Part 1 Genetic Entropy; Post 2 Mutations Are Bad
I'm curious, have you ever read Dr. Weston Price's book on Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He was a dentist who lived a 100 years ago and discovered on his world travels that those native peoples who ate there natural diets, had wide dental arches with perfect teeth, wide noses, good health, the women easily had birith, etc. When they adopted western food, what they call a SAD diet, they developed first dental caries, then loss genetic integrity. Pottenger did studies with animals and discovered that on poor diets, their genetics degenerated. I can't remember the scientist's name, but he used an Agouti mother mouse and identical embryos to discover that on a poor diet her offspring was born albino and diabetic, but when fed well, had a healthy brown mice. It is the science of epigentics. Mutations? Just a lack of good diet. Which reminds me many of the native peoples fed their mothers and fathers to be a special diet.
In the vein of 'Idiocracy', which seems to be playing out rapidly in real time, the dysgenic selection pressures of socially engineered - and technologically "nudged" (to put it mildly), manufactured anti-reality of the modern environment, plus the natural mutation factor you lay out here, have likely spiked (heh) up the shaken-not-stirred double helix cocktail to some exponent error rate.
Said another way, more fitting to my finger-painter credentials, the mutation rate is now on a social-environmental-technological e-ticket ride in which we may very well be seeing collapse-level mutations on our watch. Now, perhaps nature in her wisdom - and ruthlessness, will provide harsh doses of reality to pierce the manufactured anti-reality and correct some of the dysgenic inputs, but to your point, beneficial accretive mutations are something else entirely - that seem rather divine and not so easily sciency.
Anyhow, your metaphor reminds me of the game we played as kids called telephone. The initial phrase whispered into the first kid's ear was simple and quite clear. But by the time it was whispered ear-to-ear around the whole circle of kids and back to the start it was some kind of hilarious nonsense so divorced from the initial phrase that it just must be a function of someone purposefully inserting the nonsense.
But nope. The whisper-drift effect(TM) is real. This is true today in the 'meta' as the clowns say. It's how we get "Brawndo's got what plants crave; it's got electrolytes!". See also, "diversity is our greatest strength" and "climate change is real".
I got banned from a sub redit for posting A Strong Delusion 1.0 ....and debating with the mod. He appears to be convinced that I wrote that unacceptably religious blog post. I think the proximate cause of my banishment was my pointing out his religious faith in science. I found the whole thing quite humorous.
I totally disagree. Mutations can be very beneficial. How about the X-man Wolverine? His mutation allows him to instantly heal, so that is very beneficial. And let's not forget professor X, whose mutation allows him to read minds, like I'm doing right now to Winston. Oh, wow, you naughty boy. Behave!
I thank you for this series! I'm loving it.
I cited it today, in: https://heroesvsvillains.substack.com/p/evolution-or-devolution
Excellent article! The fact that deleterious mutations are accumulating, rapidly, since our ancestors succeeded in largely eliminating childhood mortality helps explain why Western Civilization is crashing and burning. Fitness-destroying errors compound more rapidly. "Spiteful Mutants" are one result.
Video https://youtu.be/NnWSG8vDqK8?t=64 on the lessons of the "Mouse Utopia" experiments begun by John Calhoun.
"... the brain makes up 80% of our genome ... the males were unable to defend their territory, due to decreasing testosterone, and females and males swapped gender roles, with the former behaving more aggressively than the latter. After day 600, when the population hit it's maximum, a precipitous decline began and it didn't stop until extinction... during this decline, females were unable to reproduce, as the males had withdrawn from the mating scene... despite pestered by aggressive female mice, chose to stop reproducing entirely...
... later, these behaviors were linked to actual genetic mutations "
Like how humans have converted the over all environment into more 'habitable' conditions, from mud huts to mansions! Automobiles! Medicines! Then humans adapt to all of this technology and most can never go back, are not satisfied, then in this weakened state produce even more habitable conditions. Hahahaha!
Then they want to move to Mars where there are no biological threats!
Start a garden and begin the process of becoming human again.
Wow. Just stumbled upon this and am gobsmacked by the little bits i could understand...
As usual both fascinating and so far beyond my scientific pay grade which is zero. Might waiting for what happens in the comments to choose a path forward be 'unintelligent design'?
As grey-maned quip goes, evolution is good at explaining selection of the fittest; as to their arrival—not so much 😉
Your earlier entire library metaphor still looks apter for a genome, redundancy et al. Not only supplies information/instructions for a patron to use, but also presents options to choose from. Eg, to better match a particular learning style 😇 The patron of course encompasses all the numerous epigenetic factors. The further step in linear logic would be to explore what Mx Ze as a player character does with acquired knowledge, why & how.
To accommodate genetic entropy, the library may need a qualifier—of physical books. Some of which we seem determined to actively destroy, in °F 451 manner. On quick second thought, e-books fare just as well if not better 🤸
PS Love how your Upgrade button continues to sprightly adapt to its changing circumstance! 🤩
PPS Benign mutation detected: *careeNing [down the river].
Well done Winston. This is my favorite 🍍of the week.
Much to think about here... and for some reason, I have an irresistable urge to pull out my DEVO albums.
Great stuff, as usual.
Just to play - ahem - devil's advocate for a moment (and also to understand your metaphor better)
In your malfunctioning printer example, what is the statistical heuristic, if any, for determining how often the printer will replace the typos of the previous generation with new ones in the same locations. For example, "pinaples" in version 54 becomes "pinpripples" in version 55. Or is the principle that the errors will always occur in new random locations, similar to "lottery sampling" randomness?
If I understand your hypothesis, mutation and natural selection can't be the basis for human evolution, because most mutations (that we see) have a negative effect on the 'fitness' of the organism.
How was the "reduced fitness may be somewhere between 1%-5% per generation" calculated? How does this differ between humans, and other organisms?