We Are All Mutants by Tarlach and Gemma

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The title of the article is “We Are All Mutants, “by Tarlach and Gemma. The article is written as an interview with Masatoshi Nei, a molecular evolutionally biologist on the concern of evolution. In this article, Nei discusses evolution on an entirely different level as is commonly known to be under the Charles Darwin theory. Unlike Charles Darwin who argues that natural decision is the driving force of evolution, Nei argues on a molecular level groundwork by staking a claim for a mutation-driven evolution. The article also discusses different discoveries made by Nei in the field of science including his method for standard genetic distance and gene frequency increasing by chance.
Nei argues that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is not supported by strong evidence. According to Nei in science, every step must be proved, but Darwin fails to explain how natural selection occurred. To him, it is just a replacement of God's creation which changes nothing scientifically. In support of his theory, he argues that every part of human body is controlled by molecule and when a change occurs to these molecules through mutation then they become the basis of evolution. Mutation is the change in DNA and whether natural selection occurs or not an individual must first change to experience the natural selection. He further argues that natural selection sometimes occurs because some variation types are better than others, but it is the mutation that created these different types. To him (Nei) natural selection is secondary.

According to Nei people tend to believe that natural selection involves organisms with the ability to survive and reproduce. However, he argues that after selection there are many other types which are okay and can survive with no problem. To support this, he gives an example of individuals with blue eyes in Scandinavia where blue eyes are better some reason. He says the green-eyed people are as good as the blue-eyed because both can see. Through his standard genetic distance formula, he adds that there’s a mutagenic element to how human activity has changed over the past 10000 years. Nei says that the reason why many biologists still prefer natural selection it’s because when he first introduced the theory in his book Molecular population genetics and evolution, molecular biology had not developed to the level of morphology. Apart from his mutation based evolution, this article discusses other works where Nei was involved including the neighbor-joining method which is an algorithm which creates evolutionary trees by working backward based on related species key genetic differences. According to this algorithm the more recently one species diverged from another, the similar would their DNA be.

The article concludes by Nei insisting that people should start paying more attention to his works. He says that the natural section has existed for a long time and most people haven’t questioned it. He urges people to use common sense because if one can’t think of themselves, science loses its importance.

Structure pattern

The author of this article uses contrast and argumentative structural patterns. He contrasts the definitions of theories pertinent to Darwin and Nei. He writes that according to Darwin evolution is a fitness increasing process while according to Nei, evolution is a process through an organism’s complexity increases or decreases. The argumentative structure is a logic based structure which involves comparing ideas to establish a position. The author uses the ideas of Darwin and combines them with molecular biology to form a basis for his theory. He explains how mutation occurs with facts but also acknowledges that natural selection may not or may occur but only as a secondary activity.

Works cited

TARLACH, and GEMMA. "WE ARE ALL MUTANTS". Discover, vol 35, no. 2, 2014, pp. 1-5. Ebscohost, http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/94302744/we-are-all-mutants


September 11, 2021


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Expertise Charles Darwin
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