most of the mutations

But not all of them. It’s interesting that even the most hardened creationists who have exposure to some science still cannot quite bring themselves to rule out the possibility of a beneficial mutation. Here’s Sal:

Much (not all) the heterozygosity and alleles were created and thus differences were strategically positioned to not cause functional compromise and most of the mutations thereafter are rare variants and slightly damaging.

So if most are slightly damaging then a few are beneficial. And if a few are beneficial then even fewer will be highly beneficial.

It’s not just Sal, but many IDCreationists seem to allow the possibility that a mutation may occur that is beneficial. Indirectly, of course, usually similarly phrased to the above. I don’t even think most of them know they are doing it.

So, Sal et al. What is it that is stopping the tiny number of beneficial mutations that you unwittingly admit happens spreading in a population? As presumably what you give with one hand you take away with the other. There must be some other mechanism preventing that, otherwise you are basically agreeing with the evilutionists. That is the topic of this thread.

Go team!

186 thoughts on “most of the mutations

  1. stcordova:
    To OMagain’s question:

    Gee, maybe I could be persuaded I’m wrong if the TSZ Darwinists could identify 10 traits that are only in a minority of individuals today that they expect will spread and overtake the global population.Adult milk digestion is about the only one I’ve heard so far.

    If they can’t give answers, then they should explain why they can’t give answers.Thus they can give OMagain a better answer than I can.C’mon guys, have at it.

    Oh, don’t worry, that wouldn’t convince you.

    Seems like you’ve gotten a lot of answers, a lot of evidence. None worth mentioning from you.

    Glen Davidson

  2. stcordova: How about a list of 10 traits that are only in a minority of human individuals today that you expect will spread and overtake the global population.

    Well, of course we both know there is no such possibility. If you look at this paper from Robet Carter: https://creation.com/evidence-for-genetic-entropy

    My colleague John Sanford and I have recently published a paper in a secular journal with what we believe are profound implications.1 Our basic claim is that ‘genetic entropy’ works in the real world, which brings questions about the role of natural selection and the long-term survival of species into the future.

    We’re all going extinct long before there’s any chance of any such thing happening. Trick question!

    Next!

  3. dazz,

    Is “selection threshold” something he made up on the spot? Is he ignoring population size too? For all I know larger populations make selection increasingly more capable of getting mutations with low selection coefficient fixed

    That’s the case, assuming efficient mixing (less possible the bigger you get, of course; it’s a simplification).

    Selection threshold is a thing – for a given population size, there is a threshold selection coefficient below which an allele acts neutral – its fixation probability is no better than a genuinely neutral allele’s.

    My point was that when you pool multiple alleles, the population ‘acts big’, even if your assessment of a single allele would have it below the threshold. Treating a pool of 3 alleles as 1 single allele in a population thrice the size makes it clear that the neutral argument cannot just multiply up, with its implication that below-threshold beneficial alleles can never get fixed at greater than the neutral rate. The Law Of Large Numbers suggests that they can over the longer run.

  4. Ok, back to the OP:

    So, Sal et al. What is it that is stopping the tiny number of beneficial mutations that you unwittingly admit happens spreading in a population? As presumably what you give with one hand you take away with the other. There must be some other mechanism preventing that, otherwise you are basically agreeing with the evilutionists. That is the topic of this thread.

    Go team!

    Ok team, you gotta tell OMagain how tiny is tiny. To start this out, how many traits are there in the human race? Give a guess. Then how many traits can you identify that are in the minority of individuals on the planet that will spread and overtake the population in a million years? I mean, if there are zero such beneficial traits you can unequivocally claim, then well, how are zero traits going to spread through the population?

    Go team indeed. 🙂

  5. stcordova,

    Then how many traits can you identify that are in the minority of individuals on the planet that will spread and overtake the population in a million years?

    Do you make a similar request of Sanford?

  6. dazz: So for the authors of this paper, neutral evolution is “unproductive from an evolutionary perspective”. Do they back that up at all?

    It’s hard to make out what the hell that even means. We know of many examples of the evolution of beneficial functions that required neutral steps.

  7. Allen Miller:

    Do you make a similar request of Sanford?

    No, because he doesn’t think there are that many, if any, such traits. If you could list a thousand, then maybe you could change our minds.

    The fact no one has even put for a single unequivocal example is evidence John Sanford is right as far as human evolution in the present day is concerned. That is one component of the claim he laid out in the Book Genetic Entropy available at Amazon:

  8. Allan Miller: My point was that when you pool multiple alleles, the population ‘acts big’, even if your assessment of a single allele would have it below the threshold. Treating a pool of 3 alleles as 1 single allele in a population thrice the size makes it clear that the neutral argument cannot just multiply up, with its implication that below-threshold beneficial alleles can never get fixed at greater than the neutral rate. The Law Of Large Numbers suggests that they can over the longer run.

    Ah, I think I get it: having more than one beneficial alleles, all below the neutral threshold, will obviously increase the probability that one of them gets fixed, so some beneficial allele will get fixed at greater than the neutral rate

  9. stcordova,

    No, because he doesn’t think there are that many, if any, such traits. If you could list a thousand, then maybe you could change our minds.

    So you acccept without demur the point that deleterious mutations will accumulate, but demand specifics on the beneficial side. Spot the double standard there?

  10. dazz,

    Ah, I think I get it: having more than one beneficial alleles, all below the neutral threshold, will obviously increase the probability that one of them gets fixed, so some beneficial allele will get fixed at greater than the neutral rate

    Yep, that’s it. I should really do a simulation to show it (mathematically, it’s beyond me!) but you can’t just take the probability for one and use that as the probability for many.

    But also, fixation is not the end of the matter. If a population has taken a step down mount improbable, by fixing detriment, more mutations are going to be uphill – including the back-mutation, re-seeding the one just lost. Beneficial alleles have much more secure tenure.

  11. Joe Felsenstein: Or something. Meanwhile the whole field of population genetics ignores phoodoo’s great discovery.

    Was it Ernst Mayr who coined the phrase “bean bag genetics”? Sounds like he held it in high esteem.

  12. Allan Miller: The problem with stochastic processes is that you can’t have perfect foreknowledge of the result. That’s why they’re stochastic. If you did, they wouldn’t be stochastic.

    You’re talking about genetic drift or the evolutionary process as a whole?

    What about selection, isn’t it stochastic as well?

  13. Allan Miller: by fixing detriment,

    Ha, Ha, Ha.

    Maybe you need to go back and read your definition of fitness again.

    Or perhaps you can write a book, it can be called The Unfitness of Fitness. Or even The Fitness of Unfitness, because what’s the difference really.

    The fittest survive. Or the unfittest survive, if they happen to be the fittest sometimes.

  14. Mung:
    Way back when life was just getting started almost all mutations must have been beneficial!

    And when the dinosaurs went extinct, almost all mutations, ok well all of them, must have been detrimental.

  15. OMagain: I’m asking what magic stops all beneficial mutations spreading.

    I can answer that one, its easy.

    Definitions. When the beneficial mutation doesn’t spread, just change what beneficial means. When it does spread, change the definition back again.

    It works with a lot of things, its great. Fitness, evolution, …the possibilities are unlimited.

  16. Seriously, I have yet to meet a Creationist or IDist who does not accept microevolution. And the OP is about microevolution. But it asks us to believe that innumerable Creationists and IDists reject microevolution.

    I’m thinking we’re being skunk smelled!

    I think it’s time to censor OMagain’s OP’s too. We don’t need more crap like this stinking up the front page of this prestigious blog. Right Alan?

  17. Mung: But it asks us to believe that innumerable Creationists and IDists reject microevolution.

    If it’s impossible for any beneficial mutation to spread that’s exactly what they are rejecting.

    Can you give an example of microevolution Mung? Then we can talk about the specific mutations involved and how they are or are not beneficial to the organism.

  18. Mung: Because stupid questions aren’t arguments?

    So beneficial mutations can spread? Welcome to the other side. What need for your purported designer is there then?

  19. phoodoo: Definitions. When the beneficial mutation doesn’t spread, just change what beneficial means. When it does spread, change the definition back again.

    Your incoherence is showing. Tuck it back in.

  20. Mung: I think it’s time to censor OMagain’s OP’s too. We don’t need more crap like this stinking up the front page of this prestigious blog. Right Alan?

    A very Trump-esque move.

  21. Mung: Seriously, I have yet to meet a Creationist or IDist who does not accept microevolution. And the OP is about microevolution. But it asks us to believe that innumerable Creationists and IDists reject microevolution.

    No, the OP is about adaptation. All Creationists and IDers object to the evolutionary biological account of how adaptation comes about.

  22. Mung,

    You’re talking about genetic drift or the evolutionary process as a whole?

    What about selection, isn’t it stochastic as well?

    Yes, I’m talking about the whole evolutionary process. In the context of the comment – the ‘winner of the race’ analogy – that’s one where expectation is not always met, due to the stochastic nature of things, even when there is a differential.

  23. Mung,

    John Sandford did a simulation. It wasn’t beyond him.

    He didn’t address that particular question. I too have ‘done simulations’, just not that one.

    (And, his download imported a virus, so I’d recommend anyone approach with caution. Not his fault, granted.)

  24. phoodoo,

    The fittest survive. Or the unfittest survive, if they happen to be the fittest sometimes.

    Not quite, no. Detrimental alleles, if fixed, are still detrimental alleles. 12 is still less likely than 7 on a two-dice roll. It doesn’t stop being less likely when it happens.

  25. phoodoo,

    Definitions. When the beneficial mutation doesn’t spread, just change what beneficial means. When it does spread, change the definition back again.

    No again. Loving the argumentum ad shitparaphrasum. Shows great comprehension skills. Keepitup.

  26. This is an excellent OP by OMagain.

    So, Sal et al. What is it that is stopping the tiny number of beneficial mutations that you unwittingly admit happens spreading in a population? As presumably what you give with one hand you take away with the other. There must be some other mechanism preventing that, otherwise you are basically agreeing with the evilutionists. That is the topic of this thread.

    Go team!

    But unfortunately team Darwin is having a hard time identifying 10 measly NEWly emerged traits that they expect to spread and fix in a population by selection (not drift). In fact the list is closer to ZERO than to 10.

    Oh my, maybe I was wrong!!! I used the word “most”. Should I have used the word “all”??????

    most of the mutations thereafter are rare variants and slightly damaging.

    Oh no, tell me I didn’t make a mistake, because then, noooo, ALLLLLLLL the variants are slightly damaging. You can demonstrate I made a mistake by

    1. OVERSTATING: give no unequivocal examples of NEW traits that recently emerged that will spread and overtake the human population in the next million years by natural selection (not by DRIFT). Drift is unlikely to fix a NEW trait since time to fixation is on the order of some multiple of Ne and Ne is on the order of a Billion.

    2. UNDERSTATING show that most NEW traits are beneficial rather than damaging.

    Btw, slightly damaging does not necessarily mean it is deleterious in terms of differential reproductive success. Recall sickle cell anemia is “beneficial” in the world of Darwinism, because it is reproductively successful in a malaria ridden environment. Thus a damaging mutation can be:

    1. selectively favored (like sickle cell anemia)
    2. neutral (the selection coefficient is effectively zero)
    3. selectively unfavored (like juvenile diabetes)

  27. Allan Miller:

    So you acccept without demur the point that deleterious mutations will accumulate, but demand specifics on the beneficial side. Spot the double standard there?

    That’s because it’s obvious selection doesn’t even get rid of a lot of traits like juvenille diabetes and cancers in mammals. Heck, selection does a good job of perpetuating some traits like winglessness in beetles, loss of organs and genes in creatures.

    We have evidence REductive evolution rather CONstructive evoluton creates the genetic pattern we see as we have discovered pan genomes such as the one for E. Coli. We see this pan genomic pattern repeatedly and experiment and observation suggest is caused by gene loss or HGT, NOT new genes!

    click to enlarge:
    http://merenlab.org/images/anvio/2015-11-14-pan-genomics/pan-genome-2.png

  28. stcordova: But unfortunately team Darwin is having a hard time identifying 10 measly NEWly emerged traits that they expect to spread and fix in a population by selection (not drift). In fact the list is closer to ZERO than to 10.

    OMagain is talking about mutations. Why do you turn it into “traits”?

  29. stcordova,

    That’s because it’s obvious selection doesn’t even get rid of a lot of traits like juvenille diabetes and cancers in mammals. Heck [… snip the usual]

    The deleterious mutations have to spread by exactly the same means that the beneficial ones do. The only basic difference in this regard between a beneficial and a deleterious trait is the value of its selection coefficient.

    So your deleterious mutations take over the population by unseen, magic means. You can ‘prove’ this by pointing to a deleterious mutation that exists. I’ll point to a beneficial allele, then: the non-deleterious allele of any detriment you care to bring up. Neither of us, at this stage, knows which will succeed. Yours wins ‘cos Sal Sez. So, mine wins ‘cos Al Sez.

  30. Mung:

    Was it Ernst Mayr who coined the phrase “bean bag genetics”? Sounds like he held it in high esteem.

    The Mayr card evidently has a high value in Creationist Top Trumps.

  31. Allan:

    The deleterious mutations have to spread by exactly the same means that the beneficial ones do.

    Say what?

    The only basic difference in this regard between a beneficial and a deleterious trait is the value of its selection coefficient.

    Say what?

    I can guess why you’re saying that — beneficial and deleterious are equivocated terms. That’s not a good situation.

    The way I interpret most population genetics literature, “beneficial” by definition is positively selected for. Whereas “beneficial” has a different meaning in the medical sense.

  32. Allan Miller:
    phoodoo,

    Not quite, no. Detrimental alleles, if fixed, are still detrimental alleles. 12 is still less likely than 7 on a two-dice roll. It doesn’t stop being less likely when it happens.

    When the definition of fitness (when you are not changing the definition to suit your new argument) is those that survive, any allele that is fixed is fit by definition. Oh course, you like to play with definitions so you never have to be held to a position, so you sometimes say, “No, no, its not those that survive, its those which are predicted to survive”-which is of course hilarious, because then an allele can be both fit and unfit, depending on who gets to predict.

    Or maybe there is like a Grand Predictor, a title which is bestowed in a secret meeting of Atheists where everyone wears a moose hat and plaid boxers from the Neil Degrasse Tyson collection.

  33. stcordova,

    Allan: The deleterious mutations have to spread by exactly the same means that the beneficial ones do.

    Sal: Say what?

    By population genetic mechanisms – they have to become inherited by all members of the future popuation. If ‘the human genome’ is deteriorating, that means that you think deleterious mutations are on the way to being fixed in the human population.

    Allan The only basic difference in this regard between a beneficial and a deleterious trait is the value of its selection coefficient.

    Sal: Say what?

    It’s definitional. A beneficial mutation would have a selection coefficient > 0, a detrimental one < 0, if we adopt the convention where 0 is neutral.

    I can guess why you’re saying that — beneficial and deleterious are equivocated terms. That’s not a good situation.

    Nor is it the actual situation. See above.

    The way I interpret most population genetics literature, “beneficial” by definition is positively selected for. Whereas “beneficial” has a different meaning in the medical sense.

    Of course it does. We should adopt the population genetic meaning when we talk of population change.

  34. phoodoo,

    When the definition of fitness (when you are not changing the definition to suit your new argument) is those that survive, any allele that is fixed is fit by definition.

    I never even mentioned fitness. You brought it in so you could gibber about it some more. The definition of fitness in population genetics is never ‘those that survive’. You can battle against a definition that is not used all you want, I guess, it’s your life.

  35. phoodoo: No, no, its not those that survive, its those which are predicted to survive”-which is of course hilarious, because then an allele can be both fit and unfit, depending on who gets to predict.

    So the disease allele at the DMD gene, which causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is not less fit than the wildtype allele?

    I am not sure who got to be Grand Predictor this month, but I think we were in agreement about his one.

  36. Allan Miller: I never even mentioned fitness.

    Oh, you mean we are talking about beneficial, not fit. I see. Can you please tell me the difference between a beneficial allele and a fit allele?

  37. phoodoo,

    Oh, you mean we are talking about beneficial, not fit. I see. Can you please tell me the difference between a beneficial allele and a fit allele?

    That’s a subtly different question. Fitness was the word you actually used, going on to insist it was defined as ‘those that survive’. Which it isn’t. But for that matter, nor is ‘fit’, and nor is ‘beneficial’.

  38. Allan Miller:
    phoodoo,

    That’s a subtly different question. Fitness was the word you actually used, going on to insist it was defined as ‘those that survive’. Which it isn’t. But for that matter, nor is ‘fit’, and nor is ‘beneficial’.

    Allan, are you practicing for a run in a political campaign, to see how well you can obfuscate.

    First you are saying we are talking about beneficial not fit, so I ask you what’s the difference, and this is the tortured reply you give me.

    Secondly, you say the definition of fitness is not surviving, its some other ethereal concept that is held in the same vault as the recipe for Coca-Cola, and which only five people know, and four are dead. But we do know that it has something to do with whoever wins in sports is the best, because the definition of best is those who win, and even though this is obvious its not circular, because if it were circular, you would say it another way that is even more confusing.

  39. phoodoo,

    Allan, are you practicing for a run in a political campaign, to see how well you can obfuscate.

    If you use a word – ‘fitness’ – and I respond initially to your use of that word, you can hardly blame me that I was not responsive to a different word you didn’t use.

    The definitions of none of the terms ‘fitness’, ‘fit’ and ‘beneficial’ mean ‘those that survive’, and therefore all gibberings contingent on definitions that define them thus are just more examples of your fundamental confusion.

  40. What’s funny about all this is that, going back to my swipe at Sanford that obviously piqued him, phoodoo’s hero, whose phoodoo thinks must be right for no better reason than that he’s on the team, is using population genetics, ‘conventional’ conceptions of fitness, and population-genetic computer programs to advance his thesis that humanity is deteriorating.

    All things phoodoo, in the typical one-eyed style of the average Creationist, suddenly swallows whole. He doesn’t buy any of these techniques, but when Sanford uses ’em, it’s gospel. Highly amusing.

  41. phoodoo: Secondly, you say the definition of fitness is not surviving, its some other ethereal concept that is held in the same vault as the recipe for Coca-Cola

    No, you’ve been given that definition many many times. It is also accessible in many places on the internet. Even on wikipedia.

    lol

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