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Attempting to Explain Genetics, Mutation and Evolution in Layman.

July 18, 2012
  1. The first thing we must agree on is:

DNA… is complicated…

DNA is really complicated…

DNA is extremely complicated…

But something that biologists seem to lack is the psychological perspective of the observer they are trying to communicate with, in regard to “How it works”

  1. The second thing we must agree on is that it does… work.

    If it didn’t work, then you wouldn’t agree that it is a “machine” of sorts.

And that it appears “designed”

If you do not understand the following, then you will appear foolish to people who do know.

And if you’re intent on proving intelligent design, I’m all for it.

But for you to have any hope of doing that, you must first understand the scientific perspective:

Which is to say “The stuff that they do to DNA that we can actually show you the results of.”

  1. The third thing we must agree on, is that scientists do manipulate DNA

Layman’s guide to genetics and molecular biology (The study of the complex chemical bonds that form in biological processes)

Educated Observers beware: this is accurate only to the point of comprehension of the logic of biology and genetics. Analogies will be used → I am not claiming this is a complete and full explanation of every function.

I am attempting to explain how evolution and mutations work to someone who doesn’t know.

  1. DNA is a molecular chain.

    1. Consider DNA as long… Long long long… LONG LONG… … … long long long… list of “rules” or “laws”

  2. When cells that have a nucleus make copies of themselves, they are EXTREMELY accurate.

    1. However once in a “blue moon”, a cell makes a mistake.

    2. A mistake in genetics can (sorta) be seen as “a new law has been written”

    3. The simpler the “organism” the shorter the “list of DNA laws” that it must abide to, and so if a “cell” makes a mistake, it will usually die because too high a % of those “rules” are broken/conflicted and balance is lost.

    4. The more complex the organism (as in humans for example) the less impact a small “mistake in DNA replication” will have.

  3. Sexual reproduction is one way DNA “fixes” itself.

    1. If you had 2 humans, and 1 has a genetic “error” or “mutation” then the resulting offspring will either carry the mutation “New law” or it will fail to “Form itself” (develop into a baby) and miscarry.

    2. If the baby survives, then the mutation did not conflict with enough of the other “rules” in the DNA; enough to die. (May or may not have visible birth defects.)

    3. This ones tricky: If a person (or organism) that has a mutation (Lets call it Law: 456) , mates with someone who’s DNA already has a “Law: 456” and conflicts. Then the DNA with the rule that both DNA (Libraries of laws) most agree on will win.

      1. “Well laws 412, 445,889… do something different, so, This new law will not pass”

  4. These “Mutations” in DNA, may provide NO VISIBLE CHANGE to the organism AT ALL(or baby, whatever you wanna visualize)

    1. Its kinda like: “well none of the laws DIS-agree with it… so… f**k it. It can stay.

    2. And it becomes like that one guy in the coffee shop that no one really talks to, but he doesn’t bother anyone so… he just chills.

  5. Multiple “Useless” mutations may start to agree with each other, and become a “new law”

    1. If the set of mutations coming together to cause a change, and enough of the other laws agree, they may start to provide a change.

    2. It might be something really really minute like, {Law= size of eyeballs increase by .0001%}

This (kind of) explains positive mutations and how they “survive”

  1. In the case of a good eye related mutation, it might be enough to see… MAYBE an additional, lets say for the sake of example; 1 additional 10 centimeters.

  2. If an organism can see only 10 more centimeters, that might be enough to spot a predator just before it spots him back.

    1. Result: it doesn’t get eaten.

    2. In the case of many, many encounters, the result is → they are eaten SLIGHTLY LESS of the time.

    3. And so, the mutation “survives”

      1. you can imagine 2 groups A → with a mutation at % population value, and B → Without that mutation at % population value.

  3. however if the rule is negative, MAYBE because their vision is SLIGHTLY WORSE.

    1. They get eaten slightly more often, and the population growth rate becomes negative…

    2. mutation fails to “take over”

  • Negative Population growth → If group X dies more often than babies are born.

  • Positive Population Growth → :If dies less often than babies are born.

OK thats super-basically how mutations happen, and how they become successful in the logical sense. The full science contains incredible amount of details, math and etc… → and I am no geneticist ← .

I do not claim to be an expert.

Super-basic Mutation probability understanding(ness) analogy thing

  1. single celled level (like a single person)

    1. → very low mutation rate,

  2. Multi-cellular level (tissues like a blood cell, skin cell etc…)

    1. (like a group of people at a factory)

    2. → Mutates way less that single cell, because its mutations must agree with its “buddies”

    3. made of many cells that work together and share work like SUPER communist if you will.

    4. If one mutates it doesn’t do its job right and dies. And nobody likes him.

  3. Multi-cellular, Multi organ level

    1. Many single cells, working to make up organs, which make up an animal.

      • (like a group of factories that make different things)

    2. extremely low mutation survival rate

      • 1 → because a single cell mutation (single workers “mistake”) has to agree with the multi-cellular environment (if Factory policy doesn’t disagree)

      • 2 → The multi-cellular changes (the factory policy change) must agree with the multi-organ level (corporate directives)

  4. Multi-organism level (Many animals)

      • (Many people, in many factories, in many countries)

    1. even less rate of mutation

    2. because everything above + has to agree with all the other levels of all the other animals

Phew, hope that makes sense.

Should be enough to get you started.

Ill make you a permutation visual some other time.


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