From the ICR’s URCall series of videos, hosted by Markus Lloyd. (link)
Evolution claims that change occurs from simple creatures to complex creatures – but is that really the case? Since the early 1900’s scientists have been experimenting with fruit flies, to try to produce mutations that result in a major change that evolutionary theory proposes. While over 3000 mutations have been documented, not a single one has resulted in a creature that is anything other than a fruit fly. How long are you willing to wait for science to prove evolution?
We can only start with the beginning: that evolutionary claim isn’t. Sure, it’s trivially true that if you started with an organism that was in some way minimally “complex” it would only be able to become more so. But we’re talking about fruit flies here – there’s no rule that says they must become more complex (which would be difficult to define anyway) in a time period shorter than the ICR’s patience.
Then we have the Drosophila research. Contrary to what the ICR fervently wishes you to believe, mutating fruit flies is done less to find potential new beneficial mutations than to deliberately break genes in order to discover what they do. For example we might name a gene “white” because mutating it produces white eyes instead of the usual red. But most mutations do nothing, and so are not even detected unless the DNA is directly sequenced, and even those that are beneficial may not be terribly interesting to this kind of research.
In stark contrast the picture painted by the ICR is of pre-Darwinian saltationists – who believed that individual mutations caused large changes which, if successful, would lead to a sudden evolutionary leap – desperately trying to prove that their mechanism is possible by documenting every possible fruit fly mutation. This equation of saltationism with evolution as understood today is a known, if crude, creationist trick, but we shouldn’t be expecting much better from these videos.
Of course, beneficial mutations in Drosophila melanogaster are known. For example the insertion of a transposable element into a gene called “I’m not dead yet” (indy) causes an increase in the lifespan and fertility of fruit flies, hence the name. What’s more, recent research has found that this mutation has spread into the wild population over the last 60 years or so and been quite successful, as you might expect given it’s result. Also this year it has been shown that entire new genes have arisen – and are still spreading – in D. melanogaster.
These might be extremely inconvenient for Jeff Tomkins’ arguments about orphan genes, but they don’t constitute the creation of a creature that’s not a fruit fly. You see, the creationists are correct in saying that this is impossible, but not for the reason they claim. For example we might say that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but it’s more accurate to say that birds are dinosaurs – “still dinosaurs,” if you prefer. Similarly humans are “still” fish, for a scientifically rigorous definition of fish. And so though their descendants might evolve 12 legs and innate scuba gear, they will still be unable to escape being technically fruit flies.
But despite constructing this entirely baseless test for evolution, the best that the script writers at the ICR could come up with is to dismiss the science because it hasn’t been successful yet. Considering the logical leaps made in this and other episodes you might think that they would claim instead that it proves evolution wrong. It’s almost funny, really…