Re: latent mutation

Date: Tue 06 May 2003 - 08:11:03 GMT

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    [I hope this isn't a repeat message. The first one didn't seem to go through the way I expected it.] In a message dated 5/5/2003 8:16:43 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

    Thanks for the effort Chris. Don't sweat it too much. I may try to look Wilson after I finish his book and I'll see if he has any examples

    Jake, I think the term "atavism" is fairly close to what I'm looking for, but it doesn't seem quite the same. Atavism would seem to cover the stage where the spotting mechanism disappears with point mutations but not the potentially quicker re-evolution of the spots again when the environmental condition for their selection reappears.

    The book 'Darwin's Cathedral' by the way has more to do with cultural selection of religions. The idea for latent adaptation came when he was discussing guppy species differences in response to different types of predation. Because the differences in predation seem to me to be things that might fluctuate within the environment on a fairly frequent basis I thought something like a 'latent adaptation' might end up present within the species.

    [Jake] I don't think I have ever heard a term for this decreased manifestation time which you describe. Perhaps you might consider coining one? Chris's explanation of the hox genes probably provides an excellent explanation of the underlying biological mechanism that produces both atavisms and the manifest suddenness with which they can appear compared to the longer time it took the original ancestral form to appear.

    It also may present interesting memetic parallels, if you accept an analogous role of written texts in religion to DNA sequences. Certain texts may fall into disuse only to get revived later on in some mutant resurgence of fundamentalist fervor.

    Thanks for the brief summary. I have heard of the book, and it sounds like it belongs in my "to read" stack.

    -Jake Sapiens

    Church of the Virus

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