Re: Evolution goes quantum

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sat Feb 05 2000 - 23:10:03 MST

On Sun, 6 Feb 2000, Damien Broderick wrote:

> >
> < Mutations have always been assumed to be random. But mutations are
> < caused by the motion of fundamental particles, electrons and
> < protons -- particles that can enter the quantum multiverse -- within
> < the double helix.

[Snip the rest because it really goes off the deep end!!!]

I'll just point out for the education of all that the
molecules that cause most DNA mutations (hydrogen peroxide, the
superoxide ion, singlet oxygen, perhaps in association with
Fe/Cu ions, and certain larger toxins (e.g. aflotoxin)) are
all "atoms" or "molecules" (and *not* fundamental particles
like electrons or protons). Atoms or molecules are *large*
compared to quantum effects (spin states, electron energy
states, etc.) and cannot be affected by quantum scale
activities unless you do something like cool the atoms
almost to absolute zero generating things like a Bose-Einstein
condensate. At the level of the cell, the motion and location
of atoms & molecules is driven by Brownian motion, e.g. heat,
*not* quantum effects.

And scientists who study mutatation know that they *are not*
"random". There may be preferential mutations based on DNA
sequence, sources of the damage, whether the genes are active
or inactive in a particular cell, etc., etc. Then there is
the genetic background against which the mutations occur
since some of us have better error checking and repair than

Gobbeldygook, blech, phooey!


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