Monday, January 02, 2006

Young scientists - free your minds to consider intelligent design (Take 2)

My 2005 income taxes still await here on January 2. Maybe I am just avoiding their pain. But, here goes anyway .....

From my last post, a detail is changed and the bottom line ("Young scientists - free your intelligence to consider intelligence") is unchanged.

In my last post I said NO improved plant species resulted from the artificial mutagen exposure plus intense artificial (intelligent) selection in a few decades of the 20th century. Some info from "Dr. S" mentions one "notable exception" - low phytate corn, which has certain advantages in animal feeding. "The low phytate corn was created by mutagenizing corn, and then selecting for strains wherein the genetic machinery which directs the phytic acid production had been damaged. Although the resulting mutant may be desired for a specific agricultural purpose, it was accomplished through net loss of information and the loss of biological function." (complete reference info will be supplied at a later date).

This sounds much like the so-called "beneficial" mutation producing sickle-cell anemia. Sickle cell anemia may be beneficial in a limited environmental condition such as in malaria-infested jungles ("phenotype" advantage), but profoundly deleterious in the world at-large, say in Washington, D.C. ("genotype" degeneration).

So it seems the occasional "beneficial mutations" we hear trumpeted from time to time have the same common feature: local and limited advantage while speeding the slide into reduced viability or even extinction at the total population level. Hardly stuff to give substance to Darwin's fantasies of new-and-improved species.

Bottom line is still the same: young scientists, don't waste your lives invested in Darwinian dead-ends. Do something useful.

Respectfully, D.U.


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