Do Genes Prove Evolution?
Jerry Bergman Ph.D
(Investigator 149, 2013
explosion in genetic
research during the last few decades has revolutionized science. Called
the DNA revolution, much of this research has produced severe problems
for Darwinism. For example, it was once thought that the higher a life
form on the evolutionary scale, the more genes that it contains.
Therefore, according to evolution, yeast would have very few genes,
plants more, mammals a lot more, primates even more, and humans the
most. Research has not, in general, supported this once common
of the genome
project that mapped the entire human genome, Dr. Francis Collins, wrote
that humans have around 20,000 to 25,000 protein coding genes, and that
"simpler organisms, such as worm, flies, and simple plants," seem to
have about the same range of protein coding genes as humans, namely
around 20,000 (Collins, 2006, p. 125). Creationists would expect this
because, contrary to the prediction of evolution, many structures in
both simple and complex life forms are very similar, just as many basic
parts in a low priced economy automobile are very similar to those in a
high priced luxury one. Pistons, transmissions, exhaust manifolds,
carburetors, ignition systems, brakes and related are all similar no
matter what kind of gasoline engine automobile they are used in.
humans and worms, insects, fish, and birds is not genome size, but due
to the fact that they use their DNA in less elaborate or very different
ways than humans do (Collins, 2006, p. 125). Within one animal type,
though, the differences are often small. For example, Collins notes
that evolution requires genetic diversity for natural selection to
select from. In contrast to this evolutionary expectation, humans have
a "surprisingly low level of genetic diversity," only one out of a
thousand genes (0.1 percent) is different between any two humans. And
most of these different genes are for non-essential traits, such as
hair color and texture. In contrast, creation, which teaches that all
humans are descended from one human pair, predicts what is found — a
very small level of diversity.
contrast to evolution,
comparing human genes with those of other creatures, even those of
so-called very simple organisms, such as fruit flies and round worms,
finds a large number of similarities. In some cases, the similarity
extends "all the way down to genes in yeast and even to bacteria" an
indication, not of evolution, but rather of common design and design
constraints (Collins, 2006, p. 127). Gasoline engines must be basically
the same whether in a Yugo or a Cadillac.
tries to argue that this similarity provides evidence for Darwin’s
theory, it also strongly provides support for the observation that
Collins himself made, namely that, although the number of genes in
humans and fruit flies is similar, the information in the genome is
often very different, especially the protein coding gene regulation
information located in the non-coding genes—which is what we would
expect considering the enormous differences between humans and fruit
flies. These differences would logically also result from the fact that
the genome codes for humans should be somewhat similar compared to
chimps, but very dissimilar compared to worms.
logically exists between genetic and morphological differences, and the
differences between humans and worms would reflect this fact. Genes
determine anatomy and physiology; consequently, the more similar the
anatomy and physiology, the more similarity we would expect between the
genetic codes of two very different organisms. Thus, humans and chimps
would, as a whole, be expected to be genetically more similar than
humans and worms.
similarity would logically correlate somewhat with morphological and
physiological similarity. Ironically, research has found a chasm
between human and chimp genomes — they are only about 80 percent
similar, close to 900 million base pair differences (Bergman and
Tomkins, 2012). Nonetheless, we would expect that animals
morphologically very similar to us, such as chimps, share more of our
genes than animals that are morphologically drastically different from
us, such as worms, which share closer to about 40 percent of their
genes with us.
many genes are
very similar in all life due to design requirements, but, contrary to
evolution, a large number of genes are unique to humans and found in no
other life forms. For example, the gene called human accelerated region
1 (HAR1) is very similar in the genomes of mice, rats, chickens, and
even chimpanzees, but is very different in the human genome. This is
only one example of the chasm that exists between humans and all other
life forms that is found nowhere else in the animal world. These genes,
and many others, are found only in humans as is expected by the
conclusion that humans are not a more evolved primate, but are instead
a separate creation.
is a term
applied to the vast stretches of DNA that scientists once naively
assumed did not have a function because they did not code for protein.
Also, DNA sections called introns were spliced out of the mRNA copy of
DNA and, evidently, recycled. This conclusion was for years a strong
argument for evolution—why would God make so much useless DNA?
Evolution explained that the junk DNA was a result of millions of years
of gene duplications and mutations that damaged much DNA. Evolutionists
postulated the reason why the "junk" existed was because mutations in
the so-called junk DNA would not be selected against, therefore would
accumulate in our evolutionary history. For this reason we would expect
to find greater differences in junk DNA than between coding DNA that
are selected by evolution. Collins wrote that most of the mutations in
in parts of the genome that are not essential, and therefore they have
little or no consequence. The ones that fall in the more vulnerable
parts of the genome are generally harmful, and are thus rapidly culled
out of the population because they reduce reproductive fitness" (2006,
caused well-known British geneticist, Steve Olsen, to come to the opposite
conclusion. He noted that if non-coding DNA were
for the ride, it would rapidly incorporate mutations. But long
stretches of non-coding DNA have remained basically the same for many
millions of years — they must be doing something. Now scientists are
starting to speculate that proteins, and the regular DNA that creates
them, are just the nuts and bolts of the system ... the non-coding DNA
is likely 'the assembly plans and control systems' (2007, p. 113).
research has since
empirically supported this conclusion. The non-coding DNA thus is very
different when various life forms are compared because it contains the
assembly plans and regulation or control systems of very different
organisms. Unfortunately, "because we spent 30 years thinking of
[non-coding DNA] … as junk, we’re just now learning how to read it"
(Olsen, 2007, p. 113).
interpretation has been falsified. Research soon verified that
protein-coding DNA in different life forms is often less similar to
each other than DNA that was once called junk DNA. Collins also noted
that, as we move from chimps to round worms, in general we find less
similarity in the gene sequences that code for proteins, but even less
similarity in the non-coding DNA. These results do not support the
evolutionary model, but rather support a morphological gradient
studies are slowly
finding that this punitive junk DNA is "not junk after all"
(Makalowski, 2003, p. 1246). One example is, all DNA including putative
junk DNA is strikingly ordered along the path of the chromosome, and
the order is species-specific. It is ordered to the degree that stains
can be used to identify abnormalities in the "junk" DNA to diagnose
disease. Called banding patterns, the pattern produced by various
strains reflects important species-specific variations.
latest research has
concluded that most of the so-called junk DNA is "actually a buzzing
universe of biochemical activity that is far from a molecular
moonscape, according to the latest massive genome-sequencing effort led
by the U.S. National Institutes of Health" (Park, 2012, p. 19). This is
exactly what I predicted back in 2001 (Bergman, 2001).
Darwinian mindset has
in this case impeded science progress because instead of studying it to
determine what its functions are, evolution has caused scientists to
ignore what was once called junk DNA. Assuming that it has no function,
it was rarely studied and, as Olson notes, this false conclusion has
impeded science progress.
prudent to wait
until more comparisons between non-coding DNA and different life forms
are completed before we draw firm conclusions in this area. It seems
reasonable from a creationist view, though, that Olson’s argument is
correct and the differences in non-coding DNA are due to assembly,
planning, and control system differences as creationism predicts, and
not due to accumulated mutations, as Collins argued in order to support
Determine Only a Rough Outline
numerous researchers have found that different species use similar
genes to control their early development, and that these genes in turn
are regulated in order to accommodate specific features that allow, for
example, the cat family to develop into domestic cats, lions, tigers,
and other animals. Consequently, for this reason different species can
use the same genes to develop very distinct features. And the
non-protein coding DNA is critical in producing these distinct
features. Thus, in contrast to evolutionist predictions, we would
expect the non-coding DNA to be more dissimilar than the coding DNA.
concludes that "it
is largely the rough outlines of a structure that are specified by
genes. Thus genes produce a rough map; the reality of the terrain the
organism lives in determines the specific location of the roads. Design
only emerges when … this rough draft [is remodeled], refining it into a
well-functioning structure" (2007, p. 176). The examples he provides
make it apparent that the "rough draft" is designed in such a way that
various environmental, and epigenetic and other influences can refine
the organism’s parts into a harmonious system as it develops from an
embryo to an adult.
critically important for an organism to survive. Put another way, the
genes set the limits, and the environment determines how close to those
limits the final organism becomes. Humans with genes for tallness need
to grow not only long bones, but also long muscles, veins, arteries,
and other structures in order to accommodate their long bone system.
Like a road map, bones provide the outline, and the inbuilt design
flexibility allows the entire leg, including the muscles, veins,
arteries, and skin, to develop properly according to the road map set
by the bones.
Life has had the Same Evolutionary Time
further problem for the
junk theory is that, by comparing non-coding DNA differences, one
produces close to the same hierarchy that results from comparing codon
DNA differences (Collins, 2006, p. 127). If the differences were due to
evolution, we would not expect to find this because, if life began 3.5
billion years ago as evolution teaches, all life today would be able to
trace its origin back to 3.5 billion years ago. Therefore, in terms of
time, all organisms have the exact same length of evolutionary
history—a conclusion accepted by creationism because all life descended
from the original creation week. Evolution teaches that living bacteria
have 3.5 billion years of history as do humans.
thus not expect
non-coding DNA—which evolutionists once thought would not be
selected—to parallel the morphological differences existing in life.
Evolutionists expect that the differences in non-coding DNA will be
largely random because, as a result of time, all organisms would
accumulate many mutations in the non-coding DNA.
bacteria and humans
both have 3.5 billion years of evolutionary history behind them, why is
bacteria today basically very similar, at least morphologically, to the
bacteria dated by evolutionists back to 3.5 billion years and yet
humans are very different from bacteria and, for that matter, yeast,
algae, and even members of Kingdom Protista (Protoctista) even though
evolutionists teach that we, and all life, have also been evolving for
3.5 billion years?
evolutionary history length, it would appear that, if evolution were
true, all life would have evolved to about the same level up the ladder
of complexity. This is not the case: humans have evolved enormously and
bacteria have, as far as we can determine, not evolved at all.
Therefore, they are now regarded as "primitive" life forms, and humans
as "advanced" life forms.
in general, not supported evolution but rather creation. Only a few
examples were provided here to support this generalization.
Evolutionists usually select existing animal and plant examples and
line them up from what they judge is the most "primitive" bacteria, to
the most advanced life form, i.e. humans. The same hierarchy is now
being constructed with, not just morphology, but also with genes. For
this reason we would expect many parallels in genes and morphology, and
this is what is found. Many more examples could be provided and
biologists, no doubt, will provide us with many more examples in the
future as they research the human genome.
Bergman, Jerry. 2001.
"The Functions of Introns: From Junk DNA to Designed DNA." Perspectives
on Science and Christian Faith. 53(3)170-178. September.
Bergman, Jerry and
Jeffrey Tomkins. 2012. "Is the human genome nearly identical to
chimpanzee?—a reassessment of the literature." Journal of Creation.
2009. "The Digital Generation." Nature 458:239-242,
Collins, Francis S. 2006. The
Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.
New York: Free Press.
2003. "Not Junk After All." Science, 300:1246-1247, May 23.
Olsen, Steve. 2007. "What
is the Purpose of Non-Coding DNA?" Wired, February.
Park, Alice. 2012.
"’Junk’ DNA may lead to Valuable Cures." Time Magazine. October
22, p. 19.
Turner, J. Scott. 2007. The
Tinkers Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press.