Mutations are rare and good ones are even more rare. One reason mutations are rare is because there are sophisticated error correction mechanisms in cells. So according to evolution, random mutations created correction mechanisms to suppress random mutations. And that paradox is only the beginning. That is because error correction mechanisms, as with pretty much everything else in biology, require many, many mutations to be created.
If one mutation is rare, a lot of mutations are astronomically rare. For instance, if a particular mutation has a one-in-a-million (one in 10^6) chance of occurring in a new individual, then a hundred such particular mutations have a one in 10^600 chance of occurring. It’s not going to happen. How do evolutionists reckon with this scientific problem?
First, one common response is to dismiss the question altogether. Evolution is a fact, don’t worry about the details. Obviously this is not very compelling.
Second, another common answer is to cast the problem as a straw man argument against evolution, and appeal to gradualism. Evolutionists going back to Darwin have never described the process as “poof.” They do not, and never have, understood the process as the simultaneous origin of tens or hundreds, or more mutations. Instead, it is a long, slow, gradual process, as Darwin explained:
If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case […] Although the belief that an organ so perfect as the eye could have been formed by natural selection, is enough to stagger any one; yet in the case of any organ, if we know of a long series of gradations in complexity, each good for its possessor, then, under changing conditions of life, there is no logical impossibility in the acquirement of any conceivable degree of perfection through natural selection
The Sage of Kent could find “no such case”? That’s strange, because they are ubiquitous. And with the inexorable march of science, it is just getting worse. Error correcting mechanisms are just one example of many. Gradualism is not indicated.
What if computer manufacturers were required to have a useful, functional electronic device at each step in the manufacturing process? With each new wire or solder, what must emerge is a “long series of gradations in complexity, each good for its possessor.”
That, of course, is absurd (as Darwin freely confessed). From clothing to jet aircraft, the manufacturing process is one of parts, tools, and raw materials strewn about in a useless array, until everything comes together at the end.
The idea that every single biological structure and design can be constructed by one or two mutations at a time, not only has not been demonstrated, it has no correspondence to the real world. It is just silly.
What evolution requires is that biology is different, but there is no reason to believe such a heroic claim. The response that multiple mutations is a “straw man” argument does not reckon with the reality of the science.
Third, some evolutionists recognize this undeniable evidence and how impossible evolution is. Their solution is to call upon a multiverse to overcome the evidence. If an event is so unlikely it would never occur in our universe, just create a multitude of universes. And how many universes are there? The answer is, as many as are needed. In other words, when confronted with an impossibility, evolutionist simply contrive a mythical solution.
Fourth, another common response from evolutionists is to appeal to the fitness of the structure in question. Biological designs, after all, generally work pretty well, and therefore have high fitness. Is this not enough to prove that it evolved? For evolutionists, if something helps, then it evolves. Presto.
To summarize, evolutionists have four different types of responses to the evidence, and none of the responses do the job.
Photo: The Sage of Kent, by Mafnoor via Pixabay.
Cross-posted at Darwin’s God.