Is man an evolutionary freak?

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Bruno Perella, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. When the earth's magnetic poles 'flip over' as in the past,
    exposing the surface of the planet to the bombardment of
    high energy solar cosmic radiation, could this not result in
    the genetic mutation of organisms on the surface? Are we the
    end result of a 'beneficial' mutation?

    Bruno
     
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  2. "Bruno Perella" <[email protected]> writes:

    > When the earth's magnetic poles 'flip over' as in the
    > past, exposing the surface of the planet to the
    > bombardment of high energy solar cosmic radiation, could
    > this not result in the genetic mutation of organisms on
    > the surface? Are we the end result of a 'beneficial'
    > mutation?

    Complete loss of the Earth's magnetic field would produce a
    substantial increase in cosmic ray radiation at the Earth's
    surface -- roughly a factor of two. Cosmic rays are only a
    small fraction of the total background radiation, however,
    so the net increase in radiation would only be about 10%,
    which is much smaller than the variation in background rate
    in different locations now. And since radiation contributes
    only a small fraction of the mutation rate, the total effect
    would be very small.

    --
    Steve Schaffner [email protected] Immediate assurance is an
    excellent sign of probable lack of insight into the topic.
    Josiah Royce
     
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