The 8th foundational falsehood of creationism: “Mutations are rare, harmful decreases in genetic information.”
By: Aron Ra
"Mutations are genetic disorders that occur in the DNA in a random and unconscious manner.
Like all accidents, they cause harm and destruction.
...The changes affected by mutations can only be like those experienced by people in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl; that is death, disabled, and the freaks of nature.
Evolutionists claim these distortions cause organisms to evolve. However, scientific findings reject this claim because all observable occasion of mutations cause only harm to living things".
Creationists insist that mutations are very rare and are usually, if not always harmful. But the fact is that the vast majority of mutations are completely neutral. They’d have to be because, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there is an overall average of 128 mutations per human zygote! So apparently, in creationist terms, “very rare” means “more than a hundred per person right from the point of conception”. Because those are just the mutations we start out with. Our cells will mutate again 30 more times over the course of our lives, and some of these subsequent mutations can be passed on to our children too –usually with no more effect than those we recognize as family traits.
Its hard to find one rigid set of numbers from any laboratory for a constant rate of how many mutations are beneficial versus those that are detrimental, because these are determined by variable environmental conditions. But there is a general consensus that they’re nearly equal with deleterious mutations being slightly more common. They’re also more profound too. But there are plenty of cases where a definite advantage has been identified and positively linked to a specific mutation.
"All mutations that take place in humans result in mental or in physical deformities such as albinism, mongolism, dwarfism, or diseases such as cancer."
That’s not quite right. For example, kinfolk in the village of Limone Sul Garda in northern Italy have a mutation which gives them better tolerance of HDL serum cholesterol. Consequently this family has no history of heart attacks despite their high-risk dietary habits. This mutation was traced to a single common ancestor living in the 1700's, but has now spread to dozens of descendants. Genetic samples from this family are now being tested for potential treatment of patients of heart disease.
Another example of new variance is the Glycophorin A somatic cell mutation which has been identified in some Tibetans, which allows them to endure prolonged periods at altitudes over 7,000 feet without succumbing to apoplexia, or “altitude sickness”. A different, but similar mutation was identified in high altitude natives in the Andes.
Another example of that is the CCR5-delta 32 mutation. About 10% of whites of European origin now carry it. But the incidence is only 2% in central Asia, and is completely absent among East Asians, Africans, and tribal Americans. It appears to have suddenly become relatively common among white Europeans about 700 years ago, evidently as a result of the Black Plague, indicating another example of natural selection allowing one gene dominance in a changing environment. It is harmless or neutral in every respect other than its one clearly beneficial feature. According to Science-Frontiers.com, if one inherits this gene from both parents, they will be especially resistant, if not immune to AIDS.
Similarly, population genetics is being credited as one reason incidence of sickle-cell genes in African-Americans is apparently decreasing over time.
For another example we’ve also identified an emerging population of tetrachromatic women who can see a bit of the normally invisible ultraviolet spectrum.
There’s also a family in Germany who were already unusually strong. But in one case, one of their children was born with a double copy of an anti-myostatin mutation carried by both parents. The result is a Herculean kiddo who was examined at only a few days old for his unusually well-developed muscles. By four years old, he had twice the muscle mass of normal children, and half the fat. Pharmaceutical synthesis of this mutation is being examined for potential use against muscular dystrophy or sarcopenia.
And then there’s a family in Connecticut who've been identified as having hyperdense, virtually unbreakable bones. A team of doctors at Yale traced the mutation to a gene that was the subject of an earlier study. In that study researchers showed that low bone density could be caused by a mutation that disrupts the function of a gene called LRP5. This clued them that a different mutation increased LRP5 function, leading to an opposite phenotype, that is, high bone density. According to their investigators, members of this family have bones so strong they rival those of a character in the Bruce Willis movie, 'Unbreakable'.
All of these are examples of specifically identified mutations which are definitely beneficial, and which have spread through the subsequent gene pool according to natural selection. This is one of many indesputable proofs of evolution in humans. But we’ve identified beneficial mutations in other many other species too.
"Another reason why it is impossible for mutations to cause living things to evolve is that mutations do not add any new genetic information to an organism. Mutations cause existing genetic information to be randomly reshuffled similar to playing cards. In other words, no new genetic information is introduced by mutations."
The evolution of life is analogous to the evolution of language. For example, there are several languages based on the Roman alphabet of only 26 letters. Yet by arranging these in different orders, we’ve added several hundred thousand words to English since the 5th century, and many of them were completely new. The principle is the same in genetics. There are millions of named and classified species of life, all of them based on a variable arrangement of only four chemical componants.
For another example, we know that Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese all evolved from Latin, a vernacular which is now extinct. Each of these newer tongues emerged via a slow accumulation of their own unique slang lingo –thus diverging into new dialects, and eventually distinct forms of gibberish such that the new Romans could no longer communicate with either Parisians or Spaniards.
Similarly, if we took an original Latin speaking population and divided them sequestered in complete isolation over several centuries, they might still be able to understand each other, or their jargon may have become unintelligible to foreigners. But they won’t start speaking Italian or Rumanian because identical vocabularies aren’t going to occur twice.
It works the same way in biology. Mutations are degrees of variation which are usually quite subtle but cumulative, normally harmless, and occasionally advantageous. Any change in information is different information, not already present, and therefore can only be considered “new”. But of the many types of mutations known to occur, there are additions and duplications as well as deletions and the rest. So yes, genetic material can be added or taken away. But as to whether “information” has been added as opposed to lost, we can’t really tell because creationists won’t tell us what they think “information” is or how to measure it. They’ll readily state (as if it had somehow been confirmed) that it takes more "information" to make a bird than it does a dinosaur, but if you ask 'em how much more, they’ll shut right up. And if you demand to see the data that justifies how they could even make that claim in the first place, they’ll to change the subject.
"While a very simple structure of bacterium comprises 2,000 different types of protiens,
a human's organism has 100 thousand protiens. Exactly 98,000 new protiens has to be discovered
for a bacterium to evolve into a human being." "Actually, we have about 250,000 proteins
being coded by 25,000 different genes. But you know what?
A grain of rice actually has forty to fifty thousand genes!
Can you imagine? A little grain of rice has fifty thousand genes, and we have twenty-five?
What's up with that?
Hi, my name's Crystal. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in agricultural leadership and development with emphasis on genetics and biochemistry.
I also researched in several labs on campus in genetics. Now when scientists first started to study genetics and the human genome, we actually expected to find three times more of the number of genes than we actually found.
...the twenty to twenty-five thousand genes that we did find is only about twice the number that a roundworm has.
And in fact, there’s a variety of an amoeba that has 200 times the number of genes that a human being has.
A puffer fish has approximately 21,000 genes. The pufferfish (isn’t it adorable) actually has no junk DNA, which is interesting because humans are actually made up of 95% junk DNA.
Well, one thing that researchers are particularly interested in is finding out, what is junk DNA? And does it actually do anything?
One recent study suggests that, it really doesn’t.
Researchers took 2.3 million letters out of DNA out of a mouse, and compared it to a mouse with a full-length version of DNA, and found out that there were no differences whatsoever".
Natural selection weeds out detrimental mutations and selects for beneficial mutations, but the neutral ones, having neither cost nor ill effect may freely accumulate as “junk”.
These mutations, though seemingly random, can be interpreted as occuring at a more regular rate when examined over a span of many generations. The relatively fast mutation rate of mitochondrial DNA provides further confirmation of the extensive periods of time in an organism’s matrilineal history. DNA can also help us establish geneology precisely because it contains a sort of record of inherited mutations which can be compared and matched to more distant relatives. Just like a court-ordered paternity test can positively identify your immediate lineage, a more in-depth genomic sequence analysis can also determine more distant ancestry. And the more in-depth it is, the further it can trace, even where it pairs different species to one genus, or different genera to one taxonomic family, collective families of one order, and so on.
Judgements of law are based on a preponderance of evidence, and genetic evidence is so reliable, it can get a life or death sentence even without need of other types of evidence to corroberate it. So the fingerprints of mutation in molecular phylogeny are not only profound evidence of evolution, they amount to legal proof of it.