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Roger L. Costello wrote:
> Is it true that in Nature the genes already provide the "code" that
> would be used in a mutation? That is, if we think of a gene as
> "code", then when a mutation occurs that untapped code gets
> activated. Is that the way mutations work in Nature?
Don't get too fixated on mutations. Recall that most adaptation
occurs by recombination, not mutation. In this regard, I was just
reading about a researcher who spent some 40 years breeding foxes with
the goal of trying to breed tame foxes from wild progentors. He
succeeded pretty well. No mutations were (apparently) involved , but
the foxes' appearance and behavior changed quite a bit.
As I understand it, genetic algorithm programs with only mutations don't
usually do that well - you need to include recombination to be able
explore the solution space thoroughly.
In real life, it appears that most genetic changes produce adjustments
in the activity of certain genes or combinations of genes, or in the
timing of their expression.