Mammoth Mutation Theory

GOLDSCHMIDT'S HOPEFUL MONSTERS— (*#6/29 Monster Mutations*) *Richard Goldschmidt of the University of California had spent most of his adult life trying to prove that fruit flies could change into new species, but without success.

"After observing mutations in fruit flies for many years, Goldschmidt fell into despair. The changes, he lamented, were so hopelessly micro [small] that if a thousand mutations were combined in one specimen, there would still be no new species."—*Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (1971), p. 33.

So, in desperation, *Goldschmidt proposed his "saltation theory," in which no transitional forms would be necessary. ("Saltation" means "sudden leap" in German.)

According to this theory, all evolution occurred by immense mutational leaps from one life-form to another. The strange theory goes something like this:

Every so often a mammoth collection of billions of random mutations occurred all at once—and produced a totally new species. For example, two rabbits produced a male baby skunk and, coincidentally, just over the hill two other rabbits (or some other kind of creature) produced a female skunk! Both baby skunks were able to get enough milk from their mother rabbits so that they grew to maturity and produced all the skunks in the world. That is how the skunks got their start in life.

According to *Goldschmidt this is the way it worked for every other species in the world!

Popularly referred to as the "hopeful monster theory," it taught that one day a reptile laid an egg and a "brown furry thing" hatched out of it. Chance would have it that, when it grew up, this mammal found a mate that had also suddenly by chance hatched out of another reptile egg—and the result was a new species of animal.

Is this science-fiction, Greek myth, or Anderson's fairy tales? At any rate, it is believed by a number of modern scientists as a solution to the evolutionary problem. This is truly desperation in the extreme.

"Some scientists are proposing even more rapid evolutionary changes and are now dealing quite seriously with ideas once popularized only in fiction."—*John Gliedman, "Miracle Mutations," Science Digest, February 1982, p. 92.

One of the reasons these men can be so bold to invent those impossible stories is because they are dealing with something they know so little about: living tissue, struc tural networkings, and genetic factors.

"Speculation is free. We know nothing about these regulatory master genes."—John Gliedman, "Miracle Mutations, " Science Digest, February 1982, p. 92 [quoting British zoologist, Colin Patterson].

"Many biologists think new species may be produced by sudden, drastic changes in genes."—* World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 6, p. 335 (1982 edition).

*Richard Goldschmidt was a veteran genetics researcher, and the fruit flies taught him enough lessons that * Goldschmidt totally gave up on the possibility that one-by-one mutations could accomplish the task of evolution. But the truth is that there are no other kinds of mutations!

No mammoth mutations can or would occur. None occurred at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, or Chernobyl. Yet, in regard to number of mutations suddenly occurring, they are the monster mutation capitals of the world. They did not occur in the irradiated budding eyes of research roses or the thousands of laboratory fruit fly jars. If they had occurred, we would have seen new species form. The 20th century, with all its laboratory and nuclear radiation, has been the century—above all others— for new species to arise. But it has not happened.

STEPHEN GOULD'S PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM—(Also *#4/7*) In 1972, *Stephen Gould of Harvard University, working with *Niles Eldredge, expanded on *Goldschmidt's idea—and called it "punctuated equilibrium." The May 1977 issue of Natural History carried an article with his position and his reasons for it.

*Goldschmidt was a lifelong geneticist—and found no evidence that mutations could produce evolution.

*Gould was a lifelong paleontologist, and found that there was no fossil evidence for evolution from one species to another.

All the fossils were distinct species, with no halfway species included. All the evidence from the world around us, and the fossil record from the past, points to separate, distinct species, with no transitional species linking them.

In his May 1977 article, *Gould opened up this entire problem—and said that "hopeful monsters " are the only possible answer: entirely new species, which were suddenly born from totally different creatures! One day a lizard laid an egg and a beaver hatched out of it.

Declaring that "we never see the processes we profess to study," *Gould announced his new position, which he described by an awesome new name: "punctuated equilibrium." By this term he means that for 50,000 years or so, there will be no change (an "equilibrium" without any evolution). And then, suddenly (in a very rare "punctuation") and by total chance, two totally different life-forms will emerge.

By sheerest chance, one will always be a male and the other a female. Coincidentally, they will always appear at the same time in history, and less than a few miles apart, so they can continue on the new species. Although both multi-billion mutational accidents will have occurred by random chance, and (according to *Gould) about 50,000 years will have elapsed since the previous massive mutated creature,—yet (1) both will be the same new species, (2) one will be male and other female, and (3) both will be born a short distance from one another. And we might add a fourth point: (4) Therefore it is not happening now. (That is why *Gould added the "50,000 years" item.)

*Richard Goldschmidt called them "hopeful monsters." * Stephan Gould later named the process "punctuated equilibrium." Shortly after that, his friend *Steven Stanley gave it the name, "quantum speciation."

All this makes for interesting reading—and laughter and backroom debates by scientists,—but all these efforts by *Goldschmidt, *Gould, *Eldredge, *Stanley, and others to urge sudden multi-billion positive mutational features is really no solution to the crisis that evolution finds itself in. The very theory reveals the depth of desperation on the part of men who know of no other way to prove the impossible.

There are hundreds of thousands of plant and animal species on the earth, yet Gould says each new twofold one could only occur 50,000 years after the preceding one. All eternity itself could not hope to wait around for all these creatures to spring forth.

Everything in nature teaches us that plant and animal life is totally interrelated. Every life-form survives because of many other life-forms. Waiting for a 20th of a million years between each monster springing forth is too long. Yet—and catch this point—Gould has to stay with lengthy time periods of "equilibrium" while nothing happened—in order to explain why it does not happen today!

Each "new speciation" had to arise on the basis of multi-millions of POSITIVE mutations, yet we today cannot even find ONE positive mutation in millions of observed plant and animal mutations!

Actual "monsters" (which are always hidious) may occasionally occur, but they die out within one generation. *Mayr, another well-known evolutionist, calls these monsters not "hopeful," but "hopeless."

"The occurrence of genetic monstrosities by mutation . . is well substantiated, but they are such evident freaks that these monsters can be designated only as 'hopeless.' They are so utterly unbalanced that 'they would not have the slightest chance of escaping elimination through selection.' Giving a thrush the wings of a falcon does not make it a better flyer. Indeed, having all the equipment of a thrush, it would probably hardly be able to fly at all . . To believe that such a drastic mutation would 'produce a viable new type, capable of occupying a new adaptive zone, 'is equivalent to believing in miracles."—*E. Mayr, "Populations" in Species and Evolution (1970), p. 253.

Scientists recognize that * Steven Jay Gould's mas sive mutational change idea would be an impossibility.

It has been said that *Goldschmidt and *Gould's wild theory has the advantage of being unable to be proven or disproven by the fossil evidence. But that is not correct. Careful examination of the evidence in the sedimentary strata reveals an enormous variety of thousands of different types of fossilized plants and animals—all suddenly there. So even the fossil evidence disproves their theory.

CONCLUSION —(*# 7/22 Mutations Cannot Produce Species Evolution / #8/8 More Facts about Mutations *) Natural selection and mutations are the only possible means by which primitive life could evolve into all our present species. But, for many reasons, we have observed that both are totally impossible.

"Obviously, such a process [species change through mutations] has played no part whatever in evolution."— *Julian Huxley, Major Features of Evolution, p. 7.

"As a generative principle, providing the raw material for natural selection, random mutation is inadequate, both in scope and theoretical grounding."—*Jeffrey S. Wicken, "The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion, " Journal ofTheoreticalBiology, April 1979, p. 349.

"In three crucial areas where [the modern evolution theory] can be tested, it has failed: the fossil record reveals a pattern of evolutionary leaps rather than gradual change. Genes are a powerful stabilizing mechanism whose main function is to prevent new forms evolving. Random step-by-step mutations at the molecular level cannot explain the organized and growing complexity of life."—*Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (1982), pp. 103, 107.

"One is rather amazed that a mechanism [a living animal] of such intricacy could ever function properly at all. All this demands a planner and sustainer of infinite intelligence. The simplest man-made mechanism requires a planner and maker. How a mechanism ten thousand times more involved and intricate can be conceived of as self-constructed and self-developed is completely beyond me."—E.C. Kornfield, in John Clover Monsma (ed.), The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe (1958), p. 176.

"It is good to keep in mind . . that nobody has ever succeeded in producing even one new species by the accumulation of micro-mutations. Darwin's theory of natural selection has never had any proof, yet it has been universally accepted."—*Richard Goldschmidt, Material Basis of Evolution.

"If mutation alone cannot explain the evolutionary pro-cess—the origin of life—why is natural selection— [which is] the elimination of the worst mutations, a negative and external agency—the only conceivable alterna-tive?"—Marjorie Grene, "The Faith of Darwinism, " Encounter, November 1959, p. 50 [italics ours].

The occasional mutations which occur always produce serious problems. But these are so weakening, that the organism or its offspring are soon weeded out. If mutations only _produce negative effects, and natural selection only removes negative effects—how can evolution result?

THE ASTOUNDING THINGS OF NATURE—(*#9 Mutations in Action: The Hummingbird*) This present chapter on Mutations deserves a brief mention of the awesome planning to be found in nature. The careful design and craftsmanship, found in nature, stand in stark contrast with the 100 percent random and harmful nature of mutations.

Here are but two simple examples, which could never be produced by mutations—with or without the help of so-called "natural selection," which is nothing more than random variations within a species:

"The bombardier beetle does appear to be unique in the animal kingdom. Its defense system is extraordinarily intricate, a cross between tear gas and a tommy gun.

"When the beetle senses danger, it internally mixes enzymes contained in one body chamber with concentrated solutions of some rather harmless compounds, hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinones, confined to a second chamber. This generates a noxious spray of caustic benzoquinones, which explodes from its body at a boiling 212 F.

"What is more, the fluid is pumped through twin rear nozzles, which can be rotated, like a B-17's gun turret, to hit a hungry ant or frog with a bull's eye accuracy."— *Time, February 25, 1985, p. 70.

"The yucca moth is specifically adapted to the yucca plant and depends on it throughout its life cycle. The yucca plant in turn is adapted to be fertilized by this insect and by no other. The female moth collects a ball of pollen from several flowers, then finds a flower suitable for ovipositing. After depositing her egg in the soft tissue of the ovary, by means of a lance-like ovipositor, she pollinates the flower by pushing the pollen to the bottom of the funnel-shaped opening of the pistil. This permits the larva to feed on some of the developing seeds in the non-parasitized sectors of the fruit to permit the yucca plant abundant reproduction. This perfection of the nuptial adaptation of flower and moth is indeed admirable. Yet, in addition to this pollination and egg-laying relationship, there are numerous other adaptations, such as the emergence of the moths in early summer some ten months after pupation, precisely at the time when the yucca plants are in flower. Could blind chance have achieved such perfection?"—* Ernst Mayr, "Accident or Design, The Paradox of Evolution," in The Evolution of Living Organisms (1962), pp. 1, 3.

"It is a considerable strain on one's credulity to assume that the famous yucca moth case could result from random mutations."—* Ernst Mayr, Systematics and the Origin of Species (1942), p. 296.


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