Identifying mutations and patterns of their appearance and impact is important in furthering the biblical creation model. Genes affecting coloration are relatively easy to identify and several have been well studied. Here, variation in a gene affecting the development and movement of pigment cells, KIT, is examined. This complex gene codes for a complex protein important in a number of pathways. Many mutations have been identified in each of the species studied. Interesting examples of epigenetic modification and reversions have been documented in mice. This gene has shown up in surprising places in cats and dogs. Some mutations result in pleiotropy, although this is variable depending on genetic background, type of mutation, and location of the mutation. Mutations also result in interesting variety including white animals and white spotting phenotypes.
Previously, creationist studies have pointed out the importance of evaluating genetic data to determine the types of mutations which have likely occurred throughout history. This will contribute to a deeper understanding of the role mutations play and better inform apologetic arguments as it further builds the creation model. Biblically we don’t have enough information to know the genetic variability that existed at creation. We are not told how many animals were created in each kind. Also, although there were only two humans, Eve may have carried alleles in her egg cells that differed from those in her body. However, we do have an idea of the genetic variability that could be expected after the genetic bottleneck at the Flood. Unclean animals, such as pigs, horses, and mice, survived the Flood as single breeding pairs. Thus, up to four alleles for any particular locus could have been present. For humans, a maximum of 10 alleles could have made it through unless Noah’s sons carried mutations.
Genes affecting coat color are relatively easy to discover and study since they obviously affect the appearance of the animal. So far, well over three hundred genes have been identified as affecting coat color in mammals.1 Some of these, such as the MC1R2 and ASIP3 genes, have been fairly well studied and useful information has been obtained by examining mutation patterns at these loci….
Continue Reading on creation.com