Evolution, monarch adaptation to toxic milkweed (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, October 04, 2019, 09:59 (142 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTES: They needed to get the mutations in the right order,” Whiteman says. First, a mutation of small effect would have altered the structure of the sodium pump to provide some resistance, but also some neurological problems. The second mutation would have amended the pump structure slightly, thereby fixing that problem. By so doing, it would have prepared conditions for the third mutation—the one with the heftiest antitoxin effect. By itself, that third mutation would have created intolerable neurological issues. But with the second mutation already in place, all would be well, or at least much better.

“'Biologists call this a constrained adaptive walk,” says Whiteman, “where one mutation is followed by another, in a predictable order, setting a species, or more than one, on a trajectory to higher fitness.” (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: three specific mutations are needed, and note my bold, must appear in specific order to evolve. Not by chance; only a designer can do this. And for survival all three mutations had to be present for the caterpillars to survive. And if the taste is very noxious to most insects, it must taste good for these guys, which means more mutations must be present or the three mutations also make it taste good.

I agree with you that these mutations could not have been by chance. But I don’t understand why a designer whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens would, 3.8 billion years ago, have provided the first cells with a programme for these three mutations in the monarch butterfly. Clearly the cell communities of the monarch’s immediate ancestor are what changed (mutated), and so an alternative to divine programming and/or dabbling might have been the intelligence (possibly God-given) of the cells themselves enabling them to find new ways to survive.

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