MadSci Network: Evolution

Subject: Does random mutation alone account for the complete diversity of life?

Date: Sat Feb 15 14:47:20 2014
Posted by Dale
Grade level: nonaligned School: No school entered.
City: Beachwood State/Province: OH Country: U.S.A.
Area of science: Evolution
ID: 1392500840.Ev

  I looked through the web site and I'm not sure if this was specifically
covered.  It may sound a bit simple minded, but I'm just trying to understand
the concept.  I hope I can make myself clear....

  Can the probability of, not just a mutation, but a beneficial mutation, be
determined, and from that its frequency of occurrence? 

  And then if you could compare the genome of the earliest cells in evolutionary
history with our genome today to determine the total number of specific changes
that had to occur in the allotted time between the two, you could then determine
a frequency of mutation based on that.  Would the rate determined this way be
anywhere close to the rate of mutation determined the first way?

  Or taking any two connected points along the evolutionary tree and looking at
the total differences in the genome could they all be accounted for just by the
frequency of random mutation?

  It seems like the rate based of random mutation occurring would be so
exceedingly low,  how could it account for so much diversity?

Re: Does random mutation alone account for the complete diversity of life?

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