The Power of Genetic Variation

Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 10:27 PM Bookmark and Share
Despite creationist claims to the contrary, living organisms are capable of producing offspring with shockingly different genomes than their parents.  Though often harmful, such changes provide the kind of heritable variation needed for evolution to work.

Just as Darwin gained great insights into heritable variation and natural selection from his study of domestic animals and plants, researchers today are still learning quite a bit about how the natural world works by studying domestic and model organisms.  Here's a recent example, courtesy of UC Davis via their YouTube channel:

I once asked a creationist pseudoscientist (who had just given a talk in which he'd made the silly claim that mutations don't add new information to a genome) why something like the doubling of an entire genome doesn't count as a change in information.  Now, I've previously mentioned the kind of "information" creationists like to talk about and, like clockwork, this guy responded to my question by whipping out out the most ridiculous definition of "information" I've ever seen misapplied, ever.

It should have been an epic embarrassment for him, but he didn't even seem to recognize how utterly dumb he had just made himself look. But hey, maybe some people would rather be right than be considered honest or rational. I wonder... would he consider losing half your genome a loss of information?


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