New Evidence for Human Evolution?

By Thomas Heinze

A long, dull, scientific sounding article was honored with a place on the front page of the March 7 New York Times because it began with a promising phrase: "Providing the strongest evidence yet that humans are still evolving, researchers have detected..."

What was this great new evidence? Had new organs evolved? No. Had they seen a new species evolve? No.

The author admitted that a lot of people who believe in evolution think humans quit evolving 10,000 years ago, but he was presenting "the strongest evidence yet that humans are still evolving."

A Dr. Pritchard announced that he had found areas in which human genes showed less diversity, "and a significantly lesser diversity is taken as a sign of selection." They had caught natural selection in the act, choosing for certain genes instead of others!

But, is this really a big deal? Natural selection is simple! Individuals that do not do well in an environment die out. But killing off the unfit adds no new genetic material. At best, it can only eliminate some of what already exists, and that is what the Doctor thinks he sees happening.

If the climate changes and gets very hot, short fat people with lots of long body hair will be at a disadvantage and will tend not to live as long as others. If enough die before bearing children, there will be fewer fat, hairy people in the next generation. If they were to keep dying off long enough, all the genes that produce fat, hairy people could be lost altogether, but the fact that they can loose genes explains nothing about how people evolved. Normally the climate will get colder again and the proportion of fat to thin people shifts gradually back and forth. But they are still people. Natural selection does not provide new material, it weeds out some of the old.

Evolutionists have chosen "mutations" as their source for new genetic information. Mutations are copying errors made while passing DNA from parent to offspring.

In all of our experience, copying errors make things worse, not better. The Encyclopedia Britannica puts it this way: "Most mutations, however, turn out to be deleterious and often lead to some impairment or to death of the organism." Life, Encyclopedia Britannica 2002

In practice this means that only offspring that receive the smallest possible mutations have a decent chance of survival (micro-evolution) while it would take big bunches of helpful mutations to make significant upward changes (macro-evolution).

Why would big bunches be hard to come by? Most mutations are harmful, so an organism that receives a cluster of 100 mutations which include one good mutation, will also include 99 that are not good, many of them very bad. Natural selection eliminates organisms with bad mutations, so copying errors have no way of making big upward changes: dogs from cats for example, or even new organs.

Macro-evolution would require thousands or millions of changes in muscles, nerves, blood vessels, bones, etc., all working together, as commanded by new information coded into the DNA as new genes.

The professor is right! Natural selection can eliminate diversity. But this process goes in the opposite direction of evolution. A bacteria cannot, by losing genes, produce a man or a monkey, not even a fish filet! Making fish and people from bacteria requires adding more and diverse genes, not diminishing them!

Yet, according to the front page news, the "strongest evidence yet that humans are still evolving," is that areas have been found in which human genes showed less diversity, a sign of selection.

The Times announces no new species, no new organs! A lessening of diversity is the: "strongest evidence yet that humans are evolving," If the Times is right, and "less diversity among genes" really is the best evidence for human evolution, then evolution is in deep trouble.

For more detailed information, see How Life Began and Vanishing Proofs of Evolution, by Thomas Heinze.