THE CREATION VERSUS EVOLUTION CONTROVERSY: ADDENDUM #2
DATING OF FOSSILS:
We concluded addendum #1 by stating that our knowledge of how fossils are formed is definitive. We know what it takes for fossils to occur. We know fossils are formed due to sudden death, sudden burial and sudden disposition of sediment.
This definitive knowledge as to how fossils are formed does not harmonize with the evolutionist view of gradual fossil formation involving millions of years of geologic activity. Fossils are formed as a result of catastrophic geologic activity involving rapid disposition of sediment due to the action of water. To postulate that the geologic column of deposited sediment containing millions of fossils took millions of years to develop is to say there was a continuous progression of flood events over millions of years. While the earth has always experienced floods, there is no reason to believe there has been the kind of continuous catastrophic flood activity that would be required to facilitate formation of the massive amount of sedimentary rock and fossil evidence found around the world.
The evidence as to how fossils are formed does not harmonize with the idea of slow, gradual disposition of sedimentary material over millions of years. Fossils would not have been formed under such conditions as dead organisms would have decayed or been consumed by predators long before fossilization could take place. Therefore, ages assigned by paleontologists and geologists to the sedimentary strata and the fossils they contain are very problematical. Such dating simply cannot be harmonized with our knowledge of how fossils are formed. Since the manner in which most fossils are formed is definite, and doesn’t allow for millions of years of gradual disposition in sedimentary rock, the dates assigned to such rock and its fossils simply cannot be true.
In the originally published material in this series, I provided a comprehensive overview of indexing, carbon-14 dating and radiometric dating in general. I also discussed the problems that have been identified with these methods and their use in dating strata and fossils (See installments 2, 3, 6 and 8 of the original series). Since our knowledge of how fossils are formed is definitive while the efficacy of the various dating methods is problematical, it is prudent to conclude that the presence of millions of fossils in the various layers of sedimentary rock found throughout the geologic column got there, not by uniformitarian activity occurring over millions of years, but by catastrophic events involving water.
As seen in experiments done with sedimentary material (See part 3 of the original series), horizontal layers of sediment can be built up vertically in a very short period of time due to the action of water pushing against sedimentary material. Organisms entrapped in such material would be buried and become fossilized as the pressure exerted by developing vertical columns of horizontal layers of sediment became hardened into rock. Horizontal strata that form into vertical columns in a short period of time would all be of the same relative age.
Therefore, fossils found in such strata would also be of the same age. Smaller organisms would naturally be found at the lower levels of strata formed in this manner with larger more complex organisms being found in progressive order as you move toward the top layers of such strata.
This explanation of strata development and fossil placement reflects what we know about how strata can be formed and how most fossils are formed. While strata can be formed gradually over many years due to gradual disposition of sedimentary material, fossils are not formed in a gradual manner. Since we find an abundance of fossils throughout the geologic column, we can logically conclude this vertical column of horizontal layers of sedimentary material formed rapidly over a short period of time and not over millions of years as proposed by evolutionary geologists.
Therefore, claims by the scientific community that radiometric dating has demonstrated the geologic column of sedimentary rock has developed over millions of years is very problematic. As covered in part 3 of this series, radiometric dating can only measure the age of the igneous rock surrounding sedimentary rock and in some cases the bits of igneous rock that is found within sedimentary rock from which it is made. Radiometric dating cannot establish when these bits of igneous rock came together to form sedimentary rock and, therefore, cannot establish the age of sedimentary rock or fossils found in such rock. Geologists date igneous rock found above, below and around a particular stratum of sedimentary rock and extrapolate from their findings the approximate age of the sedimentary rock found in between. Since we know sedimentary rock can develop quickly around igneous rock, such dating of sedimentary rock to its surrounding igneous rock is very problematic. Additionally, igneous rock found above, below and around sedimentary strata has been found to be of various ages indicating random accumulation of such rock in response to various geologic activity.
The only logical, and dare I say scientific, conclusion one can draw is that the geologic column with its millions of fossils is not the result of multiple millions of years of gradual development. To conclude otherwise is to go against our understanding of how fossils are formed. In order for organisms to be fossilized on the massive scale as seen in the geologic record, such organisms must have experienced rapid burial within rapidly accumulated sediment which hardened in a short period of time because of the pressure created from successive layers of rapidly deposited sedimentary material. Therefore, the geologic column and the fossils it contains are not representative of millions of years of gradual development but are the result of rapid disposition of sediment entrapping millions of organisms in a short period of time due to the action of water.
Since the fossil containing geologic stratum are found throughout the earth, to postulate that the development of the geologic column took multiple millions of years would demand evidence of successive catastrophic floods occurring over millions of years and covering the earth. We don’t have such evidence. The only historical accounts we have of world wide flood activity is the Genesis creation account which shows the earth covered with water prior to the six day creation event and the Noachian flood account along with the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh and other ancient literature which appears to parallel the Genesis Flood account. Since we have ample historical record of the devastating effects of water on the topography of the earth, it is not at all unreasonable to view the geologic column with its millions of fossils as evidence of worldwide catastrophic flood activity that led to rapid burial of millions of living organisms in rapidly developed vertical columns of horizontal stratum of sedimentary material.
Since the dating methods used by the scientific community are believed to identify long periods for the development of sedimentary rock formations with its millions of fossils, it is necessary, at this point, to examine these methods one more time so there can be no question that we have given every consideration to the methods being used to determine the age of sedimentary strata and the fossils found in such strata. Sometimes Carbon 14 dating is used to establish the age of fossils. This, method, however, is very limited when it comes to dating fossils.
CARBON-14 DATING REVISITED:
Carbon-14, because of its short half life, is only useful for dating organic material no older than 80 thousand years. Carbon-14 is a radioactive element with a half-life of 5730 years. This means that half of the carbon-14 will decay in 5730 years. By 50,000 years, it will be almost completely gone. See http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v10i10f.htm for an in-depth discussion of the problems associated with using carbon-14 dating to establish the age of organic material.
Carbon-14 dating can only measure the age of organic material from the moment it dies. It can’t measure its age from the time it came into being. Organic material older than 50,000 years generally has little detectible carbon-14 remaining. As discussed in essays 6 and 8 of this series, a method of measuring carbon-14, called AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) is now being use which can detect previously undetected traces of carbon-14 resulting in organic material being dated to as old as 80,000 years. While this method has been able to increase the identifiable age of dead organic material, it also identifies a limit on such age determination as it pretty much establishes a point beyond which no additional carbon-14 can be measured.
Using the AMS method, carbon-14 has been measured in many specimens previously concluded to be millions of years old. Organic material millions of years old would not have detectable carbon-14 still in them. The discovery of carbon-14 in organic material that by conventional thinking is millions of years old should place into serious question the conclusions reached by evolutionary scientists as to the age of such material. For example, coal, which is thought to have developed millions of years ago, has been found to have carbon-14 as identified in the RATE Group research discussed in part 4 of this series. How can coal still have carbon-14 if it is millions of years old? See part 8 of original series for more on this issue
As covered in part 3 of this series, one manner in which paleontologists/geologists try to determine the age of sedimentary rock formations is to determine the complexity of fossils found in selected sedimentary formations and then compare them with fossils having the same level of complexity in similar formations. A particular age is assigned to such fossils and that age is then assigned to the strata in which they are found. The sedimentary rocks in which such fossils are found are dated according to the assumed age of the fossils. This method of age assignment shows stratification of fossils in sedimentary rock beginning with less complex organisms at the bottom layers with progressively more complex organism’s appearing as you move toward the top. In other words, the geologic column. This approach to dating strata by dating fossils was established before Darwin developed his theory and was used by Darwin and subsequent evolutionists as evidence for the evolution of living organisms. This method, called indexing, is very problematical as seen in the following illustration.
If you found a 1930 calendar embedded in a sedimentary rock formation, you could rightly conclude such formation was caused by a geological event (probably a flood) 80 years ago or less (2010 minus 1930 equals 80. I used 2010 because this is when I published this essay). However, this only tells you the maximum possible age of the rock formation. Obviously, the rock formation could not have formed prior to 1930 as there would not have been a 1930 calendar in print. But just because a 1930’s calendar was found in a rock formation doesn’t mean the rock formation is 80 years old. A flood could have occurred in 2000 that created sedimentary layers in which a 1930’s calendar in someone’s calendar collection got carried into the forming sedimentary material and became fossilized in the hardening rock. So now the rock formation is only 10 years old and yet its calendar fossil is 80 years old.
The point here is that even if you can determine the age of a fossil, you can’t necessarily use such determination to establish the age of the sedimentary rock formation in which it is found. Since fossilization takes place due to rapid disposition of sedimentary material, the age of the fossils found in such material will in most cases be older than the deposited sediment. It is also possible that due to a flood or other geological activity, fossilized material determined to be of a certain age could move from older stratum to newer stratum. In this case, the dating of the sedimentary rock stratum according to the known age of the fossils would be invalid as the age of the fossils could be much older than the sedimentary rock stratum that was just formed.
In the case of indexing, the age assigned to fossils is based on the presumption that less complex fossils found in the lower stratum must be older than more complex fossils found in the upper stratum. However, as already discussed, stratification of fossils can result from catastrophic flooding where smaller less mobile organisms settle to the bottom and larger more mobile organisms are entrapped near the top of sedimentary strata. Therefore, determining the age of fossils based on position in the stratum is to assume evolutionary development from simple to complex and the gradual development of sedimentary stratum over millions of years. Such assumption is unwarranted because we know organisms must be buried rapidly in rapidly developing sedimentary strata in order for fossilization to take place. We know from observation and experiments that sedimentary strata can develop rather quickly due to the action of water.
RADIOMETRIC DATING REVISITED:
Since sedimentary rock cannot be trustworthily dated by indexing, can it be dated by determining the age of the igneous rock that surrounds it? As already covered, sedimentary rock formations can develop rather suddenly due to geologic activity such as volcanoes and floods. Such formations can be built on top of, underneath, and alongside of existing igneous rock formations. In such cases the age of the igneous rock would have no relationship to the age of the developing sedimentary formations or any organisms entrapped in such formations. Therefore, using the age of surrounding igneous rock to establish the age of sedimentary rock and their fossils is very problematical. In addition, the radiometric dating procedures used to date igneous rock have not been found to be entirely reliable. For some insights into problems with radiometric dating see parts 3 and 8 of this series and/or go to: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v2/n1/radioisotopes-earth.
While reliability problems with radiometric dating have been identified, there does appear to be reasonable consistency between the various methods as to the dating of igneous rock. While this may bode well for concluding the earth is millions of years old, it has little value in determining the age of sedimentary rock formations and the fossils they contain. The evidence is much stronger on the side of concluding that the geologic column of sedimentary stratum and the fossils they contain were formed due to geologic catastrophic events such as floods and volcanic activity. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to conclude that the great flood as described in Genesis and other literature could be responsible for much of the earth’s geology and for the presence of fossilized organisms in the geologic column.
It is interesting that approximately 95% of all earth's fossil remains discovered thus far are marine invertebrates. Of the remainder, approximately 4.74% are plant fossils, 0.25% are land invertebrates (including insects), and 0.0125% are vertebrates (the majority of which are fish). Roughly 95% of all land vertebrates discovered and recorded to date consist of less than one bone. The overwhelming majority of the plant fossils that have been found appear to demonstrate an instantaneous burial. For example, leaves are pressed in fine sediment as if placed between the pages of a book and show no signs of decay or rot. Petrified trees have been found that stand upright through multiple sedimentary layers, thus indicating rapid burial in rapidly developing layers of sedimentary material and not sediment deposited over millions of years.
Since the Genesis creation account begin with the earth being covered with water, it is certainly conceivable that there was catastrophic geologic activity prior to the six day creation event. Whether such activity led to the fossilization of a prior creation of living organisms cannot be proven. On the other hand, the Genesis flood provides a reasonable backdrop for the geologic and fossil record appearing as it does.
WHAT DOES THE FOSSIL RECORD ACTUALLY TELL US?
A foundational belief within the evolution community is that the fossil record supports the theory that living organisms have developed slowly over millions of years. The fossil record provides such support only if you begin by assuming the thing to be proved. You must begin by assuming that the presence of simple to more complex organisms in a lower to higher stratification of placement in sedimentary rock got that way through uniformitarian processes occurring over millions of years. This approach is virtually saying that evolution is documented by the geologic column and the geologic column is documented by evolution. This is a circular argument. While we know that sedimentary rock formations can develop slowly, we also know that for fossilization to occur there must be a rapid disposition of sedimentary material. We know from experiments and observation that sedimentary rock formations can and do occur quickly as a result of catastrophic geologic activity. We also know that fossilization demands rapid disposition of sediment if it is to occur at all. Our knowledge of the conditions necessary for fossilization show that gradual fossilization over millions of years is virtually impossible. Therefore, the fossil record is much more supportive of living organisms of varying complexity becoming all fossilized at the same time within a short time frame due to a catastrophic geologic event that resulted in the fossil record as we see it.
This conclusion is much more in harmony with the “Cambrian explosion” which reveals the sudden appearance of organisms and their sudden death and burial. The sudden appearance of millions of developed organisms in the Cambrian and their sudden burial is much more consistent with a point in time special creation and subsequent point in time sudden death due to some catastrophic event as opposed to a gradual development of such organisms over millions of years and their gradual death due to uniformitarian geologic activity.
The Cambrian, as well as the entire geologic column shows fully designed and developed fossilized organisms. Even though most fossils are not the actual organism but an imprint of the organism, there is enough detail to establish such organisms to be fully developed. Fossils do not show incremental transitional stages of development. Therefore, the geological column does not support the gradual incremental development (evolution) of organisms. What the geologic column shows is a wide variety of fully developed body designs and body structures of varying degrees of complexity. While there is a general lower to higher sequence of complexity evident in the geologic column, the fact remains that these are fossils and fossils have to be created by rapid disposition of sedimentary material occurring in a relatively short period of time. Therefore, the evidence is strong for a catastrophic event involving water creating the geologic column in a comparatively short period of time where stratification of sediment occurred while rapidly entrapping living organisms according to their areas of habitat, size and weight. Therefore, the geologic column better supports a point in time appearance of a variety of organisms and their subsequent point in time sudden destruction.
The geologic column and fossil record is seen by evolutionists as major evidence for their theory. The forgoing discussion shows the geologic column and fossil record to instead give evidence to point in time creation and destruction. Since the geologic column is more reflective of a sudden appearance and subsequent destruction of organisms, what are the dynamics associated with the presence of these organisms throughout the geologic column and their sudden destruction? How do we account for the massive variety of life forms extant in the geologic column, the great majority of which are extinct? How do we account for the massive variety of organisms in the world today? Neo-Darwinian evolution (to be discussed below) is based on random mutation and natural selection which all began from the spontaneous appearance of a single living cell that was able to reproduce itself and begin a process of evolutionary development of life forms. We will now begin to explore this issue in depth.
DARWINISM VERSUS NEO-DARWINISM:
While the idea of evolution was being promoted by some naturalists before Darwin, most of the scientific community before Darwin believed Deity was behind the origin of the universe and life. In 1802, the English philosopher William Paley reasoned that if you were walking in the desert and came across a watch laying in the sand, you would not for a moment conclude such watch had come into existence by chance. You would conclude that someone had designed and made the watch. Paley argued that if a watch requires a designer, so much more would something as complex as living organisms. The argument from design was generally seen to be a valid way of explaining how the universe and life came to be.
Darwin argued that you can’t compare a watch with a living organism. A watch is not alive. It can’t reproduce itself. Therefore, a watch cannot gradually come into being. It must be designed and made. Darwin theorized that since living organisms reproduce themselves, they could very well begin with having minimal complexity and develop greater complexity facilitated by adaptation to environmental change and facilitated by what he called natural selection.
Darwin observed that there are many variations in populations of living organisms and he assumed these variations were heritable, that is, passed along from one generation to another. Natural selection came into play where organisms having certain heritable traits would better adapt to environmental challenges than organisms having less adaptable heritable traits. Organisms having the more adaptable traits would increase in number while those with less adaptable traits would struggle and in some cases become extinct. Thus was coined the phrase, “survival of the fittest.” Darwin believed that adaptable traits accumulated over time resulting in organisms becoming quite different from what they started out as. He therefore saw all life as gradually evolving from common ancestors who in turn evolved from still lesser life forms going all the way back to a spontaneous generation of life somewhere in the primordial past.
Darwin did not know how the variations in organisms came about as knowledge of genetics first became generally known to the scientific community after Darwin’s death. He did speculate that environmental factors may trigger changes. Darwin’s conclusion about the difference between living and non-living things was seen as a reasonable rebuttal to the argument from design. It came to be believed that living organisms had innate capacity for change and such change occurred through a natural progression of events. When this concept was combined with Darwin’s notion of natural selection, the scientific world began to embrace evolution as a reasonable way to explain the great variety of life on planet earth and in the fossil record without the need of a supernatural designer and creator. The geologic column with its fossil stratification of lower to higher forms of life was now seen as strong evidence in support of Darwin’s Theory.
With the advent of genetic research, Darwin’s conclusions were revaluated leading to what is commonly referred to as Neo-Darwinism which is the approach currently in vogue. Neo-Darwinism rejected Darwin’s suggestion of heritable environmentally induced variations in organisms as it was believed heritable traits can only be facilitated by reproductive cells (germ cells) and such cells are not influenced by the environment. Instead of further exploring Darwin’s idea of environmental influence on variation in organisms, Neo-Darwinists introduced the concept of random mutation of genes as the starting point for observed variation in organisms. A mutation is seen as a random change in a gene or chromosome resulting in a new trait or characteristic that can be inherited. It came to be believed that even though most mutations are harmful to an organism, there are enough beneficial mutations that when combined with natural selection, and given enough time, they will produce a progression of variations in physiology leading to a variety of different organisms at all levels of life.
Neo-Darwinism basically takes the approach that mutations have nothing to do with the needs of an organism. Mutations simply occur on a directionless random basis and produce slight differences in an organism. Natural selection then gives direction to the mutation and makes it non-random. Natural selection is the process whereby an organism finds a mutation useful or non-useful. If the mutation is harmful to the organism, and most are, the mutation will not be selected and tend to disappear. If the mutation is useful to the organism it will be selected and establish itself in successive generations of the organism. As more and more different useful mutations occur and take hold, they begin to accumulate and produce very small but steady changes in an organism. Eventually you have a very different organism from what you started with. Very small but steady changes are seen as microevolution. The accumulation of micro-evolutionary change results in macro-evolution where organisms gradually evolve into very different organisms. For the Neo-Darwinist, evolution is simply the gradual accumulation of small changes occurring over millions of years leading to the variety of organisms, past and present, which inhabit the earth.
We know that when an embryo is formed, cells begin to differentiate into forming all the various body parts that will make up the organism. This differentiation of cells occurs according to information contained within the genome. The genome is all the DNA located in all the genes on all the chromosomes found in the nucleus of the cells of a particular organism. It is the DNA that carries the information necessary for cell differentiation to take place. Genes have been identified as a sequence of chemical compounds called nucleotides located in the DNA which produce the nucleic acid called RNA which functions as a messenger molecule in the synthesis of proteins. There are regulatory genes that control what a cell does and how it does it and structural genes that encode proteins for various functions. Mutations are actually referred to as point mutations as they are seen as occurring on individual nucleotides located in the DNA. Mutations are further defined as heritable change, a change that can be passed along to another generation.
It is interesting to note that the number of chromosomes found in an organism is not necessarily indicative of that organism’s complexity. Man has 23 pairs of chromosomes while a dog has 39. The fish called carp has 52 pairs of chromosomes. Neither is the amount of DNA in the chromosomes necessarily indicative of an organism’s complexity. While DNA generally increases as complexity increases, some less complex organisms have more DNA than more complex organisms. Some insects have more than double the DNA found in humans. In cases such as this, the DNA information may be duplicated which means the total information isn’t as great as appears.
Since it is information in the DNA that facilitates differentiation of cells into all of the body parts that make up a particular species, evolution, as defined by Neo-Darwinists, can only occur if there is an increase in the genetic information of a particular species. We are defining species in the traditional sense as a group of organisms that can freely interbreed. For a fish to become an amphibian, the very genetic program that is associated with fish development would have to evolve into a program that now directs the development of an amphibian.
The conversion of information in the DNA to the production of body parts is extremely complicated and involves intricate processes involving amino acids, a molecule called RNA, many enzymes and a host of other components. All this is directed by information found in the DNA. In order for an organism to properly develop and function, each cell has a virtual control system that directs each gene to either be turned on or turned off thus regulating the synthesis of proteins and other components. When cells divide, they make a duplicate set of their chromosomes which are passed on to the newly created daughter cells. When the chromosomes duplicate, they don’t always do a perfect job copying the DNA and therefore errors are produced. It is believed by Neo-Darwinists that it is these copying errors that are responsible for evolutionary development of organisms. Cells have mechanisms that control for errors and keep them to a minimum. Some errors, however, persist and these are known as mutations. Something called recombination can also take place where two chromosomes or parts of chromosomes exchange places in the genes. Geneticists have found that other alterations occur in cell division such as inversions, deletions, insertions and transpositions.
Do mutations and other genetic alterations in cell division happen by chance or are they specific responses to external stimuli? It’s been found that in creating mutations, pieces of DNA virtually jump around in the chromosomes involving very organized, precise and complex processes. This has led some geneticists to conclude mutations do not happen fortuitously but happen to facilitate adaptation of an organism to specific environmental challenges. In other words, environmental factors dictate mutational activity. We all know that genetic mutation can occur due to chemicals in the environment. Organisms can and do respond to environmental dynamics in very specific ways. This can be observed all the way down to the genetic level. For example, a change in a specific single letter in the genome results in one amino acid replaced by a different amino acid which results in the disease called sickle-cell anemia. Is such exchange of amino acids the result of a spontaneous random genetic mutation or did some environmental factor trigger this change at some point and this change has now been passed on to successive generations in specific populations?
What should be of concern to Neo-Darwinists is that the mutation that causes sickle-cell anemia is a negative mutation in so much as it harms the organism. Yet it appears to have been selected as it persists in certain human population groups and has not been eliminated by natural selection. This would appear to negate the evolutionist contention that harmful mutations are eliminated. Evolutionists, however, would see those carrying this gene mutation as eventually succumbing to natural selection by eventually dying out and thus eliminating this harmful mutation from the population.
Copying errors in DNA are actually errors involving the nucleotides located in the DNA. It is these errors in the nucleotides along with natural selection that evolutionists believe lead to new phenotypes. Phenotypes are the visible characteristics of an organism resulting from the interaction between its genetic makeup and the environment. In order for a phenotype to change, there must be a great number of helpful copying errors that are selected over vast periods of time that facilitate such change. Yet there are examples in nature where proteins of two separate species are very different, suggesting many copying errors, and yet the two species are very much alike as to phenotype. This would place into question the proposition that copying errors accumulate over millions of years to produce new phenotypes.
Genetic research has clearly demonstrated that copying errors do occur and can and do lead to microevolution, or small changes in the genome that lead to changes in the phenotype of organisms. What has not been demonstrated, and frankly can’t be demonstrated because of the enormous amounts of time required, is macroevolution. You would need millions of years to demonstrate macroevolution. Macroevolution can only be inferred from our knowledge of microevolution. It can only be inferred that small changes in phenotypes accumulate over millions of years to create radically different phenotypes from what you started out with. Is such inference justified? Neo-Darwinian theory assumes mutations are random. I am unaware of any probability studies having ever been done to prove the randomness of mutational events.
Neo-Darwinists believe the fossil record demonstrates macroevolution. Yet the fossil record demonstrates the presence of fully developed organisms. The fossil record does not show incremental micro-evolutionary changes evolving into macro-evolutionary changes. This is simply inferred on the basic of believing Neo-Darwinism to be true and therefore assumes the thing to be proved. Neo-Darwinism believes evolutionary decent is demonstrated in the fossil record. More complex organisms are presumed to have descended from less complex organisms. This is assumed on the basis of assuming macroevolution is true. The fossil record, however, does not show this. When one considers the problems associated with believing the fossil record took millions of years to accumulate as previously discussed, it becomes very difficult to conclude Neo-Darwinism is a valid explanation for the diversity of living organisms, let alone how it all began.
For example, evolution teaches that modern bats evolved from primitive ancestors. Yet the oldest bats found in the fossil record are virtually indistinguishable from modern bats, including the sonar system employed by modern bats. The same is true of spiders. This same observation can be made for thousands of presently living organisms. While variations certainly exist within the phenotypes of different species, such variations in phenotypes do not prove they have been naturally selected to gradually accumulate over millions of years to produce the various living organisms extinct and extant.
Macroevolution requires that there be a long series of small mutational changes preserved through natural selection so that such changes survive and lead to changes in the phenotype of individual organisms. Since mutations are really copying errors of the information contained in the genes, it would appear to indicate we are talking about an increase in information when speaking of mutational change. This increase in information would have to be heritable along with the increased information of many additional mutations in order to facilitate a change in the phenotype of an organism. What has been found, however, is that all point mutations studied at the molecular level reduce genetic information, not increase it. While such mutations may still produce beneficial effects they appear to do so at the expense of the organism’s wellbeing at another level.
For example, it has been found that when some bacteria develop a resistance to certain drugs, they do so by a mutation that loses information in order to facilitate the resistance. It has been observed that when certain insects develop a resistance to pesticides, they also experience a more sluggish nervous system indicating that a gain in one area results in a loss in another.
Neo-Darwinian evolution requires a string of heritable, helpful mutations having a positive effect upon the organism resulting in gradual changes in phenotype leading to the creation of a new species of organism somewhere down the road. By adding no new information to the genome, no new molecular capacity is added to an organism to facilitate the kind of changes required for macroevolution to occur. Some experiments have demonstrated that some bacteria can mutate to produce new functions when needed by the organism. These mutations do not occur when not needed. Experiments such as these have raised questions as to when and why mutations occur. Are mutations random as Neo-Darwinians claim or do they occur in response to need?
We will explore this issue in out next addendum to this series.