Genomes as events in a trial

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: Genomes as events in a trial

#61  Postby Shrunk » Jun 10, 2017 12:26 pm

OrdinaryClay wrote:The set that has never come to exist is calculable and so large as to beyond even the time scales of the universe.


Yes. That's a clue to the answer to your question, if you think really hard. Or, actually, if you just think, period.
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Re: Genomes as events in a trial

#62  Postby Just A Theory » Jun 12, 2017 3:30 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Oops. Sorry. I'll change my book on you. I should have remembered you at least from the EE thread.


No harm done :thumbup:
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Re: Genomes as events in a trial

#63  Postby Just A Theory » Jun 12, 2017 3:42 am

Rumraket wrote:
I don't actually know it to be the case that only one species has mapped it's own genome. For the species that live on Earth, sure. But I don't know whether it has happened elsewhere in the universe.


There were quite a number of Homo species extant at any one period in time. Unfortunately, none of them still remain because they were out-competed by Homo sapiens. We don't know exactly what happened to those other species but it remains for certain that none of them have survived to potentially develop genome reading technology.

So there were other intelligent, tool-using species of human on the planet but they're all gone now. In other words, shit happens to species and the vast majority of them go extinct.

My question therefore, is: Given that the other intelligent hominid species are all extinct and given that other species on this planet do not occupy the same ecological niche as hominids, what basis do you have for expecting that another intelligent, tool-using species would be anything other than the remotest of possibilities?
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Re: Genomes as events in a trial

#64  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 14, 2017 12:15 pm

Just A Theory wrote:
Rumraket wrote:
I don't actually know it to be the case that only one species has mapped it's own genome. For the species that live on Earth, sure. But I don't know whether it has happened elsewhere in the universe.


There were quite a number of Homo species extant at any one period in time. Unfortunately, none of them still remain because they were out-competed by Homo sapiens. We don't know exactly what happened to those other species but it remains for certain that none of them have survived to potentially develop genome reading technology.

So there were other intelligent, tool-using species of human on the planet but they're all gone now. In other words, shit happens to species and the vast majority of them go extinct.

My question therefore, is: Given that the other intelligent hominid species are all extinct and given that other species on this planet do not occupy the same ecological niche as hominids, what basis do you have for expecting that another intelligent, tool-using species would be anything other than the remotest of possibilities?

Eh? :scratch:
Remember he said "in the universe", not "on Earth", and there are an awful lot of stars and planets in the universe.
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Re: Genomes as events in a trial

#65  Postby DanDare » Jun 15, 2017 2:31 pm

Borrowing from Dan Dennett the set of all possible genomes is Vast (capital V = hugely humungous beyond imagining).

If you were to randomly pick a genome from that Vast set the chance that it would work in a cell with all the other bits of cellular machinery is Tiny (capital T = so small you couldn't find it this side of the plank unit).

Fortunately, biology doesn't assemble random genomes. It assembles copies of existing, functioning ones. Over and over and over. The chance of a functioning DNA strand being copied correctly is reasonably good. Mistakes occur. But machinery in the cell tend to eliminate very bad mistakes.

The mutations that get through can be randomly part of a large set of mistakes that can be made from a particular DNA strand, but the number of possible alternately arranged copies of a strand of dna is Tiny compared to the Vast potential set. All of the single error variations could be tried out by having different mutations in a billion different cells replicating once every hour over a ten to a hundred year stretch.

Of those variations a large number, more than half, probably less than 90%, are useless and wont work any more, eliminating them from the set of next steps, and halting the genome search down that branch. Of the remainder most of the errors make little difference to the new organism and so those variations will be available as the base for a next set of variants. Some small number may be changes that improve the creatures reproductive potential and will tend to become more common than the other variations.

The statistics are easy for life and evolution to deal with. Its just not that much of a mystery.
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Re: Genomes as events in a trial

#66  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 19, 2017 5:30 pm

DanDare wrote:Borrowing from Dan Dennett the set of all possible genomes is Vast (capital V = hugely humungous beyond imagining).

If you were to randomly pick a genome from that Vast set the chance that it would work in a cell with all the other bits of cellular machinery is Tiny (capital T = so small you couldn't find it this side of the plank unit).

Fortunately, biology doesn't assemble random genomes. It assembles copies of existing, functioning ones. Over and over and over. The chance of a functioning DNA strand being copied correctly is reasonably good. Mistakes occur. But machinery in the cell tend to eliminate very bad mistakes.

The mutations that get through can be randomly part of a large set of mistakes that can be made from a particular DNA strand, but the number of possible alternately arranged copies of a strand of dna is Tiny compared to the Vast potential set. All of the single error variations could be tried out by having different mutations in a billion different cells replicating once every hour over a ten to a hundred year stretch.

Of those variations a large number, more than half, probably less than 90%, are useless and wont work any more, eliminating them from the set of next steps, and halting the genome search down that branch. Of the remainder most of the errors make little difference to the new organism and so those variations will be available as the base for a next set of variants. Some small number may be changes that improve the creatures reproductive potential and will tend to become more common than the other variations.

The statistics are easy for life and evolution to deal with. Its just not that much of a mystery.

Dan. one problem with your post is that the only mutations that matter in an organism are those that ocur in the germ-line cells, NOT every cell in the body!

EDIT: Also, life does not do "genome search", it does genome generation.
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Re: Genomes as events in a trial

#67  Postby DanDare » Jun 22, 2017 1:56 pm

So David you don't think that at any one time there are at least a billion germ-line cells dividing?

And genome search uses "search" as in the computing term for the mechanical sorting and sifting of vast amounts of data or scanning a probability tree. Evolution is a massive parallel search for life forms that optimally fit the current environment. That search does not end as the natural environment changes and each generation of life creates a new biosphere context.
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Re: Genomes as events in a trial

#68  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 22, 2017 5:26 pm

DanDare wrote:So David you don't think that at any one time there are at least a billion germ-line cells dividing?

...

Maybe there are, I don't know the numbers on that, but your earlier post seemed to suggest that every cell in the body, not just the gonads, contributes. It does not.
As for your use of the word, "search", I don't think that is the best word to use, unless you are into obscurantism.The term has connotations of intelligence being behind it, for one thing. I understand that evolution could be viewed as a "search" for new, successful genomes, but, as I said, the danger is in the hint of intelligence behind the "search".

EDIT: Also, of the billion or do germ-line cells, producing sperm cells, very few actually get used to fertilise an egg cell, so the numbers you are citing are inappropriately large, unless you have billions of babies.
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Re: Genomes as events in a trial

#69  Postby DanDare » Jun 23, 2017 12:48 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
DanDare wrote:So David you don't think that at any one time there are at least a billion germ-line cells dividing?

...

Maybe there are, I don't know the numbers on that, but your earlier post seemed to suggest that every cell in the body, not just the gonads, contributes. It does not.

Not my intent.
As for your use of the word, "search", I don't think that is the best word to use, unless you are into obscurantism.The term has connotations of intelligence being behind it, for one thing. I understand that evolution could be viewed as a "search" for new, successful genomes, but, as I said, the danger is in the hint of intelligence behind the "search".

Agreed, old programmer habit. Its like saying an adaptation is "for" something, instead of a simple result of a situation.
EDIT: Also, of the billion or do germ-line cells, producing sperm cells, very few actually get used to fertilise an egg cell, so the numbers you are citing are inappropriately large, unless you have billions of babies.

There is more than a billion individual reproducing organisms on Earth at any one time.
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