Any alteration in a cell’s DNA sequence is a mutation. These changes can come from copying errors, exposure to chemicals or radiation, or from an infection. But other types of genetic changes can come from purposeful genetic mechanisms within the creature. The term mutation can be misleading since when people hear it they likely assume the change is a genetic mistake.
Change by Design
ICR’s scientists see virtually all beneficial DNA sequence changes as being driven by innate systems designed into creatures; the beneficial aspect is a planned, programmed response. This is one type of many inherent mechanisms that allow creatures to beneficially change themselves in response to their environments.
Beneficial DNA sequence changes are engineered from the inside—they are built-in features designed to be triggered from within the creature when specific conditions are detected. They function in specific ways as opposed to an occurrence happening to the creature from the outside and somehow causing a beneficial change.
Mutations and Randomness
Nearly all genetic mutations that can be inferred as random (e.g., DNA copying errors, or exposures) are either bad or presumed to be neutral. Instead of helping, these changes tend to harm. Virtually all cancers are linked to an initial random mutation.
The numerous beneficial mutations needed to enhance or propel a creature into a new and more adaptive state are too complex and coordinated—too well-suited for their countless functions—to be characterized as arising from mere random processes. And for many genetic changes there isn’t an objective test to determine if their cause is truly random. Thus, many DNA sequences that evolutionists claim are “broken” eventually turn out to have been mischaracterized. For example, many pseudogenes (alleged broken genes) are functional and necessary for life.1
Why do evolutionists use the word “random” in their explanation of beneficial mutations? It’s because random is both an overtly broad explanatory term and a covertly anti-design term. As a broad term, random has an umbrella explanatory application. It’s like using the word “somehow”—it attempts to explain a lot without the necessary details, specifically the details biology demands in our age of genetic understanding and the observance of rapid adaptation.
As an anti-design term, “random” attempts to eliminate design from the entire biological process—i.e., reproduction, growth, and speciation—and therefore eliminate the Designer. Thus, randomness of genetic change is a crucial assumption of current evolutionary theory. Randomness is speculative. It attempts to ascribe mystical, purposeless evolutionary causes in the absence of known function. It’s a proven failure as a secular research model.2
We often see DNA changes in living creatures solve specific problems. These changes are triggered from within the organism and are rapidly expressed. These so-called mutations clearly appear engineered to solve functional requirements; they don’t appear to be the product of the random and fortuitous. From bacteria to moths, we have clear examples of genetic mechanisms conferring new function.3,4
Faith and Empiricism
Evolutionists have faith in random genetic variability—faith that undirected processes can somehow do countless precise things in the right order and serve as a means to build living entities. Adding long spans of time to the scenario somehow allows random processes to work wonders: Since millions of years are part of the picture, then perhaps countless random processes could somehow eventually take place and create all these intricate living entities with complex biological processes and elaborate genetic language. With this kind of inexplicit approach, aren’t evolutionists using unknowns to explain unknowns? This kind of speculative explanation isn’t scientific.
Decay is a random process, engineering is not. Erosion is a random process, writing intricate language or code is not. Engineers go to great measures to eliminate chance and randomness from the building process—to do otherwise is to risk the final product.
Beneficial genetic mutations are strong evidence for creation. Studies on human genetic mutation rates show they occur far too rapidly for humans to have been around for millions of years.5 The genetic evidence indicates we began only thousands of years ago.
Evolution lacks a biological foundation to support its hypothesis, especially when it comes to genetics. Biblical creation is the best scientific explanation for our universe and the wondrous life we see on Earth.
- Tomkins, J. P. 2013. Pseudogenes Are Functional, Not Genomic Fossils. Acts & Facts. 42 (7): 9.
- Tomkins, J. P. Human Genome 20th Anniversary—Junk DNA Hits the Trash. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org April 12, 2021, accessed August 16, 2021.
- Thomas, B. Bacterial ‘Evolution’ Is Actually Design in Action. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org October 15, 2012, accessed August 16, 2021.
- Thomas, B. Peppered Moth Still Not Evolving. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org August 4, 2016, accessed August 16, 2021.
- Tomkins, J. P. 2015. Genetic Clocks Verify Recent Creation. Acts & Facts. 44 (12): 9-11.
* Mr. Stamp is an editor at the Institute for Creation Research.