Natural Selection of Existing Variations
In order to understand whether or not evolution happened, and if so
how, we need to nail down what we mean by "evolution."
Micro Vs. Macro Evolution
The word "evolution" has more than one meaning. Sometimes it is used as a synonym for just any "change." Sometimes it refers to the small changes that are actually observed between one animal and another of the same group. "Evolution," viewed in these ways is sometimes called micro evolution.
However, in the sense of the Theory of Evolution, the word "Evolution" refers to the gradual advance from the simplest living thing through fish, reptiles, etc. to us (though evolutionists often also take things a couple of steps farther back, and believe that matter began in a Big Bang, and that a first cell developed from chemicals.) The proposed changes from one major kind of animal to another are sometimes called "macro evolution."
Do not let the various uses of the same word confuse you. Birds which can interbreed with one another often have somewhat different beaks which are better for eating one thing or another. This kind of change can be observed and you can experiment with it. This is micro evolution, a kind of change which is within limits. Finches can have different beaks without becoming eagles or cows. Though such small changes are often cited as proofs of the theory of evolution, they actually have nothing at all to do with whether or not chickens and us gradually evolved from reptiles which came from fish. They are not what the theory of evolution is about.
In this book, when I speak of evolution as opposed to creation, I am speaking of macro evolution, the proposed gradual advance from a one celled organism to all the forms of life around us. This is what the theory of evolution is all about. The fact that one person has blue eyes and light colored skin while another person is dark or that one is a pigmy and another plays basketball does not prove that our eyes, legs, and other body parts evolved in small steps over millions of years. The origin of these things has not been observed and did not leave fossils.
Let's examine the changing claims of the evolutionists to see if there is a plausible way in which evolution could have happened.
Before the time of Charles Darwin, most people from a Christian background
believed that God had created not just one primitive form of life, but
various categories of plants, animals and even people. Evolutionists, instead,
believe all the plants and animals gradually evolved from a first cell.
How could this happen? This is has been an ongoing problem for the evolutionists,
one which must be solved for their theory to really explain anything. What
has been proposed?
Natural selection, also called the survival of the fittest, is the tendency of stronger and more capable organisms to live to reproduce while the weaker or less fit die without reproducing. It is called natural selection because "nature" allows the most fit individuals to live and reproduce and eliminates the others. Whatever lives and reproduces the most offspring is the said to have been the most fit, or to have been selected. This idea has, since the time of Darwin, been at the very heart of the theory of evolution.
Natural selection is a process of weeding out the less fit among existing organisms. It can preserve the best, but it cannot by itself produce new organisms. It can only eliminate some of the organisms which have come to exist in some other way.
In writing evolutionary literature on a popular level, evolutionists
often loose track of this fact and attribute to natural selection an almost
magical ability to produce new organs and organisms. Actually, while natural
selection does produce change, it does not do it by adding new genetic
information, but by weeding out some of the information that was already
there. You can not start with a bacteria and produce a school teacher,
for example, by simply eliminating genetic information. No matter what
opinion some students may have of some teachers, new genetic information
that was not there before would have to have been added.
Did Existing Variations Cause Evolution?
Because Darwin knew nothing of genetics, or even of the laws of heredity, he incorrectly believed that the little variations we see between one person and another, one dog and another, etc. when chosen by natural selection, could build up in an unlimited way (Macro evolution). I once bread guppies, selecting for large tails. By allowing only the guppies with the largest tails to breed I was able to get guppies with tails more than twice as big as the ones I started with. This would correspond to micro evolution in nature, but because of genetic limits it is impossible to develop either a breed of guppies with tails as big as a whale, or develop whales from guppies by selective breeding. Genetic limits are real! They are real for natural selection as well as for selective breeding. Darwin's theory, however, has convinced many that all of the types of animals and plants which exist developed gradually from a first cell. The idea that this was caused by natural selection working to select the helpful variations and eliminate the bad ones is a part of what is now called the Darwinian theory, as contrasted to the neo-Darwinian theory which will be discussed later.
We all use the kind of reasoning that little changes will build up. If you have growing kids, you buy clothes for them with a bit of growing room, because you know that the kids grew last year, and assume they will also grow this year.
It works to a point, but don't do like John the book keeper who was good at math and knew that his son John Junior was five feet tall and was now growing about an inch a year. Junior had outgrown his bed, and John wanted to get him one he could use all the rest of his life, so John did the arithmetic. Figuring the inch a year on out into the future, if Junior lived another 60 years it should add another 60 inches, he should be 10 feet tall! So John special ordered a bed just over ten feet long. He did not take into account a genetic limit that permits growth for a period, and then stops it.
Evolutionists used to reason a bit like John. They would see some variation within basic groups of animals: tall, and short, dark and light for example, or the groups of variations that distinguish sheep from goats, or cougars from lions. Then they would assume that these variations could build up in an unlimited way, producing reptiles from fish, and dogs from reptiles.
Did God create every variety of dog? No, we all admit that many have
been developed by dog breeders. God probably made a basic kind that had
within its genes the possibility of a good deal of variation; something
so rich in genes that it contained the genes for dogs, wolves and coyotes.
Dr. J. D. Sarfati gives a particularly helpful explanation of how animal
"...all animal breeders do is select from the information already present. For example, Chihuahuas were bred by selecting the smallest dogs to breed from over many generations. But this process eliminates the genes for large size.
The opposite process would have bred Great Danes from the same ancestral dog population, by eliminating the genes for small size. So the breeding has sorted out the information mixture into separate lines. All the breeds have less information than the original dog/wolf kind."
.... Actually, breeds of dogs are inter-fertile, even Great Danes and Chihuahuas, so they are still the same species. Not that speciation is a problem for creationists.... But if Great Danes and Chihuahuas were only known from the fossil record, they would probably have been classified as different species or even different genera." (Jonathan D. Sarfati, Refuting Evolution, 1999, p. 43)
If only Chihuahuas and Great Danes were found together on an Island with no other in between sized dogs, they probably could not have pups together because of the size difference, and would likely be classified as two different species. In nature as well as in animal breading, when a loss of genetic material forms a new species, the movement is in the opposite direction from that in which evolution is claimed to have moved. Genetic information has been reduced.
Continuing in this direction could reduce a dog to a one-celled animal, but it could not transform a one-celled animal into a dog. No matter how big a percentage of the information contained in the DNA of a one celled animal is eliminated, it could never build it up into a Chihuahua.
Evolutionists cite such changes in animals as proofs of the theory,
but it is like jumping off a bridge and plunging to the ground below to
prove that a person can resist gravity and rise up into the air. Not even
the most convincing demonstration that the opposite of evolution actually
happens should be accepted as a proof of evolution. Did eliminating a small
amount of its genetic information every year for millions of years turn
a bacteria into a biochemist? No! To make something more complex requires
more information, not less. Yet the kind of "evolution" which has been
observed makes more generalized animals (like mongrels) become more specialized
(like Chihuahuas) by eliminating some of the genes.
We could draw a lot of little family trees (or bushes) like this to represent the changes of one species into another for which evidence exists.
Leaving the little family bushes hanging implies that certain groups
were created independently. The evolutionist does not like this implication,
so he connects them all into a family tree. This infers that they all evolved
from the same single celled ancestor. He starts with the same information
(the little bushes) that the creationists have. The rest of the family
tree is made up by assuming that if there is a connection between some
animals as shown in the branches of he bushes, there must have been a connection
between all of them. Many of the more honest evolutionists represent this
part of the tree with dotted lines. Gould, thinking he had a different
kind of evolutionary solution to the problem said:
"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils." (Gould, Stephen Jay, "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History, vol. 86, May 1977.
Where Did the Variations Come From?
Differences between individuals have probably always existed: some people have blue eyes and some have brown, Darwinists felt that variations such as these made evolution work. What did evolutionists think gave rise to variations between one individual and another? Heredity of acquired traits, was considered. (If your father worked hard and built up big muscles, you would inherit his strength). Later experimentation convinced scientists that this theory was wrong.
At the same time that Darwin was theorizing, however, a monk named Gregory Mendel was doing experiments to see how heredity worked. He came up with the laws of heredity that are still considered valid today. News of his work, however was slow to get out, so in Darwin's time, people knew next to nothing of how heredity really worked. This gave them great freedom in imagining how natural selection could drive evolution ahead by choosing the fit and eliminating the unfit.
Later, when Mendel's work on the laws of heredity became well known,
evolutionists began to realize that if natural selection chose one characteristic
or another, it was like shuffling a deck of cards. Different combinations
arose, but no new cards were added. If evolution had gradually built Adam
from an amoeba, lots of complex new organs and whole new kinds of animals
must certainly have been added. Selection among traits which were already
written in the DNA of a bacteria had not been enough to pull a rabbit out
of its hat. Evolution needed a mechanism that produced something that had
not always been there.
At conception a new offspring gets his copy of the genetic information from both that of the father and the mother. It was found that occasionally an offspring will be born with a change, something that was not present before in the family line of either the father or the mother. Changes of this type were called mutations.
Mutations became accepted as the mechanism of evolution. This was not because they gave a good possibility of explaining the many different forms of life around us, but because they introduced real changes, and nothing better had been found. Evolutionists came to agree that Darwinian evolution, the idea that natural selection had made Adam from the amoeba by choosing between existing variations, had a weakness. It had helped millions to believe in evolution, but it added nothing new. Reshuffling existing genes will not make a bacteria into a biologist. Something new had to have been added. Normal variations were out and mutations were in. The belief that natural selection had chosen among mutations rather than just having chosen among already existing variations is called the neo-Darwinian theory.
The nature of mutations has been better understood since 1953 when it became known that a substance called DNA is contained in the nucleus of every cell from the simplest to the most complex. It is formed in somewhat the shape of a little spiral staircase. The instructions for the construction and maintenance of any living thing are programed into the DNA using a chemical code. The DNA instructs each cell as to which proteins it is supposed to contain, and how and when to make them. Proteins are the building blocks of living things. Each mutation represents an error in passing on a gene.
The DNA molecule is so efficient that even though it is too small to
see without a microscope, it contains a huge amount of information.
"The genome of a bacterium, for example, is a string of a few million symbols. The genome of a mammal has from two to four billion. If you were to print those symbols in a book in ordinary type, the book for a bacterium would have about a thousand pages. The symbols for a mammal would fill two thousand volumes - enough to take up a library shelf the length of a football field!" (Lee M. Spetner Not by Chance, p. 30)
Eliminating some of the genetic information, as natural selection does, will not produce more genes that provide the information for constructing higher animals. That is why evolutionists needed mutations. They provide something new for natural selection to eliminate.
But, are mutations...
Good, Bad, or Indifferent?
Mutations are copying errors introduced into plans which were so well
written that they directed the construction of a fully functional creature.
Like other accidental changes to carefully written plans, mutations are
all, or almost all detrimental rather than helpful.
"Almost every mutation is harmful, and it is the individual who pays the price. Any human activity that tends to increase the mutation rate must therefore raise serious health and moral problems for man." (Crow, James F., "ionizing Radiation and Evolution," "Scientific American," vol. 201, Sept. 1959, p 138. (See also Ayala, Francesco J., "Genotype, environment, and Population Numbers," Science, Vol.162 , 12/27/68, pp. 1453-1459)
The neo-Darwinianists who believe that natural selection choses among accidental copying errors also reason a bit like the man who bought the long bed. That is, they do not take into account the genetic limits, but believe that since mutations are observed to make changes that cause defects and genetic diseases, they must also have caused a huge series of improvements that gradually built up complex new organs, and made bacteria into biochemists (macro evolution). It is a bit like seeing a car crushed in an automobile accident and deciding that since accidents can change cars, it must have been accidents that made them in the first place.
Pearce gives an illustration which helps us understand what is being
expected of mutations:
"Supposing typists kept typing out copies of a book on the Mechanics and Construction of an Outboard Motorboat, the atheist wants us to believe that as the typists go on repeatedly recopying, their selected errors would gradually change the book into increasingly high technology instructions for building, say, a nuclear submarine....
So, genetically, the crunch for the materialist is this. He believes that instead of these copyist errors developing into a book of complete nonsense as one might have supposed, the language would assume more and more what we would expect from the world's cleverest brains. The instructions for making a sea urchin would increase in size and technology to give precise instructions for making a man". (E. K. Victor Pearce, Who Was Adam? 1969, p. 110)
To a large extent, a particular gene codes for a particular protein, so what the evolutionist is asking is that mistakes in making gene A, have not only changed gene A, but have also produced genes B, C, D, etc., all the way through Z.
Marrying Close Relatives
Because so many who teach and write about evolution leave the impression that mutations are good and helpful, you will probably suspect that I am lying through my teeth when I say that observed mutations are almost all, harmful rather than helpful. Therefore, I'd like to remind you of a proof that you will probably trust because you already know about it:
Many countries have laws against marrying close relatives. The reason is that the closer the relative, the greater the probability that both parents will be carriers of the same recessive genes caused by past mutations. This gives their children genes for the same genetic disease from both father and mother. They then suffer and often die from the disease. If, on the other hand, mutations really helped evolution produce superior children, nations would be setting up laws which favor, rather than oppose the marriage of close relatives, because such marriages make the effects of mutations evident.
The Portland Oregonian explained the problem of inbreeding in animals,
when the zoo bought an Asian elephant to breed with its African elephants.
The local newspaper explained
"Without genetic diversity, a small population of an animal faces the threat of what is termed 'inbreeding depression,' the loss of vitality and reproductive fitness that results from breeding among themselves. Disease and deformity become commonplace. Birth defects result if the parents are too closely related and carry the same defective gene." (The Oregonian, Monday November 22, 1999, P. E5).
Many people accuse the Bible of inaccuracy, saying that the sons of Adam and Eve could not have had children because, other than Eve, no women had been born yet. The Bible, on the contrary, says of Adam: "he begat sons and daughters," (Gen. 5:4), so marriage of brothers with sisters is the easy solution. Adam's grandchildren would not have had the problem of genetic diseases because mutations build up gradually with each successive generation. The first family did not have them yet.
The truth about the harm done by mutations is also seen in the attitude of scientists toward radiation which increases the number of mutations. Russia and America seldom agreed on anything during the cold war. At the prodding of their scientists, however, they decided together to stop nuclear testing in the atmosphere. Why? Bombs exploding in the atmosphere caused real mutations that were copied and passed on to the next generation: their children!
The harmfulness of mutations seems to be one point on which all scientists
are agreed when their own children are involved. Real mutations clearly
cause genetic diseases. Many though, by blind faith accept the idea that
in the past mutations made microbes into men. Evolutionary authors have
picked up on this faith, and have given mutations such a spin that before
our very eyes they paint a picture of these random changes hard at work
developing new and better organs, and lifting us up by our boot straps
from the "simple" cell. In spite of the faith and the spin, I know of no
scientist who wants atomic tests in the atmosphere started again so the
radiation produced by the bombs can speed up evolution and make people
better. Wills expressed it:
"Any increase in the mutational load is harmful, if not immediately, then certainly to future generations." (Wills, Christopher, "Genetic Load,"Scientific American, vol. 222, Mar. 1970, p. 107).
He and the other scientists would probably get out and lobby for testing more bombs in the atmosphere if mutations were really building up more of the marvelously functioning organs that distinguish us from the single cell.
In spite of the evidence, many who don't believe in God consider the
wonderful forms of life we see around us to be proof that good mutations
that add complexity are so frequent that they have made all this. Never
the less, they need real proof, so laboratory experiments were set up.
Evolution in the Laboratory
Great numbers of laboratory experiments were carried out to learn about the effect of mutations on evolution by studying the fruit fly. Many hoped to see good mutations gradually lifting the fruit flies to greater perfection, developing new organs, and the other things evolution is supposed to be capable of doing. Jeremy Rifkin explains the most important result:
"The fruit fly has long been the favorite object of mutation experiments because of its fast gestation period (12 days). X rays have been used to increase the mutation rate in the fruit fly by 15,000 percent. .... Even with this tremendous speed up of mutations, scientists have never been able to come up with anything other than another fruit fly." (Algeny, (New York: Viking Press, 1983, p. 134)
These mutations did cause many defects. Some flies lost their eyes or wings. The wings, legs, etc. of others were deformed. Extra limbs were formed that just hung there.
What favorable mutations were found? Fruit flies without wings have
been reported on an island in the sea where prevailing strong winds carried
the flies with wings off into the sea to drown. This is typical of the
cases in which a mutation has provided an advantage. The "Good" mutations
which which have actually been observed tend to simplify or specialize;
to reduce the information content of the DNA, not to add to it to produce
greater complexity. Mutations that reduce the genetic information do not
produce functioning complex new, previously unknown organs. They do not
lead in the direction that would have been necessary to bring us up from
the single cell. The observed mutations of fruit flies could hardly be
considered as steps toward their becoming men, birds, or even butterflies.
The famous French zoologist Pierre Grassé wrote:
"The fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster), the favorite pet insect of the geneticists, whose geographical, biotopical, urban and rural genotypes are now known inside out, seems not to have changed since the remotest times." (Evolution of Living Organisms New York: Academic Press, 1977, p. 130).
More recently the E.coli bacteria seems to have elbowed out the fruit fly as the thing to study to see what mutations do. E.coli have generations much more rapidly than the flies. The results? According to Pierre Grassé,
"The reader will agree that it is surprising, to say the least, to want to prove evolution and to discover its mechanisms and then to choose as a material for this study a being which practically stabilized a billion years ago!" (Evolution of Living Organisms, p. 87).Extinction
As we leave the lab and go out into the real world, how is macro evolution
doing there? Environmentalists are concerned about the number of species
that are becoming extinct. If evolution were doing what we are told that
it does, it would seem that the answer should be: "No problem, for every
species that becomes extinct, evolution will produce ten more." But this
does not happen. Environmentalists tell us that when a species becomes
extinct, it is gone forever. A better replacement does not pop up. The
person who believes in evolution must base his faith much more on his presuppositions
than on what is actually happening around him.
When I say that mutations which result in increased complexity and could account for our having evolved from a single cell have not been found, some might claim that mutations of regulatory genes prove me wrong. These are mutations of genes that act like toggle switches which turn on and off clusters of other genes. "On" might well be more complex than "off" and might change the instructions for not just one, but a number of proteins, but it only switches back and forth between two programs already present in the DNA. Nothing new is added! In fact, it is not clear that even one new gene that codes for a functioning protein which might make an organism become more complex as required by the "microbe to me" type of evolution has ever been found.(See Lee M. Spetner, Not by Chance, 1997, 1998, pp. 107, 138, 148, 160, 198)
Recent research has found that genetic material is frequently carried
from one bacterium to another by virus which are present in great numbers
in the water where bacteria live. Virus are mostly made of DNA and depend
on cells to provide their needs for food and reproduction. They can pass
into a cell and substitute commands from their own DNA for those of the
cell. As a virus leaves a bacterium, it can take a bit of the DNA from
the bacterium with it and pass it on to the next bacterium it enters. This
gives bacteria a sort of revolving gene pool which is constantly passing
bits of DNA from one bacterium to another. A bacterium can thus receive
more information at a time than it would from a point mutation. No really
new information is added in this way, however, because the genes which
are received already existed in the gene pool in the DNA of another bacterium.
Since it is simply another way of reshuffling information which was already
in existence, it does not solve the problem of how microbiologists could
have evolved from microbes. Until recently scientists did not know that
information was passed back and forth like this, and when bacteria received
resistance to an antibiotic this way it was called a mutation, and is still
used as an important evidence that evolution by mutations could produce
new things. It wasn't, and didn't.
"Gene swapping is clearly how some disease-causing bacteria give the gift of antibiotic resistance to other species of infectious bacteria." (W. Ford Doolittle, Uprooting the tree of Life, Scientific American, Feb. 2000, p.94).
Commenting on how gene swapping is messing up the old idea of evolution shown by a tree with a trunk which gradually branched out, Doolittle goes on to say,
"Some biologists find these notions confusing and discouraging. It is as if we have failed at the task that Darwin set for us: delineating the unique structure of the tree of life" (W. Ford Doolittle, Uprooting the tree of Life, Scientific American, Feb. 2000, p. 95).
Evolutionists must find a way of providing information for making many new and more complex body parts if they are to show that we humans evolved ultimately from a first single cell. The fact that already existing DNA code can shift from one bacteria to another casts great doubt on what has been highly publicized as evidence for evolution.
If each category of animal was gradually built up from a previously existing animal by small random mutations, the fossils, rather than showing distinct categories of animals and plants, should show more of a continual blending from one to another. I quoted Darwin earlier when he stated that he considered the lack of fossil evidence for gradual transition from one form to another the greatest problem with his theory. We will look into this in more detail in the chapter about fossils, but here is a preview.
Fossils showing the transitions between one major category of plant
or animal and another are lacking. The missing links are really missing.
While for many years not much was said about this except by creationists,
the cat has since then been let out of the bag by some evolutionist scientists
who thought they had found a solution. They suggested that, after long
periods without significant change (called "stasis"), evolution had advanced
by huge jumps caused by great big mutations rather than by a gradual accumulation
of small mutations. They said the missing links were really missing and
would always be missing because evolution had not occurred by baby steps,
but by high jumps. Brett, an evolutionist himself, reveals what the fossil
record actually shows:
"Did life on Earth change steadily and gradually through time? The fossil record emphatically says 'no.' For millions of years, life goes along uneventfully; then suddenly, a series of natural disasters disrupts the status quo .... Episodes of rapid evolutionary change punctuate long intervals of stasis, during which little or no change takes place." (Brett, Carlton E., 'Stasis: Life in the Balance,' Geotimes, vol. 40, Mar. 1995, p. 18).
The long periods of little change are actually observed in the fossils. The episodes of rapid evolutionary change are inferred from the fact that fossils of other kinds of animals do exist.
They called their idea punctuated equilibria and these scientists themselves
were called saltationists. Portions of this idea have entered into mainstream
evolution theory. However, the original form of the idea that evolution
came about in big jumps was largely abandoned when the nature of mutations
become better known. Lets look at one of the reasons.
Read what associate Professor of Biochemistry, Michael Behe says about
the mutations which modify the DNA code that contains the instructions
for making proteins:
"Proteins are the machines within living tissue that build the structures and carry out the chemical reactions necessary for life. For example, the first step in capturing the energy in sugar and changing it into a form the body can use is carried out by a catalyzing protein (also known as an enzyme) called hexokinase; skin is made up mostly of a protein called collagen; and when light strikes your retina, the protein called rhodopsin initiates vision. You can see even by this limited number of examples that proteins are amazingly versatile. Nonetheless, a given protein has only one or a few uses: rhodopsin cannot form skin, and collagen cannot interact usefully with light. Therefore a typical cell contains thousands and thousands of different kinds of proteins to perform the many tasks of life.
Proteins are made by chemically hooking together amino acids into a chain. A protein chain typically has anywhere from about 50 to about one thousand amino acid links. Each position in the chain is occupied by one of twenty different amino acids. In this they are like words, which can come in various lengths but are made up from a set of just 26 letters." (Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box, 1996, p. 52)
A point mutation changes an amino acid in one of the positions in a protein. This slightly modifies the chemical composition of the protein and the work it can do, so let's get the relation of the genes in the DNA to proteins well in mind:
"Each gene orders up the production of a protein. And it is proteins that carry out all the body's functions, from breathing to digesting food to reading the words on this page." (Huntly Collins, Knight Ridder News Service, "Scientists reveal first map of Genes," The Oregonian, Dec 2, 1999, p. A13).
Since each protein, in order to work at all must fit like a hand in a glove with the other proteins that it works with, if it suffers a mutation, the smaller that mutation is, the greater the chance that the protein may still work.
At this point people interrupt to ask, "Are you still trying to convince me that most mutations are harmful?"
And I answer, "Are people who work around powerful x ray equipment still wearing lead aprons?" Of course they are, because x rays cause mutations and lead is a good shield against them. X ray technicians are not shielding themselves against having better babies!
"...point mutations are likely to allow the afflicted individual to survive and reproduce, and may thus be transmitted and affect subsequent generations. In terms of human suffering, therefore, the summed effects of single gene mutations probably exceed the deleterious effects of changes in chromosome number or arrangement." (Drake, John W., "Environmental Mutagenic Hazards," Science, vol. 187, Feb. 14, 1985, p 505)
Many genes are gathered together to form each chromosome. Drake is saying here that the tiny point mutations to single genes do more total damage than the larger chromosome mutations because the chromosome mutations so often kill the organism and thus don't get passed on to future generations.
From the evolutionists point of view, if you had received just one mutation and it happened to have been favorable, it would have slightly raised your ability to survive and have children. However, since mutations are accidental damage to very well written programs in the DNA, few, if any of them could really make an organism better and more complex. All, or almost all are harmful. Therefore, if at conception a longer stretch of your own DNA had been subjected to mutation; say you received 1,000 mutations and one was favorable, the other 999 would almost certainly have been unfavorable. In this case if the mutations did not kill you before you were born, natural selection would tend to reject you because far more of the mutations you received were harmful than helpful. Because of this fact, organisms which receive mutations that come in large groups and change more DNA code tend to be eliminated while the individual who receives just one or very few small mutations might well survive.
Since point mutations, generally the change of one amino acid in one protein, are the kind that are often not lethal and can be passed on, they are supposed to have driven evolution. Let's face the problem. The development of any significant organ would have to have been the result of a great amount of new information which produced new genes having been added to the DNA. How could a mutation that substitutes the information for producing one amino acid for another in one protein have produced new genes which code for helpful new proteins and give such a net increase in information as to add backbones, arms, legs, livers and brains?
Since a point mutation changes one letter in the DNA command for one
amino acid in one protein, how does that produce new genes that code for
new proteins? And yet if higher animals evolved from one celled organisms
it would take a huge increase in information. Remember Spetner's comparison
of the complexity of the genetic information of a bacterium with that of
"If you were to print those symbols in a book in ordinary type, the book for a bacterium would have about a thousand pages. The symbols for a mammal would fill two thousand volumes - enough to take up a library shelf the length of a football field!" (Lee M. Spetner Not by Chance, p. 30).
For evolution from simple to complex to happen would require the addition of huge amounts of genetic information.
As a creationist, I would point out another problem: To make even one very simple new organ would require many new genes which code for many new proteins. For an organ to become functional would require the coordinated construction of new nerves, muscles, bones, etc. These complications increase the already huge odds against new organs being created by mutations. Add to this the fact that evolutionists feel that mutations are random rather than directed, and you begin to see the basic problem of evolution.
Another difficulty is natural selection's tendency to protect the status quo: If a mutation did produce a protein which could become an essential part of some new organ, unless it were already useful in some way, it would tend to be eliminated before the accidental production of the other proteins which would be needed to work with it could take place. However, if it were already useful, why would it leave its function for an experimental developing organ where it could not become useful until it was attached to new nerves blood vessels, etc.?
Evolutionists as yet have found no real source for the increasing complexity
their theory is supposed to explain, and in the final analysis just have
faith that it happens and that someday an explanation will be found.
Genes come in two kinds, dominant and recessive. Both are inherited. Dominant genes make a real difference in the offspring which inherit them. Recessive genes are passed on also, but the offspring which carry them generally show no sign of having the recessive genes. Generally only dominant mutations cause a change in the offspring. Most mutations are harmful, but are recessive. Around two thirds is the proportion I usually see written. The two thirds that are recessive do little or no damage until an individual receives the same genes from not one, but both parents. Until then, natural selection finds nothing harmful to eliminate.
The lack of a way to eliminate recessive mutations (except for the very small proportion that are inherited from both parents) is a problem to the evolutionist because the genetic load of bad mutations continues to spread farther out into the gene pool from generation to generation. This causes an ever greater number of children to receive the same mutated gene from both mother and father, and to be born with whatever genetic disease that particular mutated protein causes.
While the total number of harmful mutations is constantly building up, evolutionists believe that once in a while a mutation will be favorable and improve a protein in a cell somewhere. Think of it as the good mutations racing against the harmful mutations, locked in a battle for the destruction or the improvement of the race. Favorable mutations that add complexity to the protein they control are few and far between if there are any. Evolutionists say there must have been many that produced new genes, coding for new proteins which worked together to form new organs with their blood supplies, nerves, etc. They firmly believe that is what brought us up from the single cell. Do you know of any actual examples? While you are looking for one, the possible favorable mutations are running against a huge team of bad mutations which, because most are recessive and hidden from natural selection, are rapidly spreading out into the gene pool. To create one new organ would probably require thousands or millions of coordinated good mutations working on flesh, bones, brain, etc. No one really seems to know for sure whether any at all will even get into the race before the bad ones hit the finish line, and wipe out humanity.
The neo-Darwinian theory would require huge numbers of good mutations to have been building up more complex organs from bone, nerve, tendon, muscle, new materials, etc. How could the tiny point mutations which escape elimination possibly accumulate the huge numbers of new proteins needed to evolve even one functional new organ before the genetic load of harmful mutations has wiped out the species?
Evolutionists, to my knowledge, have never successfully explained this
problem which lies at the very foundation of evolution. It has, however,
been studied. The problem is worse than had previously been imagined:
"The number of harmful mutations that arise in each generation has been measured, and it is surprisingly high. 4.2 mutations per person per generation." (James F. Crow, Nature, Jan. 28, 1999, p. 232, 293-294) "About 38% are estimated to have been eliminated by natural selection... indicating that the rate specific to protein - coding sequences is nearly to the upper tolerable limit." (Adam Eyre-Walker, Peter D Keightley, High genomic deleterious mutation rates in hominids Nature, Jan. 28, 1999, p. 344-347).
To understand what he is saying, multiply the 4.2 harmful mutations per person per generation times the billions of people in each generation. This means that a lot of harmful mutations are being introduced into the human gene pool in each generation. The 38% which are eliminated by natural selection correlate roughly with the percentage of mutations that are dominant. This leaves roughly three harmful mutations per person per generation that will not be eliminated.
I know of no way in which natural selection can get rid any substantial proportion of the 72% or so of harmful mutations which are recessive, so most of these three new genetic diseases per person per generation which will not be eliminated can be expected to continue to spread throughout the population. I do not seem to find this problem discussed in evolutionary literature. If you know a way in which natural selection can eliminate creatures because of harmful mutations which are recessive, please let me know.
Here is one problem: Evolutionists must have faith to believe that in spite of the fantastic difficulties, helpful new mutations that add complexity are popping up with sufficient rapidity to overcome the known and measured tendency of bad mutations which are adding three harmful mutations each year which will not be eliminated. They seem to base this belief on the fact that complex plants and animals exist. Those who believe that God did not create them have faith that mutations must have done it even though they can not actually find good mutations and measure the frequency with which they occur.
In fact, the illustration for a good mutation that evolutionists have suggested to me more than any other is the one that causes sickle celled anemia, a deadly disease that kills 25% of those who inherit it. How can they use a lethal mutation as their best illustration? This mutation, a change of one amino acid in the red blood cell, has a side effect. Those who survive this mutation are more resistant to malaria. Its like praising the advantage of being paralyzed: "In this wheel chair he almost never falls down and skins his knee!" Why would a lethal mutation be used as the prime example of a good mutation? Don't evolutionists know of even one mutation that improves more than it hurts the one who inherits it? The theory of evolution requires millions of new genes that not only give an advantage in some environment, but that add complexity!
If there are any really favorable new mutations, no one knows if there is one in a million or one in ten thousand. Sometimes when evolutionist writers speculate they say perhaps there are one in a hundred. If there really were this many, most evolutionists should know of many actual examples, so this figure is probably a huge exaggeration, but let's use it to give the evolutionists a big advantage as we think through the problem recessive mutations pose for mankind. Our last quote said that 38% of harmful mutations are not weeded out by natural selection, and that there are 4.2 mutations per person per generation. If 1% of the mutations are really helpful, for every one helpful mutation that is produced, 100 harmful mutations are being produced. Some harmful mutations will be dominant, and may be eliminated by natural selection. This leaves 62 harmful mutations which will not be eliminated by natural selection building up in the gene pool for every one good mutation. This is using an impossibly optimistic guess as to the frequency of good mutations. Actually the number of harmful mutations for every good mutation would probably be at least 100 times this high, but even given every advantage, you can see one of the reasons the author of the above quote said, "The number of harmful mutations that arise in each generationÉ is nearly to the upper tolerable limit."
This brings us to the problem that disturbed the scientists in the quote. How many generations can such an overpowering number of harmful mutations build up before the gene pool is completely ruined? Could an occasional sickle celled anemia, the usual illustration of a good mutation, overcome the downhill tendency of the huge number of harmful mutations? While many creationists believe that life started around 6000 years ago, most evolutionists now would say that humans have been around for around 100,000 years. Obviously the shorter period would go better with what we know about the number of harmful mutations that are being introduced into the gene pool every year. The evolutionary estimate is not based on a scientific evaluation of what mutations actually do, but on a utopian religious faith in evolution.
With recessive mutations in mind, think about Hitler's attempt to produce a superior race. He might have had some success in breeding for physical strength or for intelligence, but what would have happened if he had not been stopped, and had gone on to actually eliminate all other races from the face of the earth and save only what he considered the pure Aryan race (or any other single race)?
- He would have significantly reduced the human gene pool, leaving humanity with less information in the DNA, and thus less ability to cope with future changes in the environment: extremes in temperature, accumulation of bacterial enemies, etc.
- He would have preserved an inbred group in which many would have inherited
the same recessive genetic diseases. Their children would then have inherited
these diseases from both mother and father, gotten the diseases, and become
seriously ill, or have died. In the long run, the means which Hitler wanted
to use to strengthen the race would have weakened it.
Mutations can not see into the future, but:
"As far as I am concerned, the uniqueness of the immune system lies in its ability to cope with all sorts of previously unexperienced contingencies, thus giving an impression of having evolved in anticipation of future needs. The Darwinian concept of evolution by natural selection does not predict the development of a system that can cope with the future." (Ohno, Susumo, "The Significance of Gene Duplication in Immunoglobulin...",Immunoglobulin, ed. G.W. Litman and R. A. Good, 1978, p. 199).
Neither can natural selection know that a fish is going to grow legs in several million years. Let's say that a fish grows bumps of bone that after a few million years of continued evolution would allegedly allow it to walk so it could become an amphibian and crawl out of the water. At the same time other unrelated random mutations would need to be developing a different respiratory system, joints, tendons, muscles, nerves etc.
If God did not intervene, it would seem that thousands of new bones and joints would have to have been formed here and there for a few of them to have been the right shape and size and in the right place at the right time. We don't find fish developing these things today, nor have they been preserved as fossils.
In fact, a bump of bone would probably be a hindrance as long as the fish was still a fish! According to evolution theory, animals with anything that is developing but is not helpful in each stage, get weeded out. What would happen to a big bump that would tend to make a fish swim around in circles? How about four big bumps that would drag down its speed? How could anything as big and complex as a leg on a fish develop without passing through a stage in which it did not yet work as well as a fin, and made that particular fish more available to predators?
Since such haphazard animal parts don't seem to have developed, how
could mutations be the mechanism which has provided the complex organs
and life forms which exist today? Was evolution all knowing and able to
look into the future to provide the right parts at the right times in the
right places? Whatever formed the life that is around us today seems to
have known what it was doing. (Some evidence has been reported that seems
to show that some mutations are a response to an environmental factor,
but since this would seem to infer the pre-existence of a program which
would allow it, the idea has not been well accepted by evolutionists as
We have noted and later will examine in more detail the lack of fossil evidence which would show that random mutations in the past made the many organs which distinguish us from one celled animals. In addition, mutations don't make new organs or more complex organisms today either. A proof of this is found in the very nature of the illustrations which the text books use to convince students that evolution is still taking place today. We will go into these in detail in a later chapter, but here's a brief sneak preview of what is claimed for the most famous example.
In England, the majority of the peppered moths that rested on light colored trees were themselves light colored because birds could see the darker ones and eat them. After the industrial revolution turned the trees dark with smoke, the lighter moths were easy to spot, and the birds ate them. Actually, mutations were not even involved. Just as among people there are blonds and brunettes, both dark and light moths were already present. Natural selection only changed the ratio of dark moths to light moths. If good examples of mutations causing upward evolution today really existed, would evolutionists make the peppered moth their most famous example?
Since the evolutionary answer is not supported by the actual facts of science, or even by their own examples, it must be accepted by faith in that belief system. Presenting creation vs. evolution as science against religion, does not make evolution science. Evolution is a belief system which must be accepted by faith. Either faith that mutations really really add complexity and make new genes code for new organs, or that something else will someday be found that will make evolution work. It would be folly to close our ears to the ancient book that claims to be God's revelation, and gives solid proof of its truthfulness!
The Bible names various categories of living things that God created, including man:, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis. 1:27). He put them in a wonderful environment and asked them to avoid just one thing: "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17).
The newly created people, made with a free will, chose to rebel against
God, and were expelled from the garden:
"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:17-19).
After Adam and Eve, people continued to rebel and sin against their Creator, refusing to believe and follow Him. Many still decide to follow something else, no matter how unlikely it may be. It seems to just be human nature.
The Bible gives us an interesting insight when it tells about Christ's
trial. Remember when He was being judged before Pilate?
"And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him. (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them but they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him." (Luke 23:13-21)
Those people chose a murderer over Christ. People are depraved, willing to refuse their creator and abandon their Savior. We all need of someone to save us from the results of our depravity. The Bible announces the good news: "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world" (1 John 4:14).
Be different! Instead of leaving your trust in an unfounded theory that offers you nothing but death, shift that faith. Put it in your Creator and in His Son, the Savior. Let Him guide you in this life, and bring you to live with Him in the next.
"How Could Evolution Take Place?"