Evolution 101- part 10: Mutants- Yes, Ninja Turtles- No.

Remember, normal text is copied from Evolution 101 by the Understanding Evolution team! (Ironic Mascot: Ken Ham) http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

BOLD font is me, Rent A Friend 2000, being Bold.

So, what are the sources of genetic variation?

Genetic variation

Without genetic variation, some of the basic mechanisms of evolutionary change cannot operate.

“Some.” Did you get that? So, in a world of clones, other mechanisms of evolutionary change apparently could happen. I think they didn’t proof read this stuff.

There are three primary sources of genetic variation, which we will learn more about:

  1. Mutations are changes in the DNA. A single mutation can have a large effect, but in many cases, evolutionary change is based on the accumulation of many mutations.
  2. Gene flow is any movement of genes from one population to another and is an important source of genetic variation.
  3. Sex can introduce new gene combinations into a population. This genetic shuffling is another important source of genetic variation.

Genetic shuffling is a source of variation.


Mutation is a change in DNA, the hereditary material of life. An organism’s DNA affects how it looks, how it behaves, and its physiology — all aspects of its life. So a change in an organism’s DNA can cause changes in all aspects of its life.

Just to keep you on your toes, some scientific fact which doesn’t contradict itself. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Mutations are random
Mutations can be beneficial, neutral, or harmful for the organism, but mutations do not “try” to supply what the organism “needs.” In this respect, mutations are random — whether a particular mutation happens or not is unrelated to how useful that mutation would be.

I guess they expect you to do your own homework on DNA, so let me fill in a few gaps. DNA is the information which codes for the building blocks of the cell, and all life is made of cells. DNA is also the instructions for running the parts of the cell, but when talking about it most evolutionists tend to only pay attention to the parts that code for proteins. DNA is a four letter language which, as far as protein production is concerned, is written into three letter words called Codons. Just like English, a misspelling can charge the earning of the ward. Oh, I mean, a misspelling can change the meaning of the word. A mutation is a misspelling.

The above is correct, mutations do not ‘try’ to supply what the organism ‘needs’ to survive. But evolution is based on the idea that they DO supply what the organism needs to survive purely by blind chance. The more you learn about DNA and the functions of even the simples cell, the more you will have a hard time not calling this idea “Stupid.”

Not all mutations matter to evolution
Since all cells in our body contain DNA, there are lots of places for mutations to occur; however, not all mutations matter for evolution. Somatic mutations occur in non-reproductive cells and won’t be passed onto offspring.

For example, the golden color on half of this Red Delicious apple was caused by a somatic mutation. The seeds of this apple do not carry the mutation.half and halffple

Did you catch that? Of the trillions of cells which make up an organism, the beneficial spelling mistake HAS TO HAPPEN in the ONE CELL which results in a new organism. If a really helpful spelling mistake happens in any but the one sperm and one egg which make a new organism, then NOTHING gets passed on. Keep that in your head as we consider how likely this process is.

The only mutations that matter to large-scale evolution are those that can be passed on to offspring. These occur in reproductive cells like eggs and sperm and are called germ line mutations.

A single germ line mutation can have a range of effects:

  1. No change occurs in phenotype
    Some mutations don’t have any noticeable effect on the phenotype of an organism. This can happen in many situations: perhaps the mutation occurs in a stretch of DNA with no function, or perhaps the mutation occurs in a protein-coding region, but ends up not affecting the amino acid sequence of the protein.
  2. Small change occurs in phenotype
 cat ears

A single mutation caused this cat’s ears to curl backwards slightly.

  1. Big change occurs in phenotype
    Some really important phenotypic changes, like DDT resistance in insects are sometimes caused by single mutations. A single mutation can also have strong negative effects for the organism. Mutations that cause the death of an organism are called lethals — and it doesn’t get more negative than that.

Here’s what they aren’t telling you:

We have NEVER observed a beneficial mutation that added information to a genome. MOST mutations result in disease or death.

Consider these expert opinions: ““One would expect that any interference with such a complicated piece of chemical machinery as  the genetic constitution would result in damage. And, in fact, this is so: the great majority of mutant genes are harmful in their effects on the organism.” *Julian Huxley, Evolution in Action., p. 137

“But mutations are found to be a  random nature, so far as their utility is concerned. Accordingly, the great majority, certainly well over 99%, are harmful in some way, as is to be expected of the effects of accidental occurrences.” *H.J. Muller, “Raditation Damage to Genetic Material”, in American Scientist, Janurary 1950, p. 35

Those which can be said to be beneficial result in a loss of structure and function. These are like getting locked in the basement during a tornado. You haven’t gained anything, but by happy chance you survive when others do not. Yet, what evolution NEEDS to have happened is a mutation which ADDS information to the genome, like a guy who figures out how to make his siding tornado proof- or a guy who figures out how to get his car to fly. But how many spelling mistakes do you have to make in the blueprints for a car before it can fly, and without passing through a phase where the car won’t run?   When people say evolution is impossible, its not because they don’t know how it could work, it’s because they know enough to know it could not work. Many evolutionists stick to evolution to fill in the gaps where a step up is impossible. “It must have evolved” they argue, “Because there it is.” This is a very common “Evolution of the gaps” attitude. It will show up again later in their writing.

There are some sorts of changes that a single mutation, or even a lot of mutations, could not cause.

I don’t even know where to start. Suffice it to say, Duh. But now we need these guys to see just how big this list is.

Neither mutations nor wishful thinking will make pigs have wings; only pop culture could have created Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — mutations could not have done it.

So… turtles that can talk and walk on two legs, impossible with mutations. But a bacteria that becomes a monkey who can talk and walk on two legs… science? And that a rodent became a lizard that grew wings and learned to fly is the evolutionary story they’ve already admitted to, so why now s flying pigs impossible? These guys pick weird times to decide what evolution can and can’t do. Remember- chickens ARE dinosaurs.

Join me next week for part 11.



About rentafriend2000
Rocking my 40's with a heart full of love and muffins, science and technology. Jesus loves me and wants me to totally rock! And I am here to help.

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