It took me a while to figure this out ...

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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Wanderer » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:53 am

A clarification for the readers:

There are 46 chromosomes in the standard human cell. Of these, the first 22 chromosomal pairs not involved in determining sex are called autosomes.

Polydactyly can be produced by many different mutations, regardless of type. Postaxial polydactyly -- the kind exhibited by Count Rugen in The Princess Bride -- is hereditary 14% of the time, and follows what is called an autosomal dominant pattern of expression.

Autosomal: The mutation occurs in one of the first 22 nonsex chromosomal pairs.

Dominant: Even if the mutation occurs on only one of the chromosomes in the pair, and even though the other parent may not have the mutation, there is still a 50% chance for the mutation to be inherited.

Expression: Whether the mutation shows up in the body's construction. This consists of what happens when it shows up (expression) and how often it shows up when inherited (penetrance). Polydactyly of this sort has variable expression (if it does show up, it can be anything from a nub to a fully-functioning finger) and incomplete penetrance (not everyone who inherits shows an extra finger).

Of note is that, unlike the traits of Mendelian genetics (in which a dominant trait masks a recessive one, as in Mendel's pea experiment), this concerns expression and inheritance. This type of mutation has a flat 50% rate of being inherited, and may or may not result in an extra finger of some description.
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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Skydancer » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:28 am

This probably means it is triggered by other genes; you need it to get polydactyly, but only if something else is present - that something would appear to be fairly common given the apparent slightly-better-than 1 in 4 odds of getting it.
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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Benschachar » Tue May 09, 2017 9:26 pm

Ack1308 wrote:I was reading the latest installment, and I couldn't figure out why Ranger Quinn put such peculiar emphasis on his statement "Just what really happens to a living creature if you make random changes to its D.N.A."

I mean, he's totally correct. Randomly altering cells in an organism leads to unrestricted growth at best, or the death of both the altered cells and the parent organism at worst. Cancer, more or less. Aided and abetted by superscience, but cancer all the same.

So I was wondering about it. It was sorta obvious; kind of like earnestly explaining that water was wet, rocks are hard and nobody likes a smartass.

And then it hit me.

This was another backhanded stab at evolution, wasn't it?

Except that it missed. By quite a wide margin.

See, what's portrayed there bears exactly as much resemblance to evolution as a malignant tumour does to a living, healthy baby.

Which raises the question: what do creationists think the theory of evolution consists of, anyway?

I'll make this clear; no living creature evolves during its own lifetime. That would be silly. Anyone who thinks otherwise should probably not take Pokemon as a guide to real-world biology.

Evolution, as it affects any one organism, is already in place, within its DNA, from the point of conception. It's as simple as that.

Yes, DNA can be altered after the fact. There are many ways to do this, almost universally bad for the recipient (I say 'almost' because DNA therapy is a thing).

But whatever else it is, altering the DNA of a living being is not and never has been known as 'evolution'.


"Evolution, as it affects any one organism, is already in place, within its DNA, from the point of conception. It's as simple as that."
That is pure inane sophistry. The idea that mutations are part and parcel of evolution (they create potentially beneficial changes) regardless of where they come from is kind of a foundation of how evolution works.

No there is no difference because the fundamental point remains the same: alterations to DNA for any conceivable reason do not create benefits but 99.999999999....% of the time they cause horrible, agonizing ailments if they do anything at all.

How horrible for you that RH had to point out this basic, readily verifiable, and empirical fact.
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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Zarpaulus » Tue May 09, 2017 10:24 pm

Benschachar wrote:
Ack1308 wrote:I was reading the latest installment, and I couldn't figure out why Ranger Quinn put such peculiar emphasis on his statement "Just what really happens to a living creature if you make random changes to its D.N.A."

I mean, he's totally correct. Randomly altering cells in an organism leads to unrestricted growth at best, or the death of both the altered cells and the parent organism at worst. Cancer, more or less. Aided and abetted by superscience, but cancer all the same.

So I was wondering about it. It was sorta obvious; kind of like earnestly explaining that water was wet, rocks are hard and nobody likes a smartass.

And then it hit me.

This was another backhanded stab at evolution, wasn't it?

Except that it missed. By quite a wide margin.

See, what's portrayed there bears exactly as much resemblance to evolution as a malignant tumour does to a living, healthy baby.

Which raises the question: what do creationists think the theory of evolution consists of, anyway?

I'll make this clear; no living creature evolves during its own lifetime. That would be silly. Anyone who thinks otherwise should probably not take Pokemon as a guide to real-world biology.

Evolution, as it affects any one organism, is already in place, within its DNA, from the point of conception. It's as simple as that.

Yes, DNA can be altered after the fact. There are many ways to do this, almost universally bad for the recipient (I say 'almost' because DNA therapy is a thing).

But whatever else it is, altering the DNA of a living being is not and never has been known as 'evolution'.


"Evolution, as it affects any one organism, is already in place, within its DNA, from the point of conception. It's as simple as that."
That is pure inane sophistry. The idea that mutations are part and parcel of evolution (they create potentially beneficial changes) regardless of where they come from is kind of a foundation of how evolution works.

No there is no difference because the fundamental point remains the same: alterations to DNA for any conceivable reason do not create benefits but 99.999999999....% of the time they cause horrible, agonizing ailments if they do anything at all.

How horrible for you that RH had to point out this basic, readily verifiable, and empirical fact.


It would be more accurate to say that evolution happens as an accident of mutation.

And that 0.000000001% of a billion equals 1, of a trillion = 1000, and that's a really low estimate for the incidence of beneficial mutations.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2927765/
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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Wanderer » Wed May 10, 2017 3:46 pm

Evolution, as a word, simply means "developing" -- literally the unrolling of a scroll -- and at that, Darwin didn't like the word. He felt it implied progress and improvement, when change is no guarantee of either. Evolution can produce failures, yes; not all change is good. But sometimes you get lucky.
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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Bitey » Wed May 10, 2017 8:36 pm

But the point, and the reason why the word "evolution" stuck, with the implication of improvement, is that if the change isn't at least as good as what was changed, the organism is less likely to survive to reproduce. Ergo, evolutionary change is more likely to produce improvement.
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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Wanderer » Wed May 10, 2017 9:31 pm

Bitey wrote:But the point, and the reason why the word "evolution" stuck, with the implication of improvement, is that if the change isn't at least as good as what was changed, the organism is less likely to survive to reproduce. Ergo, evolutionary change is more likely to produce improvement.


Ah, but that's not evolution. :werewolf: That's one potential result of evolution. Evolution also results in death and extinction, if the right change doesn't come fast enough.
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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Scott » Thu May 11, 2017 5:35 am

Wanderer wrote:
Bitey wrote:But the point, and the reason why the word "evolution" stuck, with the implication of improvement, is that if the change isn't at least as good as what was changed, the organism is less likely to survive to reproduce. Ergo, evolutionary change is more likely to produce improvement.


Ah, but that's not evolution. :werewolf: That's one potential result of evolution. Evolution also results in death and extinction, if the right change doesn't come fast enough.

See also dinosaurs, when the fossil evidence shows that the velocichickens really did look about like a chicken with big nasty teeth! As, FEATHERS and very likely warm blood. Big brains for their size, too.

But not enough overall flexibility/adaptability to keep warm after a very large rock dropped in and left a couple inches of iridium dust all over the planet.
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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Wanderer » Sat May 13, 2017 12:22 pm

Thus paving the way for what was then a very tiny niche organism -- the mammal. Being endothermic, they were better able to survive the global drop in temperature; being small, they were better able to survive the massive die-offs that followed.

The scariest thing about the Nihilists. though? That blast that destroyed an entire planet?

That was a distraction.
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Re: It took me a while to figure this out ...

Postby Bitey » Mon May 15, 2017 12:05 am

Wanderer wrote:That was a distraction.

YM a delaying tactic.

It wasn't "you look the other way while I do something", it was "here's a big problem to get you off my back for a while".
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