The Evolution of Improved Fitnes5

The Evolution of Improved Fitnes5 - The Evolution of...

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The Evolution of Improved Fitness 1.2 Refutation of the creationists' arguments 1.2.1 Are all mutations harmful? While it is true that most mutations are either harmful, as suggested by the creationists, or neutral, the creationists gloss over a crucial fact: beneficial mutations do occur, though they are very rare. Can a beneficial mutation that occurs once in million individuals ever really contribute to evolution? Yes it can, since a rare beneficial mutation can confer a survival or reproductive advantage to the individuals that carry it, thereby leading -- over several generations -- to the spread of this mutation throughout a population. Beneficial mutations occurring in several different individuals in several different genes can simultaneously spread through a population, and can be followed by successive rounds of additional mutation and selection. Does the fact that we know many human detrimental mutations but essentially no clear beneficial ones mean that there are have been no beneficial mutations in human history? Not at all, since there is a clear bias in what medical scientists have studied. The human mutations we know most about are detrimental because medical scientists preferentially study illnesses that cause significant morbidity and mortality. Consider the theoretical possibility that a beneficial mutation has occurred in a particular human gene; even if this mutation were identified by a comparison of the mutated gene in a child versus the unmutated version of the same gene in both parents, there
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course BIO BSC1010 taught by Professor Gwenhauner during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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The Evolution of Improved Fitnes5 - The Evolution of...

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