The Missing Mutations

The Missing Mutations

I’ve been reading a book by Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson recently. The book is aptly entitled Replacing Darwin. Its premise is to examine Darwin’s original work and, upon finding it wanting, replace it with a more coherent, modern theory of origins, incorporating DNA and genetics, concepts foreign to Darwin. I highly recommend the work, but it is written at the edge of the layman’s level of understanding so be prepared to reread sections to ensure you grasp the concepts. During my reading of this book, I came across a concept I have dubbed the Missing Mutations This article will discuss this concept and how it challenges the prevailing evolutionary theory.

Before going into the Missing Mutations, we need to establish a little background. Even the most casual observer of the great origins debate is doubtless aware of how great a value evolutionists place on mutations. To the evolutionist, mutations are the agent that has generated the variations we see in the world around us. They claim that mutations change the DNA of an organism and, given enough time, can create entirely new kinds of organisms. While there are numerous problems with this idea, I want to focus on the Missing Mutations idea.

The idea of Missing Mutations hinges on a type of DNA called nuclear DNA. This is the type of DNA we typically think of when the word is mentioned. This DNA codes for the heritable characteristics of an organism such as hair and eye color.  Nuclear DNA is found coiled in tightly wound chromosomes. Chromosomes come paired in most vertebrates. This is referred to as being diploid.  These chromosomes contain the genes for the organism. These genes contain the information for a particular characteristic.  If the genes for a characteristic contain the same information, the chromosome is said to be homozygous for that gene. If the genes are different, the chromosomes are said to be heterozygous. Most chromosome pairs are heterozygous for most genes.

When a baby is conceived, it contains genetic information from both of its parents. It gets one chromosome from mom and one from dad. When these two chromosomes pair in the fertilization process, the newly formed pair of chromosomes has two different genes to take information from.  This significantly increases the likelihood that the newly forming offspring will be heterozygous for a given gene. Since there are over a million genes in the human genome, and many appear more than once on a chromosome, an offspring is likely to be heterozygous at millions of points across the pair of the chromosomes.  This does not sound like a big deal. It simply increases the amount of variation in a given species. However, the heterozygous genes are actually a very big deal, because of what they tell us about evolution.

Recall that evolutionists insist mutations are the mechanism of changes within and between the various kinds. However, in many species, including humans, the rate of mutation has been measured. In humans, it is around seventy-eight mutations per generation. Even stacking a thousand generations, mutations would not account for the variety we see across a given species, let alone across the kinds. This leads to a the question. When the first humans arose, were their internal chromosomes homozygous or heterozygous? If evolution is true, then the chromosomes should have been homozygous. They would have had no external influence to make them heterozygous. Heterozygousity comes from two sources, an external designer, or two homozygous parents producing offspring.  Thus, under the designer-less ideas of evolution, the first humans must have been homozygous. However, to get the massive variety we see in the human genome, heterozygousity at the beginning is a must. The rate of mutations is simply insufficient.

The above paragraph demonstrates just how badly mutations fail as a mechanism for evolution. The true mechanism for variation within the species is not mutations. Instead it is natural, harmless, preexisting information expressed in heterozygousity.  Since heterozygousity could not have existed at the beginning without a designer, evolutionists are left with a dilemma. It might seem easy to claim that mutation rates differed in the past from what we observe in the present but this would be both intellectually dishonest and fatal since they frequently assail creationists for believing that things were different in the past than they are now.  Further, to claim mutation rates vary would make it impossible for them to claim millions of years were required to form new kinds with any conviction.  However, if they insist on mutation rates being the same throughout the history of a species, they are left holding a shell of a theory since, as demonstrated above, mutations cannot account for the variety we see. This is the Missing Mutation principle. Mutations evolution would expect to find are not there. Like the Missing Links, the Missing Mutations are a huge problem for the evolutionists.

There is a way to account for the variation we see without the missing mutations but evolutionists will never accept it since it runs counter to their theory.  To explain the variation, the first humans, and, by extension, animals of a given kind, must have been heterozygous. However, this requires a Designer, as we discussed above, and evolutionists flee the very thought of a Designer. Creationists embrace a wise Master Designer, one Who could have designed Adam and Eve with heterozygous genomes to ensure the massive variation we see in the world today.

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