This will be my second post re the Creation-Evolution controversy, in an attempt to resolve the issue in my mind once and for all.
This time I have a query on the issue of genetic mutations, their possibilities and implications.
Once again (for those on the site who’ve corresponded with me in the past) I am not a scientist (my area being theology) so please understand any misapplied terms, etc.
As I understand it, one of the key arguments of the Creationist school runs as follows:
1. The vast majority of mutations in evolutionary history are said to be disadvantageous. One debate I watched suggested that 80 to 90 percent were so.
2. Consequently, it would be very difficult for life forms to ascend and evolve to more complex life forms with a 90 percent 'failure rate', as it were.
Conversely, the evolution argument, as I understand it, runs as follows:
1. The percentage of failed mutations is not in fact 90 percent, but a lot lower.
2. Moreover, a lot of those mutations are neutral, not negative per se.
3. Further to this, although a mutation may be neutral and not immediately benefit the organism in the intended way, an alternate positive use may be found for it.
4. Furthermore, as the evolution-mutation process wore on, year after year, DNA learned from its mistakes, and so made fewer mistakes than it did in the earlier stages of the evolution of life. Thus we would expect to find a lower rate of failed mutations now and in recent evolutionary history.
I am not going to query the above arguments at this stage, as I suspect they’ve been done to death (although if anyone on either side wishes to add to the above set of points, feel free).
Rather, the first question I have in mind runs as follows: if a great many mutations fail (whatever the percentage of disadvantageous mutations, it is still, I presume, rather high, or at least it was at the beginning of evolutionary history), then would we not expect to find a high degree of examples of these failures in the fossil and skeletal records?
Simply, then, what is the percentage of fossils and skeletal remains unearthed so far where clear negative, that is, disadvantageous, mutations, are in evidence?