Examining Dawkins – Part Two: Mutations & Genetic Innovation

During a television interview, Richard Dawkins was asked point blank for a single example in which a mutation had increased the information in any piece of DNA under the sun. By “increase,” we do not simply mean the repetition of pre-existing information (e.g.: complete extra  copy of the 21st chromosome which causes Down’s Syndrome) but new, innovative programming. For example, the appearance of the genetic information required to introduce a never-before seen body part such as wings, horns or gills. Or even something more subtle such as webbing between fingers or different retinal cells in the back of the eye. Or heck, something ever more subtle than that. Anything! See Dr. Dawkins’ reaction below:

As you can see, there is a painfully long silence during which Dawkins comes up with not a single example of mutation creating genetic information that is new and innovative. The reason for this is quite simple… we know of no such example.

Mutations occur when genetic information is being duplicated. Point mutations are the most commonly occurring mistakes and can be summarized as follows:

dawkins2

As you can appreciate, this is a blind, accidental process, and the switching of a single DNA letter can cause a long cascade of mistakes that change more than one amino acid in the chain of protein structure. This is why our bodies have mechanisms to try and capture and eradicate even small genetic mistakes. And this is why mutations cause diseases. Hemophillia (Willebrand’s Disease) and sickle cell anemia are both caused by single point mutations.

The  notion that entire new paragraphs of genetic information (let alone sentences or single “words”) are written into perfectly functioning, benevolent and brilliantly adapted genetic computer programming by blind, random mistakes is as believable as a series of hundreds and even thousands of lighting strikes occurring next to each other and writing out a perfect paragraph which can be fitted right into Shakespeare’s Hamlet and make perfect sense with the story.

Essentially, this is not possible. Whether or not there is another natural mechanism that could conceivably cause the unfolding of new, sensible and functioning DNA paragraphs and books is an open ended question. But to pin the process of innovation on random mistakes does not make sense.

In the second half of the  video, Dawkins returns on camera as though he is finally prepared to answer. Yet… he still does not answer the question. Instead he launches into a generalized definition of Darwinian Evolution. We already know the basic beliefs of Darwinism, Dr Dawkins. We are trying to evaluate the classic mechanism of mutation to see if it stands the test of reason and observation. It does not seem to but Dawkins and others are quite obstinate in admitting to the pitfalls of their theory. Instead, they are content in the “Darwin of the Gaps” and are confidently awaiting vindication at some point in the future. A vindication that seems impossible given what we know about genetics.

(Remember that Darwin was not even aware of genes or cellular organelles or the fullness of the fossil record nor the timeline of the Cambrian Explosion.)

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