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Biotech Idle Science

The Average Human Has 60 New Genetic Mutations 246

mcgrew pointed out a story about a new study that found the average person is born with 60 genetic mutations, very few of which involve weather manipulation or an amazing healing factor. This number was less than expected, leading the researchers to believe human evolution happens more slowly than previously thought. From the article: "Sixty mutations may sound like a lot, but according to the international team of geneticists behind the new research, it is actually fewer than expected. 'We had previously estimated that parents would contribute an average of 100 to 200 mistakes to their child,' Philip Awadalla, a geneticist at the University of Montreal who co-led the project, said in a press release. 'Our genetic study, the first of its kind, shows that actually much fewer mistakes, or mutations, are made.'
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The Average Human Has 60 New Genetic Mutations

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  • Re:makes sense to be (Score:5, Informative)

    by sourcerror ( 1718066 ) on Friday June 17, 2011 @12:11PM (#36475788)

    The main difference between you and your brother aren't mutations, but which part of your DNA you get from your mother and which part from your father.
    (I'm not a biologist/geneticist.)

  • Re:Hogwash! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, 2011 @02:45PM (#36478212)

    Mutations, smutations! Everyone knows that evolution is bunk and that humans were created in their current, perfect form just 6000 years ago.

    I know many Creationists, and am one myself (thus posting AC), but I've never heard anyone say anything like that. It's really quite shocking how little people understand about Creationists.

    There is a distinct difference between microevolution and macroevolution. If you are unfamiliar with the terms, then look them up. Micro-evolution and natural selection are observed regularly, and are considered fact by Creationists. A great example of observed microevolution is the observation of peppered moths observed near London during the industrial revolution. The genes for both colorations existed in the line for generations, but natural selection greatly changed the ratio of white to peppered over a relatively few number of years. By contrast, macro-evolution has never been observed.

    The theory of abiogenesis (aka primordial soup) assumes that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and was stable enough for the formation of life after 1 billion years. Even with ~200 mutations per generation, and an age of the earth of 3.5 billion years, even scientists that readily accept macro-evolution are still skeptical that life could have progressed to the state we see today in that amount of time. To deal with the discrepancy, some have resigned that maybe a god of some type was involved, while others look to seeding from extraterrestrial means.

    Generally, Creationists are accused of mixing religion with science, or refusing science because of religion. In general, the feeling is mutual. One's belief of whether or not a God exists should not influence science. Science means "to know", and we should use what we observe as the basis for scientific belief. When someone throws out a theory because of their acceptance or non-acceptance of a God, then this is bad science. Teaching only one theory for the origin of life is clearly bad science.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner