Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: Several questions on evolution, and mutation (rate)
Replies: 52   Last Post: Sep 8, 1996 9:44 PM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Larry Adams Posts: 1 Registered: 12/12/04
Re: Several questions on evolution, and mutation (rate)
Posted: Aug 21, 1996 5:38 PM

In article <3219C30A.1907@cliff.backbone.uoknor.edu>, vjohns@cliff.backbone.uoknor.edu says...
>
>Felix J. Thibault <fthibau@comp.uark.edu> wrote:

>>
>> Andrew Singer <asinger@flute.aix.calpoly.edu> writes:
>> ...

>> > "..the mathematician D.S. Ulam argued that it was highly
>> >improbable that the eye could have evolved by the accumulation of small
>> >mutations, because the number of mutations would have to be so large and
>> >the time available was not nearly long enough for them to appear..."

>>
>> someone can clear up something for me. It seems that since the argument is
>> probability based we can interpret it as follows:
>> Given a multitude of earths,with evolution occuring as it does here,
>> it the probability of the human eye arising again on one of these earths
>> in the 4.5 billion years(from my early 80's geology book) it took here is
>> infinitesmial.
>> This is how I interpret Stuart Kauffman's argument on E Coli, _The
>> Origins of Order_,pp21-22,that we should not look at the probability of a
>> known evolutionary event recurring,but instead should look for the
>> probability that some such event could occur. We wouldn't expect other
>> intelligent life forms to speak any human language after all, we would
>> just expect them to have some system which serves them as our languages
>> serve us.

>
>The analogy I've seen to this is that of tossing a coin 10 times and
>looking at the pattern of heads and tails that results (a common
>experiment in elementary probability); for example, we might get
>T H H H T H H T H H .
>
>Now we can ask what the probability is of that exact sequence (0.001)
>and marvel in amazement that that is what happened. Of course,
>every time we do this we'll get *some* result, it just won't be
>exactly the same as what actually happened.
>
> -- Vincent Johns
>

Are the odds of inanimate materials coallescing to form life greater or lesser
than those for the appearance of the human eye?

Date Subject Author
8/15/96 Andrew Singer
8/16/96 Lluis Ribas
8/16/96 Doug Yanega
8/17/96 Leonard Evens
8/16/96 KIRKX L AUGUSTIN
8/17/96 Leonard Evens
8/28/96 Brian Williams
8/29/96 Lauren Owens
8/18/96 Felix J. Thibault
8/20/96 Vincent R. Johns
8/23/96 Richard M Kliman
8/25/96 David Beorn
8/26/96 Vincent R. Johns
8/27/96 Steve McGrew
8/27/96 James Foster
8/29/96 David Beorn
8/30/96 James Foster
8/31/96 L.A. Moran
9/3/96 James Foster
9/4/96 L.A. Moran
9/4/96 James Foster
9/4/96 Ram Samudrala
9/4/96 James Foster
9/4/96 Ram Samudrala
9/5/96 James Foster
9/5/96 Ram Samudrala
9/6/96 James Foster
8/27/96 Joan Shields
8/28/96 Steve McGrew
8/29/96 David Beorn
8/30/96 Jerry Learn
8/31/96 Doug Easton
8/30/96 Larry Edwards
8/30/96 Doug Yanega
9/7/96 David Beorn
8/27/96 David Dixon
8/28/96 Dana Gourley
8/30/96 Herman Helmuth
9/6/96 Jerry Clark
8/22/96 Truett L Smith
8/28/96 Brian Williams
8/23/96 Karl
8/24/96 Steve McGrew
8/25/96 Arthur Chandler
8/21/96 vorsterd@iafrica.com
8/22/96 Anthony Campbell
8/22/96 Mary K. Kuhner
8/31/96 Arthur Chandler
9/4/96 David Wilson
9/6/96 Ram Samudrala
9/8/96 David Wilson