Evolutionists Caught in the Act of Exaggerating
A headline on Science Daily and PhysOrg announced breathlessly, suggested that mistakes are a gold mine for creative Darwinian power: “Mutations are the raw material of evolution.”
The press release went on to glorify Darwin: “Charles Darwin already recognized that evolution depends on heritable differences between individuals: those who are better adapted to the environment have better chances to pass on their genes to the next generation,” the article explained up front in classic Darwinese. “A species can only evolve if the genome changes through new mutations, with the best new variants surviving the sieve of selection,” it continued in neo-Darwinese.
Experiments were done on the lab plant Arabidopsis thalliana. Did the scientists find any beneficial mutations that might help this little herb graduate into something bigger and better, say, an orchid? No. In fact, they found that it was a degenerate sibling of a more-fit cousin that can live for years instead of months. The only suggested benefit they mentioned was possible resistance to pesticides. That kind of “improvement,” however, might turn out to be a loss of fitness overall – just as a man can become resistant to handcuffs by cutting off his hands.
Of some concern is the mutation rate they measured. A large population of Arabidopsis plants can expect to have a mutation at every point in its genome. “If you apply our findings to humans, then each of us will have on the order of 60 new mutations that were not present in our parents.” Michael Lynch tried to spin this as a benefit for Darwinism: “Everything that is genetically possible is being tested in a very short period.” The press release ended on a note of novelty: the finding represents “a very different view than perhaps the one we are all most familiar with: that evolution reveals itself only after thousands, if not millions of years.”
Did anyone see evolution here? Did anyone see this little mustard plant growing into something bigger, stronger, or substantially different because of all the mistakes nature throws at it? Most of the mutants probably died. The others are probably straining under mutational load (04/09/2007, 12/14/2006, 10/17/2007 bullet 4).
“Everything that is genetically possible is being tested in a very short period of time,” they said. Evolutionists apparently think that shooting bullets at a computer more rapidly will lead to faster progress. Who is doing the testing? By phrasing it in subjunctive voice, they left you wondering. We know who it is; it’s Tinker Bell, the fairy goddess of the Darwin Party. She zaps organisms with her mutation wand at random. Only the ones that turn into orchids, or eagles, or elephants, or scientists, live to reproduce. That’s the reigning myth of our elite academic culture.
A more reasonable conclusion from this study is that living things have not been suffering under a mutational load this heavy for millions of years, but for a much shorter time. That they can still survive is due to amazing systems of DNA repair (see next headline). To say that these mutations are the “raw material of evolution” is like calling terrorists entrepreneurs. Get real.