Home » Cornell Conference, Genetics » Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 14—“Using Numerical Simulation to Test the “Mutation-Count” Hypothesis”—Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 14—“Using Numerical Simulation to Test the “Mutation-Count” Hypothesis”—Abstract

Biological Information

To facilitate discussion, we are publishing the abstracts and conclusions/summaries/excerpts of the 24 papers from the Cornell Conference on the Origin of Biological Information here at Uncommon Descent, with cumulative links to previous papers at the bottom of each page. You can get from anywhere to anywhere in the system.

Note: A blow-by-blow account of the difficulties that the authors experienced from Darwin lobby attempts to censor the book by denying it publication with Springer are detailed here. Fortunately, the uproar resulted in an opportunity for readers like yourself to read the book online. That said, the hard cover version is now shipping.

The Abstract for “Using Numerical Simulation to Test the “Mutation-Count” Hypothesis” by Wesley H. Brewer, John R. Baumgardner, John C. Sanford:

There is now abundant evidence that the continuous accumulation of deleterious mutations within natural populations poses a major problem for neo-Darwinian theory. It has been proposed that a viable evolutionary mechanism for halting the accumulation of deleterious mutations might arise if fitness depends primarily on an individual’s “mutation-count”. In this paper the hypothetical “ mutation-count mechanism” (MCM) is tested using numerical simulation, to determine the viability of the hypothesis and to determine what biological factors affect the relative efficacy of this mechanism.

The MCM is shown to be very strong when given all the following un-natural conditions: all mutations have an equal effect, low environmental variance, and full truncation selection. Conversely, the MCM effect essentially disappears given any of the following natural conditions: asexual reproduction, or probability selection, or accumulating mutations having a natural distribution of fitness effects covering several orders of magnitude. Realistic levels of environmental variance can also abolish or greatly diminish the MCM effect.

Equal mutation effects when combined with partial truncation (quasi-truncation) can create a moderate MCM effect, but this disappears in the presence of less uniform mutation effects and reasonable levels of environmental variance.

MCM does not appear to occur under most biologically realistic conditions, and so is not a generally applicable evolutionary mechanism. MCM is not generally capable of stopping deleterious mutation accumulation in most natural populations. More.

See also: Origin of Biological Information conference: Its goals

Open Mike: Origin of Biological Information conference: Origin of life studies flatlined

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference— Can you answer these conundrums about information?

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Is a new definition of information needed for biology? (Chapter 2)

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—New definition of information proposed: Universal Information (Chapter 2)

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Three, Dembski, Ewert, and Marks on the true cost of a successful search

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Three on the true cost of a successful search—Conservation of information

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Four: Pragmatic Information

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Four, Pragmatic information: Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Five Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Five – Basener on limits of chaos – Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Six – Ewert et all on the Tierra evolution program – Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Six – Ewert et all on the Tierra evolution program – Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 7—Probability of Beneficial Mutation— Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 7—Probability of Beneficial Mutation— Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 8—Entropy, Evolution and Open Systems—Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 8—Entropy, Evolution and Open Systems—Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 9—Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems—Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 9—Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems—Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 10—Biological Information and Genetic Theory: Introductory Comments—Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 10—Biological Information and Genetic Theory: Introductory Comments— Excerpt

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 11—Not Junk After All—Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 11—Not Junk After All—Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 12—“Can Purifying Natural Selection Preserve Biological Information?”—Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 12——“Can Purifying Natural Selection Preserve Biological Information?”—Excerpt

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 13—“Selection Threshold Severely Constrains Capture of Beneficial Mutations”— Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 13—“Selection Threshold Severely Constrains Capture of Beneficial Mutations”—Concluding Comments excerpt

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One Response to Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 14—“Using Numerical Simulation to Test the “Mutation-Count” Hypothesis”—Abstract

  1. Before some Neo-Darwinist jumps in to say ‘But selection improves fitness’, I would like to point out that the fitness gain is negligible Even with a very generous setting of reproductive rate, and mutation rate of 10 (shown below),we find that at the end of 500 generation the fitness is 0.76
    Mendel’s accountant input:
    case_id = 'newkvn'
    mutn_rate = 10.000000
    frac_fav_mutn = 0.000100
    reproductive_rate = 6.000000
    pop_size = 1000
    num_generations = 500

    We get the following results:

    # pre selection fitness = 0.75386
    # post selection fitness = 0.75691

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