SICKLE-CELL ANEMIA—Evolutionists point to sickle-cell anemia as the outstanding example of beneficial evolutionary change through mutation.
A long time ago, a mutation occurred in someone in Africa. As do all mutational changes, this one resulted in damage. In this instance, the shape of the red blood cells was changed, from its normal flattened shape, to a quarter-moon shape. Because it tended to cause serious anemia, instead of killing outright, sickle-cell anemia passed into the race and became a recessive factor.
The problem was that, although the blood of a person with sickle-cell anemia does not properly absorb food and oxygen,—that person, oddly enough, will be less likely to acquire malaria from the bite of an anopheles mosquito. As a result, the sickle-cell anemia factor has become widespread in Africa. This is the best example of a "beneficial" mutation that evolutionist scientists are able to offer us.
"Actually, only three evolutionists have ever given me an example of a beneficial mutation. It was the same example all three times: sickle-cell anemia . . Sickle-cell anemia is often given as an example of a favorable mutation, because people carrying sickle-cell hemoglobin in their red blood cells are resistant to malaria. But the price for this protection is high: 25 percent of the children of carriers will probably die of the anemia, and another 25 percent are subject to malaria.
"The gene will automatically be selected when the death rate from malaria is high, but evolutionists themselves admit that the short time advantages produce ‘mischievous results’ detrimental to long-term survival."—Henry Morris and Gary Parker, What is Creation Science? (1987), pp. 103, 104.
Actual statistics reveal that the death rate from malaria for normal people in certain parts of Africa is over 30 percent while only 25 percent of carriers of sickle-cell anemia are likely to contract it. But in return for the advantage, 25 percent of their children will die of this serious anemia.
These carriers have a 50-50 proportion of regular and sickle-cell red blood cells, but 25 percent of their children will have 100 percent sickle-cell RBCs, and will die as a result. The other 75 percent will also be carriers and have the 50-50 proportion of cells.
In sickle-cell anemia, one amino acid in a peptide of nine in a string is faulty. Valine is there instead of glutamic acid. That one change makes all the difference, changing regular hemoglobin into sickle-cell hemoglobin.
This outstanding example of a "beneficial mutant" not only damages those who have it, but in the process would normally eradicate itself. It is only the deaths caused by malaria that favor it.
"In regions where malaria is not an acute problem, the gene does tend to die out. In America, the incidence of sickle-cell genes among blacks may have started as high as 25 percent. Even allowing for a reduction to an estimated 15 percent by admixture with non-black individuals, the present incidence of only 9 percent shows that the gene is dwindling away. In all probability it will continue to do so. If Africa is freed of malaria, the gene will presumably dwindle there, too."—*Asimov’s New Guide to Science (1984), p. 619.
DRUG-RESISTANT GERMS—What about strains of bacteria and viruses which are resistant to antibiotics and other modern drugs? You will frequently hear in the media that "new mutations" of germs are drug-resistant. This is not true.
We have here a situation much like the peppered moth, discussed early in the last chapter. Each bacteria and virus has its own gene pool, so it can produce a number of varieties. When a certain antibiotic is repeatedly given to people
with tuberculosis, and those people do not take the drug long enough to kill the tubercle bacillus,—opportunity is given for drug-resistant strains of the bacillus to reproduce in great numbers while less-resistant strains are reduced in number. Only occasionally do mutated strains of germs occur, and when they do, they soon die out. More on this later in this chapter.
FRUIT FLIES TO THE RESCUE—(*#4/12 Fruit Flies Speak Up*) In 1904, *Walter S. Sutton, an American cytologist, decided there might be some connection between Gregor Mendel’s 1860s research and the newly discovered chromosomes with their genes. A major breakthrough came in 1906, when *Thomas Hunt Morgan, a Columbia University zoologist, conceived the idea of using fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) for genetic research. This was due to the fact that they breed so very rapidly, require little food, have scores of easily observed characteristics, and only a few chromosomes per cell.
"The fly could be bred by the thousands in milk bottles. It cost nothing but a few bananas to feed all the experimental animals; their entire life cycle lasts a short time and they have only four chromosomes."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 169.
Later still, fruit flies began to be used in mutational research. What that research revealed—settled the question for all time as to whether evolution could successfully result from mutations. And those little creatures should be able to settle the matter, for it takes only 12 days for a fruit fly to reach maturity; after that it steadily reproduces young. Each of its offspring matures in 12 days, and the generations multiply rapidly. What it would take mammals tens of thousands of years to accomplish, the humble fruit flies can do within a very short time.
We have heard about "the stones crying out" (Luke 19:40). The fossil rocks surely are. Well, the little fruit flies had a testimony to give also.
HISTORY OF RESEARCH—Because the mainstay of evolutionary theory is mutations, it would be well if we gave a little space to a brief review of research on mutations. This will show how thoroughly this matter has been investigated. A number of individuals have dedicated their lifetime to an analysis of mutations.
Mutations were first studied by *Hugo deVries, *T.H. Morgan, *Calvin Bridges, and *A.H. Sturtevant. Above the microscopic level, fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) reproduce faster than any other creature that is large enough to be effectively worked with and observed. These men spent years patiently collecting information on naturally occurring mutations in fruit flies. They studied eye color, wing form, eye structure, bristle arrangement, and many other features of this small fly.
Careful breeding experiments produced information on each of the four chromosomes, in the fruit fly, and the genes within each one. The mutant genes were carefully located; and, inside each mutant chromosome, their exact positions were determined. Fairly precise "chromosome maps" were made. Similar maps were made of corn, tomatoes, flour beetles, and several grains.
"The fruit fly has long been the favorite object of mutation experiments because of its fast gestation period (twelve days). X-rays have been used to increase the mutation rate in the fruit fly by 15,000 percent. All in all, scientists have been able to "catalyze the fruit fly evolutionary process such that what has been seen to occur in Drosophila is the equivalent of many millions of years of normal mutations and evolution."—*Jeremy Rifkin, Algeny (1983), p. 134.
After decades of study, without immediately killing or sterilizing them, 400 different mutational features have been identified in fruit flies. But none changes the fruit fly into a different species.
"Out of 400 mutations that have been provided by Drosophila melanogaster, there is not one that can be called a new species. It does not seem, therefore, that the central problem of evolution can be solved by mutations."—*Maurice Caulery, Genetics and Heredity (1964), p. 119.
The final word: A thousand known fruit-fly mutations placed in one individual—would still not produce a new species!
"In the best-known organisms, like Drosophila, innumerable mutants are known. If we were able to combine a thousand or more of such mutants in a single individual, this still would have no resemblance whatsoever to any type known as a [new] species in nature."—*Richard B. Goldschmidt, "Evolution, As Viewed by One Geneticist," American Scientist, January 1952, p. 94.
The obstinate, stubborn little creatures!
"Fruit flies refuse to become anything but fruit flies under any circumstances yet devised."—*Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong (1982), p. 61.
X-RAYS ENTER—A major breakthrough came in 1928 when *H.J. Muller discovered that X-rays could speed up mutations. Now a way was available by which the researchers could increase the mutations on a million-fold faster basis. Irradiation of the little fruit flies in their glass jars enabled the scientists to calculate the rate at which mutations were beneficial, neutral, or harmful.
"Radiation is in fact the only type of agent yet known to which human beings are likely to be exposed in quantity sufficient to cause any considerable production of mutations in them."—*George W. Beadle, "Ionizing Radiation and the Citizen," Scientific American, September 1959, p. 224.
Ignoring the fact that in nature mutations occur only very rarely, it was now hoped that by speeding up the frequency of mutations, an invaluable collection of statistical evidence could be compiled—evidence that, it was hoped, would prove that mutations could indeed produce all the complicated traits in the entire plant and animal kingdoms.
But all that the accelerated research revealed—was the total harmfulness of the mutations. They always injure; they never help.
"There is a reason to believe, however, that exposure to high energy irradiation of any kind, and at any dosage level, is potentially harmful. Mutations are generally proportional to the dosage and the effect is cumulative."—*E.J. Gardner, Principles of Genetics (1964), p. 192.
X-RAYED PLANTS—Then the scientists turned their X-rays on plant genes. They were very surprised at what they discovered! Mutations are NOT the source of nearly all varieties of flowers! Instead, they were caused by genetic factors unrelated to mutations. This was another crushing blow to the evolutionists.
Flower and plant varieties are often very positive and quite beneficial, and it was hoped that they were caused by mutations. But this was not the case. In fact, it was found that X-rays were generally not very effective in inducing variations in plants.
(Even if mutations had been the cause of the many varieties of flowers, for example, those varieties would still involve only changes within kinds and not across kinds.)
As with animal life, so with plants; it was found that most mutations resulted in harmful effects and semi-sterile life forms. Many of the plant mutations involved splitting and re-attaching chromosomes, and most were found to be lethal.
NATURAL CONDITIONS—Next, population geneticists studied the actual way mutations occurred under natural field conditions. Simultaneously, other studies were made of radiation-caused mutations by gamma rays, neutron rays, and various mutagenic chemicals. Large numbers of expensive research projects were funded.
A breakthrough, in causing a dramatic increase in mutated plants, came with the discovery that irradiated "budding eyes" of roses would dramatically increase mutational production in roses. Now much faster, more thorough work on plant mutations could be obtained.
Of the few mutation-induced changes considered "useful" (change in petal number, loss of color, etc.), all of the plants having them were weaker than their unirradiated parents. In the end, all of the "useful ones" failed commercially, since they were not vigorous enough under varying garden conditions. In every instance, even the best of the mutated plant forms were significantly weaker, or had a reduced fertility. The only exceptions were those few that could be given special care throughout their lifetime, such as certain sheltered, in-house ornamental plants.
It became obvious that induced-mutation plant varieties were not able to demonstrate evolution in action, or even in possibility.
THE BAND STUDIES—Still another setback came with the release of the *H.T. Band conclusions in the early 1960s. Band did studies from 1947 to 1962 among naturally occurring fruit flies living outside of laboratories.
One important discovery that she made was that normal natural selection was not eliminating genetic load, or the gradually increasing negative effect of even the slightest mutations. Natural selection did not, as hopefully predicted by the neo-Darwinian theory, weed out the cumulative bad effects of mutations. This meant that, if it were possible for a species to evolve by natural selection alone—or by natural selection plus mutations,—the genetic load of harmful mutations would eventually become so high in a few hundred generations, as to result in all offspring having defects.
But the fact that this is not happening among plants, animals, and man—argues for a Special Creation of the species unit, and for its existence for a relatively short period of time instead of hundreds of thousands of years.
RESISTANT STRAINS—But soon hopes ran high again. It was discovered that strains of bacteria resistant to penicillin, aureomycin, or chloromycetin appeared when these drugs were given for various diseases. Could it be that here were the "beneficial mutations" that science had been searching for, which natural selection was favoring?
These hopes were dashed when it was discovered that those variations did not arise because of exposure to antibiotics, but instead occurred spontaneously at a constant rate—regardless of whether or not antibiotics were present.
"Certain strains of bacteria and flies seemed to be induced which were resistant to penicillin and DDT, after exposure to these chemicals. As will be shown later they already existed and it only seemed that the fittest were surviving."—Walter E. Larnmerts, book review, in Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1977, p. 75.
Most resistant strains were actually natural unmutated varieties. They had always been there, but as the unresistant strains were reduced, the naturally resistant types increased in number for a time.
But then came even worse news: A few resistant strains were found to, indeed, be mutants. But it was obvious that these were always weaker and soon died out from natural causes other than the antibiotics.
In regard to the mutated form: Doses of antibiotic reduce the number of the natural strain, and the mutated form takes over. Then when the antibiotic treatment is stopped, the natural strain increases and the resistant strain soon dies out—because, as a mutated form it never was strong.
So both normal variants and occasional mutated forms can be involved. *Georghiou explains the resistance of houseflies to DDT and certain other chemicals, a resistance which is parallel to that of resistant bacteria. He says it is due to normal variant strains, not mutated forms:
"It is now well established that the development of increased ability in insects to survive exposure is not induced directly by the insecticides themselves. These chemicals do not cause the genetic changes in insects [therefore they are not mutation-inducing agents]; they serve only as selective agents, eliminating the more susceptible insects and enabling the more tolerant survivors to increase and fill the void created by the destruction of susceptible individuals."—*C.P. Georghiou, et al., "Housefly Resistance to lnsecticides," in California Agriculture, 19:8-10.
The resistance of certain strains of bacteria, flies, Indian meal moths, and Anopheles (malaria) mosquitoes to DDT and other pesticides is not evolution, any more than the breeding of new varieties of dogs and cats is evolution.
THE BENZAR STUDIES—Then in the early 1960s, *Seymour Benzer discovered a chemical way to immensely increase mutations, so genetic data could more quickly be obtained. This enabled scientists to do more accurate and in-depth studies of mutations in genes. Using a certain chemical (5-bromouracil), geneticists were able to increase mutations ten-thousand-fold!
This gave the scientists so much statistical data that they were at last able to confirm what they had suspected all along: Mutations were not 99 percent harmful to the DNA and the organism; they were 100 percent harmful!
It was discovered that in EVERY instance, mutations caused some kind of damage—always! The researchers learned that DNA coding in the genes simply will not tolerate much change. More than just the slightest amount will ruin the code and the organism will be greatly weakened.
It is like tossing a stone into the delicate gears of a high-quality machine. Even the simplest organism, with the smallest amount of DNA as its inherent coding, cannot cope successfully with mutations.
DISPROVED BY FOSSIL EVIDENCE—Neo-Darwinists theorized that evolution occurred by many little changes in the genes that gradually changed one species into something ever so slightly different, and then that species changed into something slightly different, and on and on,—until after many transitional species had lived and died, another of the species we have today came into existence.
But there is no evidence in the fossil record of all those transitional species that mutations are supposed to have very gradually produced! The fossil record disproves the mutation theory. (See chapter 12, Fossils and Strata.)
"In rapid evolutionary changes in animal lines the process may have been a typically neo-Darwinian one of the accumulation of numerous small adaptive mutations, but an accumulation at an unusually rapid rate. Unfortunately there is in general little evidence on this point in the fossil record, for intermediate evolutionary forms representative of this phenomenon are extremely rare. ‘Links’ are missing just where we most fervently desire them, and it is all too probable that many ‘links’ will continue to be missing."—*A.S. Romer, chapter in Genetics, Paleontology and Evolution (1963), p. 114.
SEARCHING FOR A WAY—It seems that there is no causal agency for evolution, now that mutations have been shown to be impossible as a means by which it could occur.
First, *Charles Darwin’s theory that evolution resulted from natural selection had to be abandoned. By the early 20th century, it was obvious that scientific evidence did not exist for species change by natural selection. But, in those first decades of the century, the new science of mutation research had begun. So upon the ashes of the theory known as "Darwinism," arose "neo-Darwinism"—which proclaimed that evolutionary change from one kind to another was accomplished through mutations, with later refinements effected by natural selection. But, within a few decades of mutation research on millions of generations of fruit flies, competent geneticists began abandoning it.
Publicly, most evolutionist scientists call themselves neo-Darwinists, but privately they are in a quandary. The evidence that you are reading in this and the previous chapter (on natural selection), which so thoroughly destroys the basis for evolution, is already known to a majority of confirmed evolutionists.
The future indeed looks bleak for their theory, but they continue to make a brave front; and, through various national organizations, they continue to demand that evolution alone be taught in public schools and accredited colleges and universities.
(Clarification: Even though a majority of evolutionist scientists today lean toward saltation [discussed below], yet it too is based on mutations. Therefore they can all be called "neo-Darwinists.")
But some have come up with alternate suggestions that border on the ridiculous:
GOLDSCHMIDT’S HOPEFUL MONSTERS—(*#6/29 Monster Mutations*) *Richard Goldschmidt of the University of California had spent most of his adult life trying to prove that fruit flies could change into new species, but without success.
"After observing mutations in fruit flies for many years, Goldschmidt fell into despair. The changes, he lamented, were so hopelessly micro [small] that if a thousand mutations were combined in one specimen, there would still be no new species."—*Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (1971), p. 33.
So, in desperation, *Goldschmidt proposed his "saltation theory," in which no transitional forms would be necessary. ("Saltation" means "sudden leap" in German.)
According to this theory, all evolution occurred by immense mutational leaps from one life form to another. The strange theory goes something like this:
Every so often a mammoth collection of billions of random mutations occurred all at once—and produced a totally new species. For example, two rabbits produced a male baby skunk and, coincidentally, just over the hill two other rabbits (or some other kind of creature) produced a female skunk! Both baby skunks were able to get enough milk from their mother rabbits so that they grew to maturity and produced all the skunks in the world. That is how the skunks got their start in life.
According to *Goldschmidt this is the way it worked for every other species in the world!
Popularly referred to as the "hopeful monster theory," it taught that one day a reptile laid an egg and a "brown furry thing" hatched out of it. Chance would have it that, when it grew up, this mammal found a mate that had also suddenly by chance hatched out of another reptile egg—and the result was a new species of animal.
Is this science-fiction, Greek myth, or Anderson’s fairy tales? At any rate, it is believed by a number of modern scientists as a solution to the evolutionary problem. This is truly desperation in the extreme.
"Some scientists are proposing even more rapid evolutionary changes and are now dealing quite seriously with ideas once popularized only in fiction."—*John Gliedman, "Miracle Mutations," Science Digest, February 1982, p. 92.
One of the reasons these men can be so bold to invent those impossible stories is because they are dealing with something they know so little about: living tissue, structural networkings, and genetic factors.
"Speculation is free. We know nothing about these regulatory master genes."—*John Gliedman, "Miracle Mutations," Science Digest, February 1982, p. 92 [quoting British zoologist, Colin Patterson].
"Many biologists think new species may be produced by sudden, drastic changes in genes."—*World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 6, p. 335 (1982 edition).
*Richard Goldschmidt was a veteran genetics researcher, and the fruit flies taught him enough lessons that *Goldschmidt totally gave up on the possibility that one-by-one mutations could accomplish the task of evolution. But the truth is that there are no other kinds of mutations!
No mammoth mutations can or would occur. None occurred at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, or Chernobyl. Yet, in regard to a number of mutations suddenly occurring, they are the monster mutation capitals of the world. They did not occur in the irradiated budding eyes of research roses or the thousands of laboratory fruit fly jars. If they had occurred, we would have seen new species form. The 20th century, with all its laboratory and nuclear radiation, has been the century—above all others—for new species to arise. But it has not happened.
STEPHEN GOULD’S PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM—(Also *#4/7*) In 1972, *Stephen Gould of Harvard University, working with *Niles Eldredge, expanded on *Goldschmidt’s idea—and called it "punctuated equilibrium." The May 1977 issue of Natural History carried an article with his position and his reasons for it.
*Goldschmidt was a lifelong geneticist—and found no evidence that mutations could produce evolution.
*Gould was a lifelong paleontologist, and found that there was no fossil evidence for evolution from one species to another.
All the fossils were distinct species, with no halfway species included. All the evidence from the world around us, and the fossil record from the past, points to separate, distinct species, with no transitional species linking them.
In his May 1977 article, *Gould opened up this entire problem—and said that "hopeful monsters" are the only possible answer: entirely new species, which were suddenly born from totally different creatures! One day a lizard laid an egg and a beaver hatched out of it.
Declaring that "we never see the processes we profess to study," *Gould announced his new position, which he described by an awesome new name: "punctuated equilibrium." By this term he means that for 50,000 years or so, there will be no change (an "equilibrium" without any evolution). And then, suddenly (in a very rare "punctuation") and by total chance, two totally different life forms will emerge.
By sheerest chance, one will always be a male and the other a female. Coincidentally, they will always appear at the same time in history, and less than a few miles apart, so they can continue on the new species. Although both multi-billion mutational accidents will have occurred by random chance, and (according to *Gould) about 50,000 years will have elapsed since the previous massive mutated creature,—yet (1) both will be the same new species, (2) one will be male and other female, and (3) both will be born a short distance from one another. And we might add a fourth point: (4) Therefore it is not happening now. (That is why *Gould added the "50,000 years" item.)
*Richard Goldschmidt called them "hopeful monsters." *Stephan Gould later named the process "punctuated equilibrium." Shortly after that, his friend *Steven Stanley gave it the name, "quantum speciation."
All this makes for interesting reading—and laughter and backroom debates by scientists,—but all these efforts by *Goldschmidt, *Gould, *Eldredge, *Stanley, and others to urge sudden multi-billion positive mutational features is really no solution to the crisis that evolution finds itself in. The very theory reveals the depth of desperation on the part of men who know of no other way to prove the impossible.
There are hundreds of thousands of plant and animal species on the earth; yet Gould says each new twofold one could only occur 50,000 years after the preceding one. All eternity itself could not hope to wait around for all these creatures to spring forth.
Everything in nature teaches us that plant and animal life is totally interrelated. Every life form survives because of many other life forms. Waiting for a 20th of a million years between each monster springing forth is too long. Yet—and catch this point—Gould has to stay with lengthy time periods of "equilibrium" while nothing happened—in order to explain why it does not happen today!
Each "new speciation" had to arise on the basis of multi-millions of POSITIVE mutations; yet we today cannot even find ONE positive mutation in millions of observed plant and animal mutations!
Actual "monsters" (which are always hideous) may occasionally occur, but they die out within one generation. *Mayr, another well-known evolutionist, calls these monsters not "hopeful," but "hopeless."
"The occurrence of genetic monstrosities by mutation . . is well substantiated, but they are such evident freaks that these monsters can be designated only as ‘hopeless.’ They are so utterly unbalanced that ‘they would not have the slightest chance of escaping elimination through selection.’ Giving a thrush the wings of a falcon does not make it a better flyer. Indeed, having all the equipment of a thrush, it would probably hardly be able to fly at all . . To believe that such a drastic mutation would ‘produce a viable new type, capable of occupying a new adaptive zone, ‘is equivalent to believing in miracles."—*E. Mayr, "Populations" in Species and Evolution (1970), p. 253.
Scientists recognize that *Steven Jay Gould’s massive mutational change idea would be an impossibility.
It has been said that *Goldschmidt and *Gould’s wild theory has the advantage of being unable to be proven or disproven by the fossil evidence. But that is not correct. Careful examination of the evidence in the sedimentary strata reveals an enormous variety of thousands of different types of fossilized plants and animals—all suddenly there. So even the fossil evidence disproves their theory.
CONCLUSION —(*#7/22 Mutations Cannot Produce Species Evolution / #8/8 More Facts about Mutations*) Natural selection and mutations are the only possible means by which primitive life could evolve into all our present species. But, for many reasons, we have observed that both are totally impossible.
"Obviously, such a process [species change through mutations] has played no part whatever in evolution."—*Julian Huxley, Major Features of Evolution, p. 7.
"As a generative principle, providing the raw material for natural selection, random mutation is inadequate, both in scope and theoretical grounding."—*Jeffrey S. Wicken, "The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion," Journal of Theoretical Biology, April 1979, p. 349.
"In three crucial areas where [the modern evolution theory] can be tested, it has failed: the fossil record reveals a pattern of evolutionary leaps rather than gradual change. Genes are a powerful stabilizing mechanism whose main function is to prevent new forms evolving. Random step-by-step mutations at the molecular level cannot explain the organized and growing complexity of life."—*Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (1982), pp. 103, 107.
"One is rather amazed that a mechanism [a living animal] of such intricacy could ever function properly at all. All this demands a planner and sustainer of infinite intelligence. The simplest man-made mechanism requires a planner and maker. How a mechanism ten thousand times more involved and intricate can be conceived of as self-constructed and self-developed is completely beyond me."—E.C. Kornfield, in John Clover Monsma (ed.), The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe (1958), p. 176.
"It is good to keep in mind . . that nobody has ever succeeded in producing even one new species by the accumulation of micro-mutations. Darwin’s theory of natural selection has never had any proof, yet it has been universally accepted."—*Richard Goldschmidt, Material Basis of Evolution.
"If mutation alone cannot explain the evolutionary process—the origin of life—why is natural selection—[which is] the elimination of the worst mutations, a negative and external agency—the only conceivable alternative?"—Marjorie Grene, "The Faith of Darwinism," Encounter, November 1959, p. 50 [italics ours].
The occasional mutations which occur always produce serious problems. But these are so weakening, that the organism or its offspring are soon weeded out. If mutations only produce negative effects, and natural selection only removes negative effects—how can evolution result?
THE ASTOUNDING THINGS OF NATURE—(*#9 Mutations in Action: The Hummingbird*) This present chapter on Mutations deserves a brief mention of the awesome planning to be found in nature. The careful design and craftsmanship, found in nature, stand in stark contrast with the 100 percent random and harmful nature of mutations.
Here are but two simple examples, which could never be produced by mutations—with or without the help of so-called "natural selection," which is nothing more than random variations within a species:
"The bombardier beetle does appear to be unique in the animal kingdom. Its defense system is extraordinarily intricate, a cross between tear gas and a tommy gun.
"When the beetle senses danger, it internally mixes enzymes contained in one body chamber with concentrated solutions of some rather harmless compounds, hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinones, confined to a second chamber. This generates a noxious spray of caustic benzoquinones, which explodes from its body at a boiling 212o F.
"What is more, the fluid is pumped through twin rear nozzles, which can be rotated, like a B-17’s gun turret, to hit a hungry ant or frog with a bull’s eye accuracy."—*Time, February 25, 1985, p. 70.
"The yucca moth is specifically adapted to the yucca plant and depends on it throughout its life cycle. The yucca plant in turn is adapted to be fertilized by this insect and by no other. The female moth collects a ball of pollen from several flowers, then finds a flower suitable for ovipositing. After depositing her egg in the soft tissue of the ovary, by means of a lance-like ovipositor, she pollinates the flower by pushing the pollen to the bottom of the funnel-shaped opening of the pistil. This permits the larva to feed on some of the developing seeds in the non-parasitized sectors of the fruit to permit the yucca plant abundant reproduction. This perfection of the nuptial adaptation of flower and moth is indeed admirable. Yet, in addition to this pollination and egg-laying relationship, there are numerous other adaptations, such as the emergence of the moths in early summer some ten months after pupation, precisely at the time when the yucca plants are in flower. Could blind chance have achieved such perfection?"—*Ernst Mayr, "Accident or Design, The Paradox of Evolution," in The Evolution of Living Organisms (1962), pp. 1, 3.
"It is a considerable strain on one’s credulity to assume that the famous yucca moth case could result from random mutations."—*Ernst Mayr, Systematics and the Origin of Species (1942), p. 296.
WHERE THE EVOLUTIONISTS CAN FIND ALL THE MUTATIONS THEY WANT—(*#5/5 An Evolutionist’s Paradise*) It is possible in our world today, for evolutionists to research mammoth quantities of mutations on animals, plants,—and humans too! We have had one such research center since 1945; another since 1986.
Some might say that there has not been enough time for such paradises to propagate new species, but it is well-known among thinking scientists that new species would have to be rapidly produced or they would die. Living organisms are far too complicated to live long with only part of their revised organs in place. So there definitely has been enough time!
HIROSHIMA—Here is an outstanding research laboratory, in which to examine the noble and uplifting consequences of radiation on human genetic tissue.
It was a beautiful morning with not a cloud in the sky. The date was August 6, 1945, the time 8:00 a.m. A single plane was in the sky. Then its bomb-bay doors opened.
When the bomb reached 1850 feet, a radar echo set off an ordinary explosion inside. This drove a wedge of U-235 into a larger piece of U-235, setting off a blast with the force of 13,000 tons [11,794 mt] of TNT. As a result, more than 4½ square miles [11.7 km2] of the city were destroyed. The "Little Boy" atomic bomb exploded only 800 feet from on-target, and essentially destroyed the city. Over 92,000 persons were dead or missing.
The living were worse off than the dead, for radiation poured into their bodies from the explosion and the after-radiation cloud. The name the Japanese gave to the miserable survivors was hibakusha. These poor creatures struggled with radiation-damaged bodies through the remainder of their shortened lives. Researchers studied them for decades; not one of them evolved into a different species or a new super race.
CHERNOBYL—In the case of Chernobyl, we have an exceedingly broad area that was irradiated. This evolutionist’s paradise is much larger!
At 1:24 a.m., local time, on April 26, 1986, one or two explosions rocked the plant and blew apart reactor No. 4—and produced the worst nuclear plant accident in modern history. The blast(s) tore off a thousand-ton lid resting on the reactor core and tore a hole in the building’s side and roof. Several tons of uranium dioxide fuel and fision products, such as cesium 137 and iodine 131, were hurled into the air. The explosion and heat sent up a 3-mile (5-km) plume of smoke laden with contaminants.
By Soviet accounts, 50 megacuries of the most dangerous radionuclides were released into the atmosphere, plus 50 megacuries of chemically inert radioactive gases. (In comparison, 17 curies were released in the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979.)
With four working reactors and two more being built, Chernobyl was destined to be one of the most powerful nuclear power stations in the Soviet Union. Located in the heart of some of the best agricultural regions of the nation, a sizeable population lived in towns, cities, and communes on all sides of it.
Within ten days, clouds of deadly irradiated dust traveled northwest over Poland and into Scandinavia, and thence south to Greece, spreading contaminates throughout Eastern Europe. Then it blew eastward over the length of the Soviet Union, and a small amount of it even reached California (*"Chernobyl: One Year After," National Geographic, May 1987).
Soon after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, Soviet officials ordered the permanent evacuation of all villages within 19 miles [30.6 km] of the power plant. What they did not immediately recognize was that heavy nuclear fallout covered a much broader area. In some parts of Narodichi, a Ukrainian agricultural district whose boundaries lie some 37 miles [59.5 km] from the reactor, levels of radioactivity are still nine times as high as the acceptable limits.
Apri1 27, 1990, news report: Three years and one day after the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, 800,000 children in the Byelorussian Province of the Soviet Union, located north of Chernobyl, urgently need medical treatment as a result of the radiation received from that accident.
What about the plants and animals? A spring 1990 study, done 3 years after the meltdown by the chief economist of a Soviet government institute, calculates that the cost of Chernobyl including the price of the cleanup and the value of lost farmland and production, could run as high as $358 billion—20 times as much as earlier official estimates.
Did this mutational paradise help the plants? No fabulously new crops have been produced. Instead, the entire farm crop situation was terribly worsened. Plants sickened and died. Plants continue to sicken and die.
Did this mutational paradise help the livestock? Because the radiation cloud from the 1987 meltdown went into the very soil, every passing year brings more and more birth defects among farm animals. Colts with eight limbs, deformed lower jaws, and disjointed spinal columns have been born. The Yun Gagarin collective farm in Vyazovka has produced 197 freak calves. Some of the animals had no eyes, deformed skulls, and distorted mouths. At a farm in Malinovka, about 200 pigs, damaged in one way or another, have been born since the accident. We are viewing an evolutionist’s paradise in action!
But not only externally observed changes have occurred, internal organs are, on an ongoing basis, being damaged also. This is regularly producing fetal abortions, stillbirths, and infant deaths among the animals.
What about the people? From Fall 1988 to Spring 1999, there has begun a dramatic rise in thyroid disease, anemia, and cancer. Residents are complaining of fatigue, as well as loss of vision and appetite. An astounding drop in the immunity level of the entire population in that region has occurred. People have a difficult time recovering from the simplest infection, and children are affected even more than grownups.
The poisoning of the land by radiation has caused dire health problems. The radiation affects non-genetic tissue; and within reproductive cells it causes mutations in the DNA, which produce deformed or dead offspring.
And what about those new species? Not one has occurred. No new species have come into existence. No furry creatures have hatched from eggs. The species there are the same ones that have always been there; only now they are damaged and dying.
Ironically, we know so much about this because of the dedicated efforts of Igor Kostin, the first man to photograph the Chernobyl accident from the air. Since 1987, he returned to the reactor six times and has spent hundreds of hours in the Chernobyl area, and traveled extensively throughout the regions surrounding it, documenting the ongoing tragedy on film for the world. But his heroic efforts to make that information available damaged his own body. Exposed to 5 times the acceptable level of radiation, he became constantly tired and sometimes had trouble walking. But he kept leaving his home, in Kiev, and journeying to Chernobyl, so the world can know what is happening there. He died in the 1990s.
News report, April 1991: A Soviet government ministry announced that instead of an official "37 people" who have died as a result of the Chernobyl accident, the figure approximates 10,000 deaths to date.
THREE TYPES OF EVOLUTIONISTS—Because natural selection and mutations are the only two means by which evolution could possibly take place, it seems appropriate at the conclusion of these two chapters to discuss certain underlying teachings of evolutionary thinking. When you buy the theory, you get the whole package.
Darwinists adhere to *Darwin’s idea that natural selection is the sole mechanism (although in a later book, *Darwin rejected it—and returned to Lamarckism, the inheritance of acquired characteristics).
Neo-Darwinists declare that the mechanisms by which evolution occurred and are now occurring are mutations, which are then refined by natural selection.
Hopeful monster advocates pin their hopes on sudden, massive mutations, producing a new species all at once. Their view is that a billion-billion beneficial mutations occur every 50,000 years in two newborns—a male and a female—located a short distance apart.
Until the 1930s, the Darwinists were in the majority; thereafter the neo-Darwinists held sway until the early 1980s, when many turned to the hopeful monster view.
Although they hide it from the general public, the evolutionists feel rather hopeless about the situation.
EIGHT STRANGE TEACHINGS OF EVOLUTION—Evolutionary theory is founded on eight pillars of foolishness. The three types of evolutionists accept the following eight points as absolute truth:
(1) Evolution operates in a purposeless manner. The mechanisms must be purposeless. Otherwise they would indicate an Intelligence at work, and evolutionists fear to consider this possibility.
(2) Evolution operates in a random manner. Anything can happen, and in any possible way. Once again, there must be no intimation of Intelligence at work.
On the basis of the two mechanisms (mutations and natural selection) and the two modes (purposelessness and randomness), only confusion; disorientation; randomness; and ever-failing, useless results could occur.
But evolutionists fiercely maintain that the two mechanisms and two modes operate specifically in six ways. The following six sub-hypotheses of evolution run totally contrary to the above two hypotheses.
(3) Evolution operates upward, never downward. Although they do not say it that bluntly very often, by this they mean that evolutionary processes always produce positive results,—outcomes that are always improvements on what the organism was like previously.
"Natural selection allows the successes, but ‘rubs out’ the failures. Thus, selection creates complex order, without the need for a designing mind. All of the fancy arguments about a number of improbabilities, having to be swallowed at one gulp, are irrelevant. Selection makes the improbable, actual."—*Michael Ruse, Darwinism Defended (1982), p. 308.
(4) Evolution operates irreversibly. By this they mean that evolution can only "go in one direction," as they call it. A frog, for example, may evolve into a bird; but, by some strange quirky "law" of evolution, the process cannot reverse! A bird will never evolve into a frog, nor will a vertebrate evolve into a worm. A monkey can produce human children, but people will never produce monkeys. It is indeed strange how the evolutionists’ random actions can only go in a certain direction!
"The still more remarkable fact is that this evolutionary drive to greater and greater order also is irreversible. Evolution does not go backward."—*J.H. Rush, The Dawn of Life (1962), p. 35.
This theory of irreversibility is known as Dollo’s Law. *Dollo first stated it in 1893 in this way:
"An organism is unable to return, even partially, to a previous stage already realized in the ranks of its ancestors."—*Dollo, quoted in "Ammonites Indicate Reversal," in Nature, March 21, 1970.
*Gerald Smith of the University of Michigan has reported finding "reversals" in the fossil record of Idaho fishes. In his article, he suggests there are many such cases of reversals in the fossil record; but that they are considered "anomalies" and not reported (*Gerald R. Smith, "Fishes of the Pliocene Glenns Ferry Formation, Southwest Idaho," Papers on Paleontology, No. 14, 1975, published by the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology).
*Bjom Kurten, a Finnish paleontologist, writes about fossil lynxes, which lost a tooth, and then regained it. (We are elsewhere told that some lynxes today have it and some do not.) In commenting on the discovery, Kurten says:
"Even more astonishing is the fact that this seems to be coupled with the re-appearance of M2, a structure unknown in Felidae since the Miocene. All of this, of course, is completely at variance with one of the most cherished principles of evolutionary paleontology, namely Dollo’s Law. This would then be an example of a structure totally lost and then regained in similar form,—which is something that simply cannot happen according to Dollo’s Law."—*Bjorn Kurten, "Return of a Lost Structure in the Evolution of the Felid Dentition," in Societas Scientiarum Fennica, Commentationes Biologicae, XXVI(4):3 (1963).
Whether or not the tooth disappeared for a time, the species it was in never changed.
Random mutations modified by random actions ("natural selection" is nothing more than random action) do not operate in one direction only. If you take a deck of cards or a pile of dominos and kick them around awhile, they will not gradually work themselves into a better and still better numerical sequence. Random actions just do not produce such results.
(5) Evolution operates from smaller to bigger. This particular point is called Cope’s law by the evolutionists. We are here dealing with size. Small creatures are said to always evolve into larger ones, but never into smaller ones. On this basis, evolutionists came up with their "horse series," which we will discuss in chapter 17, Evolutionary Showcase.
But any paleontologist can tell you that fossils were often much larger in the past than they are today. For example, sharks; but, of course, they were still sharks.
"To whatever extent Cope’s ‘Law’ may have applied during the formation of fossiliferous strata, it appears that its trend is now reversed. Practically all modern plants and animals, including man, are represented in the fossil record by larger specimens than are now living (e.g., giant beaver, saber-tooth tiger, mammoth, cave bear, giant bison, etc.)." —John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris, Genesis Flood (1961), p. 285.
"Since man lived at least 11 times longer before the Flood, the mammals, birds, insects, fish and reptiles lived longer than they do today. Therefore, they were getting larger, heavier, and changing in various ways. Compare a 50 year-old elephant to a 200 year-old wooly mammoth. They differ primarily in size, weight, length of tusks and amount of hair."—Bany Busfield, "Where are the Dinosaurs Now?" in Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 1982, p. 234.
(6) Evolution operates from less complex to more complex. Because of this hypothesis, evolutionists are particularly devastated by the statements of scientists, that the forms of life in the Cambrian (the lowest) sedimentary level are very complex.
"For years evolutionists have been constructing phylogenetic or evolutionary ‘family trees’ on the basis of the supposed ‘one way’ character of the fossil record. Using present day specialized forms, they have gone back into the fossil record looking for more generalized ancestors of the present day forms."—Marvin L. Lubenow, "Reversals in the Fossil Record," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 1977, p. 186.
We will learn later that in the lowest layer of strata (the Cambrian), laid down by the Flood, was buried a wide variety of complex creatures. Below the Cambrian, there are no life forms.
The science of random action and random numerical order and operations is known as "probabilities." Any mathematician or student of probabilities will tell you that randomness never (1) works exclusively from less complex ordered designs to more complex ordered designs, and (2) in fact, randomness never produces any complex order of any kind! Random actions only result in disarray and confusion. Randomness ruins, crumbles, and scatters. It never builds, produces better organization, or more involved complexity.
(7) Evolution operates from less perfect to more perfect. This teaching directly clashes with another theory of Darwinists, that evolution produces useless organs or "vestiges" (see chapter 16, "Vestiges and Recapitulation").
(8) Evolution is not repeatable. *Patterson declares that evolutionary theory is safe from the prying eye of scientific analysis, for it deals with events "which are unrepeatable."
"If we accept Popper’s distinction between science and non-science, we must ask first whether the theory of evolution by natural selection is scientific or pseudo-scientific (metaphysical). Taking the first part of the theory, that evolution has occurred, it says that the history of life is a simple process of species-splitting and progression. This process must be unique and unrepeatable, like the history of England. This part of the theory is therefore a historical theory, about unique events, and unique events are, by definition, not part of science, for they are unrepeatable, and so not subject to test."—*Colin Patterson, Evolution (1978), pp. 145-146.
*Dobzhansky, another resolute evolutionist, agreed:
"The evolutionary happenings . . of paleontology and paleobiology are unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible."—*T. Dobzhansky, "On Methods of Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology," in American Scientist 45 (1957), p. 388.
SCIENTISTS SAY IT IS NOT SCIENTIFIC—Elsewhere, *Patterson again reiterated the past occurrence of evolution, and agreed with *Karl Popper (the leading evolutionist philosopher of the twentieth century) that the theory was "metaphysical" and not "scientific." They tell the public that evolution is "scientific," but among themselves, they admit it is something quite different.
"So, at present, we are left with neo-Darwinian theory: that evolution has occurred, and has been directed mainly by natural selection, with random contributions from genetic drift, and perhaps the occasional hopeful monster. In this form, the theory is not scientific by Popper’s standards. Indeed, Popper calls the theory of evolution not a scientific theory but a metaphysical research programme."—*Colin Patterson, Evolution (1978), p. 149.
Thus, the experts tell us that there is no evidence for evolution. Yet, if any evidence could be found in defense of the theory, you can be assured the evolutionists would be quick to bring it forward and triumphantly declare their theory to now rank in the category of "science."
According to their theory, evolution is "not repeatable." By that, they mean that each species was made only one time. —But if evolution did not repeat itself at least twice, making male and female, how then did the new species reproduce?
Evolution reminds us of a giant puzzle, which keeps getting bigger the more we work at it. The more we try to solve the problem, the more there is to solve. It is a never-ending task.
Of course there is a simple solution: Just trash the whole theory.
"Throughout the past century there has always existed a significant minority of first-rate biologists who have never been able to bring themselves to accept the validity of Darwinian claims. In fact, the number of biologists who have expressed some degree of disillusionment is practically endless."—*Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1986), p. 327.
Try as they might, scientists cannot figure out how to make light without 94.5% of the energy being used as heat. But the firefly, Photinus, makes light with 90% of the energy for that purpose. The glow of a firefly contains only 1/80,000 of the heat that would be produced by a candle flame of equal size. One scientist spent his lifetime studying the luciferin in fireflies, without success. Many other researchers have tackled the problem, and have also failed.
The diving spider is a regular spider which breathes air but spends most of its time under water. Diving under water with a bubble, and fastening it to vegetation, the spider uses it for air and a nest. The living and nesting habits of this spider are complex and amazing. As soon as the babies are born, they do their part in diving and helping the family.
Many creatures have, what scientists call, the "wonder net." This is a special arrangement of blood vessels that certain animals need in order to conserve heat in their bodies.
A man standing with his bare feet in cold water would not survive long, but a wading bird can stand in cold water all day, and the whale and seal swim in the arctic with naked fins and flippers, continually bathing them in freezing water.
All such warm-blooded creatures have to maintain a steady body temperature. How do they manage to do this?
They use what biologists call a "counter-current exchange." It is a method of heat exchange used in industry.
In animals it is called rete irabile, or "wonder net." The blood in one vessel flows in the opposite direction to that of an adjacent vessel, and in this way warm blood passes on its heat to the colder blood. It is equivalent to a double layer of circulating blood.
How did all those different animals, varying so widely from one another, figure out how to do that?
1 - A good definition of natural selection would be "random action." Why would "harmful genetic change" be a good definition of a mutation?
2 - Explain each of the four primary qualities of mutations. If mutations only had one of those four qualities, could they still produce cross-species evolution?
3 - There is a lot of hopeful talk in evolutionary circles about "good mutations." Have scientists found a single really beneficial mutation?
4 - Why are mutations likened to automobile accidents?
5 - Briefly explain the difference between Darwinian evolution and neo-Darwinian evolution.
6 - Mutations are accidents that are random. Can the random aspect help the accidents improve the organism receiving the mutation?
7 - A human body is a complicated mechanism, so is a television set. From the standpoint of delicate interrelationships, all of which must work efficiently for the entire system to function properly, why is inserting a mutation into a person similar to hitting a TV set with a hammer or changing one of its wires?
8 - Do random mutations provide the proper additional information for the DNA to effectively use them?
9 - Write a brief report on the sickle-cell anemia problem and why it is not really beneficial.
10 - Why do the decades of fruit fly research clearly show that mutations could not produce beneficial improvements, much less new species?
11- Why did the Benzar discovery definitely establish the 100 percent harmfulness of mutations?
12 - Write a report on why the hopeful monster theory could not be correct. Explain several specific problems confronting the theory.
13 - Select two of the six strange teachings of evolution, and explain why they are so amazingly imaginative and could not succeed in reality.