[asa] lactose tolerance mutation

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@adelphia.net>
Date: Tue Dec 12 2006 - 19:31:31 EST

This afternoon I listened to the radio program "The Bible Answer Man" sponsored by the Christian Research Institute. Paul Nelson was the guest. He is very impressive in his style of communication. It was generally the standard ID fare but I was surprised at his answer to one of the call-in questions. The caller asked whether there were any beneficial mutations or if they were all harmful. Paul essentially said none was beneficial and mutations may be neutral at best but neutrality doesn't drive evolution.

I wish I could have jumped in and asked about the article that Jack Haas posted on his blog on Dec. 11 (I presume you all regularly check Jack's blog at http://www.asa3.org/weblog/jackhaas/ ) on lactose tolerance. If I understand it correctly this is not only an example of a positive mutation (assuming it is positive to be tolerant of lactose) but also one of convergent evolution. I'm not an expert in this field so I have some questions for those of you who are. Are they implying that the same mutation occurred in different populations to achieve convergence in lactose tolerance? Or are these different mutations? If so, what are the characteristics of the mutations causing this change? Is it silencing a specific protein? Activating a silent one? In general, I would like to know what you think is the significance of this finding.

Randy

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Received on Tue Dec 12 19:32:27 2006

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