Home » Natural selection » “So what is bad for the next generation may be good for our species in general.”

“So what is bad for the next generation may be good for our species in general.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19336438

In the above story, the combination of an empirical investigation of the here-and-now – what creationists like myself like to call “operational science” – together with speculative Darwinian faith, leads to this final take-home quote:

 ”The high rate of mutations is dangerous for the next generation but is generating diversity from which nature can select and further refine this product we call man,” he said.

“So what is bad for the next generation may be good for our species in general.”

Got that? It’s similar to the way in which your team losing this week and then repeating the performance next week results in winning the league at the end of the season.

 

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7 Responses to “So what is bad for the next generation may be good for our species in general.”

  1. 1

    As a former business owner, this makes complete sense to me. It’s entirely normal, for example, for a business decision to be bad for the next quarter’s profits, but good for the company in general. Essentially, it’s a question of short-term vs. long-term effects.

    Employee training is an example: it increases expenses (the cost of the training itself) and generally decreases immediate income (the employee isn’t doing their job when they’re at training), so it’s going to be bad for the company’s immediate profits. But in the longer term, I have a more capable, productive employee, so it’s going to increase my profits for the rest of that employee’s tenure with my company.

  2. 2

    Gordon,
    But you have intelligence, so you can think ahead. Mutations will should only be selected if they improve the survivability rate immediately, not if they hold “promise” for improving survivability in later generations!

  3. You missed the point, Gordon. In addition to Granville’s observation, the next generation will also be expected to be endangered by its own fresh round of mutations. Hence in the analogy I made, the sports team loses each week. You changed the point of similarity in the analogy you made, and only made a short-term loss once. What if you made it in *every* short term?

  4. The results indicate that a father aged 20 passes, on average, approximately 25 mutations, while a 40-year-old father passes on about 65. The study suggests that for every year a man delays fatherhood, they risk passing two more mutations on to their child.

    Using those numbers, this can only marginal slow the rate of human degeneration. With two generations, after 40 years you have 25+25=50 mutations instead of 65. An extra cycle of selection could only remove a very small number of these, since the fittest child will still receive something around 20.

    So what is bad for the next generation may be good for our species in general.

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read all week. Even before the demise of junk DNA, low estimates for the primate/human deleterious mutation rate of U=3 lead to the accumulation of mutations eventually leading to the extinction of the species, even under strong selection.

  5. I see Dr. Strangelove lurking behind this…all we have to do is make selection even stronger…by culling.

  6. 6
    critical rationalist

    David: Got that? It’s similar to the way in which your team losing this week and then repeating the performance next week results in winning the league at the end of the season.

    Wouldn’t the more appropriate analogy be “So your team loosing the series may be good for the league or sport in general.”?

  7. The problem with analogies is that the debate then centres on people’s application of the analogy rather than the real issue. Let me try another one. If a plant propagates by seed, but in each cycle of the propagation some percentage of the seed includes mutations, then over time the robustness of that plant species will inevitably deteriorate. The mutated species contain less genetic information leading to a progressively lower ability for variation. If dog type M was bred from type L, which was bred from type K, tracing its ancestry back to type A, you cannot breed type M back to an earlier type such as B – the genetic information is lost. Certainly some variations may fortuitously be better suited to then current environment and progress may appear to have been made, but when the environment changes again, the species has less capability to respond. Because deleterious mutations far outnumber beneficial mutations, and science has never found a mutation that is genuinely beneficial in other than a very narrow range of circumstance, over time the genome is devolving not evolving. Despite what evolutionists want to believe, that is the stark fact revealed by science.

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