Mutations Are Almost Always Harmful Mistakes


Darwin’s original theory of evolution included the idea that environmental changes could cause structural changes to occur in plants and animals. He also postulated that these acquired characteristics could be transmitted to offspring. In other words, a horse-like animal, by stretching its neck to reach the leaves in a tree, would be at an advantage if it had a longer neck. So after a lifetime of using its body in this way, it might develop a longer neck and would pass on this characteristic (which was acquired during its lifetime) to its offspring. This original belief, known as Lamarckism, has been shown false and has been replaced by the belief that genetic mutations are the major driving force behind evolution.

Mutations are mistakes made during the transfer of information from the genes of one generation to the next (birth defects are examples of these). Evolutionists postulate that if these mistakes are beneficial to the animal it will give the mutated animal an advantage, and natural selection will then preferentially select these animals for survival. This belief seems logical but does not fit reality. Mutations are mistakes and genetic mistakes are seldom beneficial. Although mutations may occasionally be beneficial, 100 years of intense experimentation has shown that mutations can not develop new organisms or even cause useful changes to existing organisms. This is because mutations never add new information and so cannot provide a source for such new structures.

A classic example is the mutation of the fruit fly. This insect has a 12 day generation making it convenient to see the effects of radiation-induced mutations. During the last century millions of these creatures have been irradiated in laboratory experiments and observed. The mutation rate has been increased by as much as 15,000 times1. The results of these experiments should simulate millions of years of evolutionary progress. What has resulted are big-winged, small-winged, wrinkled-winged, and no-winged fruit flies; large-bodied, small bodied, and no-bodied fruit flies; red-eyed, speckled-eyed, leg-in-place of eye fruit flies; many bristled or no bristled fruit flies; but mainly dead or sterile fruit flies. In conclusion, researchers begin with fruit flies and end up with … well … fruit flies – defective ones.

Furthermore, even changes in the number of bristles on the irradiated fruit flies reverted back to the original number after several generations.2 No new organ or useful functioning feature has ever developed!

The belief that mutations could slowly change an animal into some other animal is analogous to believing that a black and white television could be changed into a color television by throwing rocks at it. The rocks will definitely produce changes (given the quality of most current TV shows it could even be argued that these changes would be an improvement); but they certainly will not change the TV into something other than a broken black and white TV.

In the same way, mutations may produce changes, and it is remotely possible that some may be beneficial, but they will not change an organism into some other type of organism. For that to happen, useful information would have to be added to the DNA of the creature. This simply is not going to happen as a result of random mutations.

It would seem that this commonly accepted evolutionary mechanism (mutations) has serious flaws which are seldom reported to students or to the general public.

1. E.J. Gardner, Principles of Genetics, (N.Y.: Wily, 1964) p. 180.
2. N. MacBeth, “The Question: Darwinism Revisited”, Yale Review, June, 1967, p. 622.