Jeff D. from the United States writes in response to the article Do you believe Richard Dawkins exists?:
Hmmm. Now that raises some questions for you. See, according to the creationists, all humans alive today are descended from 8 people who got off a Really Big Boat. Anyone who understands junior high genetics will know that 8 people have between them a maximum possible of 16 different alleles for each genetic locus (in reality, the 8 people on the Big Boat would have had even FEWER, since some of them were descended from others and thus shared alleles, but for the sake of argument we will give the creationists every possible benefit of the doubt and assume that they were ALL heterozygous and shared no alleles at all in common). That means, if the creationists are correct that “most mutations are deleterious” and that “no new genetic information can appear through mutation”, there cannot be any human genetic locus anywhere today with more than 16 alleles, since that is the MAXIMUM that could have gotten off the Big Boat.
But wait …
Today we find human genetic loci (such as hemoglobin or the HLA complex) that have well over *400* different alleles (indeed some have over *700* different alleles). Hmmmm. Since there could have only been 16 possible on the Big Boat, and since there are over 400 now, and since 400 is more than 16, that means that somehow the GENETIC INFORMATION INCREASED from the time they got off the Big Boat until now.
That raises a few questions:
- if genetic mutations always produce a LOSS in information, like the creationists keep telling us, then how did we go from 16 alleles to over 400 alleles (perhaps in creationist mathematics, 400 is not larger than 16)?
- if these new alleles did not appear through mutations, then how DID they get here?
But wait—there’s more:
Not only, according to creationists, must these new alleles have appeared after the Big Boat, but, according to their, uh, “theory”, all of these mutations must have appeared in the space of just *4,000 years*—the period of time since the Big Flood. That gives a rate of BENEFICIAL MUTATIONS, which add NEW GENETIC INFORMATION, of one every 10 years, or roughly two every generation—a much higher rate of beneficial mutation than has ever been recorded anywhere in nature. Nowhere today do we see such a rate anywhere near so high. So not only would I like to know what produced this extraordinarily high rate of non-deleterious mutations, but
what stopped it (indeed, what stopped it conveniently right before the very time when we first developed the technological means to study it)?
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