Which causes the greater change over time, genetic mutation or natural selection? ?

Are genetic mutations entirely random or does it arise to some sort of stimulus from the environment the species is in.

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    If a mutation is neutral (i.e. neither advantageous nor deleterious) then there is no natural selection operating on it, and it will become fixed and over time, many such muations will accumulate. OTOH, if a muation is deleterious it will be eliminated by natural selection. Mutations are random, but whether those mutations will be retained in the genome is not random.  It depends on whether they are selectively neutral, adaptive or deleterious. Take for example, the FOXP2 gene. only 2 mutations ahve been preserved since humans last shared an ancestor with the chimp. It means our FOXP2 gene is only different from the chimpanzee version of the same gene by 2 amino acids, after 5 million years. It shows that mutations to this gene are rarely preserved. OTOH, parts of the Y chroomosome DNA and mitochondrial DNA can have a lot more mutations over the same period of time because of the lack of natural selection on those selectively mutual mutations. IN short natural selection can wipe out most mutations.

  • david
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Natural selection is a function of mutation. 

  • garry
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    hat a stupid question , there the same you idiot .

  • 1 month ago

    Which is more important for making the car move, the gas pedal or the wheels?

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  • 1 month ago

    That's like asking, "Which causes greater injury, falling off a ladder or hitting the ground?"

  • 1 month ago

    Can't really separate the two, because natural selection is how nature responds to a possible change from mutation.  If there is mutation but it does nothing, then nothing is changed, is it?  The life form is the same as it was before even if it might have a slightly different genetic sequence in detail.  That is not change. 

    You cannot have natural selection unless there is something that differs between the things which affect the chance to survive.  Mutations that do nothing have no impact on survival.

    However, natural selection CAN (and does) cause preferential death of some over others because of some actual differences, and those difference do not have to be from mutations.  So, it seems obvious to me that selection is a larger "cause" of change than mutations.  All change from mutations is the result of differential selection, but not all change from differential selection is due to mutations.

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    neither would without the other

  • 1 month ago

    Mutations and effects on bodies and genes based on climatic conditions and also what we eat. Very minute change though.

  • 1 month ago

    Over time, only magical things could ever occur.

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