Scientific Censorship and Evolution

Kevin O'Donnell odonnell at sasa.gov.uk
Mon Apr 3 06:19:08 EST 1995


In article <329 at milton.win-uk.net>, richard at milton.win-uk.net (Richard 
Milton) says:

>I'm familiar with the conventional wisdom with all of its
>intuitive plausibility.  My objection is that this is
>merely supposition unsupported by evidence or experiment
>because it cannot be.  Show me the cheetah's sprinting
>gene: show me anything about this idea that isn't merely
>conjecture. 
>

Isn't more likely that phenotypes like speed and neck length are the result 
of a collection of different genes?  That's not to say, of course, that a 
mutation in one of these genes wouldn't have an effect, just that it isn't 
surprising that a single gene for cheetah speed hasn't been identified.  

What puzzles me about your whole thesis is that you seem to imply, 
without actually saying so, that phenotypic characteristics are not related 
to genotype.  If that is what you're saying, then where does the 
information to consistently give (to follow your examples) cheetahs speed 
and giraffes long necks come from?

If you do accept that phenotype stems from genotype then I'm still not 
clear what your problem is.  Are you really saying that a mutation which 
made one cheetah faster than another wouldn't, over time, give those 
cheetahs an advantage relative to slower cheetahs?


Kevin O'Donnell
Scottish Agricultural Science Agency    
Edinburgh
Scotland                                           



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