Actually, I think you are probably right about crossovers! I can see how innovation can be attributed to them too. Thanks for pointing that out, Glen. (Had crossovers been discovered in '72 when Monod wrote his book?)

But that is because crossovers, too, like mutations, are stochastic. Chance strikes again! That really is my larger point.

Moreover, crossover and mutation events do not seem to be causally related. I suspect that one is not /caused by /the other. Their /relationship/ is also non-deterministic. In fact, one could probably use the functional named /conditional entropy /(from information theory) to calculate the /degree of uncertainty///around their chance relationship. (Or the functional /mutual information/ to measure their degree of determinism.) YES, chance and determinism come in degrees. That's what stochastic entropy is all about. It measures that degree. It measures where on a scale of chance-vs-determinism a particular situation (probability space) resides.

Cheers, and thx for the insight.


On 8/12/17 9:49 AM, ┣glen┫ wrote:
This paragraph (for whatever reason) makes progress toward my counter-argument AGAINST 
both Monod-via-Grant and Wagner-via-Jenny.  While it may be true that mutation is 
necessary for innovation, it's insufficient to claim that innovation comes only through 
mutation.  Imagine two point mutations on different genes, in different individuals, 
neither of which (for now) produce a phenotype change (ala "neutral networks"). 
 Then those individuals go on to reproduce for a few generations, passing along their 
respective mutations, never seeing a phenotypic change in their lineages.  But them the 
two lineages mingle to produce an offspring with both mutations, where the 2 mutations 
together produce a phenotypic change.

Can we truly say that the crossover had nothing to do with the "innovation" ... that it 
only preserved the innovation and the mutation caused it?  A neutral mutation can't be considered 
an "innovation", right?

On 08/11/2017 09:05 PM, Steven A Smith wrote:
Yes, a "mutation" to the genome is a change in one or more letters of the code.   A 
"mutation" in the metabolic processes implied by said genetic sequence (a changed 
protein, a modified level of production of an unmodified protein or set of same, etc.) and 
ultimately in the mature phenotype (if the precursors to this are viable enough for a mature 
specimen to arrive?) and beyond that the larger social unit (herd/pack/tribe) that might benefit or 
suffer from the behaviour of the individual experiencing the mutation. Add individuals with a 
mutation in their bone-production that causes extremely large cross-section bones and thick crania 
into the Vikings and you get (what has been hypothesized to be) Berserker warriors who drop into a 
blind rage when their blood pressure rises in response to threat.  As long as they are pointing 
*toward* the enemy when that happens, it is (maybe) highly functional for the group to have you 

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