Theory of Evolution

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by bearer_of_truth, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Counter Registered Senior Member

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    Well said davidelkins. The theory of evolution states the human reproductive system receives radiation from the surrounding environment (including the Sun) causing mutations. If this mutation is advantageous enough to allow the creature to reproduce, that mutation is inherited and life lives. I believe not in a theory of evolution, but what I do find remarkable is the survival of ALL creatures. We're still going! Is it love that drives creatures to continue the survival of the species, or just animal instinct??
     
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  3. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    No it doesn't.

    You're thinking of the X-Men.
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    LOL. How about the Hulk, a clear product of a radiation experiment gone awry.

    But according to Robert Hazen the reality is that radiation is at least partially causal to chemical reactions. In fact we use radiation to destroy cancer cells (a chemical reaction). I see no objection to a probability that radiation may damage or alter DNA and cause a mutation in offspring from that damaged DNA or RNA.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  7. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    There are a number of root causes for mutation. One is that evolution has very little incentive to provide solutions beyond "good enough" so rather than inherently perfect DNA replication we have a system which has a higher error rate than complex organisms could survive along with proof-reading mechanisms that weed out bad copies. It's estimates that humans have about 64 mutations per generation, but only about 1.6 mutations in the part that codes for proteins and is more actively conserved.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mutations.html#append_1

    When radiation or environmental influences can be said to "cause" mutation, they can do this directly by interfering with the source DNA, directly by interfering with replication or indirectly by interfering with the proof-reading mechanisms. Such effects are not and cannot be aimed, so gamma exposure is not a "high risk" game plan but distinctly suboptimal for individual genetic lines.
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/mutations_04

    A type of mutation that doesn't result in base pair changes is methylation, thought to be one form of epigentic change passed from parent to child and in complex life can mark out internal state that separated bone cells from skin cells. It can result in a type of "volume control knob" on expression of a related gene. Obviously it is risky to try and reprogram your cells via chemical means affecting when methylation humans depend on a wide variety of complicated interactions between cells in different states.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgenerational_epigenetic_inheritance
     
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  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Mr. Penner,

    I have always been fascinated by the evolutionary change from 24 chromosomes in early hominids to 23 in modern humans.
    I have an intuitive feeling, that this might well have been a beneficial mutation, giving us a mental advantage in just a few generations.
    .
    http://www.evolutionpages.com/chromosome_2.htm

    Could you give a comment on the implications of such a rare but apparently beneficial and remarkable evolutionary event, a random fusion of 2 separate chromosomes into a single but more complex chromosome (2), and the development of ability for abstract thought ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  9. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    It's doubtful the two are related. Chromosomes are little more than collections of coding and regulatory DNA (although different numbers can create a population obstacle or barrier in favor of speciation). Shuffling gene loci between chromosomes or even merging or splitting them has little significance to phenotype. Chromosome number varies widely and without pattern at the family and genus level and some species even have variation in number of chromosomes. What's important to biology is genes and their regulation. Chimps already have language skills and a degree of abstract thought despite having the common ancestry number of chromosomes.
     
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  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    So do gorillas, who are only slightly less closely related to humans. Both chimpanzees and gorillas have been taught to use and understand ASL (American Sign Language) and have vocabularies of 1,000 words. (Probably quite a bit more by now.)

    Orangutans, which are also apes, are not quite as closely related to us. They are not nearly as social as chimps and gorillas (much less humans), so it's not clear whether their brains have the synapses necessary to learn and use language. To date, I have seen no articles to indicate that anyone is trying to work with them in this way.
     

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