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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Theory of evolution » Mutations are rarely beneficial

Mutations are rarely beneficial

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1 Mutations are rarely beneficial on Mon 9 Dec 2013 - 16:16

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Mutations are rarely beneficial

Mutations are the only known means by which new genetic material becomes available for evolution.a Rarely, if ever, is a mutation beneficial to an organism in its natural environment. Almost all observable mutations are harmful; some are meaningless; many are lethal. No known mutation has ever produced a form of life having greater complexity and viability than its ancestors.


a . “Ultimately, all variation is, of course, due to mutation.” Ernst Mayr, “Evolutionary Challenges to the Mathematical Interpretation of Evolution,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, proceedings of a symposium held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, 25–26 April, 1966 (Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute Press, 1967), p. 50.

u “Although mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation, it is a relatively rare event, ...” Ayala, p. 63.

b . “The process of mutation is the only known 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, “On Methods of Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology,” American Scientist, December 1957, p. 385.

u “In molecular biology, various kinds of mutations introduce the equivalent of noise pollution of the original instructive message. Communication theory goes to extraordinary lengths to prevent noise pollution of signals of all kinds. Given this longstanding struggle against noise contamination of meaningful algorithmic messages, it seems curious that the central paradigm of biology today attributes genomic messages themselves solely to noise.” David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors, “Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and Their Relevance to Biopolymeric Information,” Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, Vol. 2, 11 August 2005, p. 10. (Also available at www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29.)

u “Accordingly, mutations are more than just sudden changes in heredity; they also affect viability, and, to the best of our knowledge, invariably affect it adversely.” C. P. Martin, “A Non-Geneticist Looks at Evolution,” American Scientist, January 1953, p. 102.

“Mutation does produce hereditary changes, but the mass of evidence shows that all, or almost all, known mutations are unmistakably pathological and the few remaining ones are highly suspect.”  Ibid., p. 103.

“[Although mutations have produced some desirable breeds of animals and plants,] all mutations seem to be in the nature of injuries that, to some extent, impair the fertility and viability of the affected organisms. I doubt if among the many thousands of known mutant types one can be found which is superior to the wild type in its normal environment, only very few can be named which are superior to the wild type in a strange environment.”  Ibid., p. 100.

u “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,” Everyman Library No. 811 (New York: E. P. Dutton & Sons, 1956; reprint, Sussex, England: J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., 1967), p. 10.

u Visible mutations are easily detectable genetic changes, such as albinism, dwarfism, and hemophilia. Winchester quantifies the relative frequency of several types of mutations.

Lethal mutations outnumber visibles by about 20 to 1. Mutations that have small harmful effects, the detrimental mutations, are even more frequent than the lethal ones.  Winchester, p. 356.

u John W. Klotz, Genes, Genesis, and Evolution, 2nd edition, revised (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1972), pp. 262–265.

u “... I took a little trouble to find whether a single amino acid change in a hemoglobin mutation is known that doesn’t affect seriously the function of that hemoglobin. One is hard put to find such an instance.” George Wald, as quoted by Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, pp. 18–19.

However, evolutionists have taught for years that hemoglobin alpha changed through mutations into hemoglobin beta. This would require, at a minimum, 120 point mutations, so the improbability Wald refers to above must be raised to the 120th power to produce just this one protein!

u “Even if we didn’t have a great deal of data on this point, we could still be quite sure on theoretical grounds that 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.” James F. Crow (Professor of Genetics, University of Wisconsin), “Genetic Effects of Radiation,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 14, January 1958, pp. 19–20.

u “The one systematic effect of mutation seems to be a tendency towards degeneration ...” [emphasis in original] Sewall Wright, “The Statistical Consequences of Mendelian Heredity in Relation to Speciation,” The New Systematics, editor Julian Huxley (London: Oxford University Press, 1949), p. 174.

Wright then concludes that other factors must also have been involved, because he believes evolution happened.

u In discussing the many mutations needed to produce a new organ, Koestler says:

Each mutation occurring alone would be wiped out before it could be combined with the others. They are all interdependent. The doctrine that their coming together was due to a series of blind coincidences is an affront not only to common sense but to the basic principles of scientific explanation.  Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1968), p. 129.

c . “There is no single instance where it can be maintained that any of the mutants studied has a higher vitality than the mother species.” N. Heribert Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung (Lund, Sweden: Verlag CWK Gleerup, 1953), p. 1157.

“It is, therefore, absolutely impossible to build a current evolution on mutations or on recombinations.” [emphasis in original]  Ibid., p. 1186.

u “No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution.”  Pierre-Paul Grassé, Evolution of Living Organisms (New York: Academic Press, 1977), p. 88.

u “I have seen no evidence whatsoever that these [evolutionary] changes can occur through the accumulation of gradual mutations.” Lynn Margulis, as quoted by Charles Mann, “Lynn Margulis: Science’s Unruly Earth Mother,” Science, Vol. 252, 19 April 1991, p. 379.

u “It is true that nobody thus far has produced a new species or genus, etc., by macromutation. It is equally true that nobody has produced even a species by the selection of micromutations.” Richard B. Goldschmidt, “Evolution, As Viewed by One Geneticist,” American Scientist, Vol. 40, January 1952, p. 94.

u “If life really depends on each gene being as unique as it appears to be, then it is too unique to come into being by chance mutations.” Frank B. Salisbury, “Natural Selection and the Complexity of the Gene,” Nature, Vol. 224, 25 October 1969, p. 342.

u “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 nor 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 & Co., 1984), pp. 67–68.

u For a multifaceted genetic analysis that devastates the idea that mutations and natural selection can produce, or even maintain, viable organisms, see John C. Sanford, Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (Waterloo, New York: FMS Publications, 2005).



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2 Re: Mutations are rarely beneficial on Mon 20 Jan 2014 - 23:01

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http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/06/rush_to_judgmen073791.html

mutagenesis experiments show how early acting body plan mutations -- the very mutations that would be necessary to produce whole new animals from a pre-existing animal body plan -- inevitably produce embryonic lethals.

He does not address Meyer's fourth critique of the neo-Darwinian mechanism by explaining how mutations could alter development gene regulatory networks to produce new developmental regulatory networks, though the production of such a new regulatory network is an important requirement for building any new animal body plan from a pre-existing body plan

Finally, Matzke does not explain how mutations in DNA alone could produce the epigenetic ("beyond the gene") information necessary to build new animal body plans, a problem that has led many evolutionary biologists to seek a new theory of and mechanism for major evolutionary innovation. -

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3 Re: Mutations are rarely beneficial on Tue 20 Oct 2015 - 0:21

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The population genetics of beneficial mutations 1

Contrary to intuition, the very rarity of beneficial mutations may allow reasonable guesses about the distribution of beneficial fitness effects. In particular, the combined facts that (i) beneficial mutations are rare; and (ii) the wild-type allele is usually of high fitness, mean that extreme value theory (EVT) might provide a clue about the distribution of fitness effects.


even when beneficial mutations are rare, the distribution of fitness effects among substituted mutations is affected by probabilities of fixation (Kimura 1983). 


Mutations: The Raw Material for Evolution? 2

unequivocally positive mutations are unknown to genetics, since they have never been observed (or are so rare as to be irrelevant) 2
even if a very rare mutation is "beneficial," the next 10,000 mutations in any evolutionary sequence would each be fatal or crippling, and each of the next 10,000 imaginary mutations would bring the evolution process to a halt.


1) http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1544/1195
2) http://www.icr.org/article/mutations-raw-material-for-evolution/



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4 Are There Beneficial Mutations? on Tue 20 Oct 2015 - 0:25

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Are There Beneficial Mutations? 1

Evolutionists maintain there must have been “beneficial” mutations on occasion to allow uphill drift of genetic information. Although there are small handfuls of mutations which make it easier for an organism to survive in an extreme environment, so by definition are “equivocally ” beneficial, none are “unequivocally ” beneficial or “uphill” in the sense of adding new genetic information to the gene pool.

Extremely rare equivocally beneficial mutations can add "new functions" to the gene pool in a survival sense but this is in the form of genetic decay, not new "uphill" increases in genetic information. Examples of equivocally beneficial mutations include the following:
Wingless beetles that live along the seacoast survive better than winged beetles because they are less likely to blow away by the wind; or fish in dark caves are able to survive if a mutation causes loss of eyesight because without eyes they are not prone to eye disease or injury; or bacteria are able to resist antibiotics because of a deformity in cell wall proteins that interferes with their pumping mechanism.
There are always a few individuals in the population with a mutation that allows them to survive under specific environmental conditions. Over time, these individuals dominate the population but there is a loss of genetic information (as described in the Natural Selection and Extinction section).

Corrupting DNA information necessary for eyesight or for wings or for bacterial resistance to antibiotics is genetic decay (“downhill” drift), not addition of genetic information to the gene pool. Such defects can add "new functions" to the gene pool in a survival sense in the form of decay or loss—but these are not examples of new, genuine “uphill” increases in genetic information, that is, information that may lead to new genetic coding for new functions or structures. There aren’t any! There is a loss of genetic information. Gene mutations are overwhelmingly degenerative and constitute further proof of the Second Law. The bottom line is that genetic mutations do not offer any help for evolutionary doctrine.

In other experiments designed to detect evolution in fruit fly DNA (after 600 generations) and in E. coli DNA (after 40,000 generations), they became normal, mutant, or dead—but none evolved. (Thomas, B. (2012). Four scientific reasons that refute evolution. Acts & Facts, 19).

Let's just suppose that some trivial cases of increased information occurred amid the billions of mutations throughout earth’s history. Does this provide a mechanism or platform for evolution? The answer is No—the accumulation of mutations (information-losing processes) is so overwhelmingly negative (crippling or fatal) that the so-called evolutionary process would come to an immediate halt.
Dr. Lee Spetner of Johns Hopkins University has written a fascinating book called Not by Chance! Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution. He concludes that “Not even one mutation has been observed that adds a little information to the genome. That surely shows that there are not the millions upon millions of potential mutations the theory demands. There may well not be any. The failure to observe even one mutation that adds information is more than just a failure to find support for the theory. It is evidence against the theory. We have here a serious challenge to neo-Darwinian theory.”16 In reviewing Spetner’s book, Professor E. Simon, Department of Biology, Purdue University, states: “It is certainly the most rational attack on evolution that I have ever read.”17

1) http://www.creationsciencetoday.com/08-Are_There_Beneficial_Mutations.html

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Can genetic mutations produce positive changes in living creatures? 1

Mutations behave like a “blind gunman,” a destroyer who shoots his deadly “bullets” randomly into beautifully designed models of living molecular machinery.



Instead of a “blind watchmaker,” the mutations behave like a “blind gunman,” a destroyer who shoots deadly “bullets” randomly into beautifully designed models of living molecular machinery. Sometimes they kill. Thus, the “blind watchmaker” is an illusion. Worse than that, it is the intellectual and moral equivalent of an idol--an invention of the imagination, to which superhuman powers are falsely ascribed.

1) http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/genetic-mutations.html

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