What are "Mutations"?

Have you read her work? There is a proposal for how eukaryotes evolved. I don’t see how symbiosis can be classified as random mutations.

If you are interested, you could do it yourself and come to a conclusion.

It is! It is just a different type of mutation.

I am not so sure. I am linking to talk that Lynn Margulies gave regarding endosymbiosis. There is a video of how the eukaryotic cell is supposed to have evolved. The video is from 5 minutes to 28 minutes. Forget mutations, she didn’t even mention DNA in the presentation.

Is expanding the definition of mutation the answer to all these new mechanisms of change?

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That was the definition of mutation from the beginning. There has always been many different types of mutations. Also, we have directly observed the evolution of endosymbiosis in the lab. @Perry_Marshall even includes this in his book. Mutation just means a “change,” and there are many types of changes. Certainly, also, the evolution endosymbiosis also includes DNA mutations too.

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I don’t think that’s how most people use the term mutation.
If mutation means change, then random mutation would be random change…
Perhaps it would be helpful to be more specific.

I thought we were talking about science, not most people. Why does is matter how most people use the term?

Ok fair enough.
By your definition, even change in DNA brought about by genetic engineering by human beings is a mutation. What’s the use of such a general term?

Yes! That is exactly right! Mutations are introduced into DNA my scientists in a process called site directed mutagenesis. The term works great. It is very effective and clear, as long as you know its meaning.

So then, the word that restricts mutations to natural processes would be the word “random”.
Why do you think Shapiro is wrong in classifying mutations that are not random with respect to fitness as "non random. Your example of the immune system was Avery good example.

Edit: wrote function instead of fitness by mistake.

False. Random mutations can be directed by God.

Because all the mutations he notes are not entirely predictable. They have an ordered component, and a random component. The are most certainly not “non-random” as in meaning no randomness. They are both random and ordered.

If mutations are random with respect to fitness or function,(Dawkins described it as mutations are random in that they don’t try to “improve” the organism, University of Berkeley terms it as mutation not trying to supply what is needed). How does that work with God guiding them?
Are you claiming that God’s guidance in certain specific instances is possible while maintain an “appearance” of randomness?

Are you equating randomness with predictability? Can elaborate on your train of thought?

Ashwin - it looks as though the debate is over. Dust becoming Adam was a mutation completely compatible with standard evolutionary theory, after which neutral drift and natural selection did the rest. It works for princes turning into frogs, too.


It’s a definition with a very wide scope indeed. :slight_smile:

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Stochastic processes.

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I agree with @swamidass – that mutation was always used broadly. That’s one of my criticisms of evolutionary biology. I really think they should narrow it, or have several different classes of mutation. To some extent they do, but “mutation” is still used in a very broad sense.


Do YECs believe more in random mutations than i do ? It deems YECs dont believe God is comtrol of all the genomes of the animals released from the ark!

Think I answered this elsewhere. Got lost in the split…

Why doesn’t it?

I define mutation as any change in DNA sequence. This would cover recombination, transposition, insertion, deletion, and substitution mutations. As we all know, the order and placement of sequence matters as much as the sequence itself, so any definition needs to cover these bases. This definition would also cover somatic and germline mutations. If we are talking about mutations that affect evolution then we would add the “heritable” modifier to the definition.

Of course, definitions were a bit different in the era before DNA was discovered. When looking at older literature (pre-1950) it may be a bit tougher to reconcile concepts.

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