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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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 Dana Gourley Posts: 1 Registered: 12/12/04
Re: Several questions on evolution, and mutation (rate)
Posted: Aug 28, 1996 11:47 AM

In article <stevem-2608962152460001@spk1a-19.iea.com>,
stevem@comtch.iea.com (Steve McGrew) wrote:
>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.
>

I'd like to intergect that evolution can only take place once life has been
established.(life:a self replicating mutatable machine) Therefore there is a
falacy in using genetic algorithims in producing the first proteins, if
indeed, proteins were established before life.

I personally have a problem in believing protein enzymes formed spontaneously
from aminoacids in an aqueous environment, just because the thermodynamics is
all wrong. Ok lets say there was a natural catalyst for this condensation
reaction some long time ago in the past. It would naturally break down
proteins just as fast as it built them up, destroying the protolife.

Anyways this argument is pretty old and I wont tire you with it. Until we
have made a spontaneous life form in the testtube, the argument will
continue.

However I have a real hard time with people arguing against evolution
occurring once life has started. Its such a beutiful theory, that simplifies
our understanding of the world arround us, that to challenge evolution seems
to me to be challenging the religion of science(ie. the belief that the world
may be understood ) And if you refute that basic tenet... well, I can't
really argue with you, I wouldn't know how.

Dana Gourley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dana Gourley
71A Churchill St.
Waterloo, Ontario
725-2201

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