Creation & Evolution Compatible or in Conflict
Mutations and Natural Selection
Jay Seegert – Creation Education Center — http://www.cecwisc.org
According to evolutionists, the primary forces driving the evolutionary progress are mutations and natural selection.
Evolution when stated as being an undeniable fact, is described as molecules naturally turning into every other life form on the planet over a few billion years. However, when alleged evidence for evolution is discussed, a very different definition is generally used – that of “change.” We see change, so therefore evolution must be true. When it’s time to present actual evidence, the primary focus is on showing examples of “change” and then equating it to “evolution” (bait and switch). The problem is that most students (and the public in general), don’t realize what’s happening when the switch occurs.
Mutations – a change in the DNA sequence of a gene
Natural Selection (survival of the fittest) – a phrase that describes the observation that those creatures best suited to survive in their environment will survive in greater number than those less well-suited (or not fit at all). Therefore, they will pass along their genetic traits in greater number. Over many generations, the organisms in the population consist of these “more beneficial” traits.
The term “beneficial mutations” comes up quite often in discussions regarding evolution. It is commonly believed that although most mutations seem to be harmful (or at least nearly neutral), there are occasional “good” mutations and those are the ones that allow evolution to progress. Evolutionary scientists tout beneficial mutations as the key to evolution’s grand success over the past few billion years.
One of the main mutational benefits that would be required as far as evolution is concerned is increased survivability. It must aid the individual in being able to pass on its genes. If it can’t do this, it’s an evolutionary dead end.
A second necessary benefit would be the addition of new genetic information – proteins that will code for new traits or functions (the ability to increase the total information content of the genome). Evolution requires the addition of new information, continually, through alleged millions and millions of years.
The verdict regarding beneficial mutations is that they certainly do exist, in rare instances, but in none of these cases is there an increase in information, which is the key point.
Stories about evolution often talk about creatures adapting to their environments. They do it in a way that gives the public the impression that these creatures see a need for a certain change and then subsequently make efforts to produce the needed change.
Adaptation is more a matter of random changes occurring and some of them happening (by chance) to be a benefit in a given setting or environment.
Survivability often has a lot more to do with extraneous factors than it does with the effects of mutations, especially considering that most mutations are “nearly neutral” (too small of an effect to be noticed by natural selection).
The following quote sums things up very nicely (by Professor Macie Giertych, PhD, head of the genetics department, Polish Academy of Science, Institute of Dendrology, Poland):
Genetics has no proofs for evolution. It has trouble explaining it. The closer one looks at the evidence for evolution the less one finds of substance. In fact the theory keeps on postulating evidence, and failing to find it, moves on to other postulates (fossil missing links, natural selection of improved forms, positive mutations, molecular phylogenetic sequences, etc.). This is not science.
One barrier to evolution is that matter does a great job of storing information, but matter is completely incapable of creating information. Focusing on our DNA, we see matter (amino acids, nitrogen bases, and phosphates) storing a lot of information.
Another incredible barrier to evolution is the phenomenon of “genetic entropy.” The term “genetic entropy” reflects the fact that genetic systems are also subject to entropy. Genetic systems degenerate over time due to harmful mutations and other factors. Therefore, all genetic systems eventually break down over time. According to evolution, your DNA can theoretically be traced back to some single-celled organism that lived almost 4 billion years ago! Imagine the systematic loss of information!
As far back as 1950, it was believed that if deleterious mutations (a mutation that has a negative effect and thus decreases the fitness of the organism) ever reached a rate of one per person per generation, long-term genetic deterioration would be unavoidable. It is now estimated that there are actually approximately 100 mutations per person per generation. Since most mutations are deleterious to some extent, this presents a tremendous problem for the idea of evolution over millions of years and should lead to serious genetic degeneration in just a few hundred generations. Considering the rate at which mutations are accumulating and the alleged passage of deep time, one scientist (A.S. Krondashov, evolutionary professor at the University of Michigan) has asked, “Why have we not died 100 times over?”
Contrary to popular belief about how evolution is supposed to occur, it doesn’t matter what the environment is like. If the genetic information for a certain trait or characteristic is not already in the DNA (or genetic code) of a species then there is nothing in the environment that is capable of putting that information there so that the species would develop that particular trait or characteristic.
“Vestigal organs,” from the evolutionists standpoint refer to things that are “leftover” from earlier stages of evolution. Their belief is that as life progressed through a long, long line of simpler types of creatures progressively becoming more complex, not all of the “simpler” structures were completely eliminated by natural selection. As a result, we posses a few useless vestiges of these previous life forms – structures that were once useful in an earlier stage but no longer serve a purpose (and for whatever reason have not yet been “weeded-out” by natural selection). If evolution were true, we should not be at all surprised to find such useless organs in our bodies.
By 1890, evolutionists had compiled a list of approximately 180 vestigial organs in the human body, which they claimed was strong evidence of our evolutionary history. Today, however, this list has been dwindled down to zero, because we have discovered that each “vestigial” organ actually does have a useful function.