Reasons to Believe

Mutations Exceed Expectations

by Dr. Hugh Ross assisted by Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez

Ironically, modern "advances" could serve to hasten humanity's demise.

For the first time, geneticists have measured the proportion of harmful mutations arising in one generation of advanced species. The numbers are staggering.10,11 The harmful mutation rate among chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans is so high as to put all three species a1 risk for relatively rapid extinction. These findings call into question the naturalists' proposal that old, primitive species evolve naturally and gradually into new. advanced species.

The fact that human reproduction occurs sexually rather than asexually helps our survival. Individuals with the most mutations will either die before reaching reproductive maturity or will be unable to produce survivable offspring. Nevertheless, the high rate (three harmful mutations per person per generation) implies that humans today carry a significantly greater load of harmful mutations than did our ancestors and that, eventually, humanity will go extinct.

Ironically, modern "advances" could serve to hasten humanity's demise. The global increase in living standards means that more infants with high negative mutation loads can and do reach reproductive maturity. In addition, men are reproducing later in life, when their sperm contain higher numbers of negative mutations.

The biblical model of creation (see my book, The Genesis Question for more details) more closely fits the observations than does any naturalistic evolutionary model.10 These observations also call into question the evolutionary notion that cultural, intellectual) and economic advances will make homo sapiens a more survivable species.

10 James F. Crow, "The Odds of Losing at Genetic Roulette," Nature, 397 (1999), pp. 293-294.

11 Adam Eyre-Walker and Peter D. Keightley, "High Genomic Deleterious Mutation Rates in Hominids," Nature, 397 (1999), pp. 344-347.

Subjects: Biochemical Design, Life Design, Molecular Evolution, Speciation Events, TCM - Biochemical Design, TCM - Life Design, TCM - Speciation

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.