# What does it mean to have Random Mutations?

They are still random in that the effects are unpredictible. The benefit seems to be that if you find yourself in harsh conditions, you can either die or take a chance on evolutionary change, which could be beneficial or not. If the cell is likely to die anyway, why not take a chance on change? It is not at all clear that the study you cite reports that the mutations were always beneficial.

I never said "always beneficial", I used percentage for that reason. And this conclusion comes from reading MANY papers about adaptive mutations. And again I know what you mean by "random" but this is not how "random" was/is understood. I'll try finding some article that talks about this later.

Peace be unto you

It must only be a percentage- why? Because the mutations are random.

It must only be a percentage- why? Because the mutations are random.

As understood if something is 'random' the "average" (percentage) wouldn't change drastically.

Peace be unto you

As understood if something is 'random' the "average" (percentage) wouldn't change drastically.

2. (Mathematics & Measurements / Statistics) Statistics
a. having a value which cannot be determined but only described probabilistically, a random variable
b. chosen without regard to any characteristics of the individual members of the population so that each has an equal chance of being selected, random sampling
(Collins English Dictionary)

The distribution or rate of mutation may change without making it non-random. Remember, Evolution applies to populations.

~Raithere

As understood if something is 'random' the "average" (percentage) wouldn't change drastically.

Peace be unto you

I would have thought the opposite. If there were a force causing a population to stay at an accepted "average" (i.e there are restoring forces), then the process is not "random".

If it were random, it could and most likely would, go any direction away from an accepted average

I would have thought the opposite. If there were a force causing a population to stay at an accepted "average" (i.e there are restoring forces), then the process is not "random".

If it were random, it could and most likely would, go any direction away from an accepted average

I was talking about the random distribution average. If something drastically changes that then you would expect that something is pushing the distribution away from normal random distribution.

Peace be unto you

think of random like noise. Static on TV, being mixed into the primordial soup. The static surges most fierce and noticeable, throwing around the smallest stuff, and as we move higher to atom up to molecule up to cell and above the wave weakens so much it becomes almost unobservable.

That's my take on random. Genes are effected by these just as everything else is.

I think it's also possible Genetic Mutations are more easily thought of as little crumpled pieces of paper. Some stuff is crumpling them and throwing them around, and one gets a little tear and there's your mutation.

But don't take my word on it, really. I'm just having fun here not trying to be informative.

to have " random mutations " means that chemicals in the enviroment , light (UV) etc. have interfered with and changed the genetics of a living thing beyond the Natural enviromental processes , that without such would otherwise never happen

786 said:
But "uncertainty" would simply mean the process is unknown as well, which I feel is more correct.
Except that we know of many of the processes of mutations - cosmic ray impacts, certain chemical stresses, heat, etc, all cause mutations by known processes.

Random mutations, for the most part.
786 said:
Increase it in a way so that its beneficial?
The increase is beneficial. Sometimes.
786 said:
The percentage of beneficial mutations increases dramatically- this is what we see if you read many papers related to the subject- so the trend isn't what you call "random".
Percentage of what whole?

BTW: Darwinian Theory does not require all mutations everywhere to be random. The existence of some non-random mutations somewhere is irrelevant.

iceaura

Darwin doesn't consider any mutations as random

Besides, Ice, why mess with "randomness", when the vast, VAST majority of mutations in DNA result in negative developments. It's the one-in-a-million that brought us up the long latter. I say, cut to the chase, identify those physical characteristics in nature and find ways to incorporate them into our species. Start with a brain that has a neo-cortex that is ten times the size. The overall cranial increase would be about 30%, the rest of the body could be re-proportioned to make it work and we'd find ourselves in possession of intellects that go many times that of the smartest person to ever inhabit the earth.

And that's just beginning. Vision, Hearing, Olfactory and other senses could be improved as well. Sound science-fictioney, it ain't. Traits already exist in nature that impart powers in their possessor that would boggle the mind.

~String

Besides, Ice, why mess with "randomness", when the vast, VAST majority of mutations in DNA result in negative developments. It's the one-in-a-million that brought us up the long latter. I say, cut to the chase, identify those physical characteristics in nature and find ways to incorporate them into our species. Start with a brain that has a neo-cortex that is ten times the size. The overall cranial increase would be about 30%, the rest of the body could be re-proportioned to make it work and we'd find ourselves in possession of intellects that go many times that of the smartest person to ever inhabit the earth.

what evidence do you have that the vast majority of mutations result in negative developments ?

And that's just beginning. Vision, Hearing, Olfactory and other senses could be improved as well. Sound science-fictioney, it ain't. Traits already exist in nature that impart powers in their possessor that would boggle the mind.

in evolutionary developmental biology , Vision has improved , hearing don't know , Olfactory has decreased because of the improvement of sight

and the olfactory genes in Humans is known to be degrading

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Yes it may sound similar but they are quite distinct. Because randomness, can be understood (or misunderstood) as meaning that we have some knowledge of the process (the process being a random process). But "uncertainty" would simply mean the process is unknown as well, which I feel is more correct.

how can anyone do better than, that answer?

ie... seems you have a hold on reality while others like 'random", by choice

Peace be unto you

And to seeking brothers

what evidence do you have that the vast majority of mutations result in negative developments ?

I can confirm this from my training - the vast majority of mutations are disabling, its the rare ones that improve fitness. While only very specific base pair mutations will improve a protein product or expression pattern, there are countless of deletions, insertions, transitions or transversions that can either cut the protein to pieces, change shape, change substrate specificity, etc etc. Its like playing jenga- the further up you are the more likely you will crash the tower than make it taller.

Actually the mutations in the paper are NOT about redundancy or "error correction" but mutants are specifically created by the organism to survive.

Peace be unto you

Mutations are the means by which a species adapts to environmental conditions.

But mutations are RANDOM. Most mutations are UNFAVORABLE. Only a tiny fraction of mutations turn out to make more sense than "the original model."

You are looking at this process in reverse. You figure that if we alter our environment, then we'll just mutate in response and compensate as a species.

It simply does not work that way. Mutations will continue to happen... regardless of whatever we do to the environment. Most of those mutations will spell genetic garbage and the individuals born with those mutations will most likely be weeded out of the gene pool accordingly. The rest of us will go merrily on, more or less unchanged.

the vast, VAST majority of mutations in DNA result in negative developments.

Most mutations are UNFAVORABLE.

No.

This seems to be a common misconception. It may be true for prokaryotes with their compact genomes, but for ‘higher’ metazoans it isn’t. The genome of such organisms (for example, humans) contains very little coding DNA; the majority of the genome is highly repetitive non-coding DNA that can absorb quite a bit of mutation without affecting the cell. Most mutations are neutral.

(Caveat: I’m talking about small mutations like base pair substitutions and small deletions/insertions. Large scale deletions or chromosomal translocations are another matter.)

No.

This seems to be a common misconception. It may be true for prokaryotes with their compact genomes, but for ‘higher’ metazoans it isn’t. The genome of such organisms (for example, humans) contains very little coding DNA; the majority of the genome is highly repetitive non-coding DNA that can absorb quite a bit of mutation without affecting the cell. Most mutations are neutral.

(Caveat: I’m talking about small mutations like base pair substitutions and small deletions/insertions. Large scale deletions or chromosomal translocations are another matter.)

Indeed, the more 'advanced' a specie is the more of it's DNA is 'junk DNA' that has no known function and its mutations are termed as 'silent'. It would seem that the little bit that is affected should still be more negatively affected though.

latest news

I'm on this forum all the time, trying to look for places to get my science news, but recently found this site called fingertips.net, has anyone else seen it already? I've never heard of it before, am I completely out of touch?

Random means: "proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern" and is the counter to the original survival of the fittest notions of Darwin.

Mutation means: "a sudden departure from the parent type in one or more heritable characteristics, caused by a change in a gene or a chromosome" ...

Original biological evolutionary writings and doctrine were filled with the notion of aim, reason, and purpose to biological evolution, but that was later replaced with the notion of no aim, no reason, and no purpose: random mutation.