Andrew Singer wrote: > 1- How does someone determine how long it would take for a series of > mutations to occur (all being presumably favorable mutations)?
Mutations occur on a cellular level very frequently (everybody has thousands of little benign mutations like melanoma, etc.), but they are only relavent when passed on, so the reproduction rate is all that counts.
> 2- How accurate should one assume these calculations are?
We don't know enough about all the causes of mutations yet to be accurate, and it is even harder to decide what is favorable. We only recently approved research 40 years ago showing that viruses spice snippits of genes from one organism to the next.
> 3- What is the latest estimate of the age of the earth, and consequestly the earliest life form?
Sorry, but I forgot. I think it is about 20 billion years though.
> 4- And since D.S. Ulam's analysis was done in 1967, would the almost > certain difference in time be enough for his calculations to work (of > course you'd have to know more specific info about his calculations to > answer that question...is anyone familiar with them)?
> 5- I'm aware that there is an "official" rebuttle to this book, do you > know the name of it and or the author? > Nope.
> Now I have a couple of questions that arose while reading other parts of the book. > > 1- Is it impossible to consider that the mutation rate might have > decreased to its presently observed rate (as a result of any number of > factors which you could come up with just as good as I)?
There is much evidence that radioactive mutations were much higher in the past due to volcanic and meteroite activity. Also organism have developed defense mechanisms that defend them from some virus caused mutations.
> 2- That's enough questions for now...I have more, but I think I've taken > up enough of your time. > > Thanks for any help you may be willing to give. Please forward any > responses to my email address below. > > Andrew Singer > email@example.com