Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vitamin C and Evolution

Humans and a number of apes cannot synthesize vitamin C. Most other mammals can. Is this lack in the apes and humans only coincidence?

2 comments:

davers said...

Although I agree with most of the fundamentals of evolutionary theory, I do not agree with the conclusion of this presentation. It by no means proves that the similarities in this sequence is any more caused by an evolutionary relationship than it is caused by the outcome of pre-existing similarities in similar genomes. The skeptic could sufficiently argue that similar genomes are prone to undergoing the same mutations independently of each other due to the fact that similar genomes should be expected to respond similarly to their environments.

Of course that similar genomes are an indication of a evolutionary relationship seems intuitively obvious, but you don't need this analysis to prove that, nor does it seem to strengthen that argument.

Karl said...

"The skeptic could sufficiently argue that similar genomes are prone to undergoing the same mutations independently of each other due to the fact that similar genomes should be expected to respond similarly to their environments."

The skeptic would do well to demonstrate how this happens in the cases of other mutations in similar genomes. Surely, if such constraints, whatever they may be, caused the same mutation to occur in humans and primates, it should have constrained other mutations to echo each other as well.

Demonstrate the systemic non-randomness you assume before you argue it.