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Thread: About mutations being random

  1. #1 About mutations being random 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Im not religious but i do believe that the idea of mutations being 100% random is ridicolous.

    Why does no desert animals suddently develop swimming fins?

    Why does no water living animals suddently develop legs?

    Even if that actually does happen please bare with me

    My idea is that maybe the organism registers its surroundings to a very small degree over time.

    Lets say you have a species living on land that moves closer to water. The added time spenditure in water doesent make that species instantly deveop fins. However the organism saves the information to its genes - that its habitat (Spelling?) is more and more affected by water. Now as this information to the organism accumulates over generations - the large amount of time spent in water and such makes its offspring to eventually born with fins ( Or other water living traits)

    Now at this same time a population of the same species lives farther up in land. They will not develop fins. Then lets say a huge flood occur.

    What happens now is that the part of the species without fins died, while the ones with them survived.

    Isnt it possible that somewhere in the DNA, information based on outside influences like temperature, physical behaviour, time spent in water and such is saved and that genes that causes mutations are made apperant in offspring first when a certain amount of exposure is met?


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  3. #2 Re: About mutations being random 
    Forum Masters Degree Twit of wit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Im not religious but i do believe that the idea of mutations being 100% random is ridicolous.

    Why does no desert animals suddently develop swimming fins?

    Why does no water living animals suddently develop legs?
    Because such radical changes require more than one mutation.


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  4. #3 Re: About mutations being random 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Im not religious but i do believe that the idea of mutations being 100% random is ridicolous.

    Why does no desert animals suddently develop swimming fins?

    Why does no water living animals suddently develop legs?
    Because such radical changes require more than one mutation.
    Ok :P But the rest of my idea to how it occurs, not possible either or?
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  5. #4 Re: About mutations being random 
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Im not religious but i do believe that the idea of mutations being 100% random is ridicolous.

    Why does no desert animals suddently develop swimming fins?

    Why does no water living animals suddently develop legs?
    Because such radical changes require more than one mutation.
    Ok :P But the rest of my idea to how it occurs, not possible either or?
    This is what is known as Lamarckian evolution. Unfortunately it has never been shown to happen and is pretty much discounted as impossible.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  6. #5 Re: About mutations being random 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Im not religious but i do believe that the idea of mutations being 100% random is ridicolous.

    Why does no desert animals suddently develop swimming fins?

    Why does no water living animals suddently develop legs?
    Because such radical changes require more than one mutation.
    Ok :P But the rest of my idea to how it occurs, not possible either or?
    This is what is known as Lamarckian evolution. Unfortunately it has never been shown to happen and is pretty much discounted as impossible.
    Thanks Kalster. Ill look it up and check it out.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  7. #6  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    please remember that whilst mutations may be random (as related to the survival value for the organism), natural selection only allows the viable mutations and embryology needs to be able to build a coherent body
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  8. #7  
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    The notion of "random" is pretty complex, in the arena of mutations.

    Some areas of the genomes of many organisms are more prone to mutation, some are more likely to be repaired immediately, and some of that vulnerability or response is subject to organismic or environmental influence.

    Some specific mutations are more likely than others - in the sense that due to the structure holding them, their insulation from incoming chemicals or radiation, the energy necessary to swap one particular nucleic acid for another, etc, not all possibilities are equally likely at all codon sites.

    But they do happen by chance. The odds are loaded, in some organisms, in some situations.
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  9. #8  
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    Dear Raziell,

    'Im not religious but i do believe that the idea of mutations being 100% random is ridicolous.'

    I'm not entirely sure what religion has to do with the randomness or otherwise of mutations. Unless you are referring to that subsection of religious communities which discount the Theory of Evolution, preferring for example the literal interpretation of the Genesis Creation Story. Anyhow, you believe that mutations are not random events. As stated by an earlier forum member, there are some nuances here. However, as far as I understand it - please correct me if I am wrong - by describing mutations as 'random' events, what is really meant is that all codons in the genome of any given organism are equally susceptible to change. Any number of codons may therefore be subject to change - only those which have a significant impact on fitness will be affected by Natural Selection. Evolution has no foresight; if you will.

    'Why does no desert animals suddently develop swimming fins?'

    a. The cohort of mutations necessary to allow desert animals to develop swimming fins have not occurred.
    b. If such mutations did occur, the swimming fins would presumably provide no selective advantage to the organism in question. In fact, they may even prove to be disadvantageous - the organism would be investing energy in producing limbs which might hinder its own survival chances. As a result, the organism may have less energy to invest in reproducing. The mutations would not be stably propagated in the gene pool. A lot of that is necessarily conjecture, but it probably goes something like that.

    'Why does no water living animals suddently develop legs?'

    Largely for the same argument as outlined above.

    'Even if that actually does happen please bare with me'

    It doesn't happen. The only circumstance under which I can think it might happen is by atavism.

    'My idea is that maybe the organism registers its surroundings to a very small degree over time.'

    This may be true, depending upon how the statement is interpreted. However, it is a bit 'fluffy'.

    'Lets say you have a species living on land that moves closer to water. The added time spenditure in water doesent make that species instantly deveop fins. However the organism saves the information to its genes - that its habitat (Spelling?) is more and more affected by water. Now as this information to the organism accumulates over generations - the large amount of time spent in water and such makes its offspring to eventually born with fins ( Or other water living traits)'

    Correct, the added time expenditure in water does not make that species instantly develop fins. 'However the organims saves the information to its genes'. Care must be taken when saying something like this. What is likely to happen is that mutations may occur in genes encoding proteins which, when expressed, contribute to the development of rudimentary limbs. Any organisms expressing such limb-like appendages will have a survival and/or reproductive advantage over limbless fellows and as such the modified genes will be positively selected. The progression to full-on fin is likely to occur via a series of intermediary steps, if you will. It is likely to be gradual as opposed to instant. In that sense, then yes, the organism saves the information to its genes. You spelled habitat correctly, by the way. 'Makes its offspring to eventually be born with fins'. No, no. The phenotype must first be expressed, before the underlying genotype can be selected for or against. It's a bit like... if you type HABITAT in an entry into a Science forum, the spelling cannot be positively selected by fellow members until it has been posted (i.e. expressed)... maybe that is not such a good analogy...

    'Now at this same time a population of the same species lives farther up in land. They will not develop fins. Then lets say a huge flood occur. What happens now is that the part of the species without fins died, while the ones with them survived.'

    That may well happen. I'm not sure that they would still be members of the same species; it would depend on whether or not they were still able to interbreed. They may diverge via geographical isolation and a novel species may come into being.

    'Isnt it possible that somewhere in the DNA, information based on outside influences like temperature, physical behaviour, time spent in water and such is saved and that genes that causes mutations are made apperant in offspring first when a certain amount of exposure is met?'

    To the former part - entirely possible. My DNA encodes saved information that allows a Homo sapien to survive in primarily the Northern hemisphere of planet Earth. To the latter part - no, genes do not cause mutations. And I don't understand the last part; it probably is wrong.

    Tri :wink:
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