This is part of a series: How Fast is Evolution?
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In my previous post, I laid out my idea of how to test for evolution’s limit (irreducible complexity) in a lab. Basically I’d try so many mutations on so many creatures that I’d be almost guaranteed to get a good one – assuming, of course, that life really appeared by evolution.
I have a big problem, though: I need a really big population to make this work. Based on what I currently know of genetics, I might need such a big population that even a lake full of bacteria wouldn’t be big enough.
As I do the math to find out if my idea is practical, here are some assumptions I’m making. I’ll also make some educated guesses about what would really happen.