I'm debating with a christian friend on Facebook, and she threw something out that I have never seen:
" I understand that it [evolution] is a very gradual process, which is why it is mathematically impossible. I will have to look up the exact rate of mutation in DNA, but it is something like 1/1*10^33 replication. If you multiply that out based on that rate, rate of replication, rate of fission, then mitosis, and eventually mitosis, then it doesn't matter how gradual the process is, there hasn't been enough time in the last 300 billion years."
I have no idea what this is, and for once google isn't very helpful. Anyone know what this is/where it comes from?
Thanks! I've never heard of this before; I guess that mutation rates never really stood as a stumbling block to evolution making sense to me, but she trotted out this calculation and claimed that based on this math the earth isn't old enough to have supported evolution...
That is helpful. Thanks!
The highest mutation rates are found in viruses, which can have either RNA or DNA genomes. DNA viruses have mutation rates between 10-6 to 10-8 mutations per base per generation, and RNA viruses have mutation rates between 10-3 to 10-5 per base per generation. Human mitochondrial DNA has been estimated to have mutation rates of ~3×10-6 or ~2.7×10-5 per base per 20 year generation.
She said she learned it from a microbiology text, and that I could find the answer in any one of those (how convenient). I finally just told her that I didn't accept mutation rates as proof against evolution since it's not just the mutations that make up evolution; there's more to it than that. She also told me that she rejected the 4.2 billion age of the earth, but when I asked her how old she thought the earth was she replied that she didn't know, but it was
You want genetic mutations? I gots your mutations!
Watch this 4 part series. Definate food for thought.
But yeah, as I say of my creationist friend:"You can't fix stupid." And really,you can't...The more you try to educate them,the more they cling to their nonsense like a security blanket.
Some of the stuff she says just makes my head hurt really,really badly.
Those "facts" come from thin air I'm afraid, there is no real hard science behind them! For example around 500 years ago, less than 10% of us humans could digest cows' milk. Whether you're talking phenotypic or genotypic alteration, by your friend's reckoning even such a short jump would have taken more than the 4.9 billion years of geological time that accounts for the Earth's existance.
A common tactic for xtians debating skeptics is to try to "make up" scientific facts and then, on the gainsay that you do not have an actual textbook on hand to disprove them or at least offer up a contrary, peer-reviewed argument,to act as though they know it for certain to be a fact. You may be surprised how many listeners they win over this way. Often their real goal is not to convince you, but to win over an audience from those within earshot, who will be very impressed at the speakers apparent knowledge. The old adage goes "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with Bull."