X-Message-Number: 27668
From: "Basie" <>
Subject: Our master
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2006 21:27:02 -0500

For example, if a single harmful mutation lowers fitness by 5 percent on 
average, then successive mutations are expected to lead to a progressive 
decline in 5 percent steps if the mutations don't interact with each other. 
Negative epistasis, however, comes into play, for example, if the second 
mutation decreased fitness by 10 percent, the third by 15 percent and so 

While biologists have been trying to figure out just how prevalent negative 
epistasis is in nature to test MDH, relatively little attention has been 
paid to the question of what conditions could lead to the existence of 
negative epistasis in the first place. If those conditions were known, it 
would help scientists decide whether it's even worth looking for it or not. 
Azevedo's study suggests that it is. In many of their simulated worlds, 
sexual reproduction generated negative epistasis, thus creating the 
conditions required for its own maintenance. If this is true about the real 
world, this would constitute a spectacular example of evolution forging its 
own path.

Thus we are merely the extension of our sexual organs. Not vice versa.  Sad.


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