Mutations – The Engine of Evolution

Image result for evolution

We all know what evolution is.  It’s the mainstream theory of how we got the life we see today.  It was popularised by Charles Darwin in his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.  It proposes that rather than a roughly 6000 year old earth – as was once widely believed, thanks to the Bible – that the earth is billions of years old, and that life gradually evolved over hundreds of millions of years, eventually creating the animals we see today.  As such, the driving force of evolution is mutations – mistakes in an animal”s genome that make it slightly different from the other members of its species.  They are THE backbone of evolution, the ABSOLUTELY NECESSITY for it to be accepted.  So, could mutations have made us?  From The New Answers Book 2:

In the evolutionary model, mutations are hailed as a dominant mechanism for pond-scum-to-people evolution and provide “proof” that the Bible’s history about creation is wrong.  …  Let’s look at mutations in more detail and see if they provide the information necessary to support pond-scum-to-people evolution… .

Mutations are primarily permanent changes in the DNA strand.  DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the information storage unit for all organism, including humans, cats, and dogs.  In humans, the DNA consists of about three billion base pairs.  the DNA is made of two strands and forms a double helix.  In sexual reproduction, one set of chromosomes (large segments of DNA) comes from the mother and one set from the father.  In asexual reproduction, the DNA is copied whole and then passed along when the organism splits.

The double helix is made up of four types of nitrogen bases called nucleotides.  these types are guanine, cytosine, adenine, and thymine.  they are represented by the letters G, C, A, and T.  Each of these base pairs, or “letters,” is part of a code that stores information for hair color, height, eye shape, etc.  The bases pair up as follows: adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine.

Think of it like Morse code.  Morse code is a system in which letters are represented by dashes and dots (if audible, then it is a long sound and a short sound).  When you combine different dots and dashes, you can spell out letters and words.  Here is a copy of Morse code:

Image result for morse code table

If someone wanted to call for help using Morse code, for instance, he or she would send the letters SOS (which is the international distress signal).  Morese code for SOS is:

S is dot dot dot [•••] or three short sounds.

O is dash dash dash [—] or three long sounds.

S is dot dot dot [•••] or three short sounds.

Therefore, it would be [•••—•••], or three short sounds followed by three long sounds, followed by three short sounds.

A mutation would be like changing a dot to a dash in Morse code.  If we tried to spell SOS in Morse code, but changed the first dot to a dash, it would accidentally read:

[-••—•••]

Dash dot dot is the sequence for D, not S; so it would now read:

D [-••]

O [—]

S [•••]

So, because of the mistake (mutation), we now read DOS, instead of SOS.  If you sent this, no one would think you needed help.  This mutation was significant because it did two things to your message:

  1. The original word was lost.
  2. The intent/meaning was lost.

The DNA strand is similar to, but much more complicated than, Morse code.  It uses four letters (G, A, T, C) instead of dashes and dots to make words and phrases.  And like Morse code, mutations can affect the DNA strand and cause problems for the organism.  These DNA mistakes are called genetic mutations.

Theoretically, genetic mutations (that are not static) can cause one of two things:

  1. Loss of information[1]
  2. Gain of new information

Virtually all observed mutations are in the category loss of information.  This is different from loss or gain of function.  Some mutations can cause an organism to lose genetic information and yet gain some type of function.  It is rare but has happened.  These types of mutations have a beneficial outcome.  For example, if a beetle loses the information to make a wing on a windy island, the mutation is beneficial because the beetle doesn’t get blown out to sea and killed.  Genetically, the mutation caused a loss of information but was helpful to the beetle.  Thus, it was a beneficial outcome.

Besides mutations that cause information loss, in theory there could also be mutations that cause a gain of new information.  There are only a few alleged cases of such mutations.  However, if a mutated DNA strand were built up with a group of base pairs that didn’t do anything, this strand wouldn’t be useful.  Therefore, to be useful to an organism, a mutation that has a gain of new information must also cause a gain of new function.

Types of Genetic Mutations

The DNA strand contains instructions on how to make proteins.  Every three “letters” code for a specific amino acid, such as TGC, ATC, GAT, TAG, and CTC.  Many amino acids together compose a protein.  For simplicity’s sake, to illustrate concepts with the DNA strand, we will use examples in English.  Here is a segment illustrating DNA in three-letter words:

The car was red.  The red car had one key.  The key has one eye and one tip.

Point Mutations

Point mutations are mutations where one letter changes on the DNA sequence.  A point mutation in our example could cause “car” in the second sentence to be read “cat”:

The car was red.  The red cat had one key.  The key has one eye and one tip.

With this point mutation, we lost the information for one word (car) as well as changed the meaning of the sentence.  We did gain one word (cat), but we lost one word (car) and lost the meaning of one phrase.  So the overall result was a loss of information.

But many times, point mutations won’t produce another word.  Take for instance another point mutation, which changes “car” not to “cat” but to “caa”:

The car was red.  The red caa had one key.  The key has one eye and one tip.

With this point mutation, we lost the information for one word (car) as well as the meaning.  We did not gain any new words, and we lost one word and lost the meaning of one phrase.  So again, the overall result of this point mutation was a loss of information, but even more so this time.

Point mutations can be very devastating.  There is a children’s disease called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), or simply progeria.  It was recently linked to a single point mutation.  It is a mutation that causes children’s skin to age, their head to go bald at a very early age (pre-kindergarten), their bones to develop problems usually associated with the elderly, and their body size to remain very short (about one-half to two-thirds of normal height).  Their body parts, including organs, age rapidly, which usually causes death at the average age of 13 years.[2]

Not all point mutations are as devastating, yet they still result in a loss of information.  According to biophysicist Lee Spetner, ”All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce genetic information and not to increase it.”[3]

Inversion Mutations

An inversion mutation is a strand of DNA in a particular segment that reverses itself.  An inversion mutation would be like taking the second sentence of our example and spelling it backwards:

The car was red.  Yek eno dah rac der eht.  The key has one eye and one tip.

With inversion mutations, we can lose quite a bit of information.  We lost several words from, and the meaning of, the second sentence.  These mutations can cause serious problems to the organism.  The bleeding disorder hemophilia A is caused by an inversion in the Factor VIII (F8) gene.

Insertion Mutations

An insertion mutation is a segment of DNA, whether a single base pair or an extensive length, that is inserted into the DNA strand.  For this example, let’s copy a word from the second sentence and insert it into the third sentence:

The car was red.  The red car had one key.  Had the key has one eye and one tip.

This insertion really didn’t help anything.  In fact, the insertion is detrimental to the third sentence in that it makes the third sentence meaningless.  So this copied word in the third sentence destroyed the combined meanings of the eight words in the third sentence.  Insertions generally result in a protein that loses function.[4]

Deletion Mutations

A deletion mutation is a segment of DNA, whether a single base pair or an extensive length, that is deleted from the strand.  This will be an obvious loss.  In this instance, the second sentence will be deleted.

The car was red.  The key has one eye and one tip.

The entire second sentence has been lost.  Thus, we have lost its meaning as well as the words that were in the sentence.  Some disorders from deletion mutations are facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and spinal muscular atrophy.[5]

Frame Shift Mutations

There are two basic types of frame shift mutations: frame shift due to an insertion and frame shift due to a deletion.  these mutations can be caused by an insertion or deletion of one or more letters not divisible by three, which causes an offset in the reading of the “letters” of the DNA.

If a mutation occurs where one or more letters are inserted, then the entire sequence can be off.  If a t were inserted at the beginning of the second sentence, it would read like this:

The car was red.  Tth ere dca rha don eke yth eke yha son eey ean don eti p.

Four new words were produced (two of them twice): ere, don, eke and son.  These 4 words were not part of the original phrase.  However, we lost 14 words.  Not only did we lost these words, but we also lost the meaning behind the words.  We lost 14 words while gaining only 4 new ones.

Therefore, even though the DNA strand became longer and produced 4 words via a single insertion, it lost 14 other words.  The overall effect was a loss of information.

A frame shift mutation can also occur by the deletion of one or more “letters.”  If the first t in the second sentence is deleted, the letters shift to the left, and we get:

The car was red.  Her edc arh ado nek eyt hek eyh aso nee yea ndo net ip.

Five new words were produced: her, ado, yea, and net.  However, once again, we lost 14 words.  So again, the overall effect was a loss of information, and the DNA strand became smaller due to this mutation.

Frame shift mutations are usually detrimental to the organism by causing the resulting protein to be nonfunctional.

This is just the basics of mutations at a genetic level.[6]

What Does Evolution Teach About Mutations?

Pond-scum-to-people evolution teaches that, over time, by natural causes, nonliving chemicals gave rise to a living cell.  Then, this single-celled life form gave rise to more advanced life forms.  In essence, over millions of years, increases in information caused by mutations plus natural selection developed all the life forms we see on earth today.

For molecules-to-man evolution to happen, there needs to be a gain in new information within the organism’s genetic material.  For instance, for a single-celled organism, such as an amoeba, to evolve into something like a cow, new information (not random base pairs, but complex and ordered DNA) would need to develop over time that would code for ears, lungs, brain, legs, etc.

If an amoeba were to make a change like this, the DNA would need to mutate new information.  (Currently, an amoeba has limited genetic information, such as the information for protoplasm.)  This increase of new information would need to continue in order for a heart, kidneys, etc., to develop.  If a DNA strand gets larger due to a mutation, but the sequence doesn’t code for anything (e.g., it doesn’t contain information for working lungs, heart, etc.), then the amount of DNA added is useless and would be more of a hindrance than a help.

There have been a few arguable cases of information-gaining mutations, but for evolution to be true, there would need to be billions of them.  the fact is, we don’t observe this in nature, but rather we see the opposite – organisms losing information.  Organisms are changing, but the change is in the wrong direction!  How can losses of information add up to a gain?

Conclusion

Observations confirm that mutations overwhelmingly cause a loss of information, not a new gain, as evolution requires.

(Ken Ham, The New Answers Book 2, chapter 2: ”Are Mutations Part of the ‘engine’ of Evolution?”, pages 25-34.)

The footnotes given:

  1. For a definition of information that is based on the laws of science, see W. Gitt, In the Beginning was Information (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2006).
  2. B. Hodge, ”One tiny Flaw and 50 Years Lost,” Creation 27(1) (2004): 33.
  3. L. Spetner, Not by Chance (New York: Judaica Press, 1997), p. 138.
  4. DNA Direct website, www.dnadirect.com/resource/genetics_101/GN_DNA_mutations.jsp.
  5. Athena Diagnostics website, www.athenadiagnostics.com/site/content/diagnostic_ed/genetics_primer/part_2.asp.
  6. For more on specific mutations and more complex examples, please visit www.AnswersInGenesis.org/mutations.
  7. This is only true for recessive mutations like the one that causes cystic fibrosis.  There are some dominant mutations that will appear in the child regardless of having a normal copy of the gene from one parent.

Well, that’s pretty clear: mutations don’t work for evolution, and actually prove evolution FALSE.  It’s just science, folks.

A little more on the subject:

These results [racism against non-whites] of Darwin’s hypothesis grew out of a tiny seed of an idea – all life forms share a common ancestor.  This life form is supposedly an unknown, single-celled organism that spontaneously popped into existence of its own capability.

From that verified, magical beginning, trillions of unseen, unaccountable, and unexplained spontaneous acts of creation added information to the DNA (genetic blueprint) of all creatures throughout all time and space.  Such acts of creation, out of thin air, were guided by chance, and created the wings of birds, the scales of reptiles, the sap of trees, and the entire physiology of every living thing on the planet.

Natural selection, also called survival of the fittest, then weeds out which acts of creation are good, and which are bad.  The good mutations that add a positive attribute to the animal create a situation where survival rates and reproductive rates go up, and therefore that trait propagates throughout the species.  However, because the probabilities of chance orchestrating such remarkable works are so low, Darwin’s theory must be coupled with huge gulfs of time afforded by uniformitarianism philosophies. …

Even with such vast gulfs of time, let us make no mistake about the remarkable claim that Darwin’s hypothesis makes.  These spontaneous acts of creation are non different from a princess in a Disney movie kissing a frog and turning into a prince.  In both cases, the DNA must radically change to a human at a genetic level.  The only difference between evolution and Disney’s magical kiss is the time it takes for the transformation to occur.  Disney proposes the magical change in DNA to happen immediately upon the physical encounter of a kiss from a princess.  Evolution proposes the exact same change in the DNA occurs, but evolution adds long lapses of time over a course of many kisses and breeding cycles.  Nevertheless, the DNA must radically change from one species to another.  This is something that Disney and Darwin agreed upon.

Who knew that evolutionary science mirrored the magical world of Disney so closely?  But then again, imagination is critical for Disney, and we learned earlier that imagination is critical for composing the storyline of evolution as well.

[J-M’s note: in a previous chapter, he quotes evolutionary authorities admitting that evolution is based on little more than IMAGINATION, and established the historical fact that Darwin based his theory on IMAGINATION, NOT facts, and that evolution is therefore UNAUTHORITATIVE.  Simple fact.]

Therefore, it is not surprising that Disney and evolutionary theorists would overlap in their ideas of changing one species into another.  In fact, it would be quite surprising if they didn’t.

The rationalist would argue that adding breeding cycles and time still cannot add the genetic material necessary to turn a reptile into a human, or anything else into a human.  And certainly, I must agree.

It should be stated now that evolutionists do not explain their view the way I just did.  Evolutionists try to stay a way from the DNA and blueprints of our body because at that level, evolution sounds completely absurd.  Evolution must have continuous, unexplained, totally unaccounted for additions to DNA that give brand-new traits to organisms that were not there before.  This act has never been seen, it has never been explained, and it cannot even be possible.

Every change that has ever happened to genetic material is a mutation that detracts from the original information and/or works with the existing information that was already there.  Evolutionists love to point out viruses and how they adapt and become immune to antiviral treatments.  But this is not evolution.  The viruses are still viruses; they have simply changed within the limits of their existing information.  The virus never adds a brand-new trait, like a feather, or a beetle wing.  It can only work within the material it has.  All change within all living organisms is restrained to their unique genetic box.  Darwin’s grand idea is that there were no limits to the amount of change that could occur given time and natural selection.  But the “no limits” idea is the great failure of his thinking.

With each passing day, the evidence against evolution builds and builds and builds.  Mutations are not acts of creation, but are acts of destruction.  Animal kinds are not increasing through evolution; they are going extinct with nothing taking their place.  Creatures do have limits, and they are restrained to their genetic box.  This rigid conformity to kinds is a fact that is on display every time there is a birth.  Offspring are the same kind of life form as their parents 100 percent of the time.  That is the eyewitness evidence, but evolution pleads with us to disregard the physical evidence and simply believe frogs do turn into princes, given enough time.  Every time there is a birth, it brings more evidence evolution does not happen.  Considering all the births, from all the life forms on this planet, every single day – that is a lot of evidence!

It is on this last point that Darwin needed the uniformitarianism model of Lyell to provide the huge amounts of time necessary to propose this gradual addition of genetic material.  The seemingly endless amounts of time uniformitarianism now allowed enabled Darwin to claim massive changes in species occur.  However, they just occur over such a long span of time that no one can see it happening.

(Darek Isaacs, Dragons of Dinosaurs? Creation or Evolution?, pages 198-202)

IN CONCLUSION

We have seen that mutations simply DO NOT allow for or prove evolution, but in fact DISPROVE it!  Some will then point to natural selection; however, that has much of the same problems as pointing to mutations, and some scientists are now admitting it’s mutations – not natural selection – that is the crux of evolution:

http://discovermagazine.com/2014/march/12-mutation-not-natural-selection-drives-evolution

Here’s a great article:

https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/a_billion_genes/

It’s just science, folks…

[My latest Blockbusters Reviewed post: The Fast and the Furious Movies from Best to Worst – RT Critics

My latest J-M’s History Corner (Blogspot) post: The Rapture (Or, Is Left Behind Accurate?) .]

29 thoughts on “Mutations – The Engine of Evolution

  1. For some inexplicable reason this post brought to mind that game we played as children, “gossip” where several of us sat together, one began by whispering a sentence, say, “it’s cold and will rain later today” which by the end had morphed into “he’s old and hit by a train in May”.

    Easier for me to trust God.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting, but frankly, quite incomplete. Mutation is an important mechanism, but evolution has many other mechanisms. One of them is crossover. There is a reason that most species use *sexual* reproduction. This means that an individual gets some genes from each of two parents. This, in and of itself, even absent mutation, allows for a huge variation. Moreover, when two chromosomes line up, they are also prone to crossover. This means a single chromosome in one of the children can have (often, actually, does have) pieces of the chromosomes of each parent. But wait, it gets even better. The probability of cross-over is greater for genes that are farther apart on the chromosome. What this means, over time, is that genes that have a positive, synergistic relation (e.g., a gene for wings and a gene for strong flying muscles) are likely to stay together in the next generation while genes that have zero or even a negative interaction tend to end up far apart on the chromosome and therefore are likely to become separated. Other important mechanisms are sexual selection and intra-chromosomal replication. Anyway, you might enjoy this article which does argue that our *choices* can influence evolution over time. The environment helps shape species, but here I argue that choices also impact evolution. https://petersironwood.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/ripples/

    Like

  3. I’m no scientist, but there were some interesting ideas in this article. I now know how to do SOS! Let’s hope I don’t mutate it if I should ever need it to tap for help. 😀 Yes, I’m goofy, but hey I’ve gotta be me. *tap tap tap taaaaaaap taaaaaaap taaaaaaap tap tap tap*

    Liked by 2 people

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