Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The Chernobyl of evolution


Darwin said that evolution needs huge amount of time, and this is the reason why his evolution couldn’t be seen by us. Differently from Darwin, modern evolutionary scientists have much more technical resources at their disposal. By means of these advanced tools they eventually could give us experimental evidence of evolution in the lab. With the modern technologies, they could even compress millions of years of evolution into a few years of lab work.

Since evolution depends on reproduction time, they can grow populations of organisms that have fast reproduction time, e.g. bacteria, fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), etc.. Evolution is based on random genetic mutations, then they can use chemical and physical means that increase the frequency of mutations. One of these means is radioactivity: ionizing radiations have powerful mutational effects on the biological tissues and the genomes.

[Radiation] simply produces a greater frequency of the same mutations that occur continuously and spontaneously in nature. Like cancers, the genetic effects of radiation are impossible to distinguish from mutations due to other causes. (source)

The above statement is important because it grants that the “quality”, so to speak, of the radiation mutations is the same of the natural mutations. Evolutionary scientists can be sure that what differs is only the frequency. This is what matters though, because, since random natural mutations are the driving force in evolution they can increase the power of this driving force simply by increasing the frequency of mutation by means of radiation.

An experiment of “fast evolution” in the lab can be configured as shown in the following simplified schema:


Note the feedback arrow representing the possibility of recycling n-times the process until they get some interesting evolutionary improvement in output (represented by the big black mutant “super-insect” on the right). Of course modern technologies can greatly help to robotize and automatize the entire process.

The biological effects of radioactivity have been known since 1920. Soon evolutionary scientists started with enthusiasm these kind of experiments with the sincere hope to prove evolution in the lab. Unfortunately, differently from the picture, the results of their countless experiments with irradiated fruit flies have shown no species different from flies in output. After near a century and millions of generations of fruit flies subjected to X rays causing mutations, all they have been able to produce are: fruit flies. To be precise, the flies that remain normal flies are the lucky individuals. The unlucky ones becomes anomalous, damaged flies: they develop diseases, abnormities, malformations, cancers, death. Far now, hundreds of different kinds of mutation were identified in the radiation experiments, but none of these characteristics formed a new organism.

Evolutionists try a defense by saying that “high radiation exposure is deadly”. This is not a defense, rather the clear admission that Darwinian evolution cannot work. In fact “high radiation” means “high mutation rate” and this should improve evolution by definition. If, instead of evolution, it causes damages and death then random mutations cannot be the driving force in the creation of the biological complexity. It is not only the death of billion poor fruit flies, it is the “death” of Darwinism tout court.

If neo-Darwinism is true, then “fast evolution” experiments should prove it in the lab. They don’t. The bottom line is that evolution, beyond countless conceptual reasons that refute it, is disproved also by the experimental evidence. In a sense this XX century atomic bankruptcy of Darwin’s idea can be called the “Chernobyl of evolution”.

Mutation breeding of plants/seeds, "generation of mutants with desirable traits", is artificial selection, i.e. intelligent design in action. It involves trivial changes giving new varieties of the same species. It has nothing to do with the ameba-to-man natural selection miracle. niwrad
I ran Avida 1.6 at maximum simulated cosmic background radiation and the creatures kept reproducing just fine. Darwinists swear by that software and it even made the pages of Nature because it seemed the Avida discovered something significant. So, according to Avida 1.6, something must be wrong with reality since it doesn't agree with Avida 1.6's Darwinian simulation. These radiation experiments were done:
Mutations figure prominently in the Evolution story. When in the early 60s I was starting breeding work on forest trees, everyone was very excited about the potential of artificial mutations. In many places around the world, special “cobalt bomb" centers were established to stimulate rates of mutations. What wonderful things were expected from increased variability by induced mutations. All of this work has long since been abandoned. It led nowhere. All that was obtained were deformed freaks, absolutely useless in forestry. Maciej Giertich
But to be fair, large numbers of foods are radiation mutants: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation_breeding
Mutation breeding is the process of exposing seeds to chemicals or radiation in order to generate mutants with desirable traits to be bred with other cultivars. Plants created using mutagenesis are sometimes called mutagenic plants or mutagenic seeds. From 1930–2007 more than 2540 mutagenic plant varietals have been released[1] that have been derived either as direct mutants (70%) or from their progeny (30%).[2] Crop plants account for 75% of released mutagenic species with the remaining 25% ornamentals or decorative plants.[3] However, it is unclear how many of these varieties are currently used in agricultural production around the world, as these seeds are not always identified or labeled as being mutagenic or having a mutagenic provenance.
Of related note, Bergman recently gave a talk on mutations: Mutations and Darwinism - Dr Jerry Bergman - June 2013 - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfgiAWBluxE bornagain77
The simplistic way mutations are often explained left this layman with the misimpression that 99.9% of a population turns out right, and 0.1% turn out 'mutants', carrying either a negative, neutral or (very rarely) positive mutation. I was quite surprised to find out, thanks to John Sanford, that the genome in each cell undergoes around 3 mutations with every cell division. This means that the binary perception that each organism is either mutant or non-mutant is fundamentally flawed; we are all mutants to a greater or lesser extent, and every member of each new generation is more mutated that the previous generation. Hence "genetic entropy". This leads me to ask whether or not the whole idea of irradiating organisms to speed up evolution is also conceptually flawed. "More mutants means more chances for positive mutations" is the way I always understood the logic. But if there is, say, a 100,000/1 chance of any given mutation being positive, and the average organism carries 1,000 mutations at fertilisation, then you also have to factor in the likelihood that even when a positive mutation does emerge the other 999 mutations could offset any advantage. If my irradiation experiment is raising the mutation rate to 10,000 mutations at fertilisation, say, then I will see specimens carrying positive mutations more often but each one will now have 9,999 other mutations to contend with. Am I barking up the wrong tree here? englishmaninistanbul
This also debunks the equally unobservable punctuated equilibrium argument as shown with fruit fruit flies. They not only bombarded these fruit flies with radiation but with many different harsh environmental conditions and at the end of these studies we got.... Drum roll please... More fruit flies. wallstreeter43

Leave a Reply