Saturday, June 24, 2006

From JGuy:: "The Degenerating Genome".

"Nearly all mutations (greater than 99.9% of them) are neutral and slightly deleterious. Therefore effectively all of these mutations are completely unselectable by natural selection. There are greater than 100 (an very conservative minimum) actual mutations entering the human genome per person per generation. Since they are unselectable, they will be passed on to the next generation where just as many will be added by the next generation (the cycle continues). Just the present generation will add 600 billion new mutations... more than 200 times the information content of one humans genetic material. The human genome is inevitably doomed to degenerate. It can not be stopped. It can not be selected away. No questions asked.

Since degeneration is occuring, and not forward evolution. We are all then, in effect, modern types of inbreeds of historically accumulated, then recessive, mutations. It is the sad reality.

Since we are degenerating, the human genome must have been better in the past. This explains why, for example, the Neanderthals (humans of the past) had superior jaw structure than us..why they did not have molar/teeth alignment problems.. why they had better enzymes in their saliva.. why there is the appearance that they aged much much slower and lived very long lives compared to us in modern times (this is all based on their cranial & dental development..as found from Neanderthal skulls in museums around the globe). The degeration also explains why, while we have organs of extreme perfection such as the eye, we still have many relatively simple genetic diseases that should have been "selected out" (if selection was responsible for those organs of perfection in the first place). We are worse off today than even our so called Neanderthal relatives (who I argue are simply longer lived and better developed humans) because as stated, we are degenerating. The math doesn't lie...and the evidence supports this.

Logically, going into the past we would find a more perfected human genome. The then obvious question is..where did the original and more perfected genome of the past originate from? ... the answer is that since mutation and natural selection are already shown to be incapable of even PRESERVING the genome, then the same process obviously could not build up the genome. The best answer for the origin of the original genome is that it is from an original intelligent cause."

39 comments:

Alan Fox said...

I deleted your post on the other thread after transferring it here as a new topic. (In case anyone wondered about the deletion.)

Alan Fox said...

Just on the point about Neanderthals, do I recall that due to the position of the tongue attachment, they would have had difficulty with complex speech patterns?

Alan Fox said...

The Ancient Greeks thought civilisation was on the way to hell in a handcart. They harked back to a golden age when heroes boldly strode the Earth. We're still here for the moment.

Mind you, evolution is considered to be goal-less and unguided, so degeneration would not seem to a problem for the theory. For instance, animals that take to a cave dwelling existence lose many features that are no longer a benefit in the habitat they colonise , eyes, pigmentation etc.

haliaeetus said...

Alan has already pointed out that declaring something is "degenerating" and hence is allegedly not "evolving," is based on a flawed "directional" understanding of evolution.
"The Great Chain of Being" continues to rear its ugly head.
The assertion neutral mutations "are completely unselectable," besides being obvious, fits well into the evolutionary scheme that organisms change gradually - variation - in times of stasis, followed by periods of rapid speciation - duriing environmental change (punkeek) at which point those "neutral" mutations may, or may not, continue to be "neutral."

KC said...

The degeneration argument is not new--I've heard it used for years--so I'd like to see more detail on Sanford's argument (especially the sources he used). While it’s true neutral mutations can accumulate in a population, and even become fixed, the fact remains that any subsequent mutation that leads to a detrimental effect will be subject to selection in those individuals in which it appears, and be removed. For example, a gene can withstand numerous synonymous mutations, but one additional mutation might result in a non-functional protein and be selected against, taking the other synonymous mutations in that individual out of the population with it. The copies of those neutral mutations in other individuals will remain neutral and still functional (since neutral mutations still have to meet the minimum requirements of the environment), so I don’t see how this ‘degeneration of the genome’ is occurring. The mutations that result in deleterious effects still have to arise in individuals and will be subject to purifying selection before they will become prevalent, unless a population bottleneck occurs, in which case deleterious mutations can become fixed, but I doubt if that is what Sanford is arguing. Recombination can accelerate this process further by bringing together bunches of neutral and deleterious alleles in one individual, where selection can remove them all in one stroke.

JohnADavison said...

Natural selection is very real and acts entirely to conserve what is already there. It has no creative potential at all. It is not effective in civilized society because we insist on allowing genetic defectives to reproduce and pass their defective genes on to the next generation. It is far more effective in aboriginal societies where any departure from the wild type is likely to be selectd against just as it is in all wild animals and plants. We are accumulating defective genes at an alarming rste. The only way to rid them is to practice inbreeding and allow the defective genes to destroy the homozygous products thus purging the genome. Animal and plant breeders do this all the time to rid their stocks of defective genes. The only objections to this are cultural and they should be set aside in the interests of the future of the human race.

Of course this will label me as a Nazi but that is my position as a scientist nevertheless. If this practice were to become acceptable there is no reason to anticipate the extinction of Homo sapiens. If it is not we will go the way of every other reasonably large animal that ever existed. No large mammal species has ever lived long enough to be regarded as a "living fossil." In my opinion none ever will no matter what we do now. Evolutionary extinction, like every other evolutionary event, was preprogrammed or, using my preferred term, "prescribed."

"A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable."
John A. Davison

Jeannot said...

Hey, Johnny!

Take a look at this : http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/312/5780/1614

JohnADavison said...

jeannot

What part of "you don't exist" don't you understand?

Jeannot said...

I don't exist in the scientific world yet, but the article I linked to this blog certainly does.
Meanwhile, your theory will remain the big joke of the internet until it dies with you. Write that down, crank.

Why don't you explain why and when evolution stopped? :-)

Oh, I forgot, you can't support your own claim.

JohnADavison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeannot said...

If you knew anything at all you would realize that the claim was never mine in the first place.
It had been independently reached by three scholars long before me, Robert Broom, Julan Huxley and Pierre Grasse. I happen to agree with them.


Hell, I know that, it's your only argument.
But I'm sure those scientists were experts in the genetics of adaptation, and that they supported prescribed evolution.
Do they say when evolution stopped? If you don't want to tell me, maybe you'd give me a link. Is it a secret?

But what about modern science, like, for example, the paper published in Science last week?

Alan Fox said...

comment 10 from John Davison deleted (obscene content)

JohnADavison said...

That is more like it you degenerate half wit. Show us the real Falan Ox we have all grown to know and love as the biggest phony in cyberspace.

Is there anything obcene above? If so - what?

Love it so!

JohnADavison said...

Yes Jeannot they did say when evolution stopped. Huxley especially was very specific about it which you would know of you could read. Your mindless stupid ego prevents you.

"You can lead a man to the literature but you cannot make him read it."
John A. Davison

Jeannot said...

Yeah, Huxley said that groups of organisms had their radiations, and guess what? it happened in the past.
Man, this definitely proves that evolution has stopped.

Now you next challenge will be "give me an example of adaptive radiation occurring today, 'cause, as everyone knows, evolution is the emergence of new phyla. Ha!"

JohnADavison said...

Huxley said nothing of the kind you moron.

Jeannot said...

Of course he didn't. That's just your bogus interpretation of his claim.

haliaeetus said...

Davison said:
"Natural selection is very real and acts entirely to conserve what is already there."

Exactly how would, say, a meteor strike, act "entirely to conserve what is already there?"

Or a pandemic?

JohnADavison said...

That is easy. Neither a natural disaster nor a pandemic is selective. Get ir? Probably not!

It is hard to believe isn't it?

JohnADavison said...

jeannot lies.

What else is new?

I love it so!

JGuy said...

ALAN FOX:
The Ancient Greeks thought civilisation was on the way to hell in a handcart. They harked back to a golden age when heroes boldly strode the Earth. We're still here for the moment.

JGUY:
*I understand your point, that this could be a general impression or perhaps pessimism of people. Yet, this simple comparison, of ancient Greeks persceptions to modern time, is interesting to me. As I wonder why the Greeks would think that way, especially in regards to then historic belief. Let's assume, simply for the sake of this specific discussion & because you brought this to light, that the argument you present is that the ancient Greeks had stories that imply physical differences (a degeneration) in the actual human (not merely a general degerneation on their societal structure). This means, they would have had to of either observed it, or at the least have it still relatively fresh in memory or historical records. Ancient Greeks were in existence at least a thousand years prior to Christ. So, if they had noticed this degenerations, then I think it is very interesting to note that their capability to record history was probably limited (perhaps on pottery, word of mouth or inscribed on leather). Not very hopeful means for the preservation of only trivial to modest stories about bold heroes striding/treking the earth. That implies strongly (to me) that the ancient Greeks' impression or notion of a physicall degeneration was relativley "fresh" in their minds. For this to be so, it would have had to been a significnat degeneration, enough so to be truly noteworthy (so a short time and significant change..or rapid degeneration would be neccessary). In other words, I'd predict that the degeneration was noticeable to the ancient Greeks from their then recent ancestoral stories about golden age of heroes. Perhaps, within a thousand years, since any stories of such modest significance (if recorded) much earlier would have likely been lost, forgotten or deteriorated upon the medium that they were recorded. If the historians of the day were incredibly advanced and diligent at record upkeep, it could have persisted a bit longer. But even still, this would push their collective memory/histories of some kind of degeneration still only about as early as the start of the Greek civilization or just earlier than 1400BC. Again, for this to be degeneration to be noticeable in such a short time, it would have had to be a very significant and rapid to observe. Contrast this to modern times (presently 2006 AD), even with our assumingly more preserved histories, there is no recent knowledge of the human condition having a clear indications of degeneration within those historical capabilities (after teh time of Christ). In other words, we are receiving indications that man a couple thousand years ago was 'somewhat close' to man today in his/her physical condition/fitness. This is in much contrast to what we are speculating about the ancient Greeks impression here, assuming what you posted implies this, that they had recall of such degeneration. So, if true, the prediction is that for the Greeks to noitice this, they would have to have seen a dramatic decrease in human fitness within a short time period (perhaps a thousand years or so) prior to the record. If we looked in history records, is there anyother historical evidence that this kind of degeneration did occur just prior to the Greeks? Yes. There is. In the Bible. There is clearly records such a degeneration recorded after the global flood in the day of Noah. It can be seen by noting the lifespans of people as recorded before and after the flood in the Bible. The flood was about 2400BC. So, these more genetically intact/superior people could fit nicely and reasonably into the above predicted time frame for the bold heroes of the ancient Greeks that strode the earth. No doubt, living such long lives one could wander the earth many times around (even by foot). Furthermore, this answers the riddle of who were the the Neanderthals. A partial graph of the ages by generation number:

http://www.jpdawson.com/gencurz.gif
[note: prior to Noah, there seems to be a 'flyer' data point..This was Enoch's age and not a date of death. It was atypically recorded. The day recorded is the day he "walked with the Lord"]

Dr Sanford, in discussing genetic decay, refers to a relatively recent study on the ages that are recorded in the Bible. He describes from the study that the line of best fit for the data was exponential (with a correlation coefficient of .94). He descibes the resulting curve as "biological". The best explanation was to conclude that these ages were recorded accurately. In order to contrive this decay of lifespans, as Sanford explains, one would have to have an understanding of higher mathematics AND a strong desire to specifically show exponential decay... he goes on to say that it is unreasonable to attribute this to an elaborate "stone age fraud". I agree with this as the most reasonable conclusion. The recorded ages resonate as truth.

ALAN FOX:
Mind you, evolution is considered to be goal-less and unguided, so degeneration would not seem to a problem for the theory. For instance, animals that take to a cave dwelling existence lose many features that are no longer a benefit in the habitat they colonise , eyes, pigmentation etc.

JGUY:
You can't become wealthy and retire if all you do is lose money.
How do you expect to design and build sophisticated biological features without increasing information content.

Sanford quotes sources as saying it is best estimates put beneficial mutations at about one in a million. And even those are mostly slightly beneficial, and are just as unselectable as the slightly deleterious ones. Furthermore, the rare minorly beneficial mutations are consistently net losses of information. e.g. the point mutations for sickle cell anemia that protect one from disease malaria...etc..

jguy said...

ALAN FOX:
Just on the point about Neanderthals, do I recall that due to the position of the tongue attachment, they would have had difficulty with complex speech patterns?

JGUY:
I'm not sure about tongue data. However, I would find it difficult to imagine complex speech problems an issue. Even parrots & other birds can mimic humans close at times :) So, my gut instinct says Neanderthals would not be at any significant disadvantage for complex speech. Maybe they actually had it better... or maybe they were so much better genetically that they used telepathy :P (joking of course)

jguy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jguy said...

KC: The degeneration argument is not new--I've heard it used for years--so I'd like to see more detail on Sanford's argument (especially the sources he used). While it’s true neutral mutations can accumulate in a population, and even become fixed, the fact remains that any subsequent mutation that leads to a detrimental effect will be subject to selection in those individuals in which it appears, and be removed. For example, a gene can withstand numerous synonymous mutations, but one additional mutation might result in a non-functional protein and be selected against, taking the other synonymous mutations in that individual out of the population with it. The copies of those neutral mutations in other individuals will remain neutral and still functional (since neutral mutations still have to meet the minimum requirements of the environment), so I don’t see how this ‘degeneration of the genome’ is occurring. The mutations that result in deleterious effects still have to arise in individuals and will be subject to purifying selection before they will become prevalent, unless a population bottleneck occurs, in which case deleterious mutations can become fixed, but I doubt if that is what Sanford is arguing. Recombination can accelerate this process further by bringing together bunches of neutral and deleterious alleles in one individual, where selection can remove them all in one stroke.

JGUY: I'm not sure how BEST to respond to your reply. I think you should consider buying his book. I probably could not do it well justice considering the broad arrayed approach he makes throughout it. However, I will like to add on my own thoguhts regarding your response. The neutral (slightly deletrious) mutations would always be accumulating, and many orders faster than any slightly beneficial ones (best estimate was 1 beneficial : 1,000,000 deleterious). Even those beneficial ones are unselectable on the most part. So, the march goes on towards degradation then death of individuals and eventually the population. But, what I want to say is (regarding your solution of selecting out the ones more deadly and mutant), imagine when it does come to the point that the accumualted clightly deleterious mutations are widespread.You posit they would be seelcted away soon. But while the most deadly are selected away, it would still concurrently grow worse in survivors to the point that ALL organisms are at the very knifes edge (almost) of being maybe one mutation from selection away (kind of reminds me of the movie 'Logan's Run' for some reason)..Anyway, while others ARE selected away the offspring of survvors simply add to the pool of organisms nearing this "edge" of selection becasue they have ALL only just gained a net loss (and their generations following will also). In other words, any that are not selected and not exactly at this knife edge of dying are yet still making generations that are never-the-less fast approaching this edge of selection away. Eventually ALL individuals will be at upon edge of selection, and the successive costs to the population may be soo severe as to begin to sure extinction oft the entire population in some relatively short time. Nothing will reduce the mutations, and worse still is that accumulation continues.

One other factor that I believe (this is just me thinking) would bring them ALL to this edge, but not manditorily so, is that I think that the degeneration is really not actually a simple delimiting line of sudden selection away. I think the degeneration "desensitizes" and "sneaks up" on the population as a whole. I believe there is a degradation of quality gradually, and not simply a approach with full quality(fitness) intact and then all of the sudden the final mutational straw is hit and suddenly quality (fitness) goes from maximum to zero..thus killing that successive individuals generation. It is more, I imagine, like a narrow band of quality that seperates the living from the dead..enabling some to live, but with less quality or fitnesss. So, not really a knifes edge, and not really a super slow degeneration..maybe both concepts combined(?). Evidence of such a gradual quality loss with steep degradation at he end is seen in individual humans as they age. Our bodies don't suddenly step off the edge and die, we deteriorate...slowly.. protein qualities I suspect are becoming marginal (but not completely useless..just very very degraded). At a certain point in age, people do tend to accelerate in their degenerative nature. This is parallel or an analogy to that edge that is apporached at the population level. In a nutshell if I can, the whole population would approach this knifes edge.. and become more frail yet stay alive, and if not frail, eventually WILL leave generatiosn that will become frail. That is, as the accumulation of mutations is still several orders faster than beneficial and almost still beign unselectable non frail become more frail in next generations, and less frail become frail in next generations...and frail become selectable in next generations. The limit becomes upon them all eventually and simulataneously... the limits are not sudden..but the sloped degradation simply accelertes into a edge that still enables survival a litte further, just with poor quality...but still not selectable...untill all are doomed with too many mutations that can't be cleaned out even by perfect selection since net loss will remain in and still be increasing in even the most fit...etc.. I am not saying this approach to frailty is neccessary, but it may help to understand where I am saying htat the selection you suggested would be bypassed by mutants capable of surviving but simply passing on marginal functionality. The best fit will still be worse than all of their previous generations. Sorry.. I might be writing redundantly or randomly now.. it's late..my typing skills are degenerating :)

haliaeetus said...

Davison quipped:
"That is easy. Neither a natural disaster nor a pandemic is selective. Get ir? Probably not!

It is hard to believe isn't it?"

You're absolutely wrong.

JohnADavison said...

Sure I am and 2+2=7

It is hard to believe isn't it?

I love it so!

haliaeetus said...

John, I'm trying to take into account your onset into senility, but you making unsupported declarations, like a pandemic is not selective, is beyond the rational.
Would you care to support it, or just blabber on?

Alan Fox said...

My point in mentioning the Ancient Greek attitude that life is on a downward spiral was really plus ça change.... The older generation (who tend to contribute disproportionately to literature) always complain about the collapse of society and the dissipation of the young.

On Neanderthals. How ever well adapted they were to the environment they found themselves in for 1-2 millenia, for some reason, they are not here now. I think current evidence shows that Neanderthals and Cromagnons shared a very recent common ancestor but Neanderthals are not our ancestors.

(Have to curtail this post due to time pressure, will post again as time permits)

Jeannot said...

What do you expect Haliaeetus? JAD never supports his claims with facts, only with obscure quotes from Grassé and various scientists who lived before modern genetics.
Notice how he didn't even consider the link I provided here, which, as hundreds of articles, completely debunks his assertions.

Afraid of the evidence, JAD, the "unafraid, unbalanced defender of the truth"?

JohnADavison said...

Do you know who is most likely to succumb in a pandemic? It is the healthiest subjects who have not yet lived long enough to establish immunity. Anyone who thinks that an earthquake or a tidal wave is selective belongs in a rubber room all by himself.

I love it so!

jguy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jguy said...

ALAN FOX:
My point in mentioning the Ancient Greek attitude that life is on a downward spiral was really plus ça change.... The older generation (who tend to contribute disproportionately to literature) always complain about the collapse of society and the dissipation of the young.

JGUY:
If that was your primary point, then it doesn't seem to fit with the argument of degeneration as originally presented. Societal downfall is totally different than observed genetic degradation. That's why I had suspected your original point of posting it was to suggest it was their stories about human decay...it would have been more relevent.
Contrasted to modern times, where are the old people's stories today that are being passed on about bold heroes striding the earth :) If that were then merely pessimistic views of an younger generations by the old people of ancient Greece, then we should see the same today being passed on in stories by old people about boldened heroes of history unlike the present... it seems to have the feel that the ancient Greeks stories were more than mere pessimistic views, but rather actual comparisons to much older generations. But... this might be a topic/question for a historian to help confirm.

ALAN FOX:
On Neanderthals. How ever well adapted they were to the environment they found themselves in for 1-2 millenia, for some reason, they are not here now. I think current evidence shows that Neanderthals and Cromagnons shared a very recent common ancestor but Neanderthals are not our ancestors.

JGUY:
I find it somewhat stange how easily one would dispute that Neanderthals (I argue were humans of the past) were not our ancestors, but instead would easily accept an average ape as an ancestor. I know you think the Neanderthal was some other branch that just went some other direction not leading to us.. etc.. But it is still somewhat ironic in an almost intuitive sense.
In the partial historic model I presented, the Neaderthals are our ancestors. They were just as human as us. Except, they were genetically superior to us, and lived very very long lives. There is correlating with MIT research that shows that the areas of the skull in which Neanderthals morphologically differ from modern human, are in fact the same areas that DO NOT stop growing as we get older. Considering that with the historic model I present, with Neanderthals simply living ages of say e.g. 400+ years, then their skulls would appear much thicker in those areas because they did not stop growing for hundreds of years. It is easily to see how they were then simply humans with very long life-spans (genetically superior to us).

BTW: I do not accept radio-isotope dating methods. As you may have gathered from ARN, I am a young earth creationist. So, sometimes people throw these long ages around me as if they are facts. I will argue against them as indisputable facts.

Catch you later. I bet you are finding this blog hard to upkeep in places. I sensed some major degradation in the quality of posts in the thread. I noticed you had to do a little moderation already. Kind of makes you appreciate the moderators on ARN more. huh?

Catch ya later Alan :)

Alan Fox said...

I bet you are finding this blog hard to upkeep in places.

You're telling me. Mrs Fox has bought an oven timer, and I am rationed to 1/2hour a day, or no supper.

I am a young earth creationist.

Well, No-one's perfect! I'm an irrelevantist, myself. (Ask Rock) Frankly, I can't imagine how anyone can remain (or even begin to believe) convinced of a 6-10 thousand year old earth. Personally, I am very comfortable with my own beliefs and very happy for anyoe else to have their own, and no more needs saying, AFAIAC.

I noticed you had to do a little moderation already.

No. I have deleted two posts for obscene content, due to John Davison including masturbatory references. I said right from the start I would have to delete obscenity, and there is no option on this blog that I can see to just edit others' posts.

Aside to John:

If you don't want posts deleted, don't include obscenity.

JohnADavison said...

Masturbation is obscene? Since when?

haliaeetus said...

John, it's now obvious you do not have a clue as to what is Natural Selection and are operating under your own peculiar definition.

haliaeetus said...

JGUY:
I find it somewhat stange how easily one would dispute that Neanderthals (I argue were humans of the past) were not our ancestors, but instead would easily accept an average ape as an ancestor.


But, the "average ape" isn't considered an ancestor. DNA studies suggest Neanderthals are not our ancestors, see: Neanderthals not human ancestors

The bit about Neanderthals not having any genetic diversity is rather interesting, in light of your claim the the human genome has degenerated from them.

Or do you not accept DNA testing as reliable either?

I know you think the Neanderthal was some other branch that just went some other direction not leading to us.. etc.. But it is still somewhat ironic in an almost intuitive sense.
In the partial historic model I presented, the Neaderthals are our ancestors. They were just as human as us.



But evidential reality tells us they were not.

Except, they were genetically superior to us, and lived very very long lives.

Again, refuted by the evidence.

There is correlating with MIT research that shows that the areas of the skull in which Neanderthals morphologically differ from modern human, are in fact the same areas that DO NOT stop growing as we get older. Considering that with the historic model I present, with Neanderthals simply living ages of say e.g. 400+ years, then their skulls would appear much thicker in those areas because they did not stop growing for hundreds of years.

What part of the MIT study supports 400+ years, or even 100 years?

It is easily to see how they were then simply humans with very long life-spans (genetically superior to us).

Refuted.

BTW: I do not accept radio-isotope dating methods. As you may have gathered from ARN, I am a young earth creationist. So, sometimes people throw these long ages around me as if they are facts. I will argue against them as indisputable facts.

That's rather logical. If you were to accept the fact dating methods were reliable, you would be required to severly rehash your metaphysics. It's quite understandable, considering your investment, why you would refuse to do that.

Doppelganger said...

"Dr Sanford, in discussing genetic decay, refers to a relatively recent study on the ages that are recorded in the Bible."

Well, I think that tells us all we need to know about the good doc...

Let me guess - he also argues 'no new information'?

Doppelganger said...

"There is correlating with MIT research that shows that the areas of the skull in which Neanderthals morphologically differ from modern human, are in fact the same areas that DO NOT stop growing as we get older. Considering that with the historic model I present, with Neanderthals simply living ages of say e.g. 400+ years, then their skulls would appear much thicker in those areas because they did not stop growing for hundreds of years."



Interesting. My grandfather-in-law died recently at the age of 96. He had no browridge, no occipital bun, no receding chin (how is that explained by continued growth, I do wonder).

Is there a reference to this MIT research?

I will be eager to see it, for my graduate degree is in Anatomy and Cell Biology and I teach human and comparative vertebrate anatomy.

I would also like to see the explanation for these features 'caused' by extreme age being present in juvenile Neanderthals. Did they all suffer from some form of progeria or something?

Doppelganger said...

Guess not...