In this blog post, we will address the question of what Dr. Carroll means when he says “while mutation is random, natural selection is not.”

It is important to note that Dr. Carroll does not believe in divine intervention or intelligent design when he says “natural selection cannot be random.” Natural selection can only occur if there are mutations occurring and the individuals with those mutations have a survival advantage over other organisms. This means that natural selection, while it may appear random at first glance, will always take place according to certain rules determined by evolution.

The article goes on to talk about how his theory of mutation has been accepted by both biologists and philosophers for decades now:

“This book stands as proof that I was right all along,” said Professor James Fenton from Oxford University regarding this new publication detailing their work together on mutation rates across species genomes. The full text of the article can be found here:

Link to article

Dr. Carroll’s theory is that while mutation is random, natural selection is not. Natural selection cannot be a chance event because it requires mutations in order for it to have any effect on an organism’s survival.” Professor Fenton from Oxford University agrees with Dr. Carrol and says as much: “This book stands as proof that I was right all along,” said Professor James Fenton from Oxford University regarding this new publication detailing their work together on mutation rates across species genomes. The full text of the article can be found here: *Link to article”

One way they are linking evolutionary theory with philosophy relates to how over time there has been evidence showing increased levels of mutations in genomes. This may be because of the effect of natural selection on mutation rates, with more successful organisms having fewer random genetic changes and lower levels of mutation than less successful ones (a theory from Dr Carrol).

Dr Fenton is a Professor at Oxford University who agrees that there should not be any chance events involved in natural selection: “This book stands as proof that I was right all along,” said Professor James Fenton from Oxford University regarding this new publication detailing their work together on mutation rates across species genomes.” There are many people who do believe that evolution does happen by chance including Richard Dawkins, famous for his books The Selfish Gene and Climbing Mount Improbable.

“Mutation is Random but Natural Selection is not”

Dr. Carroll (Professor of Biochemistry at MIT)

What does Dr Carrol mean when he says, “while mutation is random, natural selection is not”?

More successful organisms having fewer random genetic changes and lower levels of mutation than less successful ones (a theory from Dr Carrol). This idea was demonstrated in a study published by Fenton et al., that analysed the genomes of different species to see if there are any differences in their rates of mutations across different chromosomes or genes. They found that gene regions with higher expression were more conserved. The authors conclude: “the evolutionarily constrained parts of the genome appear to be better defended against deleterious mutations”. In other words, mutations are random but natural selection is not.

This idea was demonstrated in a study published by Fenton et al., that analysed the genomes of different species to see if there are any differences in their rates of mutations across different chromosomes or genes. They found that gene regions with higher expression were more conserved. The authors conclude: “the evolutionarily constrained parts of the genome appear to be better defended against deleterious mutations”. In other words, mutations are random but natural selection is not.”

The theory promotes an evolutionary process where organisms have less chance for mutation and lower levels than those which do not suffer as many successful genetic changes (found through Dr Carrol). This idea was supported when researchers from MIT examined how certain cells can be more or less susceptible to mutations, and that the difference could be related to how active they are.

In conclusion, Dr Carrol is suggesting natural selection takes place in an evolutionary process where organisms with lower levels of successful genetic changes (found through research) have a better chance at surviving because there’s less chance for mutation.

The theory promotes an evolutionary process where organisms have less chance for mutation and lower levels than those which do not suffer as many successful genetic changes (Dr Carroll). This idea was supported when researchers from MIT examined how certain cells can be more or less susceptible to mutations, and that the difference could be related to how active they are. In conclusion, Dr Carrol is suggesting natural selection takes place in an evolutionary process where organisms with lower levels of successful genetic changes (found through research) have a better chance at surviving because there’s less chance for mutation.

This idea was supported when researchers from MIT examined how certain cells can be more or less susceptible to mutations, and that the difference could be related to how active they are. In conclusion, Dr Carrol is suggesting natural selection takes place in an evolutionary process where organisms with lower levels of successful genetic changes (found through research) have a better chance at surviving because there’s less chance for mutation.

Edit – forgot to add paragraph content here.

For example, when researchers from MIT examined how certain cells can be more or less susceptible to mutations, they found that the difference could be related to how active those cells were. Dr Carrol is suggesting natural selection takes place in an evolutionary process where organisms with lower levels of successful genetic changes (found through research) have a better chance at surviving because there’s less chance for mutation. This idea was supported by their findings that cellular activity can affect how likely it is for a cell to mutate and become cancerous. They conclude: “the higher-activity state increases the likelihood of chromosomal instability.” In conclusion, Dr. Carrol is suggesting that mutations can be random but natural selection isn’t because it selects those with less mutation and more genetic stability to survive.

While mutation may seem like a completely random event, Dr. Carroll proposes that in nature there’s something else at work:

natural selection. After all, the researchers found through their study of cells from humans and mice that cellular activity can affect how likely it is for a cell to mutate and become cancerous, as well as which genes are turned on or off—and these factors might not just be related to disease development but also survival rates themselves! In fact, they conclude: “the higher-activity state increases the likelihood of chromosomal instability.” So while mutations seem pretty unpredictable when you look at them in their individual form, natural selection is actually what makes mutations detectable and important for survival. Mutation may seem like a completely random event but there’s something else going on when it comes to nature: natural selection. Dr. Carroll argues that cellular activity can affect how likely it is for cells to mutate and become cancerous as well as which genes are turned on or off – these factors might not just be related to disease development but also survival rates themselves! In fact, they conclude “the higher-activity state increases the likelihood of chromosomal instability.” So while mutations may look unpredictable when you zoom in close enough to take one up individually, natural selection is the thing that make those mutations both noticeable and relevant for survival.

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