More Mutations Mean More Diseases, Less Evolution | The Institute for Creation Research

More Mutations Mean More Diseases, Less Evolution

The science of genetics continues to refute the notion that humans evolve by natural selection of beneficial mutations. One recent study used next-generation techniques to compare the detailed sequences of 202 genes in 14,002 people.1 They discovered that many people have rare, individual differences in their gene sequences. And those differences, or "variants," were probably caused by mutations and arose in the last few thousand or fewer years. The variants that everybody carries raise difficult questions for evolution to answer, while they confirm biblical creation.

Publishing in Science, the extensive gene survey discovered "an abundance of rare single-nucleotide variants compared with common variants."1 Rare variants include those that perhaps only one or two people or a family possesses, and common variants are DNA differences that are shared by larger people groups. The vast majority of variants are rare. What does this mean?

First, it implies that gene variants developed recently. If they arose thousands of years ago, before the human population began to soar, then the descendants would have inherited them. But since the gene variants are very rare, they reflect recent and unique mutations.

Why has all this population growth and mutational buildup only just occurred if humans have been on the planet for "at least 2.4 million years"?2 The human population should have skyrocketed long ago if evolutionary time is true.3 And the human population should have collapsed many times under its burden of mutational variants—each of which garbles just a tiny bit of DNA information—if evolutionary time were real.4

The latest Science study calculated a rate of 1.38 x 10-8 mutations per base pair per generation. Given the almost 3.2 billion base pairs in the human genome, that means that each new generation accumulates 44 brand new mutations in their genes. Regulatory and repetitive DNA sequences accumulate even more mutations. This is very close to 60 mutations per generation, a rate based on human pedigreed DNA sequence studies, published in 2011.5

The 2012 Science study authors also used three methods to estimate the likelihood that the new variants would have a neutral, possibly damaging, or probably damaging effect. Why was there no category for beneficial variants? It's because there are too few, if any, variants that would even fall into such a category. And even if beneficial mutations were real, the rate at which damaging or neutral mutations accumulate is far greater than the rate at which any beneficial mutation would accumulate in a population. And this is what causes mutational buildup after multiple generations.

In other words, natural selection cannot erase accumulating mutations fast enough for evolution to be possible.

On the other hand, the biblical understanding that mankind has only inhabited the planet for about 6,000 years makes perfect sense. These study findings corroborate that abundant rare gene variations arose only within the last few thousand years.

References

  1. Nelson, M.R. et al. 2012. An Abundance of Rare Functional Variants in 202 Drug Target Genes Sequenced in 14,002 People. Science. 337 (6090): 100-104.
  2. Bocquet-Appel, J.-P. 2011. When the World's Population Took Off: The Springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Science. 333 (6042): 560-561.
  3. Thomas, B. Earth Hit the 7-Billion Mark Too Late. ICR News. Posted on icr.org October 27, 2011, accessed July 19, 2012. 
  4. Kondrashov, A. 1995. Contamination of the genome by very slightly deleterious mutations: why have we not died 100 times over? Journal of Theoretical Biology. 175 (4): 583-594.
  5. Conrad, D. F. et al. 2011. Variation in genome-wide mutation rates within and between human families. Nature Genetics. 43 (7): 712-714.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on August 3, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Saturn’s Moons Continue to Challenge Secular Theorists
A recent article in Sky & Telescope magazine explains why secular theorists have difficulty agreeing on the ages of Saturn’s moons.1...

NEWS
Support Creation Ministry in Texas and Beyond
ICR scientists and support staff recently completed a two-week science expedition through the Great Plains and western mountain states to conduct scientific...

NEWS
Great Unconformity Best Solved by Global Flood
The Great Unconformity is one of the most baffling mysteries in the geological sciences.1 It is marked by a massive surface of erosion that...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update–Dinosaur Fossils
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Begins!
The Institute for Creation Research launched its 2021 multistate science expedition last week as a nine-member team left the ICR headquarters in Dallas,...

NEWS
Inside September 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR focus on scientific research? How could paleontologists mistake a lizard fossil for a dinosaur? Is animal death before the Fall theologically...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Beauty by Design
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Defend Your Faith with ICR
Have you ever heard a pastor question the historical nature of Genesis? “The days of creation weren’t really 24 hours long. The Bible is...

ACTS & FACTS
Animal Death Before the Fall?
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that death entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit (e.g., Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12). Since fossils...