A devastatingly powerful argument against evolution
Entropy is the universal tendency for things to run down and fall apart. Thanks, largely to the work of Dr John Sanford (renowned plant geneticist and genetic engineering pioneer from Cornell University), the same gradual process of ‘running down’ is also operating in the human gene pool.
Called genetic entropy, it is driving humanity—and all higher organisms—to the point of extinction.
The most definitive findings were published in 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by Lynch.4 That paper indicates human fitness is declining at 3–5% per generation
In fact, this process, which operates more rapidly in ‘higher’ organisms,3 means that the human species could only be several thousand years old; certainly not hundreds of thousands of years, or we would have already become extinct.
This topic is not widely known, but it’s very powerful support for biblical creation. Simply put, genetic entropy means that the information content in the genome (all of our genes) is progressively declining, due to the accumulation of mutations, generation after generation.
Mutations happen in all life forms (and in viruses). In our corrupted, fallen world, the mechanisms that replicate the genetic material from one generation (or one cell division) to the next now are imperfect. Each time we have children, we inevitably pass along some mistakes that were not there before. Another source of mutation is environmental radiation
Estimates vary, but a common figure is that each child is born with around 100 new mutations. These are added to the ones already accumulated in previous generations.
These mistakes are almost never helpful. Could you ever expect to improve an encyclopedia by adding more and more spelling mistakes every time one is printed? The evolutionary literature acknowledges this very clearly. Even the simplest of living organisms are highly complex. Mutations—indiscriminate alterations of such complexity—are much more likely to be harmful than beneficial.5 It seems unlikely that any mutation is truly neutral in the sense that it has no effect on fitness. All mutations must have some effect, even if that effect is vanishingly small.9
In summary, the vast majority of mutations are deleterious. This is one of the most well-established principles of evolutionary genetics, supported by both molecular and quantitative-genetic data. One estimate is that damaging mutations outnumber helpful ones by a million to one.7 Even most of the ‘beneficial’ mutations turn out to break things rather than make things, e.g. wingless beetles on windswept islands
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!
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. 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!
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). In short, if the world were even several hundred thousand years old, genetic entropy means that we would have long since become extinct.15 This demonstrates that it is biblical creation, not evolutionary theory, that matches up to genetic reality—and it highlights the dismal future that awaits humanity apart from the intervening work of our Creator God.
For references and Notes go to CMI (www.creation.com) and the article “Genetic entropy: The silent killer A devastatingly powerful argument against evolution” by Paul Price