8 Do Mutations Produce New Life Forms?
When I began to feel the pressure of having no experimentally verifiable facts to substantiate my position as a theistic evolutionist, I turned to what I thought was my ace in the hole: Genetics. Didn’t everyone know that the science of genetics had irrevocably shown evolution in progress? Without mutations (changes in the genes and chromosomes), there is no evolutionary change. The question my students asked was, “Do mutations produce new life forms or improvements in present life forms?” Naturally, I assumed they produce new forms and I thought I could prove it from the scientific literature. I was due for another rude awakening!
Many creationists102 and evolutionists study the phenomenon of genetic mutation. Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard expressed the predominant view of evolutionists: “Ultimately, all variation is, of course, due to mutation.”103 Dr. Mayr instructs us that all variation (different types of plants and animals) observable in life is due to changes in the genes and chromosomes. These mutations occur in the make-up of DNA.
Dna: Language Of The Cell
DNA, the basic information system of the cell, contains the blue prints needed to manufacture 2,000 or more different proteins. Each of these proteins is manufactured in little “cell-factories” at the direction of the DNA and is essential for the maintenance of life. So, which came first? If DNA is essential in the manufacturing process of proteins, and the manufacturing process produces the proteins essential to DNA, then you can’t have one without the other. This means they both must have been created fully functional and at exactly the same point in time. In other words, God must have created the information system of all cells at a point in time and fully functional. Proteins are necessary to make DNA, but DNA is needed to make proteins! DNA provides the instructions to the chemical factories inside the cell for making itself.
Scientists call DNA the “language of the cell.” All scientists agree that language requires intelligence. Notice that language is information and information is non-material. Could there be an implication here that DNA, the “language of the cell,” required non-material intelligence to create it? Could it be that DNA was created fully functional in all the different kinds of life by an intelligent designer God, Who ingeniously inserted thousands and thousands of pages of unbelievably complex technical information into some microscopic strands of protein called DNA? The God of the Bible, Who is infinite in His wisdom, would have no trouble here!
Evolution offers no answers to this weighty problem of the volumes of information carried by the DNA. Information requires intelligence. Evolutionary theory claims no activity of intelligence in the evolution of life forms. Yet, the God of Creation proclaims through His Holy Scriptures, “I created, created, created!”
How does a professor who is a believer in evolution on a university campus answer the following syllogism?
Language is caused by intelligence.
DNA is the language of the cell.
Therefore DNA had an intelligent cause.
The professors answer with silence!
The genetic information of DNA cannot be improved upon in any normal, healthy organism. Natural selection, or “survival of the fittest,” does not produce new genes; it merely selects the best-suited animal or plant life for a specific niche or environment. This is adaptation to a specific environment and not mutation. Yet, mutation is the only mechanism scientists have proposed to generate the “new” genetic information needed for evolutionary change in the molecules-to-man model. This presents an enormous problem for the evolution model, especially when we learn that mutation in a gene is a rare event.104
How could life have evolved into all its millions of forms if the very mechanism that causes it to evolve (mutation) is a rare event? Most scientists would agree that when mutations do occur in nature, they are either harmful to the organism or harmless (silent mutations), but there has never been an observed beneficial mutation that added new genetic information.
The process of mutation is the only source of the raw materials of genetic variability, and hence, of evolution.... The mutants which arise are, with rare exceptions, deleterious to their carriers, at least in the environments which the species normally encounters (Theodosius Dobzhansky).105
Dobzhansky spent his professional life breeding and mutating fruit flies. In the end, he had somewhat strange fruit flies, but fruit flies nonetheless. Some of those flies were not even able to reproduce because they had become sterile. Dobzhansky writes that mutations are the only source of evolution, but that they are almost always harmful (which means, the mutation makes the life-form that gets the mutation in its genes, less able to survive where it lives). I might, again, add here that mutations are harmless or neutral at best, lethal at worst, and never have been proven in undisturbed nature to be beneficial. So, why do evolutionists continue to put so much faith in mutations as the chief mechanism for their evolutionary existence? It seems obvious that they do not want to “let a Divine foot in the door.”106
If “survival of the fittest” is true, then the harmful mutations should contribute to extinctions, not to new and better life forms. Of course, what we observe in nature are extinctions of plants and animals rather than emerging, new life forms. There are millions of living things, from plants and animals to insects, but we hear almost weekly of more extinctions. How many newly evolved creatures have you heard about in your lifetime? With all the millions of living things in the world, surely mutations are happening, and something is or has evolved into something else somewhere. The evolutionists are frantically searching for the smallest hint that something will produce new genetic information equipping it to evolve into a new biological entity to prove their theory to be true.
Are Dogs Evolving?
Some of you may have heard the argument that dog-breeding experiments have proven evolution to be true. In fact, it proves just the opposite. Beginning with the Mongolian brown haired dog, you can selectively breed poodles, St. Bernards, dalmatians, golden retrievers, rat terriers, blood hounds, collies, chihuahuas or any of 250 different dog breeds. But, you obtain those dog breeds by loss of genetic information, not by gaining any new genetic information. You will never regain lost genetic material. A poodle will not revert back into another breed of dog because the genetic information has been permanently lost—unless Mr. Stud Mongrel Heinz 57 jumps over your back fence to supply some extra genetic material!
Are Guppies Evolving?
A few years ago, the evolutionary community presented to the public one of their examples of evolution in progress. It was a guppy family that had been separated from their old friends for several years. When the guppies were reunited, they would not mate. Evolutionists consider a life-form to be a new species when it will no longer mate with its old friends. Maybe the guppy didn’t smell good when it came back from its temporary environment. Or maybe its old friends didn’t recognize it, or maybe the researchers didn’t wait long enough to see if the guppy would be accepted again. The fact is that both populations of guppies were still unmistakably identifiable to scientists and laymen as guppies. Where is the evidence for the evolution of one creature into another when, after eleven years of breeding guppies, they are still guppies?
Even if these fishes refuse to breed with each other and are therefore categorized as a new species of guppy, does this prove evolution of one kind into another kind of creature? People have devised their definitions of and limits to species, but God refers to “kinds” in the Genesis account. Biblically, there are certain boundaries that no living form can cross. A specific “kind” of creature will never evolve into another “kind” of creature. Guppies are fish. Within the fish-kind there is a lot of room for change, even “evolutionary” change, but fish will forever be fish—big ones, little ones, fresh water and salt water, but still fish.
Is there intellectual integrity and honesty when scientists tell us in school and college that the chief mechanism in our ever upward and onward evolutionary process is mutation in the genes when they say in the scientific literature that mutations are harmful or deadly or neutral? “Mutations are more than just sudden changes in heredity; they also affect viability, and, to the best of our knowledge, invariably affect it adversely” (Evolutionist C.P. Martin).107,108 ,109
So, we learn that mutations in a healthy life-form invariably cause harmful changes or death (lethal) to the organism. How does evolution from molecules-to-man occur if the very process that supposedly causes it to happen, in truth, harms or kills the organism? To put this another way, why did the evolutionary scientists evacuate the area when the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania and the one in Russia at Chernobyl leaked radiation? Why didn’t these scientists move their families into the area to be irradiated so mutations might develop and they could evolve into the next higher life form? The scientists knew that their offspring would inherit unhealthy characteristics from the radiation. They got away from the mutation-causing radiation as fast as they could!
Professor of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, James Crow writes:
...mutants would usually be detrimental. For a mutation is a random change of a highly organized reasonably smoothly functioning living body. A random change in the highly integrated system of chemical processes which constitute life is almost certain to impair it—just as a random interchange of connections in a television set is not likely to improve the picture.110
Dr. Crow’s analogy is accurate. All of us know that stirring up and haphazardly reattaching wires in the back of a T.V. set will not improve the picture. In the same way, random changes in the genes do not improve our ability to live and function. As a matter of fact, no scientist has yet observed a random mutation produce a new hormone, enzyme, or simple organ.111 Nevertheless, they teach us and our children the lie that we are here because our primeval ancestors had mutations occur in their genes that caused them to evolve higher and higher until, here we are. Magic! Listen to the words of the famous evolutionist from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Loren Eiseley:
With the failure of these many efforts [to prove evolution to be true], science was left in the somewhat embarrassing position of having to postulate theories of living origins which it could not demonstrate. After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort could not be proved to take place today had in truth, taken place in the primeval past [Emphasis added].112
One of the world’s leading experts on plant evolution and fossil plants, Dr. E. J. H. Corner of Cambridge University dogmatically states:
The theory of evolution is not merely the theory of the origin of species, but the only explanation of the fact that organisms can be classified into this hierarchy of natural affinity. Much evidence can be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution— from biology, bio-geography and paleontology, but I still think that, to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special creation [Emphasis added].113
According to expert Corner, there is no evidence for the evolution of plants. In fact, when plants are studied closely they appear to be a special creation!
A good example of a “very special creation” in the plant kingdom is the Ophrys stylidium orchid. One day I typed “flower” into my Internet search engine and that led me to the Ophrys orchids. You will most probably never have read about the stylidium orchid in your public school or university textbooks because it is impossible to describe in evolutionary terms! This amazing little flower is designed to bring glory to its Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The orchid has its petals and on the end of one of the stamens (little things that stick up in the middle of a flower) is a configuration that looks like a certain species of female wasp. How does evolution explain a flower that mimics a particular insect? The aroma that the orchid puts out is the same aroma that the female wasp puts out when she is looking for Mr. Wasp. So Mr. Wasp is flying around looking for Mrs. Wasp and he smells the aroma. He looks down and sees Mrs. Wasp, but it is the flower mimicking the female wasp. Mr. Wasp swoops down and lands on the flower. Well, does he get a big surprise! The part of the flower that looks and smells like Mrs. Wasp is on a hinge-action, spring-loaded joint. When the male lands on this part of the flower, the spring-loaded joint flips him down into the flower and pollen sacs attach to his head.
As the astonished male wasp climbs out of the flower, he must be thinking, “I think I’ll find a different Mrs. Wasp.” He is fooled again and is “popped” into another orchid. This time the pollen sacs on his head are exchanged for some new ones and he just pollinated the orchid. For two weeks, the male goes from flower, “pop,” to flower, “pop,” to flower.
Two weeks after the males mature, the females mature. Once the real Mrs. Wasp comes on the scene, the male will never again go back to the orchid. Here is another problem for the evolutionist: The timing must be perfect or the orchid will not be pollinated and will go extinct in one generation. There is a two-week window when the flower is mature and ready to pollinate, which must be the same two-week window when the male wasp is mature and is looking for the female wasp, but it must be the same two weeks that she is not yet on the scene!
The even more amazing fact is that there are many varieties of these orchids and each one mimics a different wasp or bee or fly! It is such a shame that there are so many truly wonderful things that our dear Lord has made for us to enjoy and for us to study and to give him glory and praise, and we have been taught nothing about them. As of 2002, they still are not in our children’s textbooks.
The field of botany (plants) does not prove evolution. Yet, evolutionists like Dr. Corner still believe in an evolutionary mythological system. He is trusting his compatriots in “biology, bio-geography and paleontology” to prove evolution to be true. In Corner’s field (plants), special creation appears to be the best option. AND, PUTTING ALL THE EVIDENCE TOGETHER, SPECIAL CREATION IS THE BEST OPTION!
If there is no evidence for the evolution of people or plants, then is there any evidence for the evolution of fish?
Evolution Of Fish
The geological record has so far provided no evidence as to the origin of the fishes,...[J.R. Norman (British Museum of Natural History)].114
According to these experts, there is no evidence for the evolution of plants, and no evidence for the evolution of fish. What about amphibians?
Evolution Of Amphibians
...none of the known fishes is thought to be directly ancestral to the earliest land vertebrates. Most of them lived after the first amphibians appeared, and those that came before show no evidence of developing the stout limbs and ribs that characterized the primitive tetrapods…. Since the fossil material provides no evidence of other aspects of the transformation from fish to tetrapod, paleontologists have had to speculate how legs and aerial breathing evolved [Barbara J. Stahl (Emphasis added)].115
No evidence for the evolution of plants and no evidence for fish. What’s more, the only evidence for amphibians is the “speculations” of the fossil experts. Speculation is just a big word for “guess.” A guess is not proof that legs and aerial breathing evolved! The evidence, then, for evolution of creatures, as they supposedly developed the ability to crawl out of water and live as land animals, is in the imagination of the evolutionist. There are no fossils and no facts to support belief in the evolution of amphibians from fish. How about birds?
Evolution Of Birds
The [evolutionary] origin of birds is largely a matter of deduction. There is no fossil evidence of the stages through which the remarkable change from reptile to bird was achieved (Evolutionist, W.E. Swinton).116
The evolution of birds is a “matter of deduction.” “Deduction” in this case is a polite synonym for imagination. The evolutionists are back to guessing again. There is not a single, undisputed fossil that shows the evolutionary transitions of cold-blooded reptiles into warm-blooded birds.
The Pacific Golden Plover
The Pacific Golden Plover is a good example of a bird that cannot be described in evolutionary terms. Alaska is its summer nesting grounds and Hawaii its winter home. Golden plover hens raise their young each summer in Alaska. As soon as the young can fend for themselves, the adults take off for Hawaii, leaving the young behind. The young must gain strength and weight to get ready for their long flight to winter with their parents.
The average weight of the golden plover before it leaves Alaska to fly to Hawaii is 200 grams. It is a small bird about the size of a pigeon. It is also a bird that does not swim! Researchers have concluded that 70 grams of its 200 grams is burnable energy. The rate at which the bird burns fuel when flying is about one gram per hour. This means right at 70 hours of flight is possible. Now we have a potentially disastrous situation. The flight to Hawaii takes 88 hours of continuous, non-stop flight! The little bird must fly for three days and four nights without food or rest or stopping at all. Impossible! How does it do this?
The birds fly in a formation that breaks the wind, taking less energy to fly. New leaders are constantly rotating in and out. Formation flight saves energy and when the birds arrive in Hawaii, they have as much as 6 grams of fuel left over. God must have built the reserve fuel supply into the plover in case of a strong head wind along the way.
Scientists are not certain how the plovers navigate from Alaska to Hawaii and back, since there is no land under their flight path. Utilization of earth’s magnetic field seems to be the best solution at this point. Some have suggested that they use the sun and stars. And how do the young birds find their way to Hawaii without an experienced adult guide, weeks after their parents have already flown back to Hawaii? A one-degree mistake in navigation over the more than 4,000 kilometer flight and the birds miss Hawaii completely! But they never miss! The God of the Bible is the guiding force behind the incredible endurance and navigational abilities of the little golden plover. Nothing is too difficult or impossible for our Creator!
Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee (Jeremiah 32:17).
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me (Jeremiah 32:27)?
A major problem for evolution is the migration of the golden plover over ocean water with no place to rest between Alaska and Hawaii. Evolutionists usually teach that migratory animals learn their migratory routes over time and with experience. Let us imagine a newly evolved bird that will evolve into a migratory bird. Our warm-blooded bird arrives in Texas after a lengthy, mindless, purposeless, random chance, accidental evolution from a flightless, cold-blooded reptile. [How does a cold-blooded reptile give birth to a warm-blooded bird? This is a major leap of faith for an evolutionist!]
Our evolving bird discovers that Texas gets a bit too cold in winter, so it flies down to Mexico for the winter. Each year or so, it flies further north for the summer and further south for the winter. Finally, it finds just the right climate for summer and winter and migrates between these two places from then on. I think the God of the Bible made the little Pacific golden plover to totally discredit this kind of evolutionary teaching! It had to make its full migratory flight the very first time (and every time after that) or it would drop into the ocean and drown.
According to the evolutionary experts cited above, evolution is grossly lacking in hard evidence! Although we are told that mutations are good because they generate new life and produce evolution, we do not see this “good” happening in reality. Genetic mutations cannot be the driving force behind evolution. Nor do the evolutionists provide evidence to prove the evolution of any creature.
Time Generates Miracles
But what if earth history was counted in billions of years? The old argument always comes along at this point that anything can happen in a mindless, purposeless, totally random chance, accidental system, if it is given enough time. The miracle of life can come from informationless dead chemicals if given enough time. We will discuss the “billions of years” argument in Chapter 9.
For Your Information!
A short discussion of “information” may be helpful at this point. Dr. Werner Gitt is a specialist in information transmission and technology. In his informative book, In the Beginning was Information, he records several impossibility theorems dealing with information.
It is impossible to set up, store, or transmit information without using a code.
It is impossible to have a code apart from a free and deliberate convention.
It is impossible that information can exist without having had a mental source.
It is impossible for information to exist without having been established voluntarily by a free will.
It is impossible for information to exist without all five hierarchical levels: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and apobetics.
It is impossible that information can originate in statistical processes.117
Dr. Gitt continues by saying:
Information is nonmaterial, but it requires material media for storage and transmission.
Information is not life, but the information in cells is essential for all living beings.
Information is a necessary prerequisite for life.
Life is nonmaterial, and it is not information, but both entities, matter and information, are essential for life.118
According to Dr. Gitt, information is not life, but is necessary for life (as we all know). Since information needs a code, and a code requires a mental source, mindless evolution of new genetic information is technically impossible!
Before leaving Chapter 8, let us not forget that changes in the information content of the genes (random mutations) do not improve present life-forms. Nor is there any solid factual evidence that mindless, random genetic changes generate new information for plants or animals. The evacuation of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl to escape radiation leaks spoke volumes! (If, indeed, mutations are helpful and information can be added to the genes, then we should gladly and willingly expose ourselves to radiation-caused gene changes to “improve” our evolutionary opportunities and evolve into the next higher life form!)
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth (Psalm 8:3-9)!
102 Dr. Walter Brown wrote a paper several years ago on the evidences for creation. In his footnotes was a selection of quotes from the pro-evolutionary literature dealing with genetics. For this valuable information, please contact Dr. Walter Brown, The Center for Scientific Creation, 5612 North 20th Place, Phoenix, AZ 85016.
103 Ernst Mayr, Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Philadelphia: Wister Institute Press, 1967), p. 50.
104 “Although mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation, it is a relatively rare event...” (Francisco Ayala, “The Mechanics of Evolution,” Scientific American, September 1978, p. 63).
105 Theodosius Dobzhansky, “On Methods of Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology,” American Scientist, Winter, December 1957, p. 385.
106 See: Lewontin, p.34.
107 C. P. Martin, “A Non-Geneticist Looks at Evolution,” American Scientist, January 1953, p. 162.
108 “If we say that it is only by chance that they (mutations) are useful, we are still speaking too leniently. In general, they are useless, detrimental, or lethal” [W. R. Thompson, Introduction to the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1956), p. 10].
109 “Lethal mutations outnumber visibles (Albinism, Dwarfism, Hemophilism) by about 20 to 1. Mutations that have harmful effects are even more frequent than lethal ones” [A. M. Winchester, Genetics, 5th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mufflin Co., 1977), p. 356].
110 James Crow, “Genetic Effects of Radiation,” Bulletin of Atomic Sciences, 14 (1958), p. 19-20.
111 “Do we, therefore, ever see mutations going about the business of producing new structures for selection to work on? No nascent organ has ever been observed emerging, though their origin in pre-functional form is basic to evolutionary theory. Some should be visible today, occurring in organisms at various stages up to integration of a functional new system, but we don’t see them: there is no sign at all of this kind of radical novelty. Neither observation or controlled experiment has shown natural selection manipulating mutations so as to produce a new gene, hormone, enzyme system or organ” [Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (London: Rider Press, 1981), pp. 67,68].
112 Dr. Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey (New York: Random House, 1957), p. 199.
113 E. J. H. Corner, ‘Evolution’ in Contemporary Botanical Thought, eds. Anna M. Macleod and L. S. Cobley, Oliver and Boyd, for the Botanical Society of Edinburg, 1961, p. 97. As quoted (partially) from The Quote Book, p. 11.
114 J. R. Norman, “Classification and Pedigrees: Fossils,” in A History of Fishes, 3rd ed., ed. Dr. P. H. Greenwood, British Museum of Natural History, London, 1975, p. 343. As quoted (partially) from The Quote Book, p. 11.
115 Barbara J. Stahl, Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974), pp. 148,195. As quoted in The Quote Book, p. 11.
116 W. E. Swinton, “The Origin of Birds,” Chapter 1 in Biology and Comparative Physiology of Birds, A. J. Marshall, ed., Vol. I (New York: Academic Press, 1960), p. 1. As quoted in The Quote Book, p. 11.
117 See: Werner Gitt, In the Beginning was Information (Bielefeld, Germany: Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung e. V.), 1997, p.80.
118 Ibid., p.81.