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March 31, 2007

Big Numbers: a Concept Creationists Don’t Understand

Filed under: interesting, Video, videos, youtube — youtubemovie @ 10:32 am

Youtube Commments:
I loved this video. I bet creationists will say “But in the bible it says the earth is 6,000 years old, and the bible has been proven to be exact historical fact/record by all historians. Therefore, the world is 6,000 years old.” I actually had some girl tell me that on Yahoo! Answers.

Another great video. That’s some amazing research they’re doing into the rate of mutation and how simple calculated estimates of the age of the most recent common human/chimp ancestor closely matches the evidence in the fossil record. Just another stone to add to the mountain of evidence creationists like to pretend doesn’t exist.

And while we’re on the subject of mutations, I have a question. Let’s say there was a planet with life on it with all the same chemistry as earth life, but it had higher levels of background radiation and therefore more mutations per generation for a life form of given genome size. Would they evolve faster than life on earth, given the same environmental conditions? Is there a point at which mutation would become more rapid than natural selection could deal with and evolution would cease?

another short answer: HIV fits the criteria you just described. HIV is a retrovirus and has no repair mechanism when a copying mistake is made. Hence HIV has a very high mutation rate and there are LOTS of variants. This is why 1 drug won’t work against HIV; a resistant mutant will eventually be selected. So have to hit HIV with cocktail of drugs.

1 Comment »

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