ID challenge

From: bivalve (bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com)
Date: Wed May 07 2003 - 14:07:23 EDT

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    The latest Nature has an article on modeling the favorite issues of ID:

    RICHARD E. LENSKI, CHARLES OFRIA, ROBERT T. PENNOCK & CHRISTOPH ADAMI. 2003. The evolutionary origin of complex features. Nature 423, 139 – 144.

    Abstract: A long-standing challenge to evolutionary theory has been whether it can explain the origin of complex organismal features. We examined this issue using digital organisms—computer programs that self-replicate, mutate, compete and evolve. Populations of digital organisms often evolved the ability to perform complex logic functions requiring the coordinated execution of many genomic instructions. Complex functions evolved by building on simpler functions that had evolved earlier, provided that these were also selectively favoured. However, no particular intermediate stage was essential for evolving complex functions. The first genotypes able to perform complex functions differed from their non-performing parents by only one or two mutations, but differed from the ancestor by many mutations that were also crucial to the new functions. In some cases, mutations that were deleterious when they appeared served as stepping-stones in the evolution of complex features. These!
     findings show how complex functions can originate by random mutation and natural selection.

    Table of contents for the issue are at:
    http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v423/n6936/index.html

        Dr. David Campbell
        Old Seashells
        University of Alabama
        Biodiversity & Systematics
        Dept. Biological Sciences
        Box 870345
        Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
        bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com

    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa



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