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Talk:Mutation

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Evolutionists overlook the fact that the cell was intelligently designed in the same way that Christians overlook the fact that the sun is pushed across the sky by a giant dung-beetle. unsigned comment by Rthearle (talkcontribs)

First, we know the causes of the force that pushes the object across the sky. Either way, there shouldn't be much concern if such a thing exists. Second, God is the creator of the forces but not some bearded man in the sky. unsigned comment by Gil (talkcontribs)
Can mutations really produce new information? Everyone on Wikipedia insists that this is so. --Scorpionman 15:22, 27 November 2006 (EST)
Seeing as a year has passed, I will say that I could not find on "wikipedia" and examples of mutation types that add "new" information.--Tylerdemerchant 04:31, 10 November 2007 (EST)

No, mutations do NOT produce new genetic information in the sense that literally new DNA is introduced into the genome.

First and foremost mutations are rare, they happen on average about once in every 10 million duplications of the DNA molecule (107, a one followed by 7 zeroes). The problem comes when you need a series of related mutations to occur. The odds of getting two mutations that are related to one another is the product of seperate probabilities, one in 10^7 x 10^7 or 10^14, a one followed by 14 zeroes, a hundred trillion! That would barely change the shape of a fly wing for example, this is a long way from a truely new structure, and certainly a long ways off from turning the fly into anything other than a fly.

Now since evolution needs the consistency of related mutations to even work, what are the odds of getting 3 related mutations? That is one in a billion trillion, or 10^21. Suddenly the ocean isn't big enough to hold enough bacteria to make that chance likely.

Consult the Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Wistar Institute Press).unsigned comment by Tsommer (talkcontribs)

Surprisingly, there is much literature on the evolution of new genes/ new genetic information: I listed a few below. Would someone be so kind to edit statements like 'scientists being unable to provide even one single example of a genetic mutation that increases the information in the genome'? Long, M., Betran, E., Thornton, K. and Wang, W. (2003). The origin of new genes: glimpses from the young and old. Nature Reviews Genetics. 4(11): 865-875. Raes, J., Van de Peer, Y. (2002). Gene duplication, the evolution of novel gene functions, and detecting functional divergence of duplicates in silico. Appl Bioinformatics. 2(2):91-101. --nooijer

Another response to the alleged 'mutation not being able to increase the information content' goes as follows: Suppose there is a population of 500 individuals with a 'genome' AAAA and 500 having CCCC. The information in this population is (Shannon's entropy): -(p(AAAA)*log2(p(AAAA)) + p(CCCC)*log2(p(CCCC))). This equals: -(0.5*log2(0.5) + 0.5*log2(0.5)) = 1.00000. Suppose that one of those individuals experiences a mutation whereby its 'CCCC' changes in 'CCCT', what would happen to the information in the population? -(p(AAAA)*log2(p(AAAA)) + p(CCCC)*log2(p(CCCC)) + p(CCCT)*log2(p(CCCT))) = 1.01041. See that the information has increased by 0.01041! --nooijer

The only problem is there is no observed mutation that actually adds a letter that wasn't previously there. The majority of mutations delete or re-arrange. --Tony Sommer 14:37, 18 October 2007 (EDT)

Is there literature supporting the claim that deletions are far more common than insertions? --nooijer

Is there literature supporting the claim that new information has been observed being added to the genome. For example AAAA mutating to AAAC or even AAAA mutating to AAAAC (keeping in mind that C must not be present anywhere in the genome.)--Tylerdemerchant 04:31, 10 November 2007 (EST)

I for one, as an--Tylerdemerchant 04:38, 10 November 2007 (EST) adiment YEC, would not be against "new" information being added to the genome. I think that the only reason Creationists deny this possibility, is because it is and has not been observed taking place. There are proposed instances where evolutionists claim that this has taken place, but no observation. What would it matter if it were possible. I for one, think that theoreticaly, this could occur. I have searched many places and am still searching in "hope" that I find such a thing... but I have so far not succeeded.--Tylerdemerchant 04:38, 10 November 2007 (EST)

The denial is more based on the desire to argue neodarwinism, than the absence of observations. I point to several examples of evidence to support the creation of new information in my article Genetic Variability by Design.

--Mr. Ashcraft - (talk) 09:57, 11 November 2007 (EST)

o.k. Mr. Ashcraft. But recombined alleles are not new alleles, they are variants of Mother and Father alleles. Please correct me if I am wrong here. Mom has 75%A and 25% B, Dad has 92% A and 8 % B. Now, genetic recombination might cause baby to have 30% A and 70% B, but never 30% A and 90% B, and defineately not 30 % A and %70 F. I am right on this? please, TSommer or Ashcraft, comment.--Tylerdemerchant 04:37, 14 November 2007 (EST)

New heading.

I am requesting permission to add a section for proposed evolutionary examples of "new" DNA examples being added to the genome of a creature. For example: RNAse1 duplicating and diverging into RNAse1 and RNAse1B.--Tylerdemerchant 04:34, 10 November 2007 (EST)

Fine by me. There is, however, a problem here regarding semantics.
When evolutionists talk of mutations, they are almost exclusively referring to random unintentional changes (often extrinsic-based). An intentionally introduced change to a gene is something else entirely. It is a driving force for variability that exists purposefully and frequently occurs in response to environmental stimulus. I call it a neolamarkian approach.--Mr. Ashcraft - (talk) 09:57, 11 November 2007 (EST)
I am unclear about what you are referring to. Are you refering to changes like "skin tone", or are you talking about natural occuring mutations? The Creationist objective as far as I know it, is that mutations do not cause "new" DNA to come into the picture. Instead, mutations cause changes to preexisting information. Can you give me some examples of this "intentionally introduced change so as I can understand what you are talking about?--Tylerdemerchant 21:49, 11 November 2007 (EST)
Read the article I provided above. It should help clarify.Genetic Variability by Design--Mr. Ashcraft - (talk) 22:33, 11 November 2007 (EST)
Clearly this is fasinating. So let me understand. Mutations are random changes within the genome caused by a multitude of cicumstances. Genetic Recombination is intentional alteration of the DNA structure that is carried about by the "cell" itself. This is what really provides the diversity amongst organisms, not mutations. So my quesitions are, are my arguments on our NAiG article still valid? Is Dr. Wieland wrong about his statements? You say that it comes from a desire to battle neo-darwinism, so my question is, can genetic recombination create new information, like turning AC into DC, or do Tsommmer and I need to rethink our thinking on this issue? Like I said, I am completely open minded on this and I am just as willing to be critical of Dr. Wieland as I am Poland in our article "Dr Wieland is on the wrong train NAiG"--Tylerdemerchant 04:22, 12 November 2007 (EST).

Concluding, the statements on 'new information not being possible by mutations' should be altered as pointed out by different people (i.e myself and Ashcraft) by now. We may, however, still differ in our opinion on details. Personally, I strongly object to the distinction between 'intentional' and 'unintentional': if you call the controlled recombination mechanism in cells 'intentional', why not call point mutations, insertions, duplication, etc also 'intentional'. For various types of mutations, cellular mechanisms exist to control the variation sprouting from them. For example, 'proofreading' during duplication can be perceived as such. Besides, the fact that these mechanisms exist do not prove in any way that the outcome of these selections are somehow pre-conceived, which is a connotation of 'intentionality' that we may want to avoid here. --nooijer 11:50 15 November 2007 (JST)

Needed changes

This article needs some changes. I am, asking permission to change the "no single observable example" statement. Of course this is untrue and the wording makes the statement confusing.--Tylerdemerchant 17:47, 25 February 2008 (EST)

Here is an argument I've seen: in base-pair mutation, "when the DNA is being copied, the enzyme that takes each strand of DNA reads the base wrong. So if the base is an A and the enzyme reads it as a G, a mutation will occur." What does this mean exactly? Is it an introduction of new information? Scorpionman 19:24, 14 April 2008 (PDT)
I am going to give you an answer and then go into details. But firstly, what do you consider new information. If instructions that are altered to give a different readout are "new" information, then every muation is an introduction of new information. If new information is instructions that are not "recombinations" of pre-existing information, then "new" information never occurs. I favour that later simply because in the beginning, there would be no DNA to be modified and because mutations require pre-existing DNA, then mutations could not even start to occur.

The short answer scorpionman, is that the cell will not just read a G. It needs a source for that G. Either is takes that G from somewhere else(not new letter) or it swaps that G with something else(not new). There is no mutation that causes a totally random letter to be accidently inserted that I am aware of. I am not sure on what basis this argument has been made, but I am unaware of any method. And what is to stop the cell from reading a letter that exists but is not used in organic life, considering only 5 of the many are. I think that this is wishful thinking, a wrong understanding of exactly how mutations work, or a misleading argument. It is not new information. However, when a base-pair mutation occurs, the read-out of the gene is different because the codon would be changed. This will cause altered function, so you could say that yes it is new information. It depends on what you say is new information.

What is crutial to understand, is what new information is. There are multiple levels of information structuring. Nucleotides are the molecules that actualy are the DNA. There are only 5 nucleotide molecules used in DNA and RNA, two of which are the before and after of DNA -> RNA transfer. These nucleotides are seperated different based on the nitrogen part of the molecule. If this nitrogen base changes, the molecule changes to a different nucleotide, causing a different letter to be in it's place. This is a type of mutation at the most basic level. Then, these nucleotides are stored in long strands called Genes. When a Gene is read, a combination of three nucleotides gives a specific "codon" of which there are a large number of combinations which give a specific directions. When a cell reads the DNA it is trying to understand what it must do. A gene might be like this |start|code|code|code|code|stop| and the cell knows how to decrypt this code(somehow) and carry out a function. The cell also has the responsibility of copying this DNA everytime it undergoes mitosis or meosis. Now, there can be new genes, as in genes that were not present in the organism before. However, these genes are recombinations of previous genes. As you have suggested with base-pair mutations, new genes that have accidentaly different information because the cell reads it wrong is impossible. I have never heard of the cell reading wrong like you describe. The wrong base can be used, a base can be duplicated, a base can be deleted but a "letter" or nucleotide or codon, can not just randomly appear. The cell can not say "that looks like a b" when it is an a and create a b. A B has to be present in the DNA already and unless the B is duplicated and it is removed from its previous place in the DNA. One can try to argue that there are ways for mutations to cause new information, but they do not. New genes or even new cobinations of codons cause new genes to be produced, yes, this can be seen time and time again. But the cell must act on "pre-existing" genes. The cell cant just add random genes. Examine all the methods of mutation thoroughly as I have and you will see that there is no method for such an argument. If it reads a G as you have suggested, then there has to be a G already in the DNA by all the methods that are known. Now if we again examine at the nucleotide level, is it possible for the cell to confuse the base to have the wrong nitrogen part, perhaps. I am not aware of any example where this has occured. And remember, you cant see the process that occurs when mutations occur. All you can do is compare before and afters. That is how they have developed the theories of how mutations occur. So if the cell creates the wrong base-pair, why has this occured. Try to find a method where the base is newly introduced without a source. You cant and wont. All known mutations take from pre-existing information. Now lets assume that there is a mutation where the cellular machinery reads the c as a g. This would ultimately mean that the nitrogen base has changed for some reason. Would this be new information? Yes and No. Yes it is a nucleotide that has no source, but it is still a nucleotide that is used in DNA commonly. Now I would say that this would be an example of new information, esspecially if it resulted in a functionaly changed gene. However, I am not aware of any mutation that occurs this way. All mutations act on previous genes. The only scenario that this could really be in place, is if you had a duplication that was inserted in the wrong place, or as many examples show, a duplication that later suffered a different mutation. Either way, the new base would still be a product of previous bases.

It is very hard for me to try to explain, maybe this is why so many people disagree. Not becuase the facts are different, but because they read into it their own way. Dr. Purdom of AIG will say that "no" new information. She is right on the hand that all the information is just recombinations of previous information. However Evolutionists are right on the hand that recombinations cause different read-outs and different readouts cause new or altered function. But again she is right on the hand that even altered function is just that, "altered" function from pre-existing function.

The idea that truly new information could be created called "novel" information is wishful thinking. Consider this. "Start|add|nine|nails|to|board|stop". You are copying it-> "Start|add|nine|screws|to|board" You cant do this unless you already know what a screw is. This type of copying error can not happen. it is better to think in terms of computer code."10110101" can never become "10110201" becuase 2 is not a number used in computer coding. However no-one is suggesting this either, they are suggesting that "10110101" becomes "11110101" which is probably possible, but would you consider that new inforation?

This is why I feel that a project like MATCH is nessecary(wow did I ever spell that wrong:)). Unfortunately, there hasnt been a considerable effort on behalf of creationists to pursue such a project.

To conclude my overexagerated explanation, I think that "mutations are capable of creating "new" information, but all "new" information comes from pre-existing information being rearanged, so you could also argue that it is not really new information as well. (long breath after reading). Lets also consider that "new" information is not desireable, as only the few will be beneficial. --Tylerdemerchant 00:45, 15 April 2008 (PDT)

Block quote Many genetic disorders are due to mutations, or changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA. There are two main types of mutations within a gene: base-pair substitutions and base-pair insertions or deletions. A base-pair substitution is the replacement of one nucleotide and its partner with another pair of nucleotides. This type of mutation may cause either no change in the protein; a small, insignificant change in the protein; or a major alteration. For example, people with sickle-cell anemia have an adenine-thymine pair instead of a thymine-adenine pair in their hemoglobin gene; this substitution results in a major change in the hemoglobin molecule. A base-pair insertion or deletion occurs when one or more nucleotide pairs are inserted or deleted in a gene. Usually insertion and deletion mutations cause more damage than the single-pair substitutions because they may drastically change the sequences of the codons downstream from the mutation. Source

--Tylerdemerchant 00:45, 15 April 2008 (PDT)

Biological evolution

In fact, this process {mutation and selection} accounts for most known accounts of biological evolution

This is not true. Biological evolution is largely due to genetic recombination and natural selection - not mutation and selection.--Ashcraft - (talk) 23:19, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Additional quotes

Added an additional quote from Lee Spetner and one from AIG Georgia Purdom regarding mutations. Samh 23:48, 9 September 2012 (PDT)