Friday, 11 January 2013

Mutations cause...evolution?

The latest anti smoking poster campaign includes graphic images of cancerous growths like this one. The accompanying caption reads
'Every 15 cigarettes you smoke causes a mutation that may cause lung cancer'.
This is interesting. True science does indeed establish that smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, and that all kinds of cancer are due to mutations.
However, we don't hear so much about the 'random mutations' that supposedly cause the progressive and beneficial variations that are preserved by natural selection in the course of molecules to man evolution.
Why would that be? Would it be anything to do with the observable, repeatable, peer-reviewed, stone cold, indisputable, in your face FACT that mutations degrade and destroy, whereas in the Darwin mythos they are required to create, improve and build up?
As Charles Darwin wrote in Origin of Species,
" Without variations, natural selection has nothing to work on."
Very true. But we now know that variations are either due to differential expression or shuffling of pre-existing genetic material (a cyclical process that may preserve a species though tough times, as in peppered moths or Darwin's finches, but creates nothing new), or random mutations.
Random mutations. Like the ones which the latest anti smoking campaign admit cause destruction and death. As the Intelligent design hypothesis predicts.

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