|"Nobel Prize winner Dr. Francis Crick (co-discoverer of one of the most important discoveries of 20th century biology) arrived at the theory that life could never have evolved by chance on planet earth."
Two Worldviews in Conflict
What do thousands of scientists believe about creation and evolution?
Mutations - Evolution's Raw Material
- Today it is often alleged that evolution is central to the
science of biology. Without the theory of evolution, it is said,
the science of biology would completely break down. But the
simple fact that living creatures can physically change and adapt
to their environments does not necessarily help to explain the
origin of living things in the first place.
- The theory of evolution says that a hypothetical first living
cell (like a bacterium) evolved, over billions of years, into
a human being. But such a process meant finding a way to
generate enormous amounts of genetic information (DNA),
including the instructions for making eyes, nerves, skin, bones,
muscle, blood, etc. Thus, the total information content of the
genetic code (DNA) must have continually increased with
the emergence of new genes (or instructions).
- What mechanism could possibly have added all the extra
genetic instructions required to progressively transform a
one-celled creature into a human being? Evolutionists believe
it was something called genetic mutations.
- The English language can be used as an analogy to illustrate
what a genetic mutation is: The message “The enemy is now attacking” could mistakenly be copied as “The enemy is
not attacking.” Naturally, this mistake would probably result
in harmful consequences. Indeed, it is unlikely that a random
mistake might actually improve the meaning of the message;
very likely the meaning would be damaged.
- In the same way, mutations are generally random copying
mistakes in the reproduction of the genetic code (DNA),
and as such, tend to be harmful. The code in DNA is simply
a complex set of instructions that tells a creature’s body how
to reproduce itself (much the same as a set of instructions that
tells a person how to reproduce a car or spaceship). Random
copying mistakes (mutations), then, are obviously unlikely to
improve these instructions; rather they are much more likely
to damage or destroy them, as the Encyclopedia Britannica acknowledges. That is why many mutations cause disease and
death. In fact, according to one university biology textbook,
the odds that a mutation (random copying mistake) might
actually improve the instructions contained in the genetic code
are so low that “a random change is not likely to improve the
genome (genetic code) any more than firing a gunshot blindly
through the hood of a car is likely to improve engine performance.” But this isn’t surprising, since mutations are random
- However, evolutionists generally believe that occasionally
a “good” mutation will occur, one which will improve the
genetic code, despite the overwhelming odds as described
above. It is thought that such “good” copying mistakes would
scramble the instructions in the code in such a way as to improve
it, thus generating the new information required to tell
the body how to build a new physical feature. Such “good”
mutations, the Encyclopedia Britannica says, would “serve as
the raw material of evolution.”
- Evolutionists believe that over the last 4.5 billion years,
an accumulation of trillions of these hypothetical “good” copying mistakes have continuously improved the genetic
code, adding enough new information to transform a bacterium
into a human being.
- This is the equivalent of saying that random copying
mistakes when re-typing the instructions to produce an automobile
could eventually result in such an improved set of instructions,
that instead of producing an automobile, the new
and improved instructions would produce a working spaceship!
- To summarize: evolutionists generally believe that new
DNA information (genes) comes from “good” accidental copying
mistakes, and these types of copying errors are what have
generated the encyclopedic amounts of information necessary
to transform the first self-reproducing organism billions of years
ago into every living thing in the world today. In conjunction
with a process called “natural selection,” this makes up the
“neo-Darwinian theory of evolution,” today the most widely
believed explanation among evolutionists for life’s origins.
Has a "good" mutation ever really been observed?
- That is, has a mutation been observed which has been
seen to improve the genetic code by adding meaningful information
(new genes, or “instructions”) to build (at least part
of ) a new physical feature?
- It is first necessary to briefly define what is meant by the
term “information” in this context. The DNA code has already
been defined as a set of instructions, analogous to an
English message. The sequence of “letters” (or bases) in the
code is not random or repetitive, but instead, like the letters
in a written message. In other words, the code has meaning.
For instance, a random sequence of English letters such as
“nkntweioeimytnhatcesga” means nothing, but when the same
letters are arranged “the enemy is now attacking,” it becomes
a meaningful message, containing meaningful information. It is the specific arrangement of letters that makes the message
meaningful to someone who understands the language, and
this meaningful arrangement is, in itself, “information.” In
the same way, it is the specific arrangement of “letters” (or
bases) in the DNA code that makes the code meaningful to
the body, which understands the DNA (genetic) language.
This meaningful arrangement of “letters” in the DNA code is
what makes up the information that tells the body how to
produce a particular physical feature or characteristic, such as
an eyeball or hair color.
- Today, there is a small handful of cases in which a genetic
mutation has helped a creature to survive better than
those without it. These types of mutations are referred to as
“beneficial mutations.” But even these beneficial mutations
do not improve the code in DNA: rather than adding any
meaningful information, they destroy it. For example, Darwin
pointed to a case in which a genetic mutation caused
flying beetles on a small desert island to lose their wings (the
“wing-making” information in the DNA was lost or scrambled
in some way). However, due to this loss, the beetles had a
better chance of survival because they were less likely to be
blown into the sea. Thus, the mutation was “beneficial” to
the beetle population because it helped them to survive better
in their environment. This shows how even a beneficial mutation
can be damaging to the DNA code; in this case the mutation
involved a loss or corruption of the information (or genes)
for making wings.
- Textbooks regularly use examples of beneficial mutations
as evidence for evolution. But the problem with using beneficial
mutations to support evolution is that they are exactly the
opposite of what is required, that is, they involve a loss or
corruption of existing information. For instance, losing the
ability to fly has nothing to do with the origins of flight in the
first place, which is what evolution is supposed to be about.
- To produce a beetle from a simple cell, it is obvious
that an increase of new genetic information is necessary to
create the eyes, the wings, etc. Thus, to support evolution,
the preceding beetle example would have to be reversed. The
DNA code would have to be improved rather than damaged
— new meaningful information (genes) would have to be
produced. This means that a new physical feature would have
to arise that was never before present — beetles normally
born without wings would subsequently have to be born with
them. But no such example exists.
- Some of the most common examples given as proof of
beneficial mutations are those that cause pesticide and antibiotic
resistance in rodents and bacteria. For instance, the book
Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science, published
by the National Academy of Sciences, states, “Many strains of
bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics . . .
[and] similar episodes of rapid evolution are occurring in many
different organisms. Rats have developed resistance to the poison
warfarin . . . [and] many hundreds of insect species and
other agricultural pests have evolved resistance to the pesticides
used to combat them.” Examples such as these are almost
always used by textbooks to show “evolution happening.”
But like the wingless beetles, they are still the result of a
loss of DNA information, or sometimes a transfer of existing
information — not the result of new information.
- In fact, one recent discovery proved that in many cases
bacteria already had the genes for resistance to certain antibiotics,
even before those antibiotics were invented! Reuters
News Service reported that one of the ways in which bacteria
become resistant to antibiotics is by swapping genes among
species. The mechanism by which they do this has been
thought by many to have “evolved” in response to antibiotics.
However, researchers have looked at preserved samples of cholera
bacteria dating back to 1888. They found that the same gene-swapping mechanisms were already there — well before
antibiotics were discovered or used by people!
Is there ever an addition of new information?
- When one looks at all the textbook examples of evolution,
there are none that cause an addition of new genetic
(DNA) information. All appear to be downhill (information-
losing) processes, contrary to what evolution requires.
Refer to the box for an illustration by creationist
scientists of how genetic information is lost, rather than gained,
as creatures adapt to their environment.
- One of the most commonly used examples of evolutionary
change is one which involves a population of “peppered
moths” in England. Indeed, many museums and educational
institutes worldwide use this as one of the most striking examples
of evolution ever witnessed by mankind. The story
goes like this: Prior to the industrial revolution in England,
the peppered moth population consisted predominantly of
light-colored moths (containing speckled dots). A dark-colored
form comprised only a small minority of the population.
This was so because predators (birds) could more easily
detect the dark-colored moths as they rested during the day
on light-colored tree trunks. With the onset of the industrial
revolution and resultant air pollution, the tree trunks and rocks
became progressively darker. As a consequence, the dark-colored
moths became increasingly difficult to detect, while the
light-colored form ultimately became easy prey. Birds, therefore,
began eating more light-colored than dark-colored moths,
and today over 95 percent of the peppered moths in the industrial
areas of England are of the darker-colored variety.
- In this example, it is obvious that “natural selection” only
changed the ratios of black and light (peppered) forms. Both
varieties were already present in the population, so nothing
new was produced (i.e., no new information or genes were added). Thus, like the wingless beetles, the example of the
peppered moths does not actually support evolution, since
evolution requires the emergence of new genes!
- While natural selection and beneficial mutations “may
increase an organism’s adaptation,” no one has ever been
able to point to a mutation that has actually improved the
genetic code by adding new meaningful information (new
genes or “instructions” for building a new physical trait).
All mutations appear to scramble the already-existing information
(instructions), either by the reshuffling or duplication
of existing genes, or simply by damaging the genes altogether.
- Oxford professor Richard Dawkins is generally regarded
as one of the most influential neo-Darwinists in the world.
During an interview, he was asked a crucial question: Could
he point to any example today in which a mutation has actually
added new genetic information? (If there is such an example,
surely an Oxford zoology professor, promoting neo-
Darwinism around the world, would know of it.) Dawkins
appeared so perplexed by this question that the creation organization
who produced the video says that “Dawkins’ response
on screen makes a more powerful point against evolution than
volumes written by creationists.”
- Another scientist, Dr. Ian Macreadie, winner of several
scientific awards for outstanding contributions to molecular
biological research, affirms that “all you see in the lab is either
gene duplications, reshuffling of existing genes, or defective
genes (with a loss of information). . . . But you never
see any new information arising in a cell . . . we just don’t
observe it happening. It’s hard to see how any serious scientist
could believe that real information can arise just by itself,
- But because examples such as the wingless beetles and
the peppered moths show physical changes in living creatures, they are still repeatedly used by evolutionists to promote the
idea that primitive bacteria have changed so much in the distant
past that today they have become people. Yet such examples
simply do not support evolution — all observed examples
of change are either genetically neutral or genetically
downhill, being losses of information instead of the required
gains. Losing bits of genetic information a little at a time surely
does not help explain how the genetic code was built in the
first place; one can’t build a business by losing a little bit of
money at a time.
- It’s not surprising that one of the most well-known evolutionists
openly criticized the traditional neo-Darwinian
theory of evolution. On the faculties of Harvard and New
York University, the late Stephen Jay Gould was the author of
over 15 books on scientific topics and contributed monthly
essays to the periodical Natural History since January 1974.
His essays have also appeared in other scientific periodicals
and his work can be found quoted in educational textbooks
at all levels. He wrote that although he had been “beguiled”
by the unifying power of neo-Darwinism when he studied it
as a graduate student in the 1960s, the weight of the evidence
pushed him to the reluctant conclusion that neo-Darwinism
“as a general proposition, is effectively dead, despite its persistence
as textbook orthodoxy.”
- Today, there is a growing realization that the presently
accepted concept of natural selection and mutations really
explains nothing of evolutionary significance. One leading
creationist summarized the situation well: “All of our realworld
experience, especially in today’s ‘information age,’ would
indicate that to rely on accidental copying mistakes to generate
real information is the stuff of wishful thinking, not science.” In everyday experience, information never arises without
an intelligent source.