How does genetics point to design? (Creation Magazine LIVE! 6-18)


Modern technology is revealing more and more
about our genetic make up. How does genetics point to design? This week on Creation Magazine LIVE! Welcome to Creation Magazine LIVE! My name is Richard Fangrad. and I’m Calvin Smith. This week on Creation Magazine LIVE our topic
is how does genetics point to design? Well the field of genetics and evolution, they have kind of been in conflict, they’ve been enemies from the beginning of both concepts. Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, and
Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolution, were contemporaries. At the same time that Darwin was claiming
that creatures could change into other creatures, Mendel was showing that even individual characteristics
remain constant. Right, while Darwin’s ideas were based on
erroneous and untested ideas about inheritance, Mendel’s conclusions were based on experimentation. Only by ignoring the total implications of
modern genetics has it been possible to maintain the fiction of evolution. To help us understand biology based on creation
rather than evolution, let’s sample some of the evidence from genetics, arranged under
the four supposed sources of variation which are: environment, recombination, mutation,
and creation. We’ll have a look at those four. OK let’s start with environment. This refers to all of the external factors
which influence a creature during its lifetime. For example, one person may have darker skin
than another simply because they’re exposed to more sunshine for example. OK, all right. Another may have larger muscles because
he exercises more. Such environmentally-caused variations generally
have no importance to the history of life, because of course they cease to exist when their owners
die; those traits aren’t passed on. In the middle 1800s, some scientists like
Lamarck for example, believed that variations caused by the environment could be inherited. Charles Darwin accepted this fallacy, and
it no doubt made it easier for him to believe that one creature could change into another. He thus explained the origin of the giraffe’s
long neck in part through, “the inherited effects of increased use of parts”. In seasons of limited food supply, Darwin
reasoned that giraffes would stretch their necks for the high leaves, supposedly resulting
in longer necks being passed on to their offspring. And now we know of course that that doesn’t work at all. Right. Well let’s look at recombination. This basically involves shuffling genes and
is the reason that children resemble their parents very closely but are not exactly like
one another. The discovery of the principles of recombination
was Gregor Mendel’s great contribution to the science of genetics. Mendel showed that while traits might be hidden
for a generation they were not usually lost, and when, what seemed to be new traits appeared,
it was because their genetic factors had been there all along. Right. Recombination makes it possible for there
to be limited variation within the created kinds. But it is limited because virtually all of
the variations are produced by a reshuffling of the genes that are already there. Yes, for example, from 1800, plant breeders
tried to increase the sugar content of the sugar beet. And they were very successful. Over some 75 years of selective breeding it
was possible to increase the sugar content from 6 percent to 17 percent. But there the improvement stopped, and further
selection didn’t increase the sugar content. Why? Because all of the genes for sugar production
had been gathered into a single variety and no further increase was possible. Its like Darwin’s finches he observed on
the Galápagos islands. In this single group, we can see wide variation
in appearance and in life-style among these birds. Now Darwin provided what is likely a correct
interpretation, Darwin was right about a number of things, of how the finches came to be the way they are. A few individuals he said were probably blown to the
islands from the mainland, the South American mainland, and today’s finches are descendants of those
pioneers. Absolutely. Probably what happened. Yes. However, while Darwin saw the finches as an
example of evolution, we can now recognize they’re merely as the result of recombination
within a single created kind. The pioneer finches brought with them enough
genetic variability to be sorted into the varieties we see today. That’s not evolution of course because it
doesn’t involve the creation of new genetic information. I don’t know how many times…And that’s the key…we need to repeat this. If you are going to turn a microbe into a man you have to add new genetic information for forms, functions and features that didn’t exist before, not separating genetic information already in existence. And that’s what science never shows. Right. Now when we get back we’ll continue to talk
about another source of variation in living things, mutation. And we’ll do that when we get back… Does the human Y chromosome suggest that men
are headed for extinction? In 2003, an Oxford University geneticist claimed
that the human Y chromosome was “crumbling before our very eyes” and that the demise
of men was imminent. Since this time, other researchers have pointed
out that these doomsday predictions were overstated. For instance, the Y chromosome has a unique
mechanism for correcting harmful mutations. Nevertheless, the Y chromosome certainly shows
signs of overall decay, as do the other chromosomes. Human genetic decay is a real phenomenon,
but it flies in the face of evolutionary ideas. According to evolutionists, all the complex
coded information in our genomes supposedly arose through a slow accumulation of random
changes called mutations. However, what we see with the Y chromosome
is that such natural processes consistently degrade the genetic instructions, as opposed
to creating them. Since the time of Adam, we live in a decaying
world, just as the Bible says. To find out more from Creation Ministries
International visit our website Creation.com. Well if you’ve just tuned in, this week
we are talking about genetics and how it demonstrates design in living things. We’ve been talking about various mechanisms
for variation in living things and as we said before the break, mutations are next. Let’s get into mutations. OK, well first of all, what are mutations right? Good place to start, let’s start there. Mutations are mistakes in the genetic copying
process. Every living cell has intricate molecular machinery
designed for accurately copying DNA, that’s the genetic molecule. So as this copying process takes place, mistakes
do occur, we live in a sin cursed world, things don’t replicate perfectly, and even though they happen they don’t happen very often. Once in every 10,000–100,000 copies, a gene
will contain a mistake. A spelling mistake. Now the cell has machinery, amazing machinery for error correcting these mistakes, but some mutations still slip through. What kinds of changes are produced by mutations? Some have no effect at all, or produce a
small change, a change that may have no appreciable effect on the creature. But many mutations have a significant effect
on their owners. Now based on the creation model, what kind
of effect would we expect from random mutations, from genetic mistakes? Well we’d expect virtually all of those
that make a difference to be harmful, to make the creatures that possess them less
successful than before. And this prediction is borne out pretty convincingly. And here are some examples that are going to help illustrate
this. Geneticists began breeding the fruit fly for example, soon after the turn of the century, and since 1910 when the first
mutation was reported, some 3,000 mutations have been identified. All of the mutations are harmful or neutral;
none of them produce a more successful fruit fly—exactly as predicted by the creation
model. Right, now when we say most of them would be harmful, even the ones that are neutral in these flies or in any organism, as they continue to gather, eventually they will become negative in the sense that you are just degrading the entire bit of information. Right, the information coded there is being degraded by these mutations even if it’s not borne out in the physical structures…It’s like rust on a car, eventually it’s going to get you. So is there then, are we saying there is no such thing as a beneficial mutation? Well yes, there is. A beneficial mutation is simply one that makes
it possible for its possessors to contribute more offspring to the future generations than ones that don’t have that mutation. So how does that work? Well for example Darwin, he called attention to wingless
beetles on the island of Madeira. For if you have a beetle living on a windy island, wings
can be a definite disadvantage, because creatures in flight, they are more likely to be blown into the sea. Blown off into the ocean. Yes, so mutations producing a loss of flight
could be beneficial, could be helpful. And the example of the sightless cave fish
would be a similar example. Eyes are quite vulnerable to injury, and so
a creature that lives in a pitch dark environment would benefit from mutations that would replace
the eye with maybe a scar-like tissue, reducing that vulnerability to injury and disease. In the world of light, having no eyes would
be a big handicap, but is no disadvantage in a dark cave. While these mutations produce a drastic and
beneficial change, it is important to notice that always it involves less genetic information
and never a gain. We don’t observe the reverse occurring,
namely wings or eyes being produced on creatures which never had the genetic information for them in the first place. So Natural selection is the obvious fact that
some varieties of creatures are going to be more successful than others, it’s pretty basic, and so they will contribute more offspring to future generations. A favorite example of natural section is
the peppered moth in England, years ago. As far as anyone knows, the moth has always
existed in two basic varieties, speckled and solid black. Right, and in pre-industrial England, many of
the tree trunks were light in colour and this provided a camouflage for the speckled variety, this is the story, and the birds tended to prey more heavily on the black variety. Moth collections showed many more speckled
than black ones. When the Industrial Age came to England, pollution
darkened the tree trunks, so the black variety was hidden, and the speckled variety was conspicuous. Soon there were many more black moths than
speckled. Now by the way…And that was in textbooks for many years as hey, look, this is evolution happening… and this research that we’re talking about here actually is very dubious at best, studies showed that moths don’t even rest on trees during the day and there’s a lot of fabrication going on, but we’ll save that for another day. So as populations encounter changes in the environment,
such as the examples just described or as the result of migration into a new area, natural
selection favours the combinations of traits which will make the creatures more successful
in that new environment. This might be considered as the positive role
of natural selection. The negative role of natural selection is
seen in eliminating or minimizing harmful mutations in a population when they occur. When we get back we’ll cover the one source
of variation we haven’t talked about yet; and that’s of course; Creation. When we return… Are you skeptical about Christianity? Perhaps you’re a Christian but know someone
who won’t consider Christianity. “Christianity for Skeptics” is one of CMI’s
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creation.com Welcome back. On this week’s episode we are talking about how does the study of genetics point to design? That’s our topic today. Now the one source of variation we haven’t
talked about yet is of course Creation. And the reason we’re going to talk about it is
that the first three sources of variation we discussed are woefully inadequate to account
for the diversity of life we see on earth today. Right, now an essential feature of the creation
model is God having placed considerable genetic variety in each created kind at the beginning. Only then can we explain the possible origin
of horses, donkeys, and zebras for example from the same kind; of lions, tigers, and leopards from
the same kind; and some 118 or more varieties of the domestic dogs, as well as the wild dogs, jackals, foxes, wolves, dingos,
coyotes, that type of thing, from the same kind. Right. You’ve got a whole bunch of information, you split it up and you get different varieties of the same kind. It all makes sense. Yes, and as each kind obeyed the Creator’s command to be fruitful and multiply, the chance processes of recombination and the more purposeful
process of natural selection caused each kind to subdivide into the vast array that we see them today. The way to understand variation and speciation
is through the removal and rearrangement of genetic information within the original genomes
created with an excess of genetic elements. Lots of traits there originally. These genomes initially contained all of the mechanisms required to quickly respond and adapt to changing environments. Programmed adaptation type of a thing. They provided organisms with the tools needed to invade many distinct, different niches of environment and so on, and were ideal for the swift colonization of all corners
of the world. These multifunctional genomes, and I think we’ve used this analogy before, it can kind of be compared to a Swiss army knife. A Swiss knife contains a lot of different functions and they
are not immediately necessary in a particular environment; but some of them are extremely
handy in the mountains, others in the woods, still others maybe for opening bottles
and cans, or tools for making a fire. So depending on where you are, you may require
different sets of functions. And animals can be like that too. In a similar way, depending on where the
organism lives, it demands different functions from its genome. The environment then determines what part
of the non-essential genome is under constraint and it is only this part that will be conserved. Now if we can cross-breed a zebra and a horse
(to produce a ‘zorse’), a lion and a tiger (a liger or tigon), or a false killer whale
and a dolphin (a wholphin), what does this tell us about the original kinds of animals
that God created? Well, it means that the animals that can hybridize descended from the same created kind. If two animals or two plants can hybridize
then they must belong to the same original created kind. If the hybridizing species are from different
genera in a family, it suggests that the whole family might have come from the one created
kind originally. If the genera are in different families within
an order, it suggests that maybe the whole order may be derived from the original created kind. We can reason in that particular way. So God created all kinds, or basic types, of
creatures and plants with the ability to produce variety in their offspring. These varieties come from recombinations of
the existing genetic information created in the beginning, through the marvellous reproductive
method created by God. Since the Fall, some variations also occurred
through degenerative changes caused by mutations. The variations allow for the descendants of
the created kinds to adapt to different environments and ‘fill the earth’, as God commanded. Its brilliant engineering actually. If genera represent the created kinds, then
Noah took less than, here’s how it relates to Noah’s Flood, took less than 20,000 land animals on the Ark; far fewer if kinds originally gave
rise to the families that we talk about today. From these kinds came many ‘daughter species’,
which generally each have less information (and are thus more specialized) than the parent
population on the Ark. Properly understood, adaptation by natural
selection (which gets rid of information) does not involve the addition of new complex
DNA information. Thus, students should not be taught that it
demonstrates ‘evolution happening’, as if it showed the process by which fish could
eventually turn into people. Understanding what God has told us in Genesis
provides a sound foundation for thinking about the classification of living things and how
the great diversity we see around us today has come about. When we get back we’re going to talk about a specific example
that support what we’ve been talking about here. Evolutionists have long proposed that almost all our DNA—98%— is junk; that it has no function whatsoever. They said this because evolution needs lots of junk DNA for three reasons. Firstly, there are far too many mutations, which would cause our extinction, but if nearly all of them occurred in junk DNA, then they are less of a problem. Secondly, if mutations—accidental changes—created us, then accidents cannot create DNA with 100% function; this would be unbelievable. Thirdly, if mutations created us, they must have occurred in lots of DNA that had no function, to allow lots of experimentation without damaging the existing functions. However modern science reveals that nearly all of our DNA actually has a function, and this is a huge problem for evolution. Creationist scientists doubted the junk DNA idea all along, although because we live in a fallen world, they expected to find some damaged DNA that might appear to be junk—but not much. To find out more from Creation Ministries
International visit our website Creation.com. Welcome, our subject this week is how does genetics
point to design? We’ve explained that the creation model
says that, rather than, simple creatures with limited amounts of genetic information being
built up slowly with more and more sophisticated variants over millions of years, rather, God
started creatures out with an amazing amount of variability, genetic information there, so that they could adapt to whatever environments they encountered down the road. We’ve got a specific example here to
show just that. The multiple genomes of Arabidopsis. In 2007, Science reported on the genome of
Arabidopsis thaliana, a flowering plant of the mustard family with a small genome that
is suitable for extensive genetic studies. This report was of particular interest because
it showed the genomes of 19 individual plants collected from 19 individual strands, ranging
from sub-arctic regions to the tropics. Now according to a commentary summarizing
the results of this painstaking analysis ” … about four percent of the reference
genome either looks very different in the wild varieties, or cannot be found at all. Almost every tenth gene was so defective that
it could not fulfill its normal function anymore! Results such as these raise fundamental
questions. For one, they qualify the value of the model
genomes sequenced so far. ‘There isn’t such a thing as the genome
of a species,’ says Weigel. He adds, ‘The insight that the DNA sequence of a single individual is by far not sufficient to understand the genetic potential of a species
also fuels current efforts in human genetics.” Now that’s amazing because what he’s saying is look, there is no such thing as a genome of a single species. What they’re finding all over the world, these same plants are adapted to different environments but the degraded remains of genetic information that could allow it to survive in different environment remains in there. But because it’s not being used, mutations accumulate and it’s just degrading, but it did originally have the information so that plant could have been here and this plant could have been there. It’s just amazing. Yes and continuing on they even said this;
“That even in a minimal genome every tenth gene is dispensable has been a great surprise”,
admits Weigel.’ Wow. Now among the 19 strands of Arabidopsis we
find there’s dramatic genetic differences. We observe genetic losses as well as genetic
novelties. Although the dispensability of genes is easy
to understand with respect to genetic redundancy, the observed novelties are much harder to
conceive unless we accept that all observed novelties are not novelties at all but genetic
tools that have resided in the genome since the day Arabidopsis was created. The genetic ‘novelties’ may simply reflect
environmental constraints that have helped preserve these genetic tools. There is indeed ‘no such thing as the genome
of a species’, because what we observe today are the rearranged and adapted genomes that were
all derived from an original genome that contained all the genetic tools we find scattered throughout
the population. The ‘great surprise’ is only a great surprise
with respect to the Darwinian paradigm. With a pluripotent Arabidopsis genome in mind,
the data are not surprising at all. It is in accord with what we might expect
from the perspective of a rapid re-population of the earth after the Flood. Yes, there we go. Modern Arabidopsis genomes look as if they were derived from much larger genomes containing all kinds of excess genetic elements—both coding and non-coding, so repetitive sequences—that can easily be lost, shuffled or duplicated. The ‘dispensable genes’ outlined here
can be understood as genetic redundancies originally present in the genomes that over
time steadily fell apart, as you mentioned there in those nineteen individuals, because the environment didn’t select for them. Yes the study strongly suggests that isolated
strands of plants originated as a result of loss of genetic redundancies, duplication
and rearrangement of genetic elements. The dispensability of the genes of
Arabidopsis could have been predicted because most of the genes still present in the individual
genomes are redundant. These observations strongly favour this abundant
genome hypothesis, if you will, that creationists put forward. So, known examples of rapid speciation in modern
times are in perfect accord with the Bible—just variation within the created kinds—all known
examples of modern-day speciation involve a loss or reshuffling of existing genetic information. And if speciation is not evidence for evolution,
reversing it obviously has nothing to do with undoing evolution. If all it takes to cause two species to become
one is a reshuffling of genes, then a gene reshuffle presumably caused the original species
to split into isolated species. Since this involves no new information, it
can’t legitimately be used as evidence that yeasts can become yaks, you know, if you give it enough time. And we’ll be back in just one moment… The vigorous promotion of evolution as established fact is causing many Christians to question
the biblical creation account. And some non-Christians won’t consider Christianity
because they believe the Bible has been disproved by science. That’s where Creation magazine comes in! Creation magazine is a family friendly publication
packed with cutting edge science that supports the Bible, presented in an easy to understand
format by some of the leading experts in their fields of study. Visit Creation.com to subscribe today! Well welcome back, this is the ‘In the News’ section here on Creation Magazine LIVE! and this article here we are about to read from is called Scientists observe wasps evolving into new species. And this is going to relate directly to what we were talking about earlier. And it also speaks to once again how in the news and so often people are exposed to the concept of evolution saying look, we’re observing evolution! Now so often you see these conflicting reports; ‘We’ve observed evolution’, ‘Evolution hasn’t been observed’. So it just goes to show that what they’re talking about here is speciation involving natural selection and genetic mutation but not evolution…Which we agree with its what we’ve always agreed with, we write papers on it and a lot more papers recently. So this isn’t observing evolution. Not evolution at all. So they say, “Scientists have documented three species of wasps turning into three new species, an unusual close-up view of rapid evolution in action. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team found that evolutionary changes in one species of fruit fly triggered a cascade of evolutionary changes in three species of wasps that are predators of the fruit fly. As a result, not only did the fruit fly evolve into a new species, but so did each of the wasps. The speciation process took a mere 160 years. The research sheds light not only on how some new life-forms originate, but also how quickly it can happen. ‘We tend to think of evolution occurring over millions of years,’ said Scott Egan, evolutionary biologist at Rice University and co-author of the study. ‘What jumped out at me is that [a new species] can emerge in contemporary time.'” Let’s just stop there and comment a little bit. They’re surprised that speciation can happen quickly, not a surprise to us at all, in fact it’s predicted by the creation model. Right. And even Old Earth Creationists have accused Young Earth Creationists of believing in even more rapid evolution than even the evolutionists do because they say if you went from two of every, seven of some creatures on the Ark and now we’ve got all these different species, you guys believe in rapid evolution! Well number one, speciation is not evolution, we’ve talked about that. It’s not evolution, there’s this terminology, we need to properly define terms. And the folks in this article they are talking about, this is “an unusual close-up view of rapid evolution in action”. Its rapid speciation. Speciation. But that’s not evolution. These wasps didn’t turn into anything other than wasps and these fruit flies didn’t turn into anything other than fruit flies. It’s a re-shuffling, a recombination of genetic material, exactly what we were explaining earlier on this show, this isn’t evolution in action. Let’s continue, “Speciation typically occurs when biological variations between individuals in a species allow some of them to live in a different environment. If they thrive there, it drives divergence from the original pool, and a new species is born. But can such speciation in one group of organisms also trigger speciation in another group of organisms? The latest study is among the first to document that it does.” So that is fascinating. Yes, and once again it just shows that science actually supports the creation model. We’ll see you next time on Creation Magazine LIVE!

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