GENETIC DEGENERATION—EVIDENCE FOR INDEPENDENT ORIGINS
GENETIC DEGENERATION—EVIDENCE FOR INDEPENDENT ORIGINS
By D. Joseph (Standing For Truth)
Featured in SPECIAL CREATION: DISMANTLING EVOLUTION AND CONFIRMING INDEPENDENT ORIGINS
In this chapter, I am going to focus on genetic degeneration and why it not only presents an unsolvable challenge to evolutionary theory—but also confirms independent origins. Are we evolving or devolving? Do any proponents of ape-to-man evolution actually believe that humans are getting better genetically? We are accumulating far too many mutations per generation. This means natural selection is incapable of filtering out all the new mutations that are pouring into our genetics every single generation. We now know that the genome is both poly-functional and poly-constrained. We also know that the genome has multiple overlapping messages. What is actually happening on the molecular level is science fiction. Try to picture a chapter in a book, and embedded within that chapter (in addition to the obvious meanings in the chapter) are additional meanings. Even in the same sentences there may be several other messages embedded. We write books—but we do not write books that can be read both forwards and backwards—DNA can do this. This is Data compression on the most sophisticated level. In his article “Critic ignores reality of Genetic Entropy: The author of a landmark book on genomic decay responds to unsustainable criticisms”, Dr. John Sanford points out that mutations are even more damaging due to the existence of these multiple overlapping codes within the genomes of life:
“Genomes are the genetic specifications that allow life to exist. Specifications are obviously inherently SPECIFIC. This means that random changes in specifications will disrupt information with a very high degree of certainty. This has become especially clear ever since the publication of the ENCODE results, which show that very little of our genome is actually ‘junk DNA’.10 The ENCODE project also shows that most nucleotides play a role in multiple overlapping codes, making any beneficial mutations which are not deleterious at some level vanishingly rare (https://doi.org/10.1142/9789814508728_0006).” Source: Sanford, J., Critic ignores reality of Genetic Entropy: The author of a landmark book on genomic decay responds to unsustainable criticisms. 7 March 2013.
In the abstract of the paper titled “Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation”, the authors describe why these overlapping genetic codes present a profoundly serious challenge to evolutionary theory:
“There is growing evidence that much of the DNA in higher genomes is poly-functional, with the same nucleotide contributing to more than one type of code. Such poly-functional DNA should logically be multiply-constrained in terms of the probability of sequence improvement via random mutation. We describe a model of this relationship, which relates the degree of poly-functionality and the degree of constraint on mutational improvement. We show that: a) the probability of beneficial mutation is inversely related to the degree that a sequence is already optimized for a given code; b) the probability of beneficial mutation drastically diminishes as the number of overlapping codes increases. The growing evidence for a high degree of optimization in biological systems, and the growing evidence for multiple levels of poly-functionality within DNA, both suggest that mutations that are unambiguously beneficial must be especially rare. The theoretical scarcity of beneficial mutations is compounded by the fact that most of the beneficial mutations that do arise should confer extremely small increments of improvement in terms of total biological function. This makes such mutations invisible to natural selection. Beneficial mutations that are below a population's selection threshold are effectively neutral in terms of selection, and so should be entirely unproductive from an evolutionary perspective. We conclude that beneficial mutations that are unambiguous (not deleterious at any level), and useful (subject to natural selection), should be extremely rare.” Please see: https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/9789814508728_0006
In terms of genetics, what we have is a huge genome of 3 billion letters. We know that the mutation rate is extremely high. There are approximately 100 new mutations per person per generation—and it also turns out we have 3 new mutations every cell division in our body. This is astounding. Mutations are essentially alterations in the DNA sequence. Harmful mutations vastly outweigh truly beneficial mutations. This means that harmful deleterious mutations are accumulating in the genomes of living organisms, without any type of mechanism that can filter out so many harmful mutations entering the genomes of living organisms each generation. In addition to this problem for evolutionary theory, beneficial mutations are incredibly rare, and most mutations are deleterious. Ultimately, this means that large-scale evolution cannot be true. We are all more and more mutant every day. We are adding 3 new mutations per cell per day. All these mutations are coming in and they are having tiny effects. The next time somebody tells you that you do not look like yourself—please tell them “of course not, this is the most mutant that I’ve ever been!” In his article titled “Genetic entropy and simple organisms”, Dr. Robert Carter explains exactly why this problem of mutation accumulation leads to a downward spiral that becomes unsolvable for the evolutionary community:
“When living things reproduce, they make a copy of their DNA and pass this to their progeny. From time to time, mistakes occur, and the next generation does not have a perfect copy of the original DNA. These copying errors are known as mutations. Most people think that ‘natural selection’ can dispose of harmful mutations by eliminating individuals that carry them. But ‘natural selection’ properly defined simply means ‘differential reproduction’, meaning some organisms leave more progeny than others based on the mutations they carry and the environment in which they live. Moreover, reproductive success is only affected by mutations that have a significant effect. Unless mutations cause a noticeable reduction in reproductive rates, the organisms that carry them will be just as successful in leaving offspring as all the others. In other words, if the mutations aren’t ‘bad’ enough, selection can’t ‘see’ them, cannot eliminate them, and the mutations will accumulate. The result is ‘genetic entropy’. Each new generation carries all the mutations of previous generations plus their own. Over time, all these very slightly harmful mutations build up to a point that, in combination, they start to have serious effects on reproductive fitness. The downward spiral becomes unstoppable, because every member of the population has the same problem: natural selection can’t choose between ‘fit’ and ‘less fit’ individuals if every member of the population is, more or less, equally mutated. The population descends into sickness and finally becomes extinct. There’s simply no way to stop it.” Source: Carter, R., Genetic entropy and simple organisms: If genetic entropy is true, why do bacteria still exist? 25 October 2012.
This clearly puts shelf lives on genomes. This strongly indicates that man could not have evolved from an ape-like ancestor. Mutations are the destroyer and not the creator. Evolutionists look to mutations as the source for all genetic variation—but mutations are destructive to the genomes of living organisms. If you were to change 1 letter in a genome of 3 billion (we get three billion letters from our mothers and 3 billion letters from our fathers), you are not going to have a huge effect. The effect will be exceedingly small and very subtle. But nonetheless, we have still lost a little bit of information. And if this process is not stopped, you are going to eventually destroy all the information. It is important to note that the majority of mutations are effectively neutral and the typical mutation has too small of an effect on fitness to actually be measurable. Natural selection cannot see these mutations—they are virtually unselectable and invisible to ‘mother nature.’ Selection can of course act on the worst and most damaging of mutations. We have some mutations where you can see an effect of course. For example, 1 letter change can possibly cause disease that would lead to death—but the typical mutation is not detectable in any way. Remember, selection acts on phenotype—not genotype. Selection happens for the whole individual. We are 100 trillion cells, and, in every cell, there are 6 billion nucleotides.‘Mother nature’ has to decide if my body is going to be selected or not. There is much in the genome that selection cannot see. Therefore, selection may not even work at all. Selection chooses the whole genome—and at the organism level, there is either reproduction or non-reproduction. What type of mechanism can the proponents of evolution present us with that can filter out so many new mutations that are pouring into our genomes? Paul Price from Creation Ministries International points out the limitations of natural selection in his article “Genetic entropy: The silent killer”.
“Evolutionists will sometimes try to rebut these ideas by saying things like, “If a mutation is damaging, it will be weeded out by natural selection.’ This oversimplified view of selection is drilled into biology students relentlessly in classrooms all over the world—and it is greatly misleading, because for most mutations, it is totally wrong!”
Notice the unsophisticated thinking of the evolutionist when it comes to countering the clear data that indicates life is degenerating due to the accumulation of low-impact deleterious mutations. Paul Price continues:
“Natural selection (NS)—a straightforward, real process—essentially just means ‘differential reproduction’; some members of a population will reproduce more than
others. Therefore, the traits that are possessed by the ones reproducing the most are going to become the most common in the population over time.
The power of NS has been carefully measured.14 For selection to be able to ‘see’ the mutation, it must be strong enough to affect reproduction (e.g. by killing the individual before it can reproduce, or by causing sterility or a significant decline in fertility).
Thus, NS cannot ‘see’ a nearly-neutral mutation because, on its own, the negative effect of the individual mutation is very tiny—far too small to cause any appreciable difference in reproduction. As errors accumulate with each generation, eventually their collective effect is very damaging (see ‘Racing cars and error catastrophe’ p. 50).
It is easy to see that selection does not weed out most mutations. We all have hundreds of mutations our ancestors did not have—yet most people have no trouble becoming parents and passing on their genes (along with many mistakes, both old and new).” Source: Price, P., Genetic entropy: The silent killer: A devastatingly powerful argument against evolution. October 2019.
The best natural selection can do is slow down this process of genetic degeneration. I mentioned how selection acts on phenotype and not genotype. This is an especially important point to understand as it creates a major problem for actually being capable of solving the problem of genetic entropy. Paul Price explains this even further in the same article cited above:
“Forced to acknowledge that NS is blind to nearly-neutral mutations, a common evolutionist response is, ‘Once the accumulating damage from the mutations becomes significant, NS will start to remove them.’ But this fails to understand the problem. Natural selection can only weed out individual mutations as they happen. Once mutations have accumulated enough to be a real, noticeable problem, they are then a problem in the entire population, not just in an individual here or there. The whole population cannot be ‘selected away’—except by going extinct!”
In my book “The First Couple: Adam and Eve – Independent Origins”, I also point out that when we look to the genotype—we see that these changes we see in living organisms are mostly downhill and reductive.
“Evolutionists often look at the phenotype and proclaim what is occurring at the phenotypic level (the physical features) is evidence for evolution, when in fact, the real evidence is what happens on the genotype level. Let us explore a few examples when it comes to looking to the genotype as compared to looking to the phenotype. We need to look under the hood to see what is really going on. Malaria resistance in humans is often pointed to as evidence of a truly beneficial mutation. The disease sickle cell anemia results in an immunity to Malaria. Is this the type of change necessary for large-scale evolution? This benefit is due to a broken cell and a loss of information. This is not beneficial because this change was at the expense of a pre-existing protein! To be more specific, people who have this damaging mutation that causes sickle cell anemia have a broken gene. This broken gene makes a broken protein. This broken hemoglobin protein then causes deformed red blood cells and these deformed red blood cells will clot. This would lead to inadequate oxygen supply and as a result, causes anemia. It turns out that two doses of this gene will cause one to die prematurely. This is deleterious and destructive and clearly not an improvement. Why would anybody say this is beneficial? For people who have this broken gene and broken protein, the red blood cells are defective to the point where malaria cannot thrive in the person with this condition. Therefore, they are more resistant to malaria. The sickness associated with the disease results in a resistance to the malaria parasite. This is reductive and a clear loss of net information. All examples of so-called beneficial mutations have been shown to either be a loss of information (degradative), or general organismal adaptation (epigenetic). Oftentimes a mutation will inactivate a pre-existing regulatory system! This is not taking things forward. What about antibiotic resistance? We have heard the example of a “beneficial” mutation repeatedly. We have a population of bacteria and in the presence of an antibiotic, there may be a small portion of that population that is resistant. This can be due to the moving of genes around (horizontal gene transfer) or the result of mutations that cause loss of enzyme activity, and a loss of regulatory proteins. As you should be able to see by now, there is a trend. We should be seeing that these changes are all the result of reduction! There is no real significant benefit to be had. Adaptation yes. Forward evolution no! Breaking down pre-existing systems
for adaptive purposes is not going to take a single-celled ancestor into a whale over billions of years.”
The types of changes we observe are exactly what a biblical creationist would expect to find. These changes are not going to explain the biodiversity of life. When the critics of biblical creation assert that there is no evidence for genetic degeneration—they are not understanding, or acknowledging the fact that most mutations, when observed on a genotypic level, are reductive, and damaging. This is evidence for genetic degeneration. This is all downhill. This is all evidence of a once perfect creation going downhill.
Going back to the reality of genetic entropy, the critics of biblical creation have desperately attempted to fight the data with some incredibly unimpressive arguments. I deal with several of these objections in the same book cited above:
“Critics of biblical creation and genetic entropy have attempted several rescue devices. They have proposed that rare beneficial mutations can counterbalance the damage. Of course, this damage is due to the continuous accumulation of deleterious mutations over time. As we know, the best beneficial mutations are reductive and are not taking things forward. We went over this earlier in some detail. We also know that beneficial mutations are roughly one in a million. We have learned this from the Lenski experiment. Therefore, the rare beneficial mutation, even if hugely beneficial, cannot counterbalance the accumulating genetic load. Even if there is a beneficial mutation that increases fitness, it would only be increasing fitness in a very narrow sense. Since the best definition of fitness is total functionality, most beneficial mutations cannot resolve the issue of net gain versus net loss. This means that although there may be adaptive gains, the gain is severely outweighed by all the incredible loss. For example, Lenski’s bacterial populations have been observed to adapt to their environment. There have been some genuinely interesting adaptations observed. But overall, the bacterial populations have shrunk in functional genome size. They have adapted in a narrow sense, but they are losing genes short term for adaptive purposes. This is all long-term degeneration. Bacteria are known to lose genes for short term adaptation. Breaking down a functional system can oftentimes be beneficial, but this in no way is going to take a fish-to-fisherman.”
The critics have also attempted to grant natural selection with unlimited abilities in removing deleterious mutations. I point out in “The First Couple: Adam and Eve – Independent Origins” that creationists do not ignore the role of selection—we simply understand that selection has limitations and cannot act upon that which it cannot see.
“Advocates of evolution have resorted to arguing against a strawman. They have proposed that biblical creationists ignore the important role of natural selection. This reveals a strong misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what genetic entropy really means. Nobody argues against natural selection. And nobody argues against mutations and adaptation. These are all basics. We can only begin to address the real challenges of genetic degeneration once we acknowledge the roles that mutations, natural selection, and adaptation play in functional biological systems. Of course, natural selection occurs. I have said it numerous times that selection keeps species as strong as they can be. Natural selection comes down to reproduction. Who is reproducing more? And who is passing on their genes the most? A better term for natural selection would be differential reproduction. Natural selection can even amplify the best possible beneficial mutations. This can lead to adaptive episodes. These are much more rare than deleterious mutations. Natural selection can even remove the most damaging of mutations. This is because these types of detrimental mutations can be seen by selection. It is the effectively neutral mutations that are the biggest problem when it comes to the degeneration of biological systems. These are the types of mutations that have exceedingly small effects on fitness that they are invisible to selection. How can these types of mutations be stopped if selection cannot see them? Once again, we can see why the apologists of evolution have failed to address the key issue. This is all a lot like rust on a car. The rust builds up unnoticeably until it becomes too late. We can take our cars for regular servicing. We can change the brakes. We can change the oil. We can do everything in our power to ensure the longevity of our automobiles but eventually the car will rust out.”
The critics of genetic entropy have also looked to a trade-off in explaining how the damage in the genome can be counterbalanced. I address this in the very next paragraph of the same book cited above (found in chapter 2 titled Evolution or Devolution?).
“Another rescue device constantly repeated by the evolutionist is that there is a trade off. Beneficial mutations, as we know, are context dependent. A mutation that is beneficial may be positive in one environment and negative in another. The bigger question to ask is whether this trade off is sustainable? What we know about the rarity of beneficial mutations means that this trade off is not sustainable. While so many mutations are pouring into our genomes generation after generation, a single beneficial mutation may pop up that proves to be adaptive to its host, but it will not be great enough to stop that which has been accumulating relentlessly from one generation to the next. Although a few nucleotide sites may be improving, there are far too many sites being degraded. All this will do is result in a shrinking functional genome size. If I wanted to get better gas mileage in my car for only a short period of time, I could start tearing things off of the car. I could remove the doors. I could remove the seats. I could do everything in my power to remove as much weight from the car as possible. Yes, this will temporarily improve gas mileage, but it would be due to degradation and damage. Once again, it is clear, the trade off is not sustainable. Evolutionists need to stop using this rescue device as it is just as bad as the rest of them. Proponents of evolution would have us believe that you can throw out tons of information from a multitude of nucleotide sites while making up for all the loss by simply invoking one single beneficial point mutation. This is not reality. This is not science. All population geneticists would agree that man is presently degenerating. Is there anyone out there that would suggest man is getting better? Is man improving? Of course not!”
In the article “In Light of
Genetics… Adam, Eve, and the Creation/Fall”, Dr. John Sanford and Dr. Robert Carter point out the fact that leading population geneticists recognize the reality of mutation accumulation:
“Every time a human cell divides, a few new mutations arise. These mutations are, literally, copying errors in the instruction book of life. Such errors are consistently destructive—they systematically destroy biological information. Almost all bad mutations must be removed over time in order for forward evolution to be feasible. Yet leading human geneticists agree that in mankind deleterious (bad) mutations are accumulating faster than they are being selected away, and so the human genome is degenerating. It is acknowledged that this has been going on through most of recorded history. Numerous leading evolutionists like Crow,8 Kondrashov,9 and Lynch, 10 among others, have written extensively on this problem.” Source: Sanford, J.C., and R. Carter. 2014. In light of genetics…Adam, Eve, and the creation/fall. Christian Apologetics Journal 12, no. 2:51–72. This article can also be found at: https://www.logosra.org/adam--eve
The critics will very frequently make the uninformed argument that there is no evidence for genetic entropy, and they will insist that genetic degeneration has not been demonstrated. In the same article, Dr. John Sanford and Dr. Robert Carter make it clear that genetic entropy has been demonstrated through numerous published studies and numerical simulations:
“We, along with other collaborating scientists, have studied the problem of deleterious mutation accumulation in great depth, going deeper than anyone before us. We agree with the current assessment that the human genome is degenerating, but we are convinced the problem is much worse than is generally acknowledged. The theoretical evidence of this is described in depth in the book Genetic Entropy. 11 In addition, we, along with our collaborators, have produced a long series of published scientific papers, which show experimental evidence of pervasive and systematic genetic degeneration. These papers employ a form of scientific analysis called “numerical simulation,” and they show that, given realistic circumstances, over 90% of deleterious mutations fail to be selected away, even with intense natural selection.12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20 Lastly, we have carefully documented the reality of genetic entropy in living biological systems such as the influenza virus,21 human mitochondria,22 and long-term E. coli populations.23 The case for human genetic degeneration is compelling on the scientific level. The most fundamental reason why most deleterious mutations are not removed over time is because most of such mutations are extremely subtle (they are technically called “nearly-neutral”) and so are invisible to natural selection. A second basic problem is that mutations in the human genome are occurring at an alarming rate—much faster than they can conceivably be selected away. We have been extensively studying this problem for the last 10 years and have published a long series of scientific publications supporting the reality of genetic entropy (above).”
It is not only the scientific evidence that demonstrates man is presently degenerating. It is also the biblical data that confirms genetic entropy. The scientific evidence and data corroborate the biblical account of human origins. What we would expect based on the fall of man is exactly what we have observed in genetics and especially mutation accumulation. In the same article cited above, the authors (Dr. John Sanford and Dr. Robert Carter) point out how consistent the genetic data is with the biblical data:
“In addition to many scientific evidences, there is strong historical evidence, as recorded in the Bible, which indicates that man is degenerating. This evidence comes directly from the Old Testament, which records the age of death of all of the first 23 patriarchal generations, followed by data on scattered additional generations. Figure 3 plots generation time versus the lifespans from Noah to David, with a final data point showing the average lifespan in the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus.24 While most of the first ten Patriarchs lived to be over 900 years old, lifespans declined rapidly after the Flood, following a classic biological decay curve. This is almost impossible to explain except in terms of genetic degeneration. The nature of this historical decay curve is extremely informative. The remarkable consistency of the rate of decline over so many generations powerfully argues that the data and the curve are very real. Because the individual data points come from different parts of the Bible, and because the ancients would not have had a clear idea of either exponential decay or genetics, we can rule out the notion that the data resulted from any type of ancient scientific fabrication, or arose as a type of ancient allegory. The data are highly consistent. The coefficient of determination (matching the curve to the data) is very high: 0.96. Due to the consistency of the decay rate, we can also rule out the idea that there were hundreds (or thousands) of missing generations that were not recorded. We conclude that the genealogical record must either be complete or very nearly complete. This validation of the genealogical record very powerfully points to the historicity and reliability of the book of Genesis. The precipitous decline in lifespan after the time of the biblical Flood strongly suggests that the flood was indeed a pivotal event in the history of the world. Why was there such a dramatic decline in life-expectancy at that time? It is feasible this cataclysmic event may have been associated with elevated levels of radiation. 25 Some have suggested that the historic decline in longevity after the flood might be attributed to the effects of inbreeding. We know that marriage between close relatives can lead to what is referred to as “inbreeding depression,” which can cause severe decline in intelligence, fertility, and longevity. However, this hypothesis is not viable because a single-generation bottleneck episode followed by rapid population regrowth would not result in a continuous long-term decline in viability – it would result in a momentary dip in fitness followed by stabilization.”
I am still shocked that the proponents of evolution have such a difficult time understanding the difference between absolute fitness, or total functionality, and reproductive fitness. A good example of this difference would be sickle cell anemia. This disease is due to the corruption of genetic functionality. It is essentially due to a broken cell and protein. Of course, this is not a good change—and yet even though this trait hurts people, it still helps them to survive. Overall, it's not good for humanity, but it's beneficial enough that if you live in places where malaria is prevalent, you will be at an advantage. The problem is that fitness is so subjective since people with this bad trait can still have children. They can live to adulthood and they can pass on their genes. Therefore, there may be an increase in fitness in a very narrow sense, but in the sense of absolute fitness, we have an overall decrease. Selection acts on phenotype and not genotype as we have talked about earlier—which means that although we may get a few local examples of an increase in fitness—but it is the absolute fitness and total functionality that is always decreasing. The question comes down to a net gain versus a net loss and there is no way to counterbalance the damage done by the accumulating mutational load. We always pass on the good and the bad. The critics have not sufficiently addressed the reality of genetic entropy. Once again, the evidence is incredibly consistent with Special Creation.
Countless critics have attempted to deny the reality of genetic entropy. Many of these criticisms have been directly addressed by Dr. Robert Carter, Dr. John Sanford, and Paul Price in a recent article titled Responding to supposed refutations of genetic entropy from the ‘experts’. One common argument utilized by the more militant critics of YEC and genetic entropy have erroneously purported that if enough nearly neutral mutations accumulate, there will be enough damage that natural selection will be able to work efficiently. This objection is dealt with sufficiently in the article cited above:
“Claim: Natural selection will kick in after a certain amount of near-neutral mutations have accumulated. Effectively neutral mutations may well accumulate, but once they start to create enough damage to cause reproductive problems, they are no longer effectively neutral. At this point, they become selectable and NS will prevent further accumulation (again, leading to an equilibrium).
This was stated by Stern Cardinale,7 by Dr. Stephen Schaffner,8 population geneticist and computational biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard,9 and (possibly less clearly) by Felsenstein.10
Answer: This is essentially the ‘mutation count’ hypothesis. It has already been answered.11 But Stern Cardinale also claimed, “Dr. Sanford’s model requires mutation accumulation without purifying selection…” The near-neutral mutations do add up and are a factor in reproductive success. But since a near-neutral on its own does little to influence reproduction, they end up acting as if they were completely neutral and thus are only affected by genetic drift. And yet, as we will see in point #3 below, these adversaries want to invoke as many positive near-neutral mutations as there are deleterious near-neutral mutations, which is entirely odd. How can random changes to an information system be good for that system as often as they are bad? That’s like saying spelling errors are as likely to improve this article as they are to detract from it. Also, appeals to natural selection preserving the “least bad” genotypes are missing the mark. The point of genetic entropy is that the “least bad” in one generation is actually a little “more bad” than in the generation before. As slight mutations build up, the fitness of all organisms in the population should decline.”
In addition to the comments above, Dr. John Sanford provide some very helpful feedback:
“They have not carefully thought through what they are saying. The nature of near-neutral mutations is such that they are not only un-selectable due to environmental noise, but they are also un-selectable because they are ‘noise’ to each other. Thus, as the number of neutral mutations accumulate, selection gets worse, not better. If an individual carries just one near-neutral mutation, it might be very weakly selectable (but probably not, as environmental noise will override its tiny effect, so there will be little or no selection at all). If each individual has 10,000 near-neutrals, selection has to try and select for (or select against) all 10,000 conflicting mutational fitness effects simultaneously. Ten thousand independent mutational fitness effects (usually bad ones, vanishingly few good) will not just be pulling in different directions with each other, they will all act as ‘noise’, blotting out the fitness effects of each other. Haldane makes it clear that only a few mutations can be effectively selected for simultaneously. Trying to select for too many mutations at once totally overwhelms any type of selection. Indeed, selection interference not only prevents selection for countless near neutrals, it even interferes with selection for the more impactful mutations that are also accumulating.” Source: Price, P., Carter, R., Sanford, J., Responding to supposed refutations of genetic entropy from the ‘experts’, Creation Ministries, 1 December 2020. https://creation.com/genetic-entropy-defense
I highly recommend reading through the entire article refuting the critics to see just how unsophisticated the arguments really are against genetic degeneration.
Also please see:
Carter, R.W. More evidence for the reality of genetic entropy, J Creation 28(1):16–17, 2014; creation.com/evidence-for-genetic-entropy.
Carter, R.W. More evidence for the reality of genetic entropy—update, J Creation 33(1):3–4, 2019; creation.com/evidence-for-genetic-entropy-update.
Carter, R.W. and Sanford J.C., A new look at an old virus: patterns of mutation accumulation in the human H1N1 influenza virus since 1918, Theor. Biol. Med. Model 9:42, 2012; tbiomed.com/content/9/1/42.
It is also very important to once again note that the best arguments the critics have offered have all been dealt with using numerical simulations. This cannot be emphasized enough. The best that these mechanisms and rescue devices can do is slow down the degeneration. There is no resolution to mutation accumulation and the reality of genetic entropy points us to our first couple—Adam and Eve. Dr. Robert Carter has pointed out in his article titled “A successful decade for Mendel’s Accountant” that there have been no successful rebuttals to the technical papers that have come out from Mendel’s Accountant falsifying the rescue devices employed by the critics.
“A Google search for Mendel’s Accountant will bring up multiple hits that criticize the program and the conclusions being drawn from its discoveries. Essentially none of these attacks are substantive, and many are highly misleading. It is clear that most people commenting on Mendel have not read either the documentation or the background papers. Thus, many evolutionists arguing against it don’t seem to understand their own theory. This is probably due to the anonymous nature of the internet, and the level of expertise required to make comments online (i.e. no understanding required). However, one anti-creationist blogger (not trained in either biology or genetics, and it shows) tried to build a credible case against the genetic entropy thesis, and thus tangentially attacking Mendel’s Accountant. John Sanford has rebutted that review in an important article on creation.com.32 We are unaware of any peer-reviewed paper that attempts to refute the methods or conclusions of Mendel. After a decade of established work, there should be something. Their silence is telling.” Source: Carter, R. A successful decade for Mendel’s Accountant, J Creation 33(2):51-56, August 2019
The critics have failed in every way to address the actual data confirming genetic entropy and Special Creation.
See these sources for more on Mendel’s Accountant:
Sanford, J., Baumgardner, J., Brewer, W., Gibson, P., and ReMine, W., Mendel’s Accountant: a biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program, SCPE 8(2):147–165, 2007.
Sanford, J., Baumgardner, J., Brewer, W., Gibson, P., and ReMine, W., Using computer simulation to understand mutation accumulation dynamics and genetic load; in: Shi, Y. et al. (Eds.), ICCS 2007, Part II, LNCS 4488, 2007.
Baumgardner, J., Sanford, J., Brewer, W., Gibson, P., and, ReMine, W., Mendel’s Accountant: a new population genetics simulation tool for studying mutation and natural selection; in: Snelling, A.A. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Creationism, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, and Institute for Creation Research, Dallas, TX, pp. 87–98, 2008.
Sanford, J., Baumgardner, J., Brewer, W., Gibson, P., and ReMine, W., Using numerical simulation to test the validity of neo-Darwinian theory; in: Snelling, A.A. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Creationism, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, and Institute for Creation Research, Dallas, TX, pp. 165–175, 2008.
Sanford, J. and Nelson, C.W., The next step in understanding population dynamics: comprehensive numerical simulation; in: Carmen Fusté, M. (Ed.), Studies in Population Genetics, InTech, chap. 7, pp. 117–135, 2012.
Brewer, W., Baumgardner, J., Gibson, P., and Sanford, J., Can purifying natural selection preserve biological information? in: Marks II, R.J., Behe, M.J., Dembski, W.A., Gordon, B., and Sanford, J.C. (Eds), Biological Information—New Perspectives, World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 232–263, 2013.
anford, J., Baumgardner, J., and Brewer, W., Selection threshold severely constrains capture of beneficial mutations; in: Marks II, R.J., Behe, M.J., Dembski, W.A., Gordon, B., and Sanford, J.C. (Eds.), Biological Information—New Perspectives, World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 264–297, 2013.
Nelson, C.W. and Sanford, J.C., Computational evolution experiments reveal a net loss of genetic information despite selection; in: Marks II, R.J., Behe, M.J., Dembski, W.A., Gordon, B., and Sanford, J.C. (Eds.) Biological Information—New Perspectives, World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 338–368, 2013.
Brewer, W., Baumgardner, J., and Sanford, J., Using numerical simulation to test the ‘Mutation-Count’ hypothesis; in: Marks II, R.J., Behe, M.J., Dembski, W.A., Gordon, B., and Sanford, J.C. (Eds.), Biological Information—New Perspectives, World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 298–311, 2013.
Baumgardner, J., Brewer, W., and Sanford, J., Can synergistic epistasis halt mutation accumulation? Results from numerical simulation; in: Marks II, R.J., Behe, M.J., Dembski, W.A., Gordon, B., and Sanford, J.C. (Eds.), Biological Information—New Perspectives, World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 312–337, 2013.
Brewer, W., Smith, F.D., and Sanford, J.C., Information loss: potential for accelerating natural genetic attenuation of RNA viruses; in: Marks II, R.J., Behe, M.J., Dembski, W.A., Gordon, B., and Sanford, J.C. (Eds.), Biological Information—New Perspectives, World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 369–384, 2013.
Sanford, J., Brewer, W., Smith, F., and Baumgardner, J., The waiting time problem in a model hominin population, Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling 12:18, 2015.
Sanford, J., Carter, R., Brewer, W., Baumgardner, J., Potter, B., and Potter, J., Adam, Eve, designed diversity, and allele frequencies; in: Whitmore, J.H. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Creationism, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 200–216, 2018.
The critics of Special Creation have a lot of work to do before they think they can go up against the empirical data.
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