|Genetics is the science of biological inheritance. Geneticists study the
chromosomes of organisms, the location of particular genes on the chromosomes, and changes
(mutations) and rearrangements in the chromosomes and their genes which are transmitted by
inheritance to succeeding generations. Genetics relates the chromosomes and their genes to
the inherited characteristics of organisms. This is what we have termed "classical
genetics." The new "molecular genetics" which is a part of molecular
biology is a study of the chromosomes and the genes in the chromosomes at the level of
their molecular structure and the actual arrangement of the atoms in the genes. We have
already shown in Creation Essays 4 and 29 that molecular genetics
thus far provides no testable scientific theory for the evolution of anything new (other
than limited modifications of what already exists). But has classical genetics already
solved these problems?
Evidence from Plant and Animal Breeding
For thousands of years intelligent humans have selectively bred both plants and animals to obtain varieties which meet the needs or desires of humans. Some scientists believe that in Mexico and Central America ancient Indian peoples may have selectively bred and crossed teosinte and other types of maize. The ultimate result was the modern maize or corn, with its many varieties grown for particular purposes. The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, with some 200 modern varieties, has been developed by intelligent humans. So we have police dogs, retrievers, poodles, and Russian wolfhounds. But their species classification, Canis familiaris, has not changed. Unlimited selective breeding of a particular variety invariably leads to dogs with abnormalities and deficiencies which render them weaker, less able to survive. Selective plant and animal breeding has produced varieties which yield more and better fruit, vegetables and grain, longer cotton fibers, beautiful new varieties of roses, superior wool, and higher quality beef and milk.
Could these be examples of evolution in action? The answer to this question is NO. Evolution supposedly changed one kind of plant or animal into another kind. But plant and animal breeding produces only limited changes within the boundaries of particular kinds of plants and animals. Dogs can be bred only to be just so small or so large, and they never become cats or some other kind of animals. Plums can be bred as large and peaches, but not the size of cantaloupes. The sugar content of sugar beets long ago reached 17 percent, but no more. Selection carried too far invariably leads to degeneration and sterility. In contrast, evolution has supposedly produced virtually unlimited change over periods of many millions of years. Thus evolution allegedly changed slime into university professors, and it only took three billion years!
No, the barriers to unlimited change found by plant and animal breeders point not to common descent of all species by evolution from one original living cell, but to separate creation of the kinds, just as the Bible reports. And genetics offers other supports for this conclusion.
Consider, for example, modern breeds of cattle such as Guernseys, Holsteins and Jerseys. Are these the products of evolution? Dr. Heck, director of the Munich Zoo asked this question in about 1940. He undertook a complex experiment in which he selectively crossbred the various modern breeds of cattle, thus mixing their genes together. In just a few years he obtained what appeared to be a primitive type of cattle called the Aurochs. What is the Aurochs? It is the ancient wild type of European cattle extinct for centuries. The modern breeds were developed from the Aurochs by animal husbandry. So has evolution been reversed? No, for one of the "laws" of evolution, Dollo's Law, states that evolution is an irreversible process. Why? Because evolution assertedly occurs by mutations which change genes. But genes are so complex that the probability of the random, chance restoration of a number of mutated genes to their original state by precisely reversed mutations is essentially zero.
We must conclude, therefore, that the "resurrection" of the Aurochs was not evolution at all, for the genes did not actually change. The "gene pool" of the Aurochs population was complex, containing several slightly different forms of many of the genes in the chromosomes of the individual animals. Selective breeding exercised for centuries by intelligent humans separated the genes in the gene pool of the Aurochs population into several different gene pools corresponding to herds isolated by fences to prevent interbreeding. In this way the different breeds were produced, such as Guernseys, Holsteins, etc., with their characteristic sets of characters. What did Dr. Heck do? He simply did what would horrify most farmers. He remixed the gene pools of the modern breeds. The result was to "recreate" the ancient Aurochs which possesses all of the alleles of the now extinct population of Aurochs. Dr. Heck did not stop at this. He proceeded to do the same thing with horses and apparently "recreated" the Tarpan, the ancient wild horse breed which also has been extinct for centuries. Thus we can see that much of what is called evolution is not evolution at all. It is merely variation within the boundaries of the created kinds of plants and animals.
Evidence from Laboratory and Field Research
The tiny common fruit fly, Drosophila, has been the laboratory work horse for geneticists since early in this century. Some seventy years ago it was discovered that X-radiation could speed up the mutation rate of fruit flies by a factor of about 140. Thousands of mutations have since been observed in fruit flies. But one scientist observed that if it were possible to stuff all of these thousands of mutations into single fly, it would still be fruit fly. And you may be sure that it would indeed be a miserable fly, for essentially all of the observed mutations are either deleterious or deadly. So though the fruit fly is genetically plastic, the science of genetics reveals that this fly is separated by an uncrossable boundary from other kinds of flies. It appears that God created fruit flies separate from other kinds of animals, but with the capacity to vary enough to be able to adapt to changing environments. So we see that the science of genetics supports the creation model, rather than the evolution model of origins.
But what about the famous peppered moths in England? Didn't they evolve: Over a century ago the population of the moth, Biston betularia, had two color phases, light and dark. Prior to the industrial revolution the bark of the trees on which the moths rested was clean, light colored. The dark moths resting on the tree trunks were more easily seen and eaten by birds. Therefore, the dark phase genes were continually removed from the population gene pool. Thus most of the population were light phase moths. But the tree trunks gradually became dirtier, darker, and the light colored lichens on the bark died off. Now the light phase moths became more visible, so the birds began to remove more of the light phase genes from the gene pool of the population. Today the population is mostly the dark phase moths. thus natural selection has changed the genetic composition of this moth population.
Prof. Kettlewell who carefully observed this weeding out process in isolated localities in England several decades ago said, "If Darwin could have seen this he would have seen evolution in action." our response to this is "Hogwash." Not even the species name has changed. There is no question that natural selection has occurred. The effect of the environment (birds seeing and eating more light moths than dark) has changed the composition of the gene pool. But now the trees are getting cleaner and lighter again, and the moth population in some localities is also shifting to increase the proportion of light phase moths.
This is mere variation with the created kind. No new complex biological design was produced by mutation and natural selection. The total effect was to increase the proportion of "brunettes to blondes" in the population. No new kind of moth was produced. There is absolutely no scientific justification in concluding from this observation of very limited variation in moths that mutation and natural selection could and did transform slime into amoebas into university professors, even in 3 billion years.
Classical genetics supports separate creation of the kinds, not evolution. Both classical and molecular genetics agree with the creation model of origins.
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