by artificially induced mutations and the difficulty to increase fitness of proteins by such mutations. Think about the easiness to induce by artificial mutations defects (e.g. blindness in fruit flies) and the difficulty to induce positive effects.


Cheers, Wolfgang
If only there were some method in evolution for weeding out these detrimental effects. Some natural method for the selection of positive traits.

I wouldn't know what to call it, but I'm sure it would be useful.
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Old 14th April 2008, 06:50 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
A further example of the missing genetic information (quote from Wikipedia):
"The human brain has a huge number of synapses. Each of the 10^11 (one hundred billion) neurons has on average 7,000 synaptic connections to other neurons. It has been estimated that the brain of a three-year-old child has about 10^15 synapses (1 quadrillion). This number declines with age, stabilizing by adulthood."
I hope you agree that if the vast majority of this huge number of synaptic connections were built up randomly, a normal human behaviour could not emerge. On the one hand we a relevant genetic information of 10^7 or 10^8 byte for the total ontogenetic development, and on the other hand only in the brain an architecture involving 10^15 synaptic connections. This results in less than 10^-7 or 10^-8 byte genetic information per synapse.
No. Each synapse contains all the genetic information.

Your method of taking averages here is like saying "The human body contains ten trillion cells, and the human population is six billion, so that's less than two thousand cells per person. So how come humans are so big?"

Quote:
So whereas the genetic information of a human only constitutes a small fraction of the storage capacity of a DVD disc of 4.7 Gigabyte, in order to store all the synaptic connections of a three-year-old child, around a million DVD discs are needed.
Why yes. And I could specify the Mandlebrot set in a single line of mathematics, and yet it is infinitely complex.

Quote:
My statement is correct, at least according to my interpretation. If DNA corresponding to 1000 bytes is used to code for 10 proteins, then the (non-redundant) genetic information (coding for independent degrees of freedom) reduces to 100 bytes per protein.
Either you're making the same silly mistake about averages, or you are mixing up alternatively spliced genes with operons.
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Old 14th April 2008, 07:10 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
My statement is correct, at least according to my interpretation. If DNA corresponding to 1000 bytes is used to code for 10 proteins, then the (non-redundant) genetic information (coding for independent degrees of freedom) reduces to 100 bytes per protein.
Look, let me explain alternative gene splicing to you.

It's like a form letter, where the person sending it out deletes what's inappropriate (usually, nowadays, by ticking the appropriate boxes on a computer). Something like this:

Dear (Sir/Madam), we note with (regret/contempt/rage) that your payments are (three/six/nine/twelve) months overdue, and if you do not remit immediately we shall (write you another letter/repossess your cat/send Big Eddie to break your thumbs).

Now, this requires 244 characters to specify 72 different letters. On average, therefore, that's less than 4 characters per letter.

And yet somehow the shortest possible letter one can compose by this method is 135 characters long.

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Old 14th April 2008, 07:33 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
My statement is correct, at least according to my interpretation. If DNA corresponding to 1000 bytes is used to code for 10 proteins, then the (non-redundant) genetic information (coding for independent degrees of freedom) reduces to 100 bytes per protein.
Without looking through the rest of the thread, I really just want to examine this one piece here: shouldn't that be about 996 bits per protein, rather than 100? To select one out of say 10 proteins, you need to specify 3-and-a-bit bits, which leaves 996+a bit left over. Have I got that right?
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Old 14th April 2008, 09:38 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
1. There are multiple mechanisms by which variation between individuals may occur in a population, that is all natural selection needs.
However, all these mechanisms leading to variation represent changes and therefore are considered mutations. Whereas variation is a property of a population or species at a given point in time, mutation is a change over time in individuals. The concept mutation normally covers all such changes.
Really, stop right here for a moment.

So the heigth of all indivduals in a population is the same? Really, or I have a mutation that makes me taller than my grandmother?

Are you sure about that?

Variation in the expression of traits.

Are you sure that my hair and eyes are the same as my parents?

(I am a brunette, with brown eyes) they are both 'dirty blonds' with hazel eyes, as are both my brother and sister.

Is that not variation in the expression of traits? Or do I have a mutation that makes my hair brown?

Quote:

If you start with one bacterium in a culture solution, we have (in the normal case) no variation. Replication cycles then lead to variation. By the way, pandualist evolution leads to this prediction: If the original bacterium has an artificially induced silent mutation in a given gene, then mutations from the artificial form to the wild form are substantially higher than other mutations. See also
2. I showed you a mathematical demonstration, albeit simplified, where it is shown how natural selection might increase a trait in a population.
I'm sorry, what you have shown seems to me not a mathematical demonstration but a simple obfuscation by bluffing. Please present the argument in a reasonable way or provide a link with a reasonable presentation.
Oh, I see in other words you don't have a rebuttal , so you resort to politics. If you don't understand algebra that is okay to say.

Okay here you go:

Pop. 1 starts at ten
Pop. 2 starts at ten,
we say that N the ratio of increase is 2, or that the population doubles every generation and that the extra birth B is 1 just to make it simple

So Pop. 1 goes like this 10,20,40,80,160,320,640,1280 as I said I simplified the notation in that the actual formula instead of being Population 1=NS is actually Pop. 1 at gebneration S will be Pop.1 [S]=10xNS

Now the case for Pop 2 where we have N growth per generation and B extra birth is a little more complex

We start at 10 so first generation goes like this 10x2+10=31 since we have an extra birth for each member of the pupulation which reproduces
then we have 31x2+31=93
93x2+93=93x3=279
279x3=837

10,31,93,279,837,2511,7533,22599

Hmm, so in Pop. 1 we have
10,20,40,80,160,320,640,1280
and in Pop 2 we have
10,31,93,279,837,2511,7533,22599

so after eight generations we have a factor 20 in the growth of Pop. 2 over Pop.1.

Total of Pop.1 + Pop. 2=23839 with Pop.1 at 5% and Pop. 2 at 95%, even though they started out the same. and it works out even if you set the extra births at .1 , the extra child in generation 2 of Pop. 2 will have 128 children in generation 9, so generation 9 of Pop. 2 ,P2[9] will have at least 128 more than P1[9] and so on.

does that make more sense?
Quote:


3. You have not demonstrated in the least why genetic miscopies would always be detrimental.
I said that "the probability of detrimental effects is substantially higher than of useful effects". Yet to demonstrate the simplest and most obvious is sometimes the most difficult.

Think about randomly changing a few bits or bytes of a computer program.
Think about the fact that genes are not computer programs.
Quote:
Think about random changes in a production process. Think about replacing, doubling, removing randomly characters, words and sentences in a text. Think about the easiness to destroy the function of proteins by artificially induced mutations and the difficulty to increase fitness of proteins by such mutations.
Now see, you haven't demonstrated it, just asserted it, if most of the genetic material does not directly code for anything, then why would a mutation even effect protein folding and production?

There is a crucial meaning in the fact that some changes will have no effect, some will have little effect and some will have major effects. So then you have to show which ones are neutral, which ones detrimental and which ones are beneficial.

Which you haven't.
Quote:
Think about the easiness to induce by artificial mutations defects (e.g. blindness in fruit flies) and the difficulty to induce positive effects.
more assertion, think about antibiotic resistence in bacteria.
Quote:


Some mutations are essentially switches from one known allele to another known allele, or from one known strain (e.g. normal bacterial strain) to another known strain (e.g. resistant).
that still donsn't do anything to demonstrate your statement.
Quote:
4. You show mistaken logic by saying that since there are other mechanisms through which variation can occur, mutations can not lead to variation that natural selection can act upon.
My logic seems confused to you only because of your strange distinction between changes called mutations and changes not called mutations. The normal interpretation of your statement
"You don't need mutations, variation in the expression of traits is sufficient!"
in the context of this discussion is equivalent to
No further genetic changes were needed in the evolution of humans from proto-chimp/humans, the already existing variation in the proto-chimp/human population was sufficient.
Cheers, Wolfgang
I see you still haven't an understanding of basic sentence construction much less logic.

I stated that variation in the expression of traits is sufficient for natural selection to act upon.


You do understand that human reproduction is not machine assembly, I hope?
the correct rephrasing of my statement might be:


No further mutation changes might be needed in the evolution of humans from proto-chimp/humans, the already existing variation in the expression of traits as subject to reproductive genetics in the proto-chimp/human population might be sufficient
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Old 14th April 2008, 10:30 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Dr Adequate View Post
Why yes. And I could specify the Mandlebrot set in a single line of mathematics, and yet it is infinitely complex.
Again completely tangentially, I find this to be an interesting example. When I read it , I thought: "Is it?" I don't really know. If you define complexity in terms of information entropy then its probably pretty simple and just deceptive in its appearance. But if we take the mandlebrot set to be simple, I think it makes our definition of complexity rather lacking....

Dr. Adequate:
If its not too distracting from the central point, how would you define complexity?
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Old 14th April 2008, 11:14 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by zosima View Post
Again completely tangentially, I find this to be an interesting example. When I read it , I thought: "Is it?" I don't really know. If you define complexity in terms of information entropy then its probably pretty simple and just deceptive in its appearance. But if we take the mandlebrot set to be simple, I think it makes our definition of complexity rather lacking....

Dr. Adequate:
If its not too distracting from the central point, how would you define complexity?
In this instance? Intuitively. Obviously it's not very complex in terms of Kolmogorov complexity.

That's kind of the point, isn't it? My genes don't need to specify separately where each cell goes and what each one does: the complexity of the finished object is greater (in an intuitive sense) than the complexity of the shortest specification of it.

The analogy is:

Cell-by-cell description <-> Pixel-by-pixel description.

Genes <-> Equation specifying the Mandelbrot set.

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Old 14th April 2008, 11:25 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Nancarrow View Post
Without looking through the rest of the thread, I really just want to examine this one piece here: shouldn't that be about 996 bits per protein, rather than 100? To select one out of say 10 proteins, you need to specify 3-and-a-bit bits, which leaves 996+a bit left over. Have I got that right?
No, not really.

See my "form letter" analogy in post #48, and the SW article on [swiki]splicing[/swiki].
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Old 14th April 2008, 02:53 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Dr Adequate View Post
In this instance? Intuitively. Obviously it's not very complex in terms of Kolmogorov complexity.

That's kind of the point, isn't it? My genes don't need to specify separately where each cell goes and what each one does: the complexity of the finished object is greater (in an intuitive sense) than the complexity of the shortest specification of it.

The analogy is:

Cell-by-cell description <-> Pixel-by-pixel description.

Genes <-> Equation specifying the Mandelbrot set.
I think its a good point. I totally agree that the apparent complexity and the complexity of specification are rarely similar. I often could care less about the central theme of a post and just kinda pick out posts that seem interesting. I guess I'd rather think about complexity than the silliness of this thread's topic.

Plus Wogoga won't answer my questions anyway, so what am I gonna do? I think he feels threatened that my spaghetti monster theory of demographic decline is almost as wooey as his soul juice theory of demographic decline.


Although I guess the more accurate analogy(although it lacks that umph) would be taking a mandelbrot plot and adding a little bit of random data to the value at any given step. Because the genome specifies an algorithm that operates in a very entropic environment, I don't think there is probably even a good mathematical way to compress the information in any human being.

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Old 14th April 2008, 03:37 PM   #55
sol invictus
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Originally Posted by Dr Adequate View Post
In this instance? Intuitively. Obviously it's not very complex in terms of Kolmogorov complexity.
Couldn't we use a form of Shannon entropy?

Imagine starting with an approximation to the Mandelbrot fractal as generated by the first iteration of a computer program. The structure is there at large scales, but not at small. The next pass (like when you zoom in) will compute and add the structure at a smaller scale, the pass after that at a still smaller scale, etc.

With each pass, higher frequency information gets added. The power in the Fourier transform (of the whole thing, not just the part zoomed in on) increases and spreads to higher and higher frequencies. This is roughly like increasing the temperature, and the entropy will increase with each iteration.

Now, can we think of an iteration of the Mandelbrot generating algorithm as analogous to a generation? With each generation, more of the possible fit creatures differentiate from the original creature, "filling in" the small-scale structure. So this would be a measure of the complexity of the genome of all living creatures.
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Old 14th April 2008, 05:28 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
I hope?
the correct rephrasing of my statement might be:

No further mutation changes might be needed in the evolution of humans from proto-chimp/humans, the already existing variation in the expression of traits as subject to reproductive genetics in the proto-chimp/human population might be sufficient
That's about as unlikely as anything wogoga has claimed. More so, because we don't know the rules for his magic "psychons", whereas we do have quite a good understanding of genetics as understood by geneticists.
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Old 14th April 2008, 05:34 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by sol invictus View Post
Now, can we think of an iteration of the Mandelbrot generating algorithm as analogous to a generation?
Well, if natural selection didn't act in any way ... so that the population grew exponentially ... then this analogy would still not provide any additional insight ... into what wogoga's talking about ... or anything else.

Moreover, it conflicts with the analogy we're already using where the equation corresponds to the genome and the pixel corresponds to the cell. In your version, the pixel corresponds to ... the organism? and the equation corresponds to ... what?

So no, I don't like the idea.
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Old 14th April 2008, 11:54 PM   #58
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I don't know why we're talking about this. I don't know why I'm addressing this claim directly.

Wogoga:
Your claim is so obviously and trivially false I'd much rather take my time making ad hominems, but this has gone on too far.

First, you assume that there is only one way for a phenotype to be encoded by a genotype. This is not the case. Just as there are a huge number of different ways to write a computer program to perform a single task, there are tons of different genetic codes that can perform a given task. For example, I had a friend in college that did genetic engineering in plants. The way they did this was using a special bacteria that would basically just insert copies of a gene coding a protein whereever. Basically is was a gene shotgun. Nonetheless, this technique was effective.

Two, I'm not going to address your argument from complexity until you make it clear and coherent. Moreover, your example using the brain has been addressed by the others in this thread. It is false as well as inconsequential.

Now lets look at the numbers you provided initially...
Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
Take the case of humans after their separation from chimps some million years ago. An upper limit to the number of individuals having been born since then is 10^16 (i.e. 10^9 newborns per year for 10^7 years).
Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
Let us assume that three factors must be affected for an increase in fitness to emerge. So even if the probability of a beneficial mutation in a newborn were as high as 10^-5 for each factor, the probability that beneficial mutations occur for all three factors is 10^-15, i.e. extremely improbable.

So neo-Darwinism requires essentially this hypothesis:
Every evolutionary innovation can produced by a sequence of single-step mutations, each of which alone responsible for a relevant increase in fitness.
So just to summarize.
10^9 newborns per year(I'll actually assume this is the individuals in a generation so your argument makes sense)
10^7 years
10^-5 probability for each relevant factor
3 factors.

For example, you cite, 10^-15 as the probability all 3 factors would occur in any single individual simultaneously. This is true.

But evolution doesn't work this way. As you say, "each of which alone (is) responsible for a relevant increase in fitness".

10^9*10^-5=10^4 We can expect one beneficial mutation to occur in as many as 10000 individuals per generation.

So after the first year of our thought experiment we have:
10000 individuals with mutation A
10000 individuals with mutation B
10000 individuals with mutation C
The probability that any one of these individuals has any two mutations is unlikely and the probability that any one individual has all three is infinitesimally small at this point. But, since each of these mutations increases fitness independently, we can assume that these individuals will do better than the others. Increasing their numbers in the next generation. So lets say the number of individuals inheriting each one of the 3 mutations doubles each generation.

Then in generation 2 we have 20000 individuals with A by inheritance, 10000 with A by mutation. The same for the others leading to 10000+20000= 30000 each of A,B,C in generation 2.

So at this point we can write the recurrence relation describing this growth:
P(t) = 2*P(t-1)-1(ignoring the factor of 10000)
The first few numbers are 1,3,7,15,31,63
Its easy to fit an analytic function to this sequence: P(t)=2^t-1
So P(17) *10000= 2^17-1*10000=131071*10^4 =~ 1.31*10^9 individuals with each mutation. Since the number of individuals with each mutation is greater than the number of individuals in any generation, we can infer all individuals will have all 3 mutations. (This might be thought of as an application of the pigeonhole principle.)

Two things are clear from the recurrence relation:
1. Wogoga's numbers are wildly generous
2. Because the recurrence relation is exponential even far more conservative numbers will not yield a significantly different result.


Obviously this is a simplified model, but this is the simplified correct analysis that grows out of Wogoga's initial suppositions. Other complexities won't change the fundamental fact that this demonstrates. Once an individual has a beneficial mutation it will spread throughout the population, so the argument from the probabilistic contingency(or independent joint probability) is clearly wrong. Can we please stop this silliness now?

p.s. The genetic shotgun bacteria is crazy neat, if I remember all the details. As I remember it, the wild type naturally uses special plasmids to insert genes into a plant that it is attacking. These inserted genes basically cause tumors in the plant that happen to be very tasty for the bacteria. When they use it for genetic engineering, the tumor plasmids are replaced with whatever gene they want to insert. Since the bacteria was savaging the plant anyway, it never evolved much specificity to insertion, so tons of copies of the gene end up in all sorts of places. Sometimes it does what they want, sometimes it does something different, sometimes the plants just die. But they run a few iterations and normally end up with a variant that does what they want, which they select for. Then they add another gene. Do this enough and you can insert all the enzymes in an entire pathway.

Last edited by zosima; 15th April 2008 at 01:10 AM. Reason: added p.s.
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Old 15th April 2008, 03:52 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Mashuna View Post
If only there were some method in evolution for weeding out these detrimental effects. Some natural method for the selection of positive traits.

I wouldn't know what to call it, but I'm sure it would be useful.
Hmm. I'm sure we could come up with something if we all put our heads together.

Originally Posted by Dr Adequate View Post
natural selection
Damn! This is why Dr Adequate keeps winning those language awards.
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Old 15th April 2008, 04:10 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Dr Adequate View Post
Well, if natural selection didn't act in any way ... so that the population grew exponentially ... then this analogy would still not provide any additional insight ... into what wogoga's talking about ... or anything else.
I've got no idea what wogoga's talking about, nor do I care. I'd rather have an interesting discussion.

Quote:
Moreover, it conflicts with the analogy we're already using where the equation corresponds to the genome and the pixel corresponds to the cell. In your version, the pixel corresponds to ... the organism? and the equation corresponds to ... what?
It does conflict, yes - I didn't read your post carefully enough. Sorry about that.

In my version, the equation is natural selection plus mutations, and each iteration is a generation. Each pixel is the genome of a species. So this is a way of defining complexity of the metagenome (I don't know the right word) - the genomes of all species in existence at a given time.
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Old 15th April 2008, 04:45 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Dr Adequate View Post
That's about as unlikely as anything wogoga has claimed. More so, because we don't know the rules for his magic "psychons", whereas we do have quite a good understanding of genetics as understood by geneticists.

Sure, his statement was a total straw man, so the tail fins and training wheels don't make it get up and dance.

My statement was about how variation in expression of traits does allow for the transition to things like upright gait, since there seems to be a mischaracterization of natural slelection and mutation.
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Old 15th April 2008, 12:42 PM   #62
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Whoops I was just reading the updates and realized that when I edited my last post I broke the recurrence relation.

It should be:
P(t) = 2*P(t-1)+1
Not
P(t) = 2*P(t-1)-1
Doh!

The analytical fit is still correct:
P(t)=2^t-1

Last edited by zosima; 15th April 2008 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 15th April 2008, 06:18 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by zosima View Post
First, you assume that there is only one way for a phenotype to be encoded by a genotype. This is not the case.
Nor is convergent evolution a recent observation.

You're hitting an important point here, because wogoga and his ilk are fixated on how likely this exact outcome is. Which is not very. The importance of this particular outcome is assumed, given that it's the one wogoga et al live in. Which has to make it very special.

What they're lacking is any sense of scale.
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Old 15th April 2008, 06:39 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by richardm View Post
Damn! This is why Dr Adequate keeps winning those language awards.
"Natural Selection" is good, but a bit dry and soooo not even last century, don't you think? "The Cut" is way more graphic and this century.

Will Inventive Design make the cut? Most definitely. Intelligent Design? Not so much. It may be surprising how quickly people stop caring when their jobs and homes are at risk (however remotely). People are not good at assessing risk, but the threat of Darwinism does not loom large during difficult times.
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Old 15th April 2008, 07:43 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
Nor is convergent evolution a recent observation.

You're hitting an important point here, because wogoga and his ilk are fixated on how likely this exact outcome is. Which is not very. The importance of this particular outcome is assumed, given that it's the one wogoga et al live in. Which has to make it very special.

What they're lacking is any sense of scale.
That is an excellent point. A lot of these arguments stem around an inability to recognize exactly how orders of magnitude and levels of description play into these things. I guess no human can actually visualize numbers as large or as small as we talk about, so it can be easy to make mistakes in interpretation. I think a lot of the disagreement stems from honest mistakes in the methods of science and logic,which we all make. Unfortunately, If you aren't familiar with the appropriate mathematical tools to deal with issues of scale you are more likely to make more mistakes.

Also,
I looked up the name of that bacteria. Its called: Agrobacterium tumefaciens
The wikipedia article on it is a bit technical, but this article is clearer to a person
that doesn't have a background in genetics:
http://www.accessexcellence.org/RC/A...ng_Plants.html

Last edited by zosima; 15th April 2008 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Agrobacterium
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Old 16th April 2008, 04:43 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by zosima View Post
...
A superficial reading through this thread might give the impression that my argument is nonsensical and full of logical errors, at least when relying on the authority of orthodox posters. Here once again the concrete application of my argument:
The upright gait was only one of many traits which had to evolve in us after our separation from chimps. For that to happen, the structures of bones, of muscles and of tendons had to gradually change. Let us ignore that in fact the bone structure (involved in the upright-gait evolution) alone consists of several bones with each several traits.

So let us make the completely unrealistic assumption that one 'progressive' single-step mutation in the genetic factor of each (i.e. bone, muscle and tendon) structure is enough to entail a relevant increase in fitness.

Let us further assume that the probability of such progressive mutations in newborns is each as high as 10^-5. So we conclude that among 10^15 newborns (i.e. a billion newborns of a million generations), only one individual will carry all three necessary mutations.

Because a change in only one or two of the three involved structures cannot lead to a relevant increase in fitness (rather the contrary), it becomes obvious that the upright gait cannot have evolved in a neo-Darwinian way.
Assuming that "the probability of such progressive mutations in newborns is each as high as 10^-5" and using my upper limit of a billion newborns per year, Cosima 'refutes' my argument in this way:
10^9*10^-5=10^4. We can expect one beneficial mutation to occur in as many as 10000 individuals per generation.

So after the first year of our thought experiment we have:
10000 individuals with mutation A
10000 individuals with mutation B
10000 individuals with mutation C
Actually this means:
  • 10000 individuals with a relevant change only in the bone structure (i.e. without changes in the muscles and tendons)
  • 10000 individuals with a relevant change only in the muscle structure
  • 10000 individuals with a relevant change only in the tendon structure.
The assumption that a mutation having a probability of 10^-5 per birth (and normally affecting 0.25 byte of the DNA) changes all the many components of the proto-chimp/human body in such a coordinated and effective way that a substantial increase in fitness is the result, is so mind-bogglingly absurd that only blind dogmatism can explain such a belief.

The following is correct:
The probability that any one of these individuals has any two mutations is unlikely and the probability that any one individual has all three is infinitesimally small at this point.
But its continuation is nothing more than wishful thinking:
But, since each of these mutations increases fitness independently, we can assume that these individuals will do better than the others. Increasing their numbers in the next generation. So lets say the number of individuals inheriting each one of the 3 mutations doubles each generation.
Cheers, Wolfgang
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Old 16th April 2008, 04:56 AM   #67
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Wow, that is just so brilliant Wogaga! I have changed my mind, you are lame.

Funny how you can't counter the many decnt arguments here and so you resort to political characterization and repetition.

Your grade is now an "F-", you have to take summer school before you can graduate from high school.
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Old 16th April 2008, 05:04 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
Let us further assume that the probability of such progressive mutations in newborns is each as high as 10^-5. So we conclude that among 10^15 newborns (i.e. a billion newborns of a million generations), only one individual will carry all three necessary mutations.
Even if we accepted your numbers, there would be no problem. That individual would typically be born, say, halfway through your million generations. In 500,000 generations, even a mutation offering only a tiny reproductive advantage will spread throughout the population.

But your entire method of reasoning is false from the very beginning. You cannot pick one trait - upright gait, for example - and then compute the odds it would evolve if you went back and started evolution over again. Or rather you can, but the odds are totally meaningless.

It's akin to catching a single snowflake, observing its structure, and then asking - what are the odds that the snowflake I caught had this structure? Answer: unimaginably tiny... and yet you still caught that snowflake! Why? Because the odds of catching some snowflake are 1.

Just as with the snowflake, the odds you should be computing are the odds that after a million generations there will be some differences, not the odds for any specific one.

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Old 16th April 2008, 06:17 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
A superficial reading through this thread might give the impression that my argument is nonsensical and full of logical errors ...
Yes. It's all the mistakes that give the impression.

Quote:
So let us make the completely unrealistic assumption ...
I prefer not to make completely unrealistic assumptions.

Quote:
Because a change in only one or two of the three involved structures cannot lead to a relevant increase in fitness (rather the contrary) ...
Yes, that can be a real problem. For example, I get my tendons from my mother's side and my bones from my father's side. The result is that my tendons are six inches too short for my skeleton. It's a bugger.

Oh wait, that sort of thing never ever happens, does it?
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Old 16th April 2008, 08:40 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
That's a question you might consider not asking when dealing with wogoga.
Along with many others. Wogoga's arguments just lack substance.
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Old 16th April 2008, 09:54 AM   #71
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It's useless to try to argue that walking upright is impossible through Darwinian Evolution. We already have the fossil record showing us the general progression that occured, through history. It's not like it is utterly impossible

Perhaps your sources on how Evolution works are flawed, Wogoga. There is no reason to assume each bone had to alter itself individually. Many bones could change in structure, in a single generation.

Perhaps learning more details about embryology and how traits emerge from genes during the process, would help you understand? Let's see if I can find some good resources...
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Old 16th April 2008, 10:18 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
It's useless to try to argue that walking upright is impossible through Darwinian Evolution.
I thought my cute little picture spoke to this... I'm prepared to be wrong.
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Old 16th April 2008, 10:40 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post

I hope you agree that if the vast majority of this huge number of synaptic connections were built up randomly, a normal human behaviour could not emerge. On the one hand we a relevant genetic information of 10^7 or 10^8 byte for the total ontogenetic development, and on the other hand only in the brain an architecture involving 10^15 synaptic connections. This results in less than 10^-7 or 10^-8 byte genetic information per synapse.

So whereas the genetic information of a human only constitutes a small fraction of the storage capacity of a DVD disc of 4.7 Gigabyte, in order to store all the synaptic connections of a three-year-old child, around a million DVD discs are needed.

10 N=1
20 N=N+1
30 Print N
40 Goto 20

How many DVD discs would it take to store the output of that little algorithm? How many bytes did it take to generate it?

Does that mean it's impossible?
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Old 16th April 2008, 11:02 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Jimbo07 View Post
I thought my cute little picture spoke to this... I'm prepared to be wrong.
I forgot about your little picture. However, I don't think it worked, if he is still arguing about it being impossible.
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Old 16th April 2008, 11:15 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
The assumption that a mutation having a probability of 10^-5 per birth (and normally affecting 0.25 byte of the DNA) changes all the many components of the proto-chimp/human body in such a coordinated and effective way that a substantial increase in fitness is the result, is so mind-bogglingly absurd that only blind dogmatism can explain such a belief.
Its now clear the rest of your argument was just a smoke screen and you're just towing the "irreducible complexity" party line of creationists. Moreover you are just asserting the claim that intermediate steps must not increase fitness individually. You don't provide any evidence of it. You should have just told us you were a creationist that denies evolution in the first place and saved us a lot of time.

You can't just assert that each individual mutation does not independently increase fitness. Every case that evolutionary biologists study in detail where the record survives, actually indicates that you're wrong. Also, I don't think anyone is going to take assertions about what is and is not "mind-bogglingly absurd" from the guy who claims that decreases in fertility are because we've depleted are supply of soul juice. You believe without question in the existence of 'psychons' yet you accuse us of dogmatism? lol....

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Old 16th April 2008, 03:56 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
The assumption that a mutation having a probability of 10^-5 per birth (and normally affecting 0.25 byte of the DNA) changes all the many components of the proto-chimp/human body in such a coordinated and effective way that a substantial increase in fitness is the result, is so mind-bogglingly absurd that only blind dogmatism can explain such a belief.

Of course no mutation can spread or persist in the species gene pool unless it provides "a substantial increase in fitness"!

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!

How mind-numbingly simple-minded! That almost makes me want to post a kitten picture or one of those funny "The Stupid - it Burnz" pictures so prevalent on the web.
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Old 16th April 2008, 04:04 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by balrog666 View Post
Of course no mutation can spread or persist in the species gene pool unless it provides "a substantial increase in fitness"!

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!

How mind-numbingly simple-minded! That almost makes me want to post a kitten picture or one of those funny "The Stupid - it Burnz" pictures so prevalent on the web.
Or maybe just rickroll and hope the thread gets condemned to aah.
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Old 16th April 2008, 05:34 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by zosima View Post
Or maybe just rickroll and hope the thread gets condemned to aah.

That would do it too but April 1st has passed all too soon.
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Old 16th April 2008, 06:44 PM   #79
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I think you guys are missing the point.

Wogoga isn't saying that evolution didn't happen. His argument is that evolution by natural selection of mutations didn't happen because the probability is too low, so it must have been directed by an external agency. In his case that external agency is the "Psychon", or soul, which he believes resides in all living things, and all atoms.

His probability argument is a way to satisfy himself that his Psychon theory is correct.
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Old 16th April 2008, 10:24 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by wollery View Post
I think you guys are missing the point.

Wogoga isn't saying that evolution didn't happen. His argument is that evolution by natural selection of mutations didn't happen because the probability is too low, so it must have been directed by an external agency. In his case that external agency is the "Psychon", or soul, which he believes resides in all living things, and all atoms.

His probability argument is a way to satisfy himself that his Psychon theory is correct.
Who's missing his point? I think we get that. Personally, thats why I try to spend at least half my time poking fun at his soul-juice theory.

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