Mutations: Helpful or Harmful to Evolution?
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
Can evolution simply be driven by “environmental pressure”? Humanist ZD makes this claim in Part 6 of the Bird Evolution Debate. Although this debate veered away from the original topic of bird-specific evolution, the subsequent topics are still very relevant. In this case, ZD and I discussed the supposed genetic mechanism of molecules-to-creature evolution: mutations.
See below for Part 6 of the Bird Evolution Debate. Names are abbreviated for privacy and brevity.
Kevin, you do not understand evolution. It does not require DNA to acquire "new information" from an external source, variation is a result of environmental pressure.
ZD, I am not claiming that evolution requires genetic information acquisition from an “external source.” The evolutionary worldview asserts that genetic mutations create new genetic information and phenotype functionality, so I suppose one can consider mutations to be an “internal source.” However, as I pointed out in my earlier message, mutations do not add new information; instead, they distort and destroy existing genetic information. If you disagree, then can you provide an observable example of an organism adding brand new information and functionality such as an originally-blind organism evolving eyesight?
"mutations.. distort and destroy existing genetic information".... I don't know where you get that definition of the word mutation from, certainly not a scientific source. Mutation is an alteration of the nucleotide sequence. It can have many causes and its effects can be beneficial, harmful or neutral in terms of adaptation. Obviously any change which leads to a useful adaptation has an increased possibility of being retained.
Hi ZD. On the contrary, what I’ve learned about mutations and genetics comes from several scientific sources. One of these sources is Dr. John Sanford (PhD, plant breeding and plant genetics), who was a Cornell University Professor for more than 30 years. Dr. Sanford published over 100 scientific publications, earned several dozen patents, and came up with several inventions including the “gene gun” process.
Dr. Sanford authored a book called Genetic Entropy (https://www.amazon.com/Genetic-Entropy-John-C-Sanford/dp/0981631606/ref=sr_1_1?crid=DC9M2TAEU1D4&keywords=genetic+entropy+john+sanford&qid=1567909737&s=books&sprefix=Genetic+Entropy%2Cstripbooks%2C195&sr=1-1). This interview provides a very brief overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ-4umGkgos
While a very small percentage of mutations are “beneficial” in specific environments, they do not add new genetic information in any way that supports macro-level advancements necessary for molecules-to-bird/dinosaur/man/etc. evolution. In fact, as the title of Dr. Sanford’s book implies, evolution has a huge problem: genetic entropy. Most mutations are deleterious, and most of them fall within the “no selection zone,” because their effects are not significant enough to be impacted by natural selection. Therefore, deleterious mutations accumulate more and more with each generation. Organisms are “devolving” with time. Even some evolutionists admit this: “Why have we not died 100 times over?” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7475094
I did not see any more messages from ZD. Humanist LB from Part 4 of the thread jumps back in with a lengthy comment to claim that faith is not required for evolution. I will share his comment and my response in the seventh and final part of the Bird Evolution Debate; to be shared in my next blog post.