Three Ducks In A Row

Question from Bryson:
1. Based on Mendel’s work, only genes, not physical acquired traits are passed to the next generation. Now, based on that, what mechanism in nature creates new genetic codes to build an improved animal? None that I know of. none that Richard Dawkins himself can think of as when asked he had no answer. So there would be no inheritable variations for natural selection to choose from. Now I know that some evolutionists have mutation as the answer. But mutation only damages DNA, it doesn’t produce new information and as proved by scientists, there’s no beneficial mutations in existence.

2. Also the Cambridge discovery. The oldest fossils ever found on earth, showing different species of the same “family” suddenly appearing at the same time with no links connecting them. Everyone says evolution is proven fact, when in actuality, evidence is extremely rare, and highly inconclusive at best.

3. Also, when scientists tried, they found that even on paper, you can’t take a cell below 200 genes. And in 06, they concluded in reality, it actually is impossible to go below 397 genes. A cell needs a certain amount of things to live. Scientist call this the minimal gene concept. Well…to find the origin of life you would have to go down to 0 and build up.

What is the atheist response to this?

Answer by SmartLX:
Three very old creationist canards. The word is appropriate because it defines them as unfounded, and slightly funny because it’s also the French word for a duck. I’ve numbered them for reference.

1. Gene duplication, transposable element protein domestication, lateral gene transfer, gene fusion/fission, de novo gene origination, and probably more. Several of these happen during mutation. The Lenski E.coli experiment, despite what Conservapedia has claimed, is a pretty clear-cut example of a positive mutation directly observed. Richard Dawkins wasn’t dumbstruck because he didn’t have an answer, he was furious because the nature of the question made him realise a pair of creationists were in his home under false pretenses. Here’s his explanation of the event. Even if you don’t believe his account, in the same piece he gives a complete answer to the question, and it stands on its own merits.

2. Fossils are rare to begin with, but when you go all the way back to when animals didn’t have skeletons or hard shells of any kind, there are hardly any at all. I’m not familiar with the specific “discovery” you refer to (link to it if you like), but that’s generally why fossils appear to start off already diversified. It hardly matters when we share more than half our genome with all animals and even certain plants, indicating a common ancestry.

3.The “minimal gene set” is a few hundred proteins, not genes, and it was easier for them to come together when they did than it would be now. Naturally occurring amino acids were all over the world and throughout the sea, and there was no other life to consume them or otherwise interfere. The chances of the specific protein set coming together were tiny, but this was more than balanced out by the vast amount of space, materials and time the chemicals had to get it right, and also the number of different possible combinations that would have had the same effect. And of course it only had to happen once.

2 thoughts on “Three Ducks In A Row”

  1. Bryson – LX did a particularly good job of answering this one, probably because, like a lot of us, he’s had to answer the same old creationist claims over and over and over.

    But I did want to point out one thing that I think all creationists ought to know. Often times believers ask me privately how it is that I can answer their claims quickly and intelligently (even if they don’t believe it). The reason is because religious types are always being told what to think. The preacher tells you what some ancient text says, your parents told you how you are supposed to pray for, your favorite creationist website tells you what to think about science. So their questions are, to someone that questions and thinks for themself, easy pickings.

    You don’t think for yourself. You read your three points somewhere, regurgitated to LX on this website, and found out that they are erroneous if not outright lies. Did you bother to research the claims to see what other points of view there were? Of course not. Did you stop and think that maybe the information being provided wasn’t accurate? Nope, because you are not a skeptic and don’t find answers for yourself.

    If you take the time to go to a creationist website to try to find answers, why not go to a scientific one, or read a science book or professional publication too? Why not get as much information as you can, and compare and contrast your findings so you can make an informed decision?

    Everything you are told by the religious establishment has nothing to back it up. No peer review, no questioning or comments from the community, no ability to recreate the data. In science EVERYTHING is open for all to see, all the time, and is constantly questioned. The methods and means for collecting and analyzing the data and evidence, the experiments and rationale used to garner a conclusion, all of it is open for review and criticism.

    If you really want to know things, go and seek them out at all the websites, in all the sources. Only you can open your own eyes, the only question is if you really want to, or if you want to pretend that you do. It’s your choice…

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