More evidence found that genetic mutations are not random

(ORDO NEWS) — Earlier this year, scientists published an article in the journal Nature stating that mutations in the Arabidopsis genome do not occur by chance.

As noted in that article, “The random occurrence of mutations, given their consequences, is an axiom on which much of biology and evolutionary theory is based.”

However, the conclusions made in the article disproved these basic principles of modern evolutionary biology. Now, another paper published in the journal Genome Research by biologists from Israel and Ghana reports similar findings about the non-random nature of mutations.

Mutation in response to a need

A press release from the University of Haifa makes no bones about the implications:

“A groundbreaking study reveals the first evidence of a long-term trend in the origin of human mutations that fundamentally refutes neo-Darwinism.” They report:

A new study by a team of scientists from Israel and Ghana provides the first evidence for non-random mutations in human genes, challenging the basic assumption underlying evolutionary theory by demonstrating a long-term directed mutational response to environmental pressures.

Using the new method, researchers led by Professor Adi Livnat of the University of Haifa showed that the generation rate of the HbS mutation that protects against malaria is higher in people from Africa, where malaria is endemic, than in people from Europe, where it is not.

“For more than a century, the leading theory of evolution has been based on random mutations. The results show that the HbS mutation does not occur randomly, but predominantly in the gene and in the population, where it has an adaptive value,” Professor Livnat said.

Unlike other evidence of mutation occurrence, this specific mutation response to specific environmental pressures cannot be explained by conventional theories.

“We assume that evolution is influenced by two sources of information: external information, which is natural selection, and internal information, which accumulates in the genome over generations and affects the occurrence of mutations,” Livnat said.

If they are right, then some groups of people have evolved the ability to produce the necessary mutations leading to certain beneficial adaptations more often than those people who lived in an environment where these adaptations would not be useful.

This suggests that mutations do not necessarily occur without considering the needs of organisms – which, they say, “fundamentally refutes neo-Darwinism.”

“From the keen eye of a hawk to the human circulatory system”.

Or not? After all, they seem to suggest that the ability to preferentially produce favorable mutations is itself an adaptation resulting from (supposedly) uncontrolled evolutionary mechanisms:

Since the time of Darwin, we have known that life arose as a result of evolution. But how exactly does evolution take place – in all its grandeur, mystery and complexity?

For the past century, scientists have assumed that mutations in the genome occur by chance and that natural selection, or survival of the fittest, favors favorable chance.

The accumulation of these putative genetic accidents through natural selection over millennia leads in turn to adaptations ranging from the keen eye of a hawk to the human circulatory system.

“Mutations challenge conventional thinking. The results suggest that the complex information accumulated in the genome over generations influences mutations, and therefore mutation-specific occurrence rates may respond to specific environmental pressures in the long term,” says Prof. Livnat. .

But how did this predominant tendency to produce beneficial mutations come about? Most materialists will say that it arose as a result of random mutations that took hold in populations because they were beneficial to organisms.

So you are back to the neo-Darwinian view of mutations – random mutations produce beneficial traits, even though neo-Darwinian mechanisms sometimes produce non-random deviations towards beneficial mutations.

But is this the only explanation for the origin of such mutational distortions?

Could intelligent design also explain the presence of mutation spectra that slip through where there might be a benefit to the organism? Isn’t this a good design strategy for living organisms?

The technical paper ignores such possibilities, preferring to argue that there are “epigenetic” mechanisms that allow these preferences to evolve in a nebulous long-term Lamarckian fashion.

From the press release:

Although this view is widely held in the scientific community, it has always left fundamental questions open, such as the problem of complexity.

Can the successive accumulation of small random changes, each useful in itself, lead in a given time to the evolution of such amazingly complex and impressive adaptations that we see around us in nature, such as eyes, brains or wings, where complementary parts are intertwined into complex whole?

So far, however, the only alternative at a fundamental level has been variants of Lamarckism—the idea that organisms can somehow respond directly to their immediate environment through favorable genetic changes.

Because Lamarckism generally did not work, the notion of random mutation remained the prevailing view. Previous studies motivated by Lamarckism have only tested the immediate mutational response to environmental pressures.

“Mutations, after all, may not occur randomly in the course of evolution, but not in the way previously intended. We must study the internal information and how it affects mutations, since this opens the door to evolution as a much larger process, than previously thought,” Livnat concluded.

These researchers conducted groundbreaking research by studying the frequency of “de novo mutations – mutations that occur ‘out of the blue’ in offspring without being inherited from either parent.”

Their conclusions are extremely important: mutations are not random and can occur in a pattern aimed at benefiting the body.

How could this happen?

Epigenetics may be a direct mechanism, but how did these epigenetic mechanisms come about?

Their origins have obvious design implications. But if your only alternative to neo-Darwinism is Lamarckism or some nebulous materialistic model of evolution, then you are missing out on the real possibility of intelligent design .

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