Hello,
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!
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Just to add to this rate of replication idea. It occurred to me that in sexual reproduction as I discussed above, one might say that the species in question are all of a higher order, (more complex / multi-cellular). To go to the other end of the scale take bacteria.
Bacteria divide by binary fission, and: {Providing no mutational event occurs the resulting daughter cells are genetically identical to the original cell. Hence, "local doubling" of the bacterial population occurs. Both daughter cells from the division do not necessarily survive. However, if the number surviving exceeds unity on average, the bacterial population undergoes exponential growth}; (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacterial_growth).
{Generation times for bacterial species growing in nature may be as short as 15 minutes or as long as several days}; (http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/growth.html)
At high school, I learned that under ideal conditions and as a rule of thumb, bacteria divide every 20 minutes or so. This means that starting from a single bacterium, and under ideal conditions, the mass of bacteria produced in 24 hours would be more than the mass of the entire earth. Every 20 minutes, the population would go 1 . . . 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 . . . etc. After each time block, the population becomes 2^n, (ie. 2 to the power n). After 20 minutes the population would be 2 ^ 1 = 2 etc. In a day there are 24 x 3 = 72 time blocks of 20 minutes, so by then the population would be 2 ^ 72 = 4722366482869645213696 and that's one heck of a lot of bacteria.
This itself is a red herring value, because the population of bacteria would run out of space and food, long before the 24 hours were up, and as mentioned above, not every daughter cell survives. Nonetheless, taking all of this subjectively, it is still a heck of a lot of replication.
So the objection in the OP about there not having been enough replication to lead to evolution, looks very shaky indeed.
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