FW: Rapid origin of genetic variation

Wed, 30 Aug 95 08:55:00 CDT

More on that post...
From: wjremine
To: CRSnet (Creation Reflector)
Subject: Rapid origin of genetic variation
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 1995 20:11PM

*** The rapid origin of genetic variation ***

Haldane's Dilemma is a problem for evolutionists, not creationists. It sets
a limit on the long-term average rate of beneficial substitution. Let me
emphasize two keywords there: beneficial and substitution. Substitution is
where a new rare mutation grows in number and eventually becomes fixed in
the population. Although substitutions can occur for neutral (or even
slightly harmful) mutations, Haldane's Dilemma specifically focuses on
*beneficial* mutations and places a limit on their substitution rate.
Evolutionists require a super-abundance of beneficial substitutions, and
Haldane's Dilemma is a serious problem for them.

Creationists have no problem with Haldane's Dilemma, rather they are more
concerned about the rapid origin of genetic variation. Let me emphasize
again, this is genetic *variation*, not substitution -- there is a
difference. Moreover, the variation need not be beneficial, but may be
neutral, or even HARMFUL. This latter factor especially changes the outlook
on things.

Error catastrophe is when harmful mutation accumulates faster than the
population can be rid of it. This issue, I say, is one of the trade secrets
of evolutionary genetics. The textbooks typically never discuss it, and
implicitly brush it aside by assuming "mutation-selection balance". My book
makes the following argument:
1) Taking mutation rates as measured, reported, and used by
evolutionary genetics, and
2) Combining those with the standard model of evolutionary genetics,
3) Then a human-like species is rather near (if not within) error
My point here is simply that error catastrophe cannot be brushed aside, and
such genetic deterioration is acceptable to the worldview of many

Once you allow HARMFUL mutation (and perhaps error catastrophe) into our
discussion, then truly astonishing rates of genetic variation become quite
plausible. In my debates with evolutionists on this matter, I often use
their figures for mutation rate (etc.), and before long they are complaining
(not for lack of rapid genetic variation) but that the rate of genetic
deterioration might be TOO RAPID! (Which is another issue, and, in my view,
a soluble one.)

Genetic variation is pouring into the population at a rapid rate, due to
mutation. For example, take a mutation rate of one per progeny. (That is a
rate well below what evolutionary geneticists typically use in their
calculations.) Then a roughly constant population size of one million
breeding adults will receive ONE MILLION new mutations EACH GENERATION.
(Note: That calculation already discounted those progeny so badly mutated
that they do not survive to adulthood.)

In addition, sexual reproduction mixes and recombines these to create more
genetic variation. And finally, even exceedingly small populations can
ALREADY plausibly contain huge amounts of genetic variation, so long as the
population bottleneck is not too long in duration.

There are many ways to define variation at the genetic level. But when you
do the analysis at that level, you are generally overwhelmed with the amount
of genetic variation and its rate of creation. In fact, virtually all
"genetic variation" arguments against creationists have not been arguments
about genetic variation. Rather, they are arguments about MORPHOLOGICAL
variation and speciation rates. (And those are issues for other posts.)
There is currently no serious case against the rapid origin of observed
levels of genetic variation.

Walter ReMine