Mendel discovered  cross-overs. 




Nicholas S. Thompson

Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Biology

Clark University


From: Friam [] On Behalf Of Grant Holland
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2017 1:03 PM
To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <>; 
┣glen┫ <>
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] random v stochastic v indeterminate



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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