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Bio-bullets

Random mutation is antithetical to natural selection

The genetic mutation that results in biological evolution cannot logically be erratic, because the very nature of natural selection is to make mutants adaptive.

professor caricatureProf. Mumblebard claims: "Mutations alter genes haphazardly because they are errors. Those mutations that happen by sheer chance to be beneficial will persist as a result of natural selection. It would be unscientific to suggest that the organism can exert any influence on the quality of mutation beyond what is generated randomly. Instead, it is this very randomness{njaccess 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8} that provides a sound scientific principle for the theory of evolution."{!njaccess}… See the hidden half of Prof. Mumblebard’s claim by subscribing here{/njaccess}

logoRobin and the Honey Badger respond: "Natural selection should be assumed to affect all features and processes of organisms, including mutational processes. Consequently, selective pressure should have produced a directed, efficient system of mutation, as opposed to a random and inefficient one. Random mutation – which results in predominantly deleterious mutations – should be disfavoured by natural selection just like any other inefficient process. The existence of many enzymes{njaccess 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8} for correcting mutations shows that organisms control which mutations are ultimately expressed. But selective pressure on the process of mutation should go beyond what is expressed, ensuring that organisms control not only the correction of mutations but also the generation of the mutations in the first place. This would result in the minimising of mutational errors, the maximising of correction of such errors before they are expressed, and the maximising of beneficial mutations at source."{!njaccess}… Reveal the hidden half of this response by Robin and the Honey Badger by subscribing here{/njaccess}

 

Please join us here at the Bio-edge with your own comments. In the discussion below we encourage links to any evidence supporting either Prof. Mumblebard or Robin and the Honey Badger. Illustrations are welcome but please cite all sources or we may be forced under copyright to delete your comment.

 

Random mutation is antithetical to natural selection

Last modified on 01 July 2015

Comments   

0 #1 Zoophile 2014-02-11 15:11
It’s one of those seldom-question ed beliefs of evolutionary theory that mutation is random, but I found it quite hard to pin down an example of this being stated clearly as a theoretical assumption. Richard Dawkins does state, and I quote, that “there is random genetic variation“, at 53 seconds into this clip, which dates to April 2012. So Dawkins is on the record as describing evolution as process in which genes mutate randomly and then are subjected to natural selection.

0 #2 Johns 2014-03-06 10:11
Robin and Honeybadger do have a fair point if you think of evolution as a logical exercise. If the randomness of mutation at source just keeps going on forever, unaffected by natural selection, what’s is it about this compartment of the organism that makes it exempt in this way? It’s almost as if neo-Darwinism is based on an unspoken assumption that there’s something about mutation that ‘just is’, as opposed to being a biological process itself and therefore adaptable in its own right. Almost like a quasi-creationi st meme crept in through the back door when no-one was looking, to become one of the planks of the argument ostensibly against creationism. It’s perhaps a bit surprising that none of the big protagonists of neo-Darwinism, from Dawkins down, have mentioned this seeming self-contradict ion in evolutionary theory. I’m sure they would have noticed a logical conundrum in this?
0 #3 R. Kumar 2014-03-06 14:47
Mutation can be induced in bacteria, which doesn’t really support the idea that mutations are random. This clip also talks about repetitive DNA. As they point out here, if mutations were just random the overall effect would be deleterious of the organism, even with natural selection operating.

0 #4 Gronbek 2014-03-07 11:42
DNA is the genetic material in all forms of life, because the original bacteria used DNA. Just as the DNA system has remained throughout evolution from bacteria upwards, so the same method of generating genetic variation has remained. That is random error. Surely this is theoretically sound, what’s the big problem with it?

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