by Bill Nugent
Recently a person with some background in genetics and plant breeding claimed that new flower colors are the result of random genetic mutations that add new biochemical information to the DNA molecule. Donald Batten, Ph. D. responded to this claim with a penetrating analysis of the biochemical information content of DNA and its response to random mutation. His reply to the plant breeder is contained in an article titled New Plant Colors – is this New Information? AIG Scientist Answers a skeptic. It is available online at answersingenesis.org.
Batten mentions that studies have been conducted on many hundreds of instances of new traits in various organisms. These are new traits that give resistance to antibiotics, herbicides or insecticides. No doubt you’ve read newspaper accounts of an insect species that is no longer killed by an insecticide because a mutant variety of the insect has survived to predominate in the gene pool. Batten points out that of the many hundreds of such instances studied, none have been the result of new biochemical information, such as a new strand of base pairs, added to the DNA. All such mutations involve loss of information.
An example would be the loss of an organism’s ability to produce an obscure metabolic enzyme. That particular enzyme made it vulnerable to damage from an antibiotic. It can’t make the enzyme because of a loss of information in the DNA due to the mutation scrambling the base pair sequence. The antibiotic no longer is able to do its destructive work in the organism because the antibiotic was in some way dependent on the presence of that enzyme which is no longer made by the organism. Hence a new trait, immunity to an antibiotic, results from a loss of information.
Getting back to the plant color objection, Batten says “For example, a blue pigment could be changed into a red or a purple pigment by loss of a side chain from the basic pigment molecule. Such a change would involve a loss of specified complexity and therefore a loss of information.”
Batten also refers to the work of bioinformatics expert Dr. Lee Spetner who in his book Not By Chance (Judaica Press) shows that since mutations almost invariably result in loss of information to the DNA, mutations can’t be a mechanism for uphill macroevolutionary change for molecules to man evolution. Such a statement, backed by scholarly scientific studies and analysis, deals a devastating blow to evolution.
Finally Batten recommends the work of German information scientist Dr. Werner Gitt. Dr. Gitt has convincingly shown that true information never arises from random processes. Gitt’s research disproves the evolutionists’ claim that the first DNA or RNA molecules could have formed randomly in the primordial soup.
All of this clearly refutes the evolution hypothesis. Evolution lacks a mechanism to form the first DNA molecule and lacks a mechanism to add information to existing DNA molecules which would be necessary to add new organ systems. The only new traits produced by mutations are changes produced by loss or rearrangement of information. To add eyes or wings or fangs to an organism would likely require adding thousands of new chemical base pairs to the DNA.
There is a new movement among Scientists called the Intelligent Design Movement. The Seattle based Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture is a formal organization of these scientists who reject evolution. They maintain that an intelligent designer of life created all living things and programmed the DNA with its incredibly complex information. Not all of the scientists are Christians but all are persuaded by the overwhelming evidence for intelligent design.
We Christians are persuaded that the intelligent designer is God. God inspired the writing of a book — the Bible – which is His love letter to humanity. The many predictive prophecies in the Bible and the fulfillments of these prophecies are like God’s supernatural signature on His book.