Biologic Drift – Another Failed Theory

We keep hearing that Darwin is obsolete and “evolution” has turned into a real science lately. Apparently not. Here is why this relatively new theory – that was supposed to rescue “evolution” – is in fact demonstrably incorrect.

  1. Drift in biology is “evolution by randomness”.  The ‘drift’ idea was championed by Motoo Kimura as “The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution”. Kimura was motivated by JBS Haldane’s dilemma: too much polymorphism exists for “natural selection” to be able to pick and chose “beneficial” genes due to gene colocation in the genome and to the propagation time in the population. Of course, Haldane’s dilemma is only due to the conflict between his nonnegotiable assumptions that “natural selection”, “fitness” and “beneficial mutations” are all real and the observable realities of biology. The ‘drift’ idea claims that random events cause allele frequencies to change over time and in extreme cases, ‘drift’ is seen eliminating or fixing certain alleles in the whole population. Drift is supposed to operate independent of “natural selection” to the extent the allele is not strongly “beneficial” or “detrimental” for its frequency to be primarily a product of “natural selection”.
  2. Outside of “evolution”, drift adds to nothing or is aimlessly carried by known forces. In the first case it has no effect on anything either in the short or the long term. In the second case it is explained by the carrying force and therefore is itself not an explanation of anything. Examples of driven drifts are driftwood, wind-driven snow, rain, cloud, dust, or smoke as well as aircraft moved by air currents (all these driven). Inconsequential drift examples include aimless course or random movement. In biology too, genetic drift should either be inconsequential or, if lasting changes are observed, not drift but the real driving forces behind this drift should be held responsible.
  3. A fair coin is a good model for inconsequential biologic drift. But how can that be, given mutations can take the population in a myriad directions, not just two (head and tails)? The fair coin model works because from a starting population, there are only two mutually exclusive directions possible on any of the myriad dimensions: towards or away from the initial value. For instance, mutations can make a second generation taller, greener, heavier, etc. But the third generation can only be even more tall, green, heavy, etc. than the original population, or less so than the second generation and therefore more like the original population. Just as with a fair coin, the output is binary: further away (call it ‘tails’) or closer to (call it ‘heads’). To prove random drift irrelevant in biology, let us consider the statistical case for drift by using a fair coin sequence. Yes, there is a statistical probability however small to see a series however large of tails (or heads), but eventually that series must end. As the chart shows, the probability of a sustained random drift decreases exponentially to nil. And over a much longer time, the realized events still sum up to an average of “no change”. This is easily verifiable experimentally. And if a significant bias persists over the long term, then the coin cannot possibly be ‘fair’.
  4. Population bottleneck cannot lead to “evolution”. Populations sometimes decrease dramatically due to competition, disease, predation or natural catastrophes. But killing the majority of one allele while sparing most of another is either a non random scenario or not possible except in the tiniest of populations and thus inconsequential. Post bottleneck, mutations occur and are claimed to further cause the strain to diverge from the original. But if no driving force is involved, there is no reason to believe mutations would work in a diverging direction only as the statistics discussion proves. Therefore, only a driving force, not drift can be responsible for long term changes following a bottleneck event. Alleles could indeed disappear from a population due to a series of random events, but either the population is small hence the loss is irrelevant; or, if that small population grows, a mutation will likely reintroduce the allele; or, in an already large population, the allele loss is highly unlikely due to random events not scaling up with the population size. Either way, random allele loss cannot possibly drive “evolution”.
  5. Founder effect also cannot lead to “evolution”. Many islands contain unique species due to having been populated by only a few organisms. Similar to bottlenecks, founder effect reduces the amount of genetic diversity in a population, meaning certain biological characteristics are overrepresented and these individuals are hypothesized to form new populations with different gene pools from the original population. But the same problem arises: the sum of mutations cannot be divergent unless a force other than drift itself causes that. If the environment weren’t drastically different, rather than diverge one would expect the new population to converge to the old strain instead given that at least that strain is known to be viable. Furthermore, if one small group found its way to the island, what prevents other small groups from repeating the trip and cancelling any such founder effect? The best explanation for the founder effect is thus that it is an ephemeral artifact and that all lasting differences are just adaptations unrelated to any random drift.
  6. There is more to the “dilemma” than Haldane’s take, and it’s all bad for “evolution”. A few things we know for sure: a) bottleneck populations are much more homogeneous as observed in the northern elephant seal, European bison, domestic animals, etc.; b) unique founder features (including injurious ones) persist for a long time in the founded population c) established populations (no bottleneck) are likely to be polymorphic with morphs in long term equilibrium. The theory of “evolution” predicts “beneficial” mutations taking over the population resulting in an “evolved”, better population over time. This is inconsistent with polymorphism and with the propagation of the founder’s features (some seeming “deleterious”) over time. Not only that, but normal population variability argues against “natural selection”. Because “fitness” functions cannot be calculated even in principle, let alone forecasted for any of the morphs, a hypothesized “natural selection” cannot possibly operate in biology. Furthermore, newfound populations, while adapted to their new environment, are in no way superior to their mainland cousins, even after the longest time from the split. This clearly shows “beneficial mutations” impossible. Thus, Haldane’s dilemma can easily be solved by removing his prejudiced, hopeless and disproved assumptions of “natural selection”, “fitness” and “beneficial mutations”.
  7. Balancing selection, an alternative to drift, fails to solve Haldane’s dilemma. The big idea of “balancing selection” is that the “fitness” of an organism with two alleles (heterozygote) is higher than the “fitness” of either allele (homozygote). Perhaps “fitness” changes in time from young to adult. Or “fitness” of a phenotype is dependent on its frequency relative to other phenotypes – rare morphs of prey are actually “fitter” due to predators concentrating on the more frequent morphs. However, there is no way to forecast anything of this sort or even to explain with any confidence the frequencies of these alleles. An elusive, fluid “fitness” attempting to explain all ends up explaining nothing, therefore it is a redundant hypothesis. And why would “fitness” changes in time? Why wouldn’t a morph “evolve” to do away with this temporal weakness? And what should the frequency and number of alleles be? Again, no rhyme or reason. Take ABO blood system. Why not more or fewer types? Why these frequencies? And why the current distribution? These are not just unanswered; they are unanswerable question with any degree of confidence.
  8. In conclusion, both drift and “natural selection” are disproven by polymorphism. As seen, drift in itself is not an explanation. All bottleneck drift “examples” are of theoretical cartoonish type (colored balls/ rabbits/ bugs). Some founder effect examples are real but inconsequential (northern elephant seal and Amish polydactyly) as clearly none of these leads to any “evolution”. Meanwhile, “natural selection” is perplexed and for sure inexistent as “fitness” is nowhere observable let alone quantifiable, therefore also a chimera.

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haldane%27s_dilemma

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_theory_of_molecular_evolution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_divergence

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balancing_selection

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterozygote_advantage

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymorphism_(biology)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_polymorphisms#Ants

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterozygote_advantage#Cystic_fibrosis

https://sciencing.com/difference-between-natural-selection-descent-modification-17942.html

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189 thoughts on “Biologic Drift – Another Failed Theory

  1. Joe Felsenstein,

    Well, as I understand it, Nonlin “simplified” mutation effects in two types of slight phenotypic modifications: up or down, thus represented by a coin toss. For example, heads could mean that the mutation gives the population a slight increase in height (yes, the whole population, which implies that the whole population gets the mutation at the same time), and tails that the population decreases slightly in height. Nonlin then imagines that the net result would be neutral. No changes in phenotype. Meaning that the population would drift with no net changes, in other words, the population would drift neutrally.

    The spectacular thing about this neutrally drifting population is that Nonlin concludes that neutral theory and genetic drift are false. How so? It would seem that Nonlin thinks that for neutral theory/genetic drift to be right, instead of a neutrally drifting population, you need one that’s changing constantly in one direction, like getting taller and taller and taller, like a coin landing on the same side all the time.

    So, Nonlin’s “model” doesn’t contemplate the mutations themselves. Nonlin’s “model” only contemplates the phenotypic effects, with mutations implicitly spreading in a population in one generation (though Nonlin might not understand why this is implicit in her/his “model”). This might be why Nonlin gets so upset and surprised that you talk about alleles and genes.

    ETA: I suspect that the problem is deeper than just Nonlin’s lack of understanding about what neutral theory and genetic drift are about. I think that Nonlin imagines that “evolutionists” want/need to explain the whole of evolution with just one mechanism. In other words, I suspect that Nonlin imagines that neutral theory was proposed to explain everything in evolution, to supplant natural selection as an explanation for everything in evolution. In Nonlin’s head, It seems that anything has to be all-or-nothing or else it’s false.

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  2. Entropy: …neutral theory was proposed to explain everything in evolution, to supplant natural selection as an explanation for everything in evolution.

    Insightful. I confess that I have thought neutral theory has been oversold at times.

    +1
  3. Alan Fox: Insightful. I confess that I have thought neutral theory has been oversold at times.

    [by whom?] 😉

    Neutrality is a baseline assumption. There is one process, population resampling, which can be biased or unbiased according to circumstance. When two populations are segregated, the differences between them accumulate independently. That it doesn’t require selection to cause such divergence is, I think, an important update. Also, neutrality as a null hypothesis allows selection to be detected, to stand out from that background as, for example, silent/nonsilent substitution ratios.

    +3
  4. Allan Miller: That it doesn’t require selection to cause such divergence is, I think, an important update.

    That’s a huge plus. Genetic drift drives speciation. I’m a convert!

    +2
  5. Alan Fox: This is actually true for large populations. Confirms the stopped clock hypothesis.

    ?!?

    Alan Fox: There’s a reason the Neutral Theory is known as the Neutral Theory.

    We’ll get to that. For now, just to be clear, you’re saying none of the blood types is any better/worse than the others. Right?

    Allan Miller: Not really any kind of rebuttal, except in the sense of being a statement in the space below mine, as is the convention.

    ?

    Allan Miller: 0.00001902587. Why do you ask?

    You got all the numbers, yet can’t draw the conclusion. Try harder.

    DNA_Jock: If you really think that it “needs to be normalized”, you will have to explain what you mean by this and why this adjustment is required.

    Yeah… I explained a thousand time and you still don’t get it. I’m afraid 1001 won’t be magical for you.

    DNA_Jock: Yeah, that’s right! That’s the second half of “Flint’s intuition” :

    No. We just established that it is wrong. In your own words:
    “(In your example, if you know that the total was 10 after 100 tosses, then, as you correctly note, the expected total will be 10, for all future n).”

    DNA_Jock: So over time, with enough tosses, two things happen: the total count difference between heads and tails will increase, and the percentage difference will decrease.

    Your comment was wrong. Twice. It is not the difference, but the absolute value. And it is not the actual difference, but a probabilistic value. Will you acknowledge? Will you not acknowledge? Should I hold my breath?

    Joe Felsenstein: I think nonlin.org is asking whether genetic drift (and maybe random mutation) but without natural selection, can explain all of what we see in evolution.

    You’re wrong about “nonlin”. Also, “see in evolution” is nonsensical.

    Joe Felsenstein: Beyond that nonlin.org is modeling something — it is not explained what — by tossing the same fair coin repeatedly, independently, and than triumphantly noting that the resulting fraction of Heads converges to 1/2.

    You need to read again and ask when you don’t understand.

    Corneel: There will be genetic drift for any finite value of N.

    In a model, yes. In real life, no.

    Corneel: Genetic drift will occur with or without fitness differences. If there are no fitness differences, the allele with the highest frequency has the highest chance of being fixed.

    The simple question was: “Nonlin.org: And let’s look at the ABO blood system. Which one is “deleterious” and will therefore disappear and how many mutation cases do you know?”
    …to which you served a generic story that doesn’t answer the question. Let’s try again. Of course, you can also reply “they’re all equal” if that’s your belief. And you know the next questions: “how and why?”

    Corneel: Nonlin.org: If that were all “evolution” was about, then we wouldn’t have much to argue about.

    That is why you look so silly arguing regardless.

    Talking about silly… you don’t get it. Point is: allele frequency isn’t what separates us from monkeys and snails. Is it? And if so, how can this (your) comment make any sense:
    “The most common definition of evolution you’ll find is a change in the heritable characteristics / genetic composition / allele frequency of a population.”

    Corneel: Please don’t deny that birds have wings.

    Birds are dragons?

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  6. Entropy: For example, heads could mean that the mutation gives the population a slight increase in height (yes, the whole population, which implies that the whole population gets the mutation at the same time), and tails that the population decreases slightly in height. Nonlin then imagines that the net result would be neutral. No changes in phenotype. Meaning that the population would drift with no net changes, in other words, the population would drift neutrally.

    Entropy: It would seem that Nonlin thinks that for neutral theory/genetic drift to be right, instead of a neutrally drifting population, you need one that’s changing constantly in one direction, like getting taller and taller and taller, like a coin landing on the same side all the time.

    Entropy: I think that Nonlin imagines that “evolutionists” want/need to explain the whole of evolution with just one mechanism. In other words, I suspect that Nonlin imagines that neutral theory was proposed to explain everything in evolution, to supplant natural selection as an explanation for everything in evolution.

    The blind leading the blind.

    Allan Miller: When two populations are segregated, the differences between them accumulate independently. That it doesn’t require selection to cause such divergence is, I think, an important update.

    How could you prove “accumulate”? Also, how would you know what drives said accumulation?

    Alan Fox: Genetic drift drives speciation.

    So human races are different species now?

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  7. Nonlin.org: So human races are different species now?

    No. Quite the opposite. Humans form rather a large population and mixing across large distances is common now compared to historically.

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  8. Nonlin.org: For now, just to be clear, you’re saying none of the blood types is any better/worse than the others. Right?

    No. Not sure where you got that impression. It all depends on the niche.

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  9. In a major breakthrough, Alan Fox understands (?) that the genome is not all it’s cracked up to be: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/irreducible-complexity-a-weak-argument/comment-page-1/#comment-283345

    Of course, he doesn’t pick up on the bad vibes for “evolution”. Namely that genetic drift, allele frequency, molecular (gene) clock, “human 99% monkey”, “shell-fish gene”, and all other sand castles built on “the genome” will now come crumbling down.

    So much for “evolution” parasitizing genetics. Haha.

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  10. Alan Fox: Humans form rather a large population and mixing across large distances is common now compared to historically.

    So we stop speciation is what you’re saying.

    Alan Fox: It all depends on the niche.

    Right. The Frenchy.

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  11. Nonlin.org: You need to read again and ask when you don’t understand.

    I did but, alas, no explanation was forthcoming from nonlin.org.

    Entropy,

    Many thanks — that sounds close to being an explanation of what nonlin.org may have meant.

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  12. Nonlin.org: So we stop speciation is what you’re saying.

    Speciation happens following genetic isolation. If small isolated populations remain isolated genetically for long enough then speciation (interbreeding does not produce viable offspring) could happen. The trend is away from that scenario currently.

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  13. Nonlin.org: Your comment was wrong. Twice. It is not the difference, but the absolute value. And it is not the actual difference, but a probabilistic value.

    nonlin, doubling down on your ignorance is not a good look.
    I was actually quoting Flint, and his ‘intuition’ that, as n increases, the difference between the number of heads and the number of tails will increase. You fail to understand this; you appear to not understand what the word ‘absolute’ means in mathematics; you appear to only be willing to agree that the total number of heads (and tails) will increase… maybe this is as far as we can lead you…
    Flint’s intuition is correct:

    the total count difference between heads and tails will increase, and the percentage difference will decrease.

    I recognize that you cannot wrap your brain around this well-known math result. For instance, you think it is inconsistent with the statement

    In your example, if you know that the total was 10 after 100 tosses, then, as you correctly note, the expected total will be 10, for all future n

    These two statements are in fact both true. The expected total will remain fixed at ten, whilst the actual ‘distance’ from ten will inexorably increase – perhaps going into the negative values… Beyond encouraging you to re-read my comment re folding the bell curve over, or look at the sims I ran, I don’t know what more can be done with your Tortucan ignorance. The random walk will continue to (on average) move further and further away from the origin, whilst the expected delta remains zero. Your ‘normalization’ [sqrt(n)÷n] is equivalent to noting that the average speed of the walk (distance traveled ÷ number of steps) will decline as n grows. True. But the distance from the origin will carry on increasing.
    Just because it is counter to your intuition does not mean that it is wrong. Your intuition, unlike Flint’s, is what is wrong.
    (btw, thanks to the error I made, you should actually double the expected distances from the origin that I quote in that comment. Obviously, you were unable to figure that out.)

    +1
  14. I also note that, in addition to the math errors nonlin is making, his ‘modeling’ is unrelated to biology for the reasons described by Entropy.

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  15. Nonlin.org to someone else:
    You need to read again and ask when you don’t understand.

    I propose that as the irony of the year.

    🤣

    +2
  16. Nonlin.org: In a model, yes. In real life, no.

    Whenever you find yourself in a tight spot, you predictably resort to denial. The theory has been empirically tested many, many, many times, most famously by Peter Buri. Models like the Wright-Fisher model describe the behaviour of real life systems just fine.

    Nonlin.org: The simple question was: “Nonlin.org: And let’s look at the ABO blood system. Which one is “deleterious” and will therefore disappear and how many mutation cases do you know?”

    All of which I answered. You need to read again and ask when you don’t understand.

    Nonlin.org: Point is: allele frequency isn’t what separates us from monkeys and snails. Is it?

    Yes, it is. The vast majority of species differences are brought about by the creation of novel alleles by mutation followed by gradual shifts in allele frequency by selection and drift.

    Nonlin.org: Birds are dragons?

    Nonlin.org: So much for “evolution” parasitizing genetics. Haha.

    This is pathetic, Nonlin. Let’s try again: Do you believe the difference between winged and non-winged … ahem … animals not to be associated with any genomic differences? How do you imagine evolutionary change to proceed without genetic change?

    Which reminds me; I am also still waiting for an answer to my previous question: How does the process you describe in the OP differ from your “regression to the mean”?

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  17. Corneel:
    This is pathetic, Nonlin. Let’s try again: Do you believe the difference between winged and non-winged … ahem … animals not to be associated with any genomic differences? How do you imagine evolutionary change to proceed without genetic change?

    Nonlin’s “logic” goes as follows: since Darwin didn’t know about genetics, evolution, the phenomenon, has nothing to do with genetics and doesn’t happen. Of course, this applies only to anything Nonlin doesn’t like for religious reasons. For example, since Nonlin’s religion doesn’t conflict with gravitation, gravitation does happen, even though Newton didn’t know about curving space-time and such.

    ETA: Lately, it also seems that, for Nonlin, if metaphors, similes, or analogies, don’t apply absolutely-literally-perfectly to the genome, for some unknown, magical, and mysterious reason, it should follow that evolution and genetics cannot be related, and that evolution is false. Go figure.

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  18. Entropy: Nonlin’s “logic” goes as follows: since Darwin didn’t know about genetics, evolution, the phenomenon, has nothing to do with genetics and doesn’t happen.

    My impression is that Nonlin actually acknowledges the usefulness of genetical research and is therefore really annoyed to find out it has been historically so closely intertwined with *ick* evolutionary biology.

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  19. Corneel,

    I suspect that Nonlin doesn’t actually acknowledge the usefulness of genetics. I suspect that Nonlin imagines a magical being in the sky forming a person regardless of the genetics. Maybe the genome would have something to do with it, but the need for the magical being in the sky to perform the work, at the very least, seems to be there in Nonlin’s imagination. I think this is why Nonlin insists on “the cook is… ?!?“, or “the genome is not all it’s cracked up to be“, and such shit (besides taking metaphors too literally).

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  20. DNA_Jock: I was actually quoting Flint, and his ‘intuition’ that, as n increases, the difference between the number of heads and the number of tails will increase.

    If so, you quoted a double-false statement and didn’t call it. Even worse, when I asked “WTF?” you didn’t like it. Now that’s “doubling down”.

    DNA_Jock: But the distance from the origin will carry on increasing.

    This is not a guarantee. And as such, it is a false statement. No ifs and buts.

    DNA_Jock: I also note that, in addition to the math errors nonlin is making, his ‘modeling’ is unrelated to biology for the reasons described by Entropy.

    You have yet to pinpoint a TRUE error – math or otherwise. Meanwhile, I just called two of your blatant errors. Which you have not denied and have blamed on another. Be a man.

    As far as my modeling, it’s better than “genetic drift” (allele frequency) which is clearly not what separates different organisms and contrary to reality as shown.

    Corneel: The theory has been empirically tested many, many, many times, most famously by Peter Buri. Models like the Wright-Fisher model describe the behaviour of real life systems just fine.

    Think about it. How can you even test something to be random? What is your null?

    Corneel: All of which I answered.

    I don’t see. Now be cool and answer (again if that’s the case). No more stories.

    Corneel: The vast majority of species differences are brought about by the creation of novel alleles by mutation followed by gradual shifts in allele frequency by selection and drift.

    See? Here you go again with a fantastic story. But we’re not talking about “brought about”, are we? We’re talking about here and now. What separates us? It’s not just alleles, is it?

    Corneel: Do you believe the difference between winged and non-winged … ahem … animals not to be associated with any genomic differences?

    Are you asking if there are genetic differences between “winged and non-winged … ahem … animals”? If so, yes.

    Corneel: How do you imagine evolutionary change to proceed without genetic change?

    Probably a shock to you, but I very much doubt “evolutionary change”.

    Corneel: How does the process you describe in the OP differ from your “regression to the mean”?

    I describe a process? That’s news to me. The idea is that whenever we see sustained change, we should seek the underlying cause and not assume randomness.

    Regression to the mean is observable, so why your quotation marks?

    Corneel: My impression is that Nonlin actually acknowledges the usefulness of genetical research and is therefore really annoyed to find out it has been historically so closely intertwined with *ick* evolutionary biology.

    “Intertwined” is such a hilarious word. Will you intertwine another joke?

    Entropy: I think this is why Nonlin insists on “the cook is… ?!?“, or “the genome is not all it’s cracked up to be“, and such shit (besides taking metaphors too literally).

    But is it true? Why let the crickets do the answering?

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  21. Nonlin.org:
    Entropy: I think this is why Nonlin insists on “the cook is… ?!?“, or “the genome is not all it’s cracked up to be“, and such shit (besides taking metaphors too literally).

    Nonlin: But is it true?

    What do you mean by “it”? You have to be more specific, since I quoted two examples of your “insistences.”

    Nonlin.org:
    Why let the crickets do the answering?

    I know you love evidencing your problems with reading for comprehension. Thus, I’m not surprised that you didn’t notice that I wasn’t talking to you, and that I answered your claims elsewhere. For example here. I’m not surprised either that you didn’t notice that the answer is also in what you quoted. So, read again:

    Entropy:
    I think this is why Nonlin insists on “the cook is… ?!?“, or “the genome is not all it’s cracked up to be“, and such shit (besides taking metaphors too literally).

    As Corneel said:

    Corneel:
    You can’t handle analogies, Nonlin. Best to keep them away from you.

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  22. Nonlin.org to DNA_Jock:
    You have yet to pinpoint a TRUE error – math or otherwise. Meanwhile, I just called two of your blatant errors. Which you have not denied and have blamed on another. Be a man.

    Curious that you cannot confront the problems I found with your “model” [and “conclusion!”], curious that you run away from clarifying any of it, yet you ask someone else to “be a man.”

    ——-
    (You agreed before that your “model/conclusion” didn’t make sense. Why are you trying to defend it now?)

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  23. Corneel: My impression is that Nonlin actually acknowledges the usefulness of genetical research and is therefore really annoyed to find out it has been historically so closely intertwined with *ick* evolutionary biology.

    My own impression is that nonlin appears to know very little about genetics. He has, for instance, insisted that every last genetic difference between species must associate with the morphological differences between them. This was to wave away the fact that I could take a gene, any gene, of his choosing or random, and recover an approximation of the Linnaean hierarchy from a simple BLAST.

    +1
  24. Nonlin.org: Think about it. How can you even test something to be random? What is your null?

    You have been told repeatedly in this thread, but you just don’t listen. Peter Buri started a large number of replicate populations of Drosophila flies, each starting with a 50:50 % polymorphism at the brown eye colour locus. He then propagated these cultures for 19 generations. The null hypothesis is that on average the allele frequency doesn’t change (and indeed it changed very little). This proved that selection was absent or very weak at this locus. But very few individual populations ended up remaining at the initial frequency. The distribution of all population frequencies during the experiment conformed to one predicted by a repeated process of binomial sampling, precisely like Joe has been telling you. This amounts to a collection of random walks, precisely like Jock has been telling you. You need to start paying attention to what people are telling you. Seriously!

    Nonlin.org: Now be cool and answer (again if that’s the case).

    encore:
    * If we assume evolution at this locus proceeds by genetic drift only, no one allele can be considered “deleterious”.
    * The allele with the largest chance of being lost by genetic drift is the one with the lowest allele frequency.
    * There are multiple 0-alleles. The 0-alleles keep reappearing by recurrent mutation, since these represent loss-of-function mutations.

    Nonlin.org: Are you asking if there are genetic differences between “winged and non-winged … ahem … animals”?

    No, I was asking whether having wings has a genetic basis. Hint: the answer is “yes”.

    Nonlin.org: Me: How do you imagine evolutionary change to proceed without genetic change?

    Nonlin: Probably a shock to you, but I very much doubt “evolutionary change”.

    But you do not doubt genetic change occurs. Given the way evolution is usually defined, this is an incoherent position.

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  25. Entropy,

    Allan Miller,

    I fully agree that Nonlin’s grasp of genetics is pretty feeble. Yet I suspect that he does have some respect for the discipline. This explains his attempts to cast evolutionary biology as a parasite on genetics.

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  26. Entropy: What do you mean by “it”?

    Is it true that a recipe (as in “the genome is a recipe”) without a cook is worthless?
    Is it true that “the niche” or “the spoon” cannot be “the cook”?
    Is it true that an organism is not defined by its genome?

    Entropy: I’m not surprised either that you didn’t notice that the answer is also in what you quoted.

    Of course the genome is not an actual recipe. But metaphors must fit. And a recipe metaphor without a cook metaphor is stupid.

    Entropy: Curious that you cannot confront the problems I found with your “model” [and “conclusion!”], curious that you run away from clarifying any of it, yet you ask someone else to “be a man.”

    You didn’t find anything, and your rant is too incoherent to dissect. But here are a few pointers:
    Take…
    “Nonlin then imagines that the net result would be neutral. No changes in phenotype.”
    Not what I wrote. First, there is not one “net result”. There are generations after generations. Second, there are changes from gen to gen (how can there not be with a new coin toss?), but if they take the population somewhere, something other than drift is responsible. Another possibility is small (inconsequential) populations which are more exposed to randomness. That’s why Joe models extremely endangered populations of 1000. Had he modeled millions or billions and if he added some mutations, his population would almost never converge. Would it Joe?

    Now take…
    “It would seem that Nonlin thinks that for neutral theory/genetic drift to be right, instead of a neutrally drifting population, you need one that’s changing constantly in one direction, like getting taller and taller and taller, like a coin landing on the same side all the time.”
    This is pure stupidity and not what I wrote. No other way to put this.
    Now this…
    “This might be why Nonlin gets so upset and surprised that you talk about alleles and genes.”
    Not upset. Amused. Alleles is not what separates organisms. We (all organisms) don’t all have the same genome but with different alleles. Why do I have to explain this? Therefore, now-it’s-genetic-drift, now-it’s-“evolution” is a stupid bait-and-switch.

    Allan Miller: He has, for instance, insisted that every last genetic difference between species must associate with the morphological differences between them.

    You must be confused. Do you have a quote to back this up?

    Corneel: The null hypothesis is that on average the allele frequency doesn’t change (and indeed it changed very little). This proved that selection was absent or very weak at this locus. But very few individual populations ended up remaining at the initial frequency.

    And this has what to do with “evolution” by biologic drift? Or with anything I wrote in this analysis for that matter?

    And on another note, how can rejecting “The null hypothesis is that on average the allele frequency doesn’t change” prove random drift? IOW your absurd conclusion is that “random drift is true because allele frequency changes”. Seriously?!?

    Corneel: * If we assume evolution at this locus proceeds by genetic drift only, no one allele can be considered “deleterious”.

    And this disproves “natural selection”. Or as I learned,
    “Kimura was motivated by JBS Haldane’s dilemma: too much polymorphism exists for “natural selection” to be able to pick and chose “beneficial” genes due to gene colocation in the genome and to the propagation time in the population. Of course, Haldane’s dilemma is only due to the conflict between his nonnegotiable assumptions that “natural selection”, “fitness” and “beneficial mutations” are all real and the observable realities of biology. “

    Corneel: * The allele with the largest chance of being lost by genetic drift is the one with the lowest allele frequency.

    And this presumably will result in human “evolution”? But you just said neither alleles is “deleterious”. So how can humans be “more evolved” if any one allele is lost? See the problem? Alleles and “evolution” don’t mix.

    Corneel: No, I was asking whether having wings has a genetic basis. Hint: the answer is “yes”.

    If true, then you would be able to point to the wings-gene. And to transfer said gene to humans, thus further crippling the airline industry. Can you?

    Corneel: But you do not doubt genetic change occurs. Given the way evolution is usually defined, this is an incoherent position.

    The only thing incoherent is trying to hitchhike “evolution” on genetics. I have exposed the incompatibility of the two.

    0
  27. Nonlin.org:
    Is it true that a recipe (as in “the genome is a recipe”) without a cook is worthless?

    You cannot handle metaphors Nonlin, which makes your question nonsensical if you pretend to apply it to understanding anything about the genome. In other words: you’re taking the metaphor too literally.

    Nonlin.org:
    Is it true that “the niche” or “the spoon” cannot be “the cook”?

    You cannot handle metaphors Nonlin, which makes your question nonsensical if you pretend to apply it to understanding anything about the genome. In other words: you’re taking the metaphor too literally.

    Nonlin.org:
    Is it true that an organism is not defined by its genome?

    Organisms are not completely defined by their genomes, but their genomes are an important part of what defines them.

    Nonlin.org:
    Of course the genome is not an actual recipe. But metaphors must fit. And a recipe metaphor without a cook metaphor is stupid.

    Metaphors only need to fit the part that’s being explained using them. They don’t have to fit in absolute terms. Some here have attempted to comply with your demands and extended the metaphors only to find you asking for more and more extensions. I refuse to play your insane game because your problem is that you take them too literally, and playing your game makes you feel justified in that nonsense.

    Nonlin.org:
    You didn’t find anything, and your rant is too incoherent to dissect. But here are a few pointers:

    I’m just describing the very same you described in different words. Now it seems you don’t understand your own “model.”

    Nonlin.org:
    “Nonlin then imagines that the net result would be neutral. No changes in phenotype.”
    Not what I wrote. First, there is not one “net result”. There are generations after generations. Second, there are changes from gen to gen (how can there not be with a new coin toss?),

    I suspect you don’t understand the concept of “net result.” The “punchlines” of your “model” starts with the claim that straight heads (or straight tails) are very improbable, which means that the net result would be mostly neutral, that the population would go nowhere. Only small changes if anything. It would be, ahem, drifting. You confirm that here:

    Nonlin.org:
    but if they take the population somewhere, something other than drift is responsible.

    See? You doubt that your “model” takes the population anywhere. Now, maybe you don’t know what the word “neutral” means. In your model the population doesn’t change (much) in height. That’s what neutral means. Your model is about a population “drifting” in height, rather than changing constantly in height in a single “direction.”

    Nonlin.org:
    Another possibility is small (inconsequential) populations which are more exposed to randomness. That’s why Joe models extremely endangered populations of 1000. Had he modeled millions or billions and if he added some mutations, his population would almost never converge. Would it Joe?

    Joe’s model with a small population was meant to get the point across, not to claim that all populations are of that size. Joe has said himself that the time for fixation of an allele depends on population size. But Joe’s model is genotypic, while your cartoon of a model is phenotypic. You are so far from understanding that you hadn’t noticed that important difference.

    Adding mutations doesn’t change the picture about existing alleles, it just adds alleles. So what? Neutral theory and genetic drift don’t prohibit the appearance of new alleles.

    Nonlin.org:
    “It would seem that Nonlin thinks that for neutral theory/genetic drift to be right, instead of a neutrally drifting population, you need one that’s changing constantly in one direction, like getting taller and taller and taller, like a coin landing on the same side all the time.”
    This is pure stupidity and not what I wrote. No other way to put this.

    Then explain what you meant by:

    To prove random drift irrelevant in biology, let us consider the statistical case for drift by using a fair coin sequence. Yes, there is a statistical probability however small to see a series however large of tails (or heads), but eventually that series must end.

    Because I read it and it shows that, to you, random drift means that the population must go, phenotypically, in a single direction (all heads or all tails), instead of, ahem, drifting randomly. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t remember what you wrote though.

    Nonlin.org:
    “This might be why Nonlin gets so upset and surprised that you talk about alleles and genes.”
    Not upset. Amused. Alleles is not what separates organisms. We (all organisms) don’t all have the same genome but with different alleles. Why do I have to explain this? Therefore, now-it’s-genetic-drift, now-it’s-“evolution” is a stupid bait-and-switch.

    It’s not bait and switch, it’s the natural confusion arising from your lack of understanding of what you pretend to criticize. In this case, Joe assumed that you understood much more than you really do, and thus started talking about actual genetic drift, which refers to alleles and their time to fixation/disappearance given a population size.

    If you present a theme, it’s natural, honest, and kind, to assume that you know what you’re talking about, even if you make mistakes. Joe never imagined you were so far off that you didn’t even understand the context where neutral theory and genetic drift were proposed.

    I know you better, so I assumed you’d be far off, and lo and behold, you cannot even understand how your “model” fits my description. No wonder you were ignoring my comments about it from the very beginning, instead of, in your words, “being a man.”

    A lot of the discussion here arises from your lack of understanding and carelessness in reading for comprehension. But you just cannot get a clue.

    +1
  28. Corneel,
    Did you see any respect for the discipline in that?

    I doubt that “respect” and “Nonlin” can coexist peacefully in the same sentence.

    P.S. Note the “logic”: according to Nonlin, genetics has nothing to do with wings unless you do the experiment and put wings on people. Holy crap! “Infantile” doesn’t even start to describe Nonlin’s mentality.

    0
  29. Nonlin.org,

    OK, this post had a slight nonsense overload. For my favorite, I was torn between these two statements:

    Nonlin.org: And this has what to do with “evolution” by biologic drift?

    Teehee! I guess coin flipping is a much better way to study evolution by genetic drift than observing actual populations of living organisms evolving by genetic drift.

    But the winner must be this one:

    Nonlin.org: If true, then you would be able to point to the wings-gene.

    You are actually denying that having wings has a genetic basis? LOL! You are a riot, Nonlin.

    +1
  30. Entropy: Did you see any respect for the discipline in that?

    True. He has some weird contempt for the HGP. When genetic research ends up having some medical or agricultural benefits he changes his tune though. I’ll see whether I can locate the quotes.

    Entropy: Note the “logic”: according to Nonlin, genetics has nothing to do with wings unless you do the experiment and put wings on people.

    LOL! I know! That guy must be a poe, right?

    0
  31. Corneel:
    LOL! I know! That guy must be a poe, right?

    That’s what I keep thinking. No way this could be sustained for so long without it being some kind of elaborate joke.

    0
  32. Entropy: You cannot handle metaphors Nonlin, which makes your question nonsensical if you pretend to apply it to understanding anything about the genome.

    And how exactly are metaphors properly handled?
    “A metaphor is a figure of speech that is used to make a comparison between two things that aren’t alike but do have something in common.”

    Entropy: Organisms are not completely defined by their genomes, but their genomes are an important part of what defines them.

    And “important” means what exactly? Where is the information needed to turn the zygote into a baby if not in the genome? Perhaps the genome isn’t that important. And if so, what’s up with all that bullshit (including “genetic drift”) riding on the genome?

    Entropy: Some here have attempted to comply with your demands and extended the metaphors only to find you asking for more and more extensions.

    A cook and perhaps even more important an author is essential to a recipe… if you insist on that metaphor. Not an “extension”.

    What would you think about my camel milk recipe knowing nothing other than that I’ve never even seen camel milk?

    Entropy: I’m just describing the very same you described in different words.

    You wish.

    Entropy: In your model the population doesn’t change (much) in height.

    It can change if something other than drift does it. It can also change randomly but will drift up and down with an expected value of “no change”. So, if we see a walk that doesn’t look random, we better suspect something else. And how do we know something doesn’t look random? That’s when the chart comes in handy as it shows the probability of identical sequences decreasing exponentially. For instance, if we see 10 heads in a row, that’s 0.1% probability so a “hmm”. If we then see 20 tails following, that’s another 0.0001%. So very much doubtful we’re dealing with a fair coin at this point. That’s how we know the DNA chain is not random. By rejecting the null “random”. See also http://nonlin.org/intelligent-design/ also discussed here.

    Entropy: Joe has said himself that the time for fixation of an allele depends on population size.

    Yes, and if the size matters (large), then probabilistically no fixation will occur. And if the size doesn’t matter (small), then who cares?

    Entropy: But Joe’s model is genotypic, while your cartoon of a model is phenotypic.

    That’s intentional. And I repeatedly explained why. You just agreed the genome is merely “important”.

    Entropy: Adding mutations doesn’t change the picture about existing alleles, it just adds alleles. So what?

    Big “what” in a large population. The only kind that matters.

    Entropy: Because I read it and it shows that, to you, random drift means that the population must go, phenotypically, in a single direction (all heads or all tails), instead of, ahem, drifting randomly.

    No. See above.

    Entropy: Joe never imagined you were so far off that you didn’t even understand the context where neutral theory and genetic drift were proposed.

    See above.

    Corneel: I guess coin flipping is a much better way to study evolution by genetic drift than observing actual populations of living organisms evolving by genetic drift.

    This drift is supposed to be random, right? Then [fair] coin flip models are suitable.

    And talking about those live experiments, I notice you’re not answering the important questions about your null and what it’s rejection actually means.

    Corneel: You are actually denying that having wings has a genetic basis?

    That is actually a challenge to you, not a denial. Meet the challenge and you will convince me.

    But. Do you also agree the genome is merely “important”, whatever that means? And if the genome is truly not the FULL story, then what are you prepared to give up? Make a full list please. Just don’t say “nothing”.

    0
  33. Nonlin.org: And “important” means what exactly?

    Good question. As an anti-binarist, I would say you need to have some measure of a quantity you call “importance”, then you can assay it and draw conclusions, make predictions and so on. “Importance” would start from zero and there would be no upper theoretical limit

    Where is the information needed to turn the zygote into a baby if not in the genome?

    It is indeed in the genome. For phyisicalists like me, there is no other possibility.

    Perhaps the genome isn’t that important. And if so, what’s up with all that bullshit (including “genetic drift”) riding on the genome?

    Let’s try vital. No genome, no life.

    +1
  34. Nonlin.org:
    And how exactly are metaphors properly handled?

    Easy: by looking at the explanations following the metaphor/simile/analogy, since, obviously, that part is what the metaphor is being used for. If it doesn’t seem to help then the explainer might look for a better one.

    Nonlin.org:
    “A metaphor is a figure of speech that is used to make a comparison between two things that aren’t alike but do have something in common.”

    Exactly! “Something in common” doesn’t mean “everything is to be taken as literally as to go crazy about it!”

    Nonlin.org:
    And “important” means what exactly?

    Good question. I could try and answer if you truly care about it. But I suspect you’re asking rhetorically. Still, as Alan said above, it’s vital.

    Nonlin.org:
    Where is the information needed to turn the zygote into a baby if not in the genome?

    I never said that the information needed wasn’t in the genome. But you asked a much more generic question, which I answered also in generic terms. For example, to form a baby most of the information is in the genome, but some of it is in the system already put in place by a previous genome (here, the mother’s genome), since that system wasn’t built by the baby’s genome. So, the future baby’s genome is crucial, but it would not be able to work without the things built by the mother’s one, or without the food the mother’s eating, etc. There’s some discussion about the role of the original cell’s structure, etc. But the baby’s genome is absolutely crucial. Just not the one and only factor. Take some drug that interrupts some pathway, and, no matter how good the genome, you get trouble.

    Nonlin.org:
    Perhaps the genome isn’t that important. And if so, what’s up with all that bullshit (including “genetic drift”) riding on the genome?

    How could genetic drift not “ride” on the genome? Where do you think genes are found if not in the genome? In outer space? Where do you think mutations happen if not in the genome? On the moon? Where would be the alleles be if not across the genomes of the populations? In Jupiter?

    Nonlin.org:
    A cook and perhaps even more important an author is essential to a recipe… if you insist on that metaphor. Not an “extension”.

    It’s an extension of the metaphor since you’re trying to take it well beyond the intended use/explanation.

    Nonlin.org:
    What would you think about my camel milk recipe knowing nothing other than that I’ve never even seen camel milk?

    I have no idea what you mean by this question.

    Nonlin.org:
    It can change if something other than drift does it. It can also change randomly but will drift up and down with an expected value of “no change”.

    That’s what I said Nonlin. Are you even reading what I write? You got all angry because I said that the net result would be little to no change, remember? Now you agree with me. Go figure.

    Nonlin.org:
    So, if we see a walk that doesn’t look random, we better suspect something else. And how do we know something doesn’t look random? That’s when the chart comes in handy as it shows the probability of identical sequences decreasing exponentially. For instance, if we see 10 heads in a row, that’s 0.1% probability so a “hmm”. If we then see 20 tails following, that’s another 0.0001%. So very much doubtful we’re dealing with a fair coin at this point.

    Again, that’s what I said. You’re not paying attention. I’m not questioning what your cartoon of a model is meant to show. I’m questioning your understanding of what the word “neutral” means, since you think that your 0.0001% proves neutral theory/genetic drift false, when it would prove it right.

    It’s worst than that, since your “model” invisibly accumulates mutations in the population, mutations whose overall phenotypic effect would be close to naught, which would be compatible with neutral theory by definition.

    Nonlin.org:
    That’s how we know the DNA chain is not random.

    Neither neutral theory, nor genetic drift claim that the DNA is random.

    Nonlin.org:
    Yes, and if the size matters (large), then probabilistically no fixation will occur.

    False. In larger populations it takes a larger number of generations for fixation to occur, but it does occurs.

    Nonlin.org:
    And if the size doesn’t matter (small), then who cares?

    I never said it didn’t matter. Again, you’re not paying attention: it matters in determining how long it will take for fixation to occur.

    Nonlin.org:
    Entropy: But Joe’s model is genotypic, while your cartoon of a model is phenotypic.

    Nonlin: That’s intentional. And I repeatedly explained why. You just agreed the genome is merely “important”.

    You have never explained why at all. In the OP you never warn the readers that you’re moving from genes to phenotypes, or give a reason for it. You just do, which shows that you have no idea. You didn’t even try and explain to Joe that your “model” was phenotypic, and when I mentioned it you said nothing to deny or confirm what I said. I suspect that you don’t even know the difference between genotype and phenotype.

    I never said that the genome was “merely” important. For further information, read above (if you can read at all).

    Nonlin.org:
    Entropy: Because I read it and it shows that, to you, random drift means that the population must go, phenotypically, in a single direction (all heads or all tails), instead of, ahem, drifting randomly.

    Nonlin: No. See above.

    Yes. See above. You talk, again, about the probability of straight heads/tails, as if the low probability made genetic drift wrong.

    Nonlin.org:
    Entropy: Joe never imagined you were so far off that you didn’t even understand the context where neutral theory and genetic drift were proposed.

    Nonlin: See above.

    I saw above, and it’s evident that you don’t even understand the meaning of the word “neutral.”

    0
  35. Nonlin.org: And talking about those live experiments, I notice you’re not answering the important questions about your null and what it’s rejection actually means.

    You noticed correctly. Because you failed to spot that I already told you, I figured you wouldn’t understand a second attempt anyway.

    So once again, without much hope: The null hypothesis is that the behaviour in the experiment can be modeled by a repeated process of binomial sampling. This is your null hypothesis! This is the model of random genetic drift!. Its rejection would mean that some of the assumptions of the model have been violated and that other factors are in play. In practice, Peter Buri checked whether the allele frequency in the overall metapopulation remained at 0.5, but that the variance among replicate populations increased as predicted by the model. This behaviour was approximated quite closely.

    Nonlin.org: That is actually a challenge to you, not a denial. Meet the challenge and you will convince me.

    You do not deny that having wings has a genetic basis, but I do need to convince you that this is in fact true? Bugger that! Go read a book on developmental biology!

    Nonlin.org: But. Do you also agree the genome is merely “important”, whatever that means? And if the genome is truly not the FULL story, then what are you prepared to give up? Make a full list please. Just don’t say “nothing”.

    Once again you demonstrate your feeble grasp of the subject matter. We are discussing evolution, which means we are talking about changes in the heritable characteristics of a population. The genome is not just “merely important” in this respect; It carries the vast majority of all heritable information!

    +1
  36. Alan Fox: As an anti-binarist, I would say you need to have some measure of a quantity you call “importance”, then you can assay it and draw conclusions, make predictions and so on. “Importance” would start from zero and there would be no upper theoretical limit

    Youwho? Maybe he that called it “important”? Ask him to quantify said “importance”. I fully agree.

    Alan Fox: It is indeed in the genome. For phyisicalists like me, there is no other possibility.

    Oh. So it (the information needed to turn the zygote into a baby, aka the blueprint) must be in the genome ONLY because your religion said so. That makes total sense. Not.

    Furthermore, contrast that with your OWN words: “The “blueprint” idea suggests a one-to-one relationship between genome and phenotype. But there are no structural plans stored in the genome.”

    Alan Fox: Let’s try vital. No genome, no life.

    You know what else is vital to organisms? Water, air, temperature, the sun,… Yet we only hear about the genome. Would you say it’s big time overrated? I would.

    Entropy: If it doesn’t seem to help then the explainer might look for a better one.

    Entropy: Exactly! “Something in common” doesn’t mean “everything is to be taken as literally as to go crazy about it!”

    Then let’s try again. What exactly has the genome in common with a recipe? And why a recipe in particular and not an epitaph, a song, etc?

    Entropy: I could try and answer if you truly care about it.

    Do try.

    Entropy: For example, to form a baby most of the information is in the genome, but some of it is in the system already put in place by a previous genome (here, the mother’s genome), since that system wasn’t built by the baby’s genome.

    Doubtful. Take any egg laid and then fecundated. What “previous genome”? There’s the egg genome and nutrients. That’s it. Can anyone point to the developmental blueprint anywhere in that picture? So what “most of the information”? And what “previous genome”?

    Entropy: Where would be the alleles be if not across the genomes of the populations?

    But do alleles matter? Obviously not to “evolution” since humans have different alleles yet we’re all one and the same population.

    Entropy: I have no idea what you mean by this question.

    It means “the recipe is as good as its author”. If we go with that metaphor. Which looks more and more like a bad metaphor.

    Entropy: Again, that’s what I said. You’re not paying attention. I’m not questioning what your cartoon of a model is meant to show. I’m questioning your understanding of what the word “neutral” means, since you think that your 0.0001% proves neutral theory/genetic drift false, when it would prove it right.

    This and the rest makes no sense. First and foremost, one cannot possibly prove something random. One can only suspect (not prove) something is non-random based on probabilities.

    Entropy: In larger populations it takes a larger number of generations for fixation to occur, but it does occurs.

    And the proof is…?

    Entropy: In the OP you never warn the readers that you’re moving from genes to phenotypes, or give a reason for it.

    Not “moving”. I made no commitment to genes or “genetic drift”.

    Entropy: Yes. See above. You talk, again, about the probability of straight heads/tails, as if the low probability made genetic drift wrong.

    Well. I explained a couple of times and am not doing it again.

    Corneel: So once again, without much hope: The null hypothesis is that the behaviour in the experiment can be modeled by a repeated process of binomial sampling. This is your null hypothesis! This is the model of random genetic drift!. Its rejection would mean that some of the assumptions of the model have been violated and that other factors are in play. In practice, Peter Buri checked whether the allele frequency in the overall metapopulation remained at 0.5, but that the variance among replicate populations increased as predicted by the model. This behaviour was approximated quite closely.

    I’m not sure what you’re saying. So the null hypothesis was “the model of random genetic drift”? And this null was not rejected? But this is not how the [null hypothesis] process works.

    And regardless. I commented repeatedly that allele frequency is not what separates different organisms. For two reasons: 1. because different alleles coexist within the same population (see ABO) and 2. because many other differences (genetic and non-genetic) besides allele frequency separates say humans from snails. You do get this given your tenuous “wing gene” attack.

    Corneel: You do not deny that having wings has a genetic basis, but I do need to convince you that this is in fact true?

    So you can’t meet the challenge. No surprise there. Say you could have done it. What would that have proved?

    Corneel: We are discussing evolution, which means we are talking about changes in the heritable characteristics of a population. The genome is not just “merely important” in this respect; It carries the vast majority of all heritable information!

    We’re in fact discussing the lack of “evolution”. But anyway, I see your strong conviction. If mitigated by vague terms like “vast” and “majority” and “heritable characteristics” and dubious equivalencies between “evolution” and “changes in the heritable characteristics”.

    But my simpler question and point is: “what does the genome actually do for the organism at all stages and for the population”? What if it does way less than “everything”? And if so, why all this endless talk about “the genome”?

    0
  37. Nonlin.org:
    Entropy: Exactly! “Something in common” doesn’t mean “everything is to be taken as literally as to go crazy about it!”

    Nonlin: Then let’s try again. What exactly has the genome in common with a recipe? And why a recipe in particular and not an epitaph, a song, etc?

    Let’s try what again? I never used the metaphor, I just pointed out that you cannot handle metaphors/analogies/similes. Isn’t enough of your illiteracy showing already?

    Nonlin.org:
    Entropy: For example, to form a baby most of the information is in the genome, but some of it is in the system already put in place by a previous genome (here, the mother’s genome), since that system wasn’t built by the baby’s genome.

    Doubtful. Take any egg laid and then fecundated. What “previous genome”? There’s the egg genome and nutrients. That’s it. Can anyone point to the developmental blueprint anywhere in that picture? So what “most of the information”? And what “previous genome”?

    Have it your way then: your genome completely defines you, context, nutrients, lack of education, parents, accidents like falling falling on your head, etc, don’t matter. You’d be just as astoundingly stupid. Happy now?

    Nonlin.org:
    Entropy: Where would be the alleles be if not across the genomes of the populations?

    Nonlin: But do alleles matter? Obviously not to “evolution” since humans have different alleles yet we’re all one and the same population.

    Look Nonlin, even though you’re an illiterate, here it goes again: you asked “why would genetic drift ride on the genome.” The answer is so obvious as to render your “question” stupid: where else are genes to be found if not in the genome? Answer that and you’ll get the answer to your “question.”

    If I didn’t know that you’re an illiterate, I’d be curious to know what made you think that evolutionary theory suggest that alleles cannot coexist in a population. But I know that’s just your inability to understand what any of the words mean, from allele to gene to genotype to phenotype to evolution. You have no clue.

    Nonlin.org:
    Entropy: Again, that’s what I said. You’re not paying attention. I’m not questioning what your cartoon of a model is meant to show. I’m questioning your understanding of what the word “neutral” means, since you think that your 0.0001% proves neutral theory/genetic drift false, when it would prove it right.

    Nonlin: This and the rest makes no sense. First and foremost, one cannot possibly prove something random. One can only suspect (not prove) something is non-random based on probabilities.

    Of course it makes no sense, just remember it’s you who proposed such a ridiculous “model.” Of course you’re not proving that genetic drift is false, you’re describing a “model” that agrees with it, yet you think that your “model” contradicts it, because you don’t know what the words “neutral” and “drift” mean. You’re left arguing semantics because you have no idea what I’m taking about.

    0
  38. Nonlin.org to Corneel:
    But my simpler question and point is: “what does the genome actually do for the organism at all stages and for the population”? What if it does way less than “everything”? And if so, why all this endless talk about “the genome”?

    You already decided that the genome does everything. Why would you question your own decision now? Just to show off your incoherence?

    0
  39. Let’s keep the fun:

    3. A fair coin is a good model for inconsequential biologic drift. But how can that be, given mutations can take the population in a myriad directions, not just two (head and tails)? The fair coin model works because from a starting population, there are only two mutually exclusive directions possible on any of the myriad dimensions: towards or away from the initial value.

    Hum. Well, let’s see where this goes:

    For instance, mutations can make a second generation taller, greener, heavier, etc.

    So, this model is about the effects of the mutations on the phenotype. We’re following a population, and a whole generation is affected by these mutations in a single step. That implies that the mutations spread immediately to the whole population. Does Nonlin realize this?

    But the third generation can only be even more tall, green, heavy, etc. than the original population, or less so than the second generation and therefore more like the original population.

    OK, so the mutations occur and spread to the whole population again in the third generation, and the effect is still binary.

    Just as with a fair coin, the output is binary: further away (call it ‘tails’) or closer to (call it ‘heads’).

    OK, that’s what I said (yet Nonlin gets very angry when I say it, go figure).

    To prove random drift irrelevant in biology,

    Oh, Nonlin’s proving something’s wrong about random drift.

    let us consider the statistical case for drift by using a fair coin sequence.

    Let’s.

    Yes, there is a statistical probability however small to see a series however large of tails (or heads), but eventually that series must end.

    So, there’s some probability for the population to go, phenotypically, in a single direction, rather than a constant up and down. In other words, in Nonlin’s “model” the population should drift randomly up and down.

    As the chart shows, the probability of a sustained random drift decreases exponentially to nil.

    Wait a minute: sustained heads, or sustained tails, here means random drift? How could it, when the “model” makes the population phenotypically quasi-stable? Does Nonlin understand what the word “random” means? Does Nonlin understand what the word “neutral” in Neutral theory means?

    !!!???

    And over a much longer time, the realized events still sum up to an average of “no change”.

    Didn’t Nonlin get all nuts and angry because I said that the net result would be little if any change?

    So, in summary, Nonlin’s “model” is one where mutations spread to a whole population each generation, yet have little to no effect on the phenotype. However, Nonlin’s “model” is supposed to contradict a theory that proposes that most of the mutations we see are invisible to selection, like any mutations having little to no effect on the phenotype would?

    This is easily verifiable experimentally. And if a significant bias persists over the long term, then the coin cannot possibly be ‘fair’.

    Sure. That’s why we think that the coronavirus mutants that appeared recently in the UK are more infectious, because they’re spreading much faster than expected if the mutations were, ahem, neutral.

    0
  40. Nonlin.org:

    Me: We are discussing evolution, which means we are talking about changes in the heritable characteristics of a population. The genome is not just “merely important” in this respect; It carries the vast majority of all heritable information!

    Nonlin: We’re in fact discussing the lack of “evolution”. But anyway, I see your strong conviction. If mitigated by vague terms like “vast” and “majority” and “heritable characteristics” and dubious equivalencies between “evolution” and “changes in the heritable characteristics”.

    Dubious equivalence you say? Let’s take a look at the very first sentence of the Wikipedia lemma on evolution, shall we?

    Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.

    Really? Evolution is actually defined like that? So what does the second sentence say?

    These characteristics are the expressions of genes that are passed on from parent to offspring during reproduction.

    Genes? Like, those things that sit in genomes? Incredible, the things one can learn from reading two sentences into a Wikipedia entry.

    Nonlin.org: So you can’t meet the challenge. No surprise there. Say you could have done it. What would that have proved?

    That would have proven that Nonlin.org can occasionally be reasoned with. Alas, you have lapsed into your usual denial routine again. Time for me to bail out.

    +2
  41. Corneel: Dubious equivalence you say? Let’s take a look at the very first sentence of the Wikipedia lemma on evolution, shall we?

    Corneel validates himself with Nuttypedia. Haha.

    And I say more than “dubious equivalence”. That other part remains undefended. I can only hope you acknowledge that part of the argument.

    And since you’re mute on the null hypothesis, I’m hopeful again that, if you still don’t understand it, at least you’re thinking about how it works and how you misused it.

    Corneel: Really? Evolution is actually defined like that?

    Must be true because… “defined like that”.

    Corneel: Nonlin.org: So you can’t meet the challenge. No surprise there. Say you could have done it. What would that have proved?

    That would have proven that Nonlin.org can occasionally be reasoned with.

    Reasoned without proof you demand? What’s this? The phantasmagoric evoland?

    Entropy,

    Crazy little monkey goes of the rails again. Quick, someone bring the banana juice perfusion.

    0
  42. Nonlin.org:
    Crazy little monkey goes of the rails again. Quick, someone bring the banana juice perfusion.

    Oh! Poor cry-baby! Your bullshit exposed for what it is! Poor poor tantrum-prone baby. Now, now, Nonlin, it will pass. You’ll grow up and you’ll be able to just admit to your mistakes and move on. Here’s your pacifier.

    🤣🤣😂🤣😂🤣🤣

    0
  43. Nonlin.org:
    Corneel validates himself with Nuttypedia. Haha.

    No little cry-baby, Corneel showed you the entry on evolution in the only source you seem able to try and check (and even that not very well).

    Now, since you call it Nuttypedia, and eight of the nine “references” in your OP are to that very resource, what does that make you?

    Take care of that foot. The pain is because you shot yourself right there.

    🤣🤣😂🤣😂🤣🤣

    +2
  44. Mung:
    Still trying to grok “Biologic Drift” Theory.

    Entropy, above, thinks he has figured out what nonlin means by it. If you disagree with Entropy’s interpretation of what nonlin meas by it, let us know why. Lots of us here are grok that too.

    0

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