Answering The Critics
Genetic Entropy Part 3: What Does The Crowd Say?
By Steve Hudgik
This is part three of a series of articles responding to attempts by evolution proponents to discredit genetic entropy. In part one I addressed their straw man claim that there are beneficial mutations. When looking at the molecular level, there are none. In part two I demonstrated that their claim of natural selection eliminating damaging mutations is false. The opposite is actually true. Natural selection cannot "see" most mutations (the vast majority of mutations have only a minor or no effect on fitness), and will drive our genome downward by selecting for damaging mutations that provide a short-term or localized benefit. Natural selection is, in reality, a force driving genetic entropy and the degradation of our genome.
The third evolutionist defense against genetic entropy is a claim that no legitimate geneticist accepts genetic entropy as real.
What we are seeing is not science, but a series of propaganda techniques being arrayed against God and actual, real science. In this case the technique is called "bandwagon." The evolutionists are saying, every respectable geneticist rejects genetic entropy.
The Majority Does Not Define Truth
Without even looking at the validity of the claim (and it is a false claim), the facts are that truth is not determined by a majority vote. It made no difference how many doctors believed blood letting would cure disease. What they believed did not make it so.
From the time of Aristotle (322 BC) until the mid-19th century, people believed life arose spontaneously from non-life... for example, from soil or manure. However, what they believed did not make it so.
In the second half of the 19th century scientists believed that the "rain follows the plow." This let to the settlement of the western American Great Plains (previously known as the Great American Desert), and farming attempts in areas not suitable for farming. It made no difference that nearly all scientists and government officials believed the rains would follow the plow... what they believed did not make it so.
What humans believe does not define reality.
What Is The Reality Concerning Genetic Entropy?
As can be seen from the previous two articles (here and here), genetic entropy is real. And, unlike what many evolutionists claim, genetic entropy is accepted by the majority of population geneticists as being real. That does not mean they have given up their belief in evolution. What they, in effect, say is, "This looks bad for evolution, but we know there is an answer. We just don't know what that answer is." In other words... they have faith. Faith that, in spite of the scientific evidence proving otherwise, evolution is still a valid idea. Faith that somehow, some way, someday, somebody will show that the impossible is possible. They have more faith than most Christians and their hope is in the great unknown.
Here are some quotes. Let's start with one from Dr. John Sanford, a geneticist and inventor of the gene gun, summarizing the situation:
Is man presently degenerating genetically? It would seem so, according the papers by Muller, Neal, Kondrashov, Nachman/Crowell, Walker/Keightley, Crow, Lynch et al., Howell, Loewe and also myself. ... Kondrashov, an evolutionist who is an expert on this subject, has advised me that virtually all the human geneticists he knows agree that man is degenerating genetically. The most definitive findings were published in 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by Lynch. That paper indicates human fitness is declining at 3–5% per generation.
Sanford concludes his summary by rhetorically asking if any qualified geneticists can be found who assert man is NOT degenerating genetically. He answers his own question by stating the fact that there is no longer any debate among geneticists concerning human genetic degeneration. Here is another quote:
"Population geneticists all seem to acknowledge the fact that a large fraction of deleterious mutations are too subtle to be effectively selected away." -
Nelson and Sanford, Computational Evolution Experiments Reveal a Net Loss of Genetic Information Despite Selection
Michael Lynch, the secular scientist referenced above, documents the existence of genetic degeneration in a paper titled "Molecular Spectrum, and Consequences of Human Mutation." However, in another part of his paper he attributes genetic degeneration to a "change in the selective environment that human behavior has induced." And he estimates that we don't have much time left. Just a couple of centuries at most. So he agrees genetic degradation (genetic entropy) is happening, but disagrees concerning the cause:
"The impact of deleterious mutations is accumulating on a time scale that is approximately the same as that for scenarios associated with global warming — perhaps not of great concern over a span of one or two generations, but with very considerable consequences on time scales of tens of generations. Without a reduction in the germline transmission of deleterious mutations, the mean phenotypes of the residents of industrialized nations are likely to be rather different in just two or three centuries, with significant incapacitation at the morphological, physiological, and neuro-biological levels."
That's the situation. Population geneticists agree that genetic degeneration is happening. What they disagree on is the cause. Based on the underlying assumption that evolution is happening, they are proposing a variety of alternatives, none of which survive when examined in detail. In this case Lynch is proposing that human created localized selective environments (industrialized nations) counteract the effects of natural selection. However, his hypothesis does not explain the fact that genetic mutations are building up worldwide. Instead, he is depending on the genetic pool in developing nations to be protected by natural selection, and thus providing a source of genetic purity that might save humanity. He ignores the scientific work that has demonstrated all mutations are detrimental at the molecular level; that they are building up in all of humanity; and that natural selection cannot remove them.
The fact is, the theory of genetic entropy, caused at the molecular level by mutations that cannot be removed by natural selection, has been around for almost twenty years, and no one has been able to scientifically refute it. They best they can do is ignore it.
One final quote from a paper by a secular scientist to highlight a problem caused by evolution. This is from a paper by Brain Charlesworth, "Molecular Population Genomics: A Short History," published in 2011. He raises two major questions about the human genome. We only need to look at the first one:
"The first is the classic one of how a species with a large genome and a relatively low maximal reproductive rate, such as humans, withstands the resulting very high genetic load arising from the constant input of deleterious mutations, at a rate substantially greater than one new mutation per generation (Muller, 1950; Crow, 1997). As Alexey Kondrashov once put it, why have we not died 100 times over (Kondrashov, 1995)?"
Note the question geneticists are asking. The build-up of deleterious mutations is so serious that, based on evolutionary thinking, it leads them to wonder: "why have we not died 100 times over?"
Charlesworth recognizes there is a problem with the build-up of deleterious mutations. Again we see this is not disputed. And the "one mutation per generation" concern is important. Geneticists recognize that if, in humans, more than one mutation per generation is passed on to the next generation, we will go extinct. The current estimate is that there are 100 mutations per generation (per Charlesworth). They see the problem, but adherence to evolution -- which under no circumstances may be doubted -- blinds them to the cause.
To conclude, I want to include this final quote from Dr. Sanford making it painfully obvious, using observational science anyone can employ, harmful mutations are accumulating and beneficial mutations, that might offset the harmful ones, are not happening. We are not climbing upward on an evolutionary ladder, we are continually degrading.
"Where are the beneficial mutations in man? It is very well documented that there are thousands of deleterious Mendelian mutations accumulating in the human gene pool, even though there is strong selection against such mutations. Yet such easily recognized deleterious mutations are just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of deleterious mutations will not display any clear phenotype at all. There is a very high rate of visible birth defects, all of which appear deleterious. Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why are no beneficial birth anomalies being seen? This is not just a matter of identifying positive changes. If there are so many beneficial mutations happening in the human population, selection should very effectively amplify them. They should be popping up virtually everywhere. They should be much more common than genetic pathologies. Where are they?" - Dr John Sanford
On a personal note, my body has painful phenotype defects resulting from mutations (birth defects), some of which are also seen in my siblings. And there are many people who are much, much worse off than I. Along with Dr. Sandford, I ask, "Where are all the beneficial mutations?" None are to be seen.
Next: Genetic Entropy #4: The Lenski Experiment