by Bill Nugent
All of us are aware of the “superbugs” which are disease germs that have developed resistance to antibiotic drugs. Evolutionists often point to these microbes to try to make the case that superbugs are examples of evolution on a small scale. The evolutionists may even make the outrageous claim that favorable genetic mutations added information to the bacterial DNA to enable it to resist the antibiotics.
Let me say unequivocally at the outset that geneticists who study superbugs have offered no evidence that information was added to the DNA by these mutations. There was no uphill change. The microbes in question experienced a deletion of information or a scrambling of preexisting information in the genes. The few instances of transfer of DNA from bacteria to bacteria always involved preexisting genetic information.
Let’s look at a typical example. Some species of bacteria produce an enzyme called penicillinase which breaks down penicillin. These bacteria have the ability to synthesize this enzyme because of preexisting genetic information in the bacterial DNA. This same species of bacteria also has a gene that inhibits or shuts off production of penicillinase lest it produce too much. This bacteria therefore has a very limited natural immunity to penicillin toxin.
The bacteria produces a small amount of penicillinase but if large amounts of penicillin are introduced into its environment that small amount of penicillinase would not be sufficient. So if a patient takes a course of penicillin the bacteria are poisoned by penicillin and die off.
However, there are some bacteria that at some point in time suffered a genetic mutation that destroyed the gene that inhibits production of penicillinase. This means that these mutated bacteria can’t stop producing penicillinase. These bacteria are immune to penicillin no matter how much penicillin is taken by the patient. Notice that it was a deletion of genetic information that acted as an advantage in the high penicillin environment. These penicillin resistant bacteria survive in infected people and become the dominant strain of bacteria.
Another curious fact acknowledged by microbiologists, geneticists and health care workers is that such antibiotic resistant bacteria are less hardy in the wild than the nonresistant strains, This is because, as in the example noted above, a large part of the bacterium’s energy goes into producing penicillinase. Producing excess amounts of penicillinase is an advantage in a hospital ward but in the outdoors it serves no purpose. Such bacteria have less metabolic resources available for other cellular functions. This is why penicillin resistant bacteria form only a tiny proportion of wild bacteria populations. (See Carl Wieland,“Superbugs: Not Super After All” Creation Ex Nihilo 20(1): 10-13, Dec. 1997-Feb. 1998 and Dr. Lee Spetner’s book Not By Chance! available at answersingenesis.org.)
To conclude we must note that antibiotic resistant microbes which have been thoroughly studied offer no proof of mutational addition of genetic information to the DNA. Bacteria do occasionally transfer genes from one bacterium to another but that is not a net addition of genetic information to the overall bacteria gene pool. That is a mere reshuffling and transfer of preexisting genes. Mutations are not a mechanism for uphill genetic change. Therefore evolution still has no mechanism for adding the enormous number of nucleotide base pairs necessary to add new organs to living organisms. The emperor still has no clothes.