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Author Topic: Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?  (Read 11529 times)

Offline echochartruse

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I have read and read and discussed and searched for proof of 'random mutation' only to find that in my search all changes to genes are explainable, some predictable, most necessary.

If the genome changes without reason, without cause, not predictable, not required just 'random' is there some higher
intelligence controlling it that science can not understand?

Or are we just using the word "random" because we don't know the answer yet, its easy to say 'random' 'cause that's what Darwin said way back then and everyone has accepted it as fact?

Or does life itself have an agenda beyond our understanding?

Each day you and I can read about things, anything once thought of as random is now explained as being purposeful and calculative.

Even the Random generator which I have read is not truly random is designed for a purpose and has a source code.

Is trying to prove randomness like trying to prove god? they just don't exist!
If randomness exists then the theory that every action has an equal or opposite reaction should include, 'except when the out come is random.'


 

Offline LeeE

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #1 on: 02/06/2010 14:17:55 »
The random mutations that result in evolution are not without reason or cause, being primarily due to ionising radiation.  Ionising radiation sources include concentrations of fissile material on or close to the ground surface, Radon seeps from deeper below the surface and cosmic radiation.

It is whether a mutation occurs, and the nature of the resultant mutation when it does occur, that is random.

Software based random number generators do not, and have never been claimed to produce truly random numbers; they are all more properly called pseudo-random number generators.

There is not a general theory that every action has an equal and opposite reaction; Newton's third law of motion, from which the phrase comes, applies only to a specific area of mechanics.  It has however, been paraphrased and used to describe events where no such law exists but where an action and a subsequent reaction have appeared to be equal and opposite.  In these contexts it just an aphorism and has no more validity than saying, for example, that it never rains but it pours, a stitch in time saves nine, or every dog has its day.
 

Offline JP

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #2 on: 03/06/2010 05:09:29 »
If randomness exists then the theory that every action has an equal or opposite reaction should include, 'except when the out come is random.'

In addition to what LeeE said, the quantum mechanical version of the law includes that bit.  That's probably a discussion better suited for the physics, astronomy and cosmology forum, however.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #3 on: 03/06/2010 07:14:24 »
"all changes to genes are explainable, some predictable, most necessary. "
How are they "necessary"?
Most of the ones I have heard about cause heritable diseases.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2010 07:17:19 by Bored chemist »
 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #4 on: 04/06/2010 07:42:02 »
................the quantum mechanical version of the law includes that bit.  ............
What bit please?
 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #5 on: 04/06/2010 07:46:07 »
"all changes to genes are explainable, some predictable, most necessary. "
How are they "necessary"?
Most of the ones I have heard about cause heritable diseases.
Necessary for the survival of life............ People living at high altitude have genes turned on that allow them to do so.
The Tassie Devils maturing earlier so they have a chance to breed before they die of cancer in hope to pass on immunity.

Changes to genes not changes to DNA
 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #6 on: 04/06/2010 08:23:18 »
The random mutations that result in evolution are not without reason or cause, being primarily due to ionising radiation.  Ionising radiation sources include concentrations of fissile material on or close to the ground surface, Radon seeps from deeper below the surface and cosmic radiation.

It is whether a mutation occurs, and the nature of the resultant mutation when it does occur, that is random.

you are speaking of genetic damage above, caused via radiation which has an outcome of disease and cancer

let me get what you are saying....
The cause is proven, reliable, not random but the outcome is unpredictable and random.

That there is no way possible that genes can be altered that result in evolution or a new species while knowing the outcome or the time this change occurs. Therefore it is random.

That just makes me feel that my entire life has been and will be random, no matter how much I plan and take action I leave it all to chance.

I feel like a piece of flotsam and getsum floating around on the sea of life. I've taken all the steps, now I will leave it to......

(I still think we have to search harder to find, the outcome, the time and the effect, I'm sure that it can be predicted, calculated.)

Please show me an example of what you say. Proving random.
 

Offline JP

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #7 on: 04/06/2010 08:57:58 »
................the quantum mechanical version of the law includes that bit.  ............
What bit please?

That it's statistical averaging that gives us the deterministic laws of classical mechanics.  There's a lot of randomness, but in large amounts it cancels out.  Just like how if you flip a coin once, you have a 50/50 chance of heads, but if you flip it 1000 times, you're going to get approximately 500 heads.  The chance of getting no heads is almost nothing.
 

Offline LeeE

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #8 on: 04/06/2010 16:06:28 »
The random mutations that result in evolution are not without reason or cause, being primarily due to ionising radiation.  Ionising radiation sources include concentrations of fissile material on or close to the ground surface, Radon seeps from deeper below the surface and cosmic radiation.

It is whether a mutation occurs, and the nature of the resultant mutation when it does occur, that is random.

you are speaking of genetic damage above, caused via radiation which has an outcome of disease and cancer

If the outcome was always disease and cancer then it would not be random.  However, the outcome is not always disease and cancer; it is just the most probable outcome.  The more complex an organism is, the more fragile it becomes because the increase in complexity results in an increase in the number of interdependencies between the different subsystems in the organism: as a result, damage to one subsystem is likely to have consequences to many of the other subsystems because of the high degree of interdependency between them.

Contrary to what many people believe, our bodies are not quite as resilient as we may think they are.  For example, we only have a single spinal column and should that get broken then everything below the break will stop working even though there may be no damage to those parts below the break.  If the break occurs in the neck and severs the vital link there then the entire organism dies.  In a similar way, damage at the genetic level is most likely to result in malfunctions well beyond the specific area where the damage occurred but because of the complexity of our genetic system, and because we cannot predict whereabouts within that system that the damage will occur, we cannot predict what the outcome will be.

Quote
let me get what you are saying....
The cause is proven, reliable, not random but the outcome is unpredictable and random.

Yes, at least when we cannot say exactly which subsystem is modified, and how it is modified.

Quote
That there is no way possible that genes can be altered that result in evolution or a new species while knowing the outcome or the time this change occurs. Therefore it is random.

Well no.  Now that we have a pretty good understanding of many of the genetic subsystems we can genetically modify organisms, changing specific parts in specific ways, but because the modifications are specific it is not random.  Both evolution and genetic modification result in new species but the precise difference between them is that one route to new species is random whilst the other is not.

Quote
That just makes me feel that my entire life has been and will be random, no matter how much I plan and take action I leave it all to chance.

I feel like a piece of flotsam and getsum floating around on the sea of life. I've taken all the steps, now I will leave it to......

(I still think we have to search harder to find, the outcome, the time and the effect, I'm sure that it can be predicted, calculated.)

Well yes, but that's just life - get over it.  You may be able to control yourself but you can't control others, the weather, nature etc.

Quote
Please show me an example of what you say. Proving random.

Exposure to ionising radiation doesn't kill everyone; when a number of people are exposed to the same dose some will die but others won't; at the time of exposure it's not possible to predict who will survive and who will not.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #9 on: 04/06/2010 18:25:25 »
"all changes to genes are explainable, some predictable, most necessary. "
How are they "necessary"?
Most of the ones I have heard about cause heritable diseases.
Necessary for the survival of life............ People living at high altitude have genes turned on that allow them to do so.
The Tassie Devils maturing earlier so they have a chance to breed before they die of cancer in hope to pass on immunity.

Changes to genes not changes to DNA

Do you realise that, for anyone who didn't have the genes needed to survive, they would die;
so  the only people left are the ones who accidentally have the right genes?

Anyway, it only takes the presence of one "bad" gene, like ones that lead to genetic diseases to prove that the mutations are not all "good".
 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #10 on: 05/06/2010 17:42:03 »
Exposure to ionising radiation doesn't kill everyone; when a number of people are exposed to the same dose some will die but others won't; at the time of exposure it's not possible to predict who will survive and who will not.
You are talking of cell damage, depending on the damage itself, depending on whether the person has the ability to fight the damage. I don't see random here.
Radiation from the sun, skin cancer, depends on a whole lot of things which is calculative.
 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #11 on: 05/06/2010 17:49:15 »

Do you realise that, for anyone who didn't have the genes needed to survive, they would die;
so  the only people left are the ones who accidentally have the right genes?

Anyway, it only takes the presence of one "bad" gene, like ones that lead to genetic diseases to prove that the mutations are not all "good".

I can't see that what you are talking about that is 'Random'
It is factual and calculative that if the genes required are not present then under certain circumstanses the host will not survive.

When has genetic make up been random. Someone I know breeds dogs and she knows exactly what she is getting in her litters based on genetics.
 

Offline LeeE

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #12 on: 06/06/2010 10:03:30 »
Exposure to ionising radiation doesn't kill everyone; when a number of people are exposed to the same dose some will die but others won't; at the time of exposure it's not possible to predict who will survive and who will not.
You are talking of cell damage, depending on the damage itself, depending on whether the person has the ability to fight the damage. I don't see random here.
Radiation from the sun, skin cancer, depends on a whole lot of things which is calculative.

There is not a threshold beyond which people are guaranteed to get skin cancer.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #13 on: 06/06/2010 10:44:22 »

Do you realise that, for anyone who didn't have the genes needed to survive, they would die;
so  the only people left are the ones who accidentally have the right genes?

Anyway, it only takes the presence of one "bad" gene, like ones that lead to genetic diseases to prove that the mutations are not all "good".

I can't see that what you are talking about that is 'Random'
It is factual and calculative that if the genes required are not present then under certain circumstanses the host will not survive.

When has genetic make up been random. Someone I know breeds dogs and she knows exactly what she is getting in her litters based on genetics.

She simply does not know exactly what she will get.
She usually knows because significant mutations are rare.
From time to time a mutation will happen that gives rise to an unexpected trait in the offspring. (IIRC in plant breeding they are called "Sports".)
Since there's no way to predict what mutation will occur or what effect it will have we say they mutations are random.
The alternative would be to say there was some deliberate cause for them and none has been found.
 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #14 on: 07/06/2010 01:03:19 »
Stem Cell Researchers Uncover Previously Unknown Patterns in DNA Methylation
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602090327.htm

Human Embryonic Stem Cells Display A Unique Pattern Of Chemical Modification To DNA
ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2006) — Scientists from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (BIMR) and Illumina Inc., in collaboration with stem cell researchers around the world, have found that the DNA of human embryonic stem cells is chemically modified in a characteristic, predictable pattern.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060814122430.htm


http://www.eurekalert.org/bysubject/biology.php
Study of microRNA helps NIH scientists unlock secrets of immune cells
With the rapid and continuous advances in biotechnology, scientists are better able to see inside the nucleus of a cell to unlock the secrets of its genetic material. However, what happens outside of the nucleus has, in many ways, remained a mystery. Now, researchers with the National Institutes of Health are closer to understanding how activity outside of the nucleus determines a cell's behavior.

Australian Scientists Crack DNA Replication Mystery. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060630094614.htm

As quoted from Bored Chemist, "Since there's no way to predict what mutation will occur or what effect it will have we say they mutations are random."

Random meaning without cause or reason.
Random is not the word that should be used. Genes do not change of their own free will. It will only take time for us to find the reason and understand the process.

There is no proof of randomness. The fact is that we don't know the process yet.

Quote from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100524092348.htm
DNA Sequence Itself Influences Mutation Rate, New Research Indicates
May 24, 2010 — Genetic variation due to DNA mutation is a driving force of adaptation and evolution, as well as a contributing factor to disease. However, the mechanisms governing DNA mutation rate are not well...


NOT Random..........."Genetic variation due to DNA mutation is a driving force of adaptation and evolution,"

Novel Growth Pattern Classification Predictive of Outcome in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112165112.htm

Mutations in One Gene Can Cause Many Cancers, Study Shows...The findings, published in the March 16 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, suggest that testing for specific PTEN mutations might predict the kind and severity of cancer that will develop in people with the syndrome.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329203545.htm

Maybe the word Random should just be replaced by "initially unknown" I have searched high and low and can't find evidence of proving randomness








« Last Edit: 07/06/2010 01:39:29 by echochartruse »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #15 on: 07/06/2010 07:18:49 »
"Random is not the word that should be used. Genes do not change of their own free will. It will only take time for us to find the reason and understand the process. "
Genes don't have free will. They get changed by external causes- radiation is probably the best know.
The radiation damages any DNA it hits .
Are you saying that the radiation "targets" particular bits of DNA?
How could it know where to aim?
 

Offline Geezer

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #16 on: 07/06/2010 19:52:58 »

They get changed by external causes- radiation is probably the best know.
The radiation damages any DNA it hits.


The mechanism may not be too different from the manner in which radiation randomly alters the contents of computer memory (RAM). Fortunately, computer systems have built in defences to detect and correct these random changes, so we are usually unaware of them.

 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #17 on: 07/06/2010 22:32:56 »
It's not a bad analogy the body has some degree of error correction too but this isn't perfect so some errors get through.. I could go into details about radiolysis of water to give hydroxy radicals and their reaction with DNA that alter it to produce mutations.

The fact is that these interactions happen where radiation happens to "hit" DNA.

Unless someone can explain the "targeting" mechanism, we have to accept that it's random whether Echochartruse likes it or not.
 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #18 on: 10/06/2010 17:28:40 »
I dont know why anyone should except anything unproven.
It is like saying we cant prove god but I accept that god exists, because that is what we have all been told, so just accept it, whether you like it or not.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100505/full/465016a.html
please read the link

Quote from: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100505/full/465016a.html
Blencowe and Frey's team used the masses of data generated by these technologies to train a computer algorithm to predict the outcome of alternative splicing in mice. Given the DNA sequence of a particular gene, the algorithm predicts which segments of that DNA sequence will be included in a final messenger RNA molecule in one of four tissue types: the central nervous system, muscle, the digestive system and embryos. The model works well, says Burge, and is an important technological advance. But he hopes that it will be refined to mimic more closely the mechanism that the cellular splicing machinery uses to make its choices.

I'm so glad there are scientists out there that don't just accept things otherwise science would never progress.
 

Offline BenV

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #19 on: 10/06/2010 17:41:18 »
Sorry Echo, I don't think that paper is relevant.

I think you consistently confuse "mutation" - which is random, with other genetic changes, which are not.  The tasmanian devils & almost all of the papers you cite have nothing to do with DNA mutation.

What do you think people mean when they say "random mutation"?
« Last Edit: 10/06/2010 18:17:37 by BenV »
 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #20 on: 10/06/2010 18:52:33 »
The mechanism may not be too different from the manner in which radiation randomly alters the contents of computer memory (RAM). Fortunately, computer systems have built in defences to detect and correct these random changes, so we are usually unaware of them.

 "pseudo-random" numbers are used to encode messages across the net. The computer algorithm generates them and they can be cracked. There is no way to identify these numbers as truely random.

Quote from: http://arstechnica.com/science/guides/2010/01/a-tale-of-two-qubits-how-quantum-computers-work.ars/4
Imagine if someone showed you a pair of coins, claiming that when both were flipped at the same time, one would always come up heads and one would always come up tails, but that which was which would be totally random. What if they claimed that this trick would work instantly, even if the coins were on opposite sides of the Universe.

You would probably say that's impossible. Albert Einstein did.

In 1935, in one of the most famous scientific papers of all time, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen argued that because quantum mechanics allowed exactly this type of strange action at a distance, it must not be complete. Some part of the theory had to be missing.

In effect, they claimed that some extra information (called hidden variables) was programmed into the coins—although they seem random, they really only show correlation because of hidden instructions which tell the coins which way to flip. After all, dice seem random, but if you know precisely how a die is rolling, you can predict its outcome. This assumption—that, in principle, the outcome of any experiment is predictable—is called realism.

 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #21 on: 10/06/2010 19:08:37 »
Sorry Echo, I don't think that paper is relevant.

I think you consistently confuse "mutation" - which is random, with other genetic changes, which are not.  The tasmanian devils & almost all of the papers you cite have nothing to do with DNA mutation.

What do you think people mean when they say "random mutation"?

please explain..
 

Offline echochartruse

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #22 on: 10/06/2010 19:11:48 »
Researchers find mechanism underlying alt. splicing of premessenger RNA into messenger RNA
 - Not random
Quote from: http://www.physorg.com/news149363159.htmlDecember 24, 2008

An international research team led by Tim Nilsen, Ph.D., a professor of medicine and biochemistry and the director of the School of Medicine's Center for RNA Molecular Biology, has discovered an unexpected mechanism governing alternative splicing, the process by which single genes produce different proteins in different situations. The new mechanism suggests that curing the more than half of genetic diseases that are caused by mutations in the genetic code that in turn create mistakes in alternative splicing may be considerably more complicated than biomedical researchers have previously assumed. Those diseases include a large number of cancers and many neurodegenerative diseases.

« Last Edit: 10/06/2010 19:30:33 by echochartruse »
 

Offline BenV

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #23 on: 10/06/2010 21:51:19 »
I've got nothing to explain, and again, you have cited another interesting paper that has nothing to do with whether or not DNA mutations happen at random.
 

Offline LeeE

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #24 on: 10/06/2010 23:54:19 »
echochartruse: it has become apparent that only your view of reality will be acceptable to you, and at the same time it must have become clear to you that the other people who have spent the time to discuss the matter with you disagree with your point of view.

I for one, am just not prepared to spend any more of my life peeing into a wind that takes no notice of my gesture.
 

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Is there proof that genetic changes happen randomly?
« Reply #24 on: 10/06/2010 23:54:19 »

 

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