Re: Evolution being slow ...

Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 15:43:23 PDT

James Tauber wrote:
> One thing that has always fascinated me is the number of genotypic mutations
> that need to take place for the phenotype to have a beneficial change. It's
> not as if a single change to the DNA has an immediate benefit. You really

Sequence space is percolated with neutral fitness filaments of large
extension. That way mutants can go places at very little cost, if any.

On an unrelated vein, I wonder what Kauffman is going to say about the
number of human genes. Anyone has "Origins of Order" handy? I forgot the
number he forecasts.

> need somehow to built change-upon-change, each of which has no individual
> benefit, but the whole sequence of changes leads to a benefit. Survival of

You walk a long walk along a neutral filament. Then, you radiate. As soon
as you leave the filament as an expansive population cloud, you'll see
large positive and negative integers in a relatively small ball of
sequence space. Beam me up, Scotty.

> the fittest can't kick in until the benefit does and so a partial sequence
> of changes leading to a benefit would be have no greater chance that one
> that doesn't lead to a benefit.

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