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Drake's rule Let $L$ be the size of the genome. Let $\mu$ be the average per nucleotide mutation rate, then the genome-wide mutation rate $U$ is $U=L \mu$. There is a general relationship between the genome size of an organism and the nucleotide mutation rate that makes that the genome-wide mutation rate is often approximatively 1. There is of course ...


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There are multiple definitions of complexity, ranging from algorithmic complexity to computational complexity. In biology, I'd say that algorithmic complexity (Kolmogorov complexity) is most relevant. Unfortunately, we don't yet know enough about genetic circuits and all the other things that go on at the subcellular level even to make plausible estimates ...


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Short answer Survival does not get your genes into the gene pool, reproduction does. thus reproduction based selective pressures can be stronger than survival based ones. there are plenty of organisms that die during or right after mating because of this. Consider an example In species A finding a mate is fairly rare, it may only happen a few times in an ...


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The point is that it's not only wasteful, but counter-productive to survival. If you're a red bug in the lush green of the amazon you are painting a target on yourself. This has the effect of increasing your selective pressure. If you survive with a target on your back, and wasting energy on pigments, then you must be very good all of the other things ...


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This has a lot to do with how development works, there is no gene that makes the nerve this long. Instead, there are genes that tell the nerve where to grow and what path to take using other tissues as landmarks. At each step of the neck getting longer letting the nerve follow this path is more beneficial than the complex evolution of pathways necessary to ...


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I'm not sure how to address this question so that we may arrive at a suitable answer, but I'm sure that the recurrent laryngeal nerve is an example of bad design. Evolution works from traits already possessed by the parents. Mammals evolved from fishes in our evolutionary past and fishes do not have a neck. As a result the recurrent laryngeal nerve of ...


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