Gene Duplication, Printing Errors, and the Secrets of Lady Duck

Imagine you wrote a book. It’s a novel about a Bluebird who is actually a secret agent with MI6: “The Nest is Not Enough” (Followup to your runaway best seller “Gold Feather”). 

It’s a real page turner and is doing VERY well with the youth market.

But at the start of the Christmas holiday retail season (September 4th) the printer makes an error where they produce a version of your book with chapter 7 twice. That’s the chapter where its discovered that Lady Duck is actually the Chinese Ambassador in disguise and she’s been working with Colonel GreenFeather the whole time.

Did I say “spoilers”? Well, too late now.

So the book includes chapters 1- 6, chapter 7 and then chapter 7 again and then chapters 8-10. Consumers think that, because it has more total pages, it’s a better version of the book with more aeriform adventure and it increases your sales. This becomes a beneficial mutation, causing that version of the book to be in hot demand and possibly even to outnumber the copies with only one chapter 7 (“Lady Duck and the Jade Secret”). 

However, this addition of another chapter 7 it is not an example of an addition of information because no new information was added to the book. Chapter 7 already existed before this error was made. The second chapter 7 DOESN’T tell you that Lady Duck ISN’T actually the Chinese Ambassador in disguise. It’s a duplication of the original chapter. Yes, there are more total words in the book, and more total chapters,

but no new INFORMATION. 

One of the frequent errors made by pro-evolution apologists is confusing NEW genetic information with increase in nucleotides (DNA ‘letters’) or number of genes (DNA ‘chapters’). When a bacteria duplicates a pre-existing gene, the result is a genome with MORE nucleotides than the previous generation and more total genes, just as the deviant copy of “The Nest is Not Enough” has 11 chapters and not merely the original 10. However, like the printing error, the replication of an existing gene is NOT new genetic information because it is just a copy of a gene which was already there.

It’s a copy of something which ALREADY EXISTED.

In order for Evolution to happen, there must be an addition of NEW genetic information to a genome. For instance, for worms to evolve into fish, they need to add the genes which will result in fins and scales and eyes and gills and a swim bladder, and whatever changes to the digestive system it takes to go from BEING a worm to EATING worms. Duplicating worm genes that already exist will never add any of those fish features. Even if it somehow results in a beneficial change to the bacteria or worm, gene duplication is not an evolutionary change. It would simply be an adaptation.

I had an evolutionary apologist try to school me in the MANY examples of evolution in action, assuring me that ALL I HAD TO DO was a little research and I would find LOTS of examples of new genes being added to existing genomes in bacteria- thus evolution. He send me half a dozen links to prove this could be done with “just a little Googling.” But in EVERY example, the papers explained that the “addition” to the genomes was gene duplication. A couple of them even mentioned this in the title of the paper.  Also, I could not find anything in any of the papers which claimed these gene duplication were even observed, as several of them admitted they were ASSUMING gene duplication to have happened in the evolutionary past of the species being described and not claiming to have witnessed it in the lab.

Evolution has no mechanism by which new genes are created. Bacteria just have mechanisms by which existing genes can be duplicated, and sometimes that can be beneficial, leading to an increase in sales, just in time for the Holiday shopping season (Sept 4- Dec 29). Personally, I’m just going to wait for the movie to come out. At least on DVD, if the same scene plays more than once, I can skip it with the press of a button.

For more on evolution, check out the Defining Evolution series playlist, and remember, #JesusLovesYou

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