New research revises the most common understanding of cancer and its causes, while also serving as a telling reminder to evolutionists. From Science News:
Random mutations play large role in cancer, study finds
Researchers have identified new enemies in the war on cancer: ones that are already inside cells and that no one can avoid.
Random mistakes made as stem cells divide are responsible for about two-thirds of the mutations in cancer cells, researchers from Johns Hopkins University report in the March 24 Science. Across all cancer types, environment and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and obesity, contribute 29 percent of cancer mutations, and 5 percent are inherited.
That finding challenges the common wisdom that cancer is the product of heredity and the environment. “There’s a third cause and this cause of mutations is a major cause,” says cancer geneticist Bert Vogelstein.
To attribute so many cancer mutations to chance seems to negate public health messages, [biological physicist Bartlomiej Waclaw of the University of Edinburgh] says, and some people may find the calculation that 66 percent of cancer-associated mutations are unavoidable disturbing because they spend a lot of time trying to prevent cancer. “It’s important to consider the randomness, or bad luck, that comes with cellular division,” he says.
Darwinian theory attributes the most wonderful creativity to the power of random mutations (sifted by natural selection). Orthodox evolutionists believe that such mutations are the very fuel of innovation, producing exquisite function and complexity, all the wonders of life. This research tells us what we already know, not merely believe: typos, mistakes, and the like are a source of disorder, disfunction, and death.
When it comes to explaining major biological novelties, the evolutionary story is a matter of extrapolation and imagination. Biologic Institute molecular biologist Douglas Axe tweets: “Cancer is what random mutations really can produce.”
Image: Breast cancer cell, by National Cancer Institute via Wikicommons.