In my last post, I pointed out that many of the things closely associated with evolution really have little to do with evolution. Things like natural selection, variation, and millions of years cannot work together to turn an amoeba into an aardvark nor a bacterium into a basset hound. For evolution to be possible, there must be a mechanism that can add novel traits to a population. Just think how many features someone would have to add to a single cell in order to make it a cephalopod.
Many evolutionists fail to grasp the concept that evolution demands organisms to acquire novel traits. In the most cited example of evolution ever to haunt biology books – the famous “peppered moth evolution” - I've often asked evolutionists to clarify what evolution has occurred in the moths. The usual response is to repeat the observations: the ratio of light/dark moths changed over time. I then ask, “How long would birds have to eat one color of moth in order to make new colors appear?” At this point, evolutionists usually resort to mutations but in nearly every instance, the significance of my question is lost on them. The significance is this: birds eating one color of moth (natural selection) will never add new colors to the population no matter how long it continues. Even millions of years is not enough.
When evolutionists trot out examples of “change” (natural selection) and say that “change” continuing for millions of years will cause a population to evolve into something else, they have not spoken one word that should convince anyone of their theory. It's not enough that something changes. It is only when something new is added to the moth that it could possibly become something that is not a moth. One lie often spoken by evolutionists is that microevolution (i.e. “any change”) + time = macroevolution. They give no consideration to the type of change nor do they care if any new trait is added.
By way of definition, mutations have been likened to “copying errors” or “mistakes” in DNA. All creatures have mutations in their DNA. In sexual reproduction, the offspring inherits a combination of both parents' DNA (including the parents' mistakes). The offspring will also have mistakes in their own DNA. The vast majority of these mutations are not expressed – that is, there is no observable manifestation of the mutation in the host. That's because the “good” DNA in one parent will often mask the mutations in the DNA of the other.
Expressed mutations are sometimes called “birth defects” (though not all birth defects are due to mutation) and can range in severity from having no deleterious effect to its host to gross deformities that are not compatible with life.
Every once in a while, an expressed mutation will convey some benefit to its host. One oft-cited example of a beneficial mutation is the blind cave fish. Blind cave fish are eyeless fish that are descended from seeing fish. At some point in the past, a group of fish were separated from the rest of population and thrust into the new environment of a cave. In a dark cave, having sight is not an advantage. However, while swimming around in a dark cave, a seeing fish might run into a wall and scratch its eye leading to a dangerous infection. In that environment, being born without eyes actually gives the blind fish an advantage so the mutation of being born without eyes eventually spread to the entire population of cave dwellers.
It is upon these types of changes – beneficial mutations – that evolutionists' hope rests. One of the many definitions of evolution is “descent with modification.” Through continuous mutations, skin can become a fold in the skin, which can become a scale, which can become a feather, which can turn a dinosaur into a bird. Mutation is the magic potion that could turn a frog into a prince. It is the ingredient missing from the formula “micro + time = macro.”
There are other observed examples of beneficial mutations. I hesitate to say there are “many” examples because many is a subjective term and I don't mean to imply that beneficial mutations are especially frequent. I might write about some other examples in the future because they are interesting but in the blind fish example (as well as in the others), traits are still being removed from the population. Therefore, even in the case of the blind cave fish, I still refuse to identify the change as “evolution” (micro- or otherwise) since no traits are added to the population. Mutations that cause a fish to be born without eyes does not support the idea that a bacterium could evolve to be a bass or bluegill. I would be more apt to believe evolution if it theorized that fish lost their eyes, fins, scales, gills, etc., and eventually became bacteria!
What's also bad news for evolution is that the blind fish may be specialized and better adapted to the dark cave, but they could not convincingly be called “more fit” overall. It's not like a shrew-like, mammalian ancestor evolving to become a cunning leopard. These fish could not compete with seeing fish if they were reintroduced into a lighted environment.
Examples of beneficial mutations are not enough to rescue the theory of evolution. For the theory to have legs, there still needs to be examples of mutations that actually add novel traits to a population (observed examples, please; not the imaginary skin-scale-feather told in the dino to bird story). And if evolution happens all the time (which I have been told ad nauseum) then examples of trait-adding mutations should abound. Well, show them to me!
When I ask for observed examples of mutations adding new features (or novel traits), some evos try to pin me down for a rigorous definition of a “novel trait.” I concede in advance that it's hard to give a rigorous definition. I'm tempted to say that I would know one when I see it but, of course, that's hardly satisfactory. Let's see: something like hair appearing on a reptile would be impressive. A blue dog might also persuade me, as per my last post. These would be spectacular examples but I'd settle for anything. Why not just show me some examples and we can discuss them. Why is it when I ask for such examples, I hear only the same three continuously?
- Bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics
- Insects that become resistant to pesticides
- Nylon digesting bacteria
I'm going to deal with these three examples in my next post. If I were an apologist for evolution, I would spend all of my time talking about trait-adding mutations because without them, evolution isn't even plausible. I suspect the reason I hear these same three repeated so often is because even questionable examples of trait-adding mutations are frighteningly scarce. I had intended to address them long ago because I hear them so often that I get tired of writing responses. When some evo cleverly repeats one of these tired examples, it would save me time to have a written response to which I can simply link him.
The video, “What Every Creation Must DENY,” lists beneficial mutations as something that creationists must deny. It's a straw man. Beneficial mutations, though infrequent, are real. They just don't deserve the importance given them by evolutionists. Evolutionists seem to treat “mutations” with the same regard as any “change” in a population. Any beneficial mutation is trumpeted as “evolution” because it fits their technical definition of the term. To them, beneficial mutations is the fuel that drives the engine of natural selection and they don't care if the mutations actually add anything to the population. And just as before, I remind you that removing traits from a population will never amount to evolution.