Since the Supreme court was in the news recently with ObamaCare I figured I would use the analogy with the next few posts on Evolution and show how the evidence and facts don’t make good witnesses in a case defending Evolution. The first witness that we will put on the stand will be Gene Flow.
Gene flow is the transfer of genetic material between separate populations. Many organisms are divided into separate populations that have restricted contact with each other, possibly leading to reproductive isolation. Many things can fragment a species into a collection of isolated populations. For example, a treacherous mountain pass may cut off one herd of mountain goats from another. 1 Gene Flow is a process that describes how the genes are keep local or spread from different plants and animals of the same family.
Gene Flow is often refered to in the human population and see by very easily in America especially in the large metropolitan areas where there is a highly diverse population of people from different areas of the world. You can see the beautiful combinations of skin colors from the different people who get married and have children.
For example if a missionary’s family were to move to a remote location in a different part of the world and their family slowly is mixed through generations into the local population. You might see skin color changes, height and weight changes, facial features or other features of the local population. The same can be said of other plants and animals that would be closed off from others. If Gene Flow is restricted you will see a population become less and less diverse because the amount of available information from the total Gene Pool is mixed in with the smaller population. The Gene Pool just represents the total number of possible alleles (pairs of genes) for that particular chromosome within a family or species.
The human Gene Pool contains a massive 40,000 different varieties of genes that can be mixed in many different combinations within the 46 chromosomes we have. If this is confusing to you, I suggest getting a deeper look at Gene Flow and the other terms online or in a simple biology book. I will be looking at genes and the science over the next few posts.
Now that we have a basic knowledge of Gene Flow and the Gene Pool lets look at why it makes a poor witness on the stand defending evolution. No matter how much the gene’s “flow” it will not ever produce new genetic material. In the above examples with goats and humans, in all the cases the goats are still goats, and the people still people. This all fits into the umbrella of micro-evolution or adaption. There are no invertebrates that become vertebrates, or amphibians that become reptiles. Gene Flow of this type has never been seen or accomplished with a lab. The DNA will not allow it.
What about Hybrids? Someone might respond with the examples of the Liger (Lion and Tiger) or another type of hybrid. These type of examples of Gene Flow are so rare that they do not affect the total population of a genus and do not survive in the world without human intervention by care in a zoo. There are no known hybrids between different genuses, only between sub-species like a Bengal tiger and Siberian tiger. A hybrid of goat and sheep for example that are closely related, but when they mate the children are usually still-born and if they survive they are always infertile. 2 People have experimented with different types of hybrids in the labs, but when left in the wild the animals do not choose to mingle. These hybrids would fall more into the area of mutations and we will look at that witness on the stand in an upcoming post.
One possible rebuttal that someone might give you defending evolution is that “given enough time over millions and millions of years these little changes add up to changes in genuses and new genetic material is born.” This is false, because if no new genetic material can from within a short-term, then the same is expected with the long-term. Time is a distraction here and has nothing to do with the process of Gene Flow and Genetic Drift.
For example: 0+0+0+0 = 0 and at the same time 0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0+0 = 0
According to Genesis 1:24 “And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. “ God created the animals separately. I realize that we can’t view the creation story just like we can’t observe evolution in the past, but according to the evidence we do have about plant and animal life now, you have to honestly ask yourself what does the evidence we do have now support? We will cover creation in later blogs. As always questions, comments, and discussions are welcome.
3. – Sherrod, Chris; Faith, Fact, and Reason: Study #5 The Flaws of Evolution pgs. 75-76