(The following is, once again, from Scientific Creationism )
Since it is obvious that neither ordinary variations, nor recombinations of existing characters, can account for "upward" evolution, some extraordinary mechanism must be found for this purpose. In the modern synthetic theory of evolution, or new-Darwinism, the mechanism universally adopted for this purpose is that of mutation.
A mutation is assumed to be a real structural change in a gene, of such character that something novel is produced, not merely a reworking of something already there. In some way, the linkages in a segment of the DNA molecule are changed, so that different "information" is conveyed via the genetic code in the formation of the structure of the descendant.
The phenomenon of mutation, therefore, is a most important component of the evolution model. The evolution model must postulate some mechanism to produce the required upward progress in complexity which characterizes the model in its broadcast dimension. Mutation is supposedly that mechanism.
The basic evolution model would predict, therefore, that mutations must be primarily beneficial, generating a "vertical" change upward toward higher degrees of order. Each such change must be positively helpful in the environment if it is to be preserved by natural selection and contribute to evolutionary progress.
The creation model, on the other hand, would predict that, if there are any such things as real mutations, causing "vertical" changes in complexity and order of the kings, they will be harmful, not beneficial.
With these two models in mind, let us now consider some of the actual experimental facts relative to mutations.
1. Mutations are random, not directed.
There is no way to control mutations to make them produce characteristics which might be needed. Natural selection must simply take what comes.
2. Mutations are rare, not common.
3. Good mutations are very, very rare.
The man who has probably devoted more study than any other man to experimental observation of mutations, said:
The man probably more responsible than any other for the modern view of evolution known as neo-Darwinism, which says evolution proceeds by the accumulation of small mutations preserved by natural selection, is even less confident in the frequency of beneficial mutations.
As a matter of fact, the phenomenon of a truly beneficial mutation, one which is known to be a mutation and not merely a latent characteristic already present in the genetic material but lacking previous opportunity for expression, and one which is permanently beneficial in the natural environment, has yet to be documented. Some evolutionists doubt that they occur at all:
4. The Net Effect of All Mutations is Harmful
Even if the mutations are not harmful enough to cause their carriers to be eliminated completely by natural selection, the over-all effect is to gradually lower the viability of the population.
That the net effect of mutations is harmful, rather than beneficial, to the supposed progress of evolution, is made transparently clear by the zeal with which evolutionists for decades have been trying to get mutation-producing radiations removed from the environment!
It does seem that, if evolutionists really believed that evolution is due to mutations, they would favor all measures which cold increase the rate of mutations and thus facilitate further evolution. Instead, they have consistently for decades opposed nuclear testing for the very purpose of preventing mutations!
5. Mutations affect and are affected by many genes.
The mutation concept is no longer as simple as it once was. Instead of a given characteristic being controlled by a specific gene, it now appears that each gene affects many characteristics and every characteristic is controlled by many genes.
It would seem obvious that if any one mutation is highly likely to be deleterious, then since a changed characteristic requires the combined effects of many genes, and therefore many concurrent mutations, the probability of harmful effects is multiplied many fold. Conversely, the probability of simultaneous good mutations in all the genes which control a given character is reduced to practically zero.
Misfits and Extinctions
For many years, Darwinian evolution was supposed to generate organisms of beautiful complexity, perfectly adapted to their respective environments. "Survival of the fittest" was the watchword. Never mind, as noted above, that mutations almost always generate misfits which soon die out.
Evolutionists more recently have reversed themselves on this subject, recognizing that perfect adaptations really constitute evidence of design. Now they consider the misfits to be better evidence for evolution!
Similarly, evolutionists somehow imagine that the large array of extinct animals in the fossil record (e.g., trilobites, dinosaurs) somehow constitutes an evidence of evolution. This is strange logic. The evidence that dinosaurs have become extinct tells us nothing at all about how they came into existence in the first place.
As a matter of fact, many species of plants and animals have become extinct in recent times.
It is significant that not one new species of plant or animal is known to have evolved on Earth during recorded history, but large numbers have become extinct. If the present is the key to the past, then how on Earth could men ever have evolved the idea of evolution!
To the creationist, of course, misfits and extinctions constitute still further evidence of the universal entropy principle, which in turn points up the necessity of primeval special creation.
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