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

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Steve McGrew

Posts: 9
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Several questions on evolution, and mutation (rate)
Posted: Aug 27, 1996 1:50 AM
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In article <Pine.ULT.3.91.960825034630.14248E-100000@freenet.vcu.edu>,
David Beorn <dbeorn@freenet.vcu.edu> wrote:

> Well, I don't know that we can say with CERTAINTY that life evolved but
> people certainly do SAY it. I've heard calculations that to just form
> one protein (amino acid?? I think) by chance, one of the building
> blocks of life is 10 to the 46th power - and that's not even life. So the
> probability for life is significantly greater than that. And the time
> involved is significantly greater than the longest estimates for the age
> of the earth - so what conclusions should you draw from this??


What do you suppose the person who did those calculations meant by the
term "by chance"? My guess is that he calculated the number of different
possible amino acid chains of some particular length, and called the
reciprical of that the probability that any one chain of that length would
come into existence.

In that case, the calculation is wrong, wrong, wrong. In genetic
algorithms, which are systems that evolve in ways crudely analogous to
biological systems, it is not uncommon to find the one optimum solution
out of 10 to the 50th possible solutions, while only actually looking at
10 to the 4th trial solutions. In other words, evolution uses
stochastistic processes, but gets to where it's going very fast.

You really can't get a clear understanding of evolution, I think,
without hands-on experience. One way to get hands-on experience is to
download a genetic algorithm demo and play with it for a few months.
Another is to carry out some of the lab procedures like those of Frances
Arnold or Gerry Joyce, where just a few generations of mutation, selection
and reproduction produce RNA or amino acid sequences with greatly improved
properties.

Steve McGrew

--
Steve McGrew | stevem@comtch.iea.com
New Light Industries, Ltd. | www.iea.com/~nli
9713 W. Sunset Hwy | phone 509-456-8321
Spokane, WA 99204 USA | fax: 509-456-8351







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

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