Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Ten Myths of Evolution Refuted, Part 8

Ah, it only gets worse. At some point, you wonder if the claims made by organizations like Answers in Genesis can ever actually get some evidence behind them. It turns out not only to be not ever true, but seemingly impossible. We know creationist claims regarding God can't be supported, so what makes them keep going?

Anyways, the next myth on the AiG list of ten regards bacterial resistance to antibiotics as not proof of evolution. Oh boy, this one is going to be good.

Evolution is defined as a change in the allele frequency of a population over time. An allele, if you don't know, is an alternative DNA sequence that is located at the same physical lotus (the location of a gene in the DNA strand). Mutations in bacteria that lead to antibiotic resistance in the population is, by definition, evolution. No, the bacteria have not speciated, but these are the processes that can eventually lead to it.

AiG points out that the mutations that cause bacteria to overcome selection pressures are not the information gaining mutations required for Darwin's "postulation". This is just plain retarded. When On the Origin of Species was written, Darwin knew nothing about how traits were passed on because DNA had not been discovered. There is no way he could have "postulated" that information gaining mutations were necessary. This is just ridiculous.

The simple fact is that mutations can add information, we've observed it. Now normal, everyday mutations don't necessarily add information to the genome (such as eye color), but some mutations can. The most common way that this happens is through duplication, where long strands of DNA are copied due to an error that occurs during meiosis. Those duplicated genes can then mutate repeatedly and really test itself against nature. Search for "gene duplication" on PubMed, you'll find a TON of peer-reviewed papers regarding this subject.

AiG also claims that these antibiotic resistance mutations can come at a price to the organism, namely, the ability to compete with non-mutant bacteria when the selection pressure is removed.

Yes, when the selection pressure is removed, those bacteria often lose the ability to compete as well, as they are more adapted to a different environment. Once again, this is a prediction made and confirmed by evolutionary theory. We use this technique to treat AIDS patients (except AIDS is a syndrome caused by a virus, not a bacteria. The concept is exactly the same, and that's because evolution actually works). You load them up with medicine, wait for them to adapt to it (a couple of weeks), stop the medication, let the viruses with the adaptations mutate back to their normal state, and then hit them again with large doses of medicine. This actually showed a positive decrease in the level of the HIV virus in most patients.

You see, unlike creationism, evolution actually makes people better.

The last claim made by AiG, with respect to bacteria, is that they show the creativity of God. The say that the ability to swap DNA shows how marvelous he is, and how wonderful his creation of mechanisms that enable the bacteria to survive are.

Actually, the ability to swap DNA with other bacteria is the precursor to the evolution of sexuality. Think about it, all having sex does is transfer DNA from the male to the female. Bacteria do the same thing, but there's no reason to throw God into the mix. Especially when you don't have any evidence.

The ability to transfer DNA across organisms is what causes most DNA mutations. Things don't always bond in exactly the same way when the sperm and ovum combine, and so we end up with mutations. The same goes for bacteria. When DNA is transferred, it can mutate, allowing the bacteria to "survive in a fallen world and rapidly changing environments".

Once again, AiG fails.


  1. "there's no reason to through God into the mix."

    ^^ I think u mean throw and I completely agree