[ExI] http://www.randommutation.com/

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 26 10:44:58 UTC 2007

The forces of ignorance threaten the world again, I

In his inane FAQ at
Perry Marshall (the guy who brought you the hi-tech
random mutation applet) writes:

------- begin quote
Q: Is your theory about Random Mutation (that it does
not contribute to evolutionary progress at all)

A:  Yes. Here's how to falsify it: 

Show me just one paper, book or experiment anywhere in
the history of biology that empirically demonstrates
and proves that random mutation of DNA produces novel
adaptive features (eyes, wings, legs, functional
organs); and that the mutations that produced those
features were in fact random. (And not Mobile Genetic
Elements or some other systematic process.)

Again I repeat: In 150 years of research on this
subject, there is not a single peer-reviewed paper,
book or experiment that demonstrates this to be true.
Not one. 

No one who considers themselves a skeptic or a
scientifically literate person can believe this to be
true and still be consistent with skepticism and
scientific literacy.
--------- end quote

How about this, Perry?


---------Begin quote
Reductase-Thymidylate Synthase Confers Resistance to
Pyrimethamine in Falciparum Malaria 

David S. Peterson, David Walliker, and Thomas E.

Analysis of a genetic cross of Plasmodium falciparum
and of independent parasite isolates from Southeast
Asia, Africa, and South America indicates that
resistance to pyrimethamine, an antifolate used in the
treatment of malaria, results from point mutations in
the gene encoding dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate
synthase (EC and EC, respectively).
Parasites having a mutation from Thr-108/Ser-108 to
Asn-108 in DHFR-TS are resistant to the drug. The
Asn-108 mutation occurs in a region analogous to the C
 -helix bordering the active site cavity of bacterial,
avian, and mammalian enzymes. Additional point
mutations (Asn-51 to Ile-51 and Cys-59 to Arg-59) are
associated with increased pyrimethamine resistance and
also occur at sites expected to border the active site
cavity. Analogies with known inhibitor/enzyme
structures from other organisms suggest that the point
mutations occur where pyrimethamine contacts the
enzyme and may act by inhibiting binding of the drug. 
--------end quote

So a "random mutation" confers drug resistance upon
the malaria parasite. That is a novel adaptive trait,
isn't it?

On lighter note, by indulging Mr. Marshall's game of 
evolution of text by mutation with "meaning"
analogizing fitness or whatever foolishness he has in
mind, consider this challenge:

One can evolve from APE to MAN with 9 mutational steps
assuming all mutants not in the dictionary as being
non-viable abominations that die in the womb.

APE > ??? > ??? > ??? > ??? > ??? > ??? > ??? > ??? >

Interestingly enough to evolve from MAN to GOD
requires only 3 further mutations.

MAN > ??? > ??? > GOD 

So who would have thought there was a 12-step program
to go from ape to god? ;-)

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"When an old man dies, an entire library is destroyed." - Ugandan proverb

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