The Problem with Males: Y-Chromosome Degeneration
by Jerry Bergman, PhD
A good example about how much we do not know about the chromosomes is admitted in an article in Science Daily that proclaimed:
Decoding Y chromosomes is difficult even with latest sequencing technologies. The question [of] which genes lie on the chromosome and where they came from is hotly debated.[i]
The authors then claim that “genetic material in fruit flies is often transferred to the Y chromosome from other chromosomes. Although largely a result of ‘accidents’, some of these transfers create functional genes.”
A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences referenced in the article described the significance of their finding, which was “gene traffic onto the Drosophila Y chromosome is 10 times more frequent than previously thought and includes the first Y-linked retrocopies discovered in these taxa. All 25 identified Y-linked gene transfers … appear to be pseudogenes…. Our method provides compelling evidence that the Drosophila Y chromosome is a highly challenging and dynamic genetic environment.”[ii] This article not only documents a potential major source of variety that differentiates males from females, at least in fruit flies, which they conclude also applies to other species including humans, but also a new important source of mutations.
The ‘male mutation problem’ is that males only possess one Y chromosome, but females possess two X chromosomes. For males, therefore, there is no counterpart for recombination as is true of females. Consequently, “the deletion of harmful mutations on the Y chromosome [causes] more difficult than in other chromosomes. As a result, genes on the Y chromosome usually undergo a process of degeneration.” Genetic degeneration is a major problem in life that is evidently a greater problem for males. This fact may explain the finding that many diseases are much more common in males than females. Obvious examples include sex-related diseases in males, such as prostate cancer and diseases of the male reproductive system.
Furthermore, abdominal aortic aneurysms are six times more common in men than women, and autism is approximately 4 times more prevalent. Psychologists are more likely to diagnose men with mental retardation, antisocial personality disorder, substance-abuse disorders and other mental problems.
Also, many diseases in males are caused by X-linked recessive inheritance disorders, such as baldness, color blindness and hemophilia.[iii] Males do not have a second X to block the problem of damage on their single X as do females. Thus, most all defective genes on their lone X are expressed or show up on their somatotype.
Evolutionists teach that mutations provide the raw material for evolution,[iv] but mutations are also widely recognized as a major cause of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Fully an estimated 99.9% of all mutations are, in the long run, harmful. In a review of the mechanisms that drive genetic degeneration, Charlesworth and Charlesworth conclude that “most mutations with observable phenotypic effects are deleterious.”[v] Estimates vary greatly, but generally around one new mutation occurs in “each round of cell division, even in cells with unimpaired DNA repair and in the absence of external mutagens.”[vi]
As a result, for germline mutations, “every child is born with an estimated 100 to 200 new mutations that were not present in the parents.”[vii] Cornell University Professor John Sanford puts the number of point mutations at about 200 new ones for each child compared to their parents, and for all new mutation types the number is closer to 1,000 in each generation.[viii] Genetic degeneration is the problem that leads to genetic meltdown and eventually, the extinction of a species. The new mechanism that causes new mutations documented by the study noted above appears to be one more additional source of genetic deterioration. It is also one more evidence that Adam was perfect and new mutations have been accumulating ever since then. So far over 5,000 diseases are caused by mutations in humans.
[i] New genes on ‘deteriorating’ Y chromosome. Science Daily. October 25, 2017 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171025103107.htm
[ii] Ray Tobler, Viola Nolte, Christian Schlötterer. High rate of translocation-based gene birth on the Drosophila Y chromosome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017; 201706502 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1706502114.
[iii] Ngo, ST; Steyn, FJ; McCombe, PA (August 2014). “Gender differences in autoimmune disease.” Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology. 35 (3): 347–69.
[iv] Nei, Masatoshi. 2014. Mutation-Driven Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press.
[v] Charlesworth, Brian and Deborah Charlesworth. 1998. “Some Evolutionary Consequences of Deleterious Mutations.” Genetica, 102/103:3-19. P. 3
[vi] Meisenberg, Gerhard and William H. Simmons. 2006. Principles of Medical Biochemistry. 2nd Edition. Mosby/Elsevier. p. 153.
[vii] Meisenberg, Gerhard and William H. Simmons. 2006. Principles of Medical Biochemistry. 2nd Edition. Mosby/Elsevier. p. 153.
Dr Jerry Bergman, professor, author and speaker, is a frequent contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. See his Author Profile for his previous articles.
After reading Sanford’s Genetic Entropy, try Dr Bergman’s eye-opening book, The Dark Side of Charles Darwin.