Why do creationists lie?

Here’s an old example of lying creationists:

Basically, some creationists lied to get an interview with Dawkins. They later edited together some footage to make it appear like Dawkins couldn’t answer a simple question: “Can you give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome?” After a long pause (which was unrelated to the overdubbed question), the dishonest creationists paste in some footage of Dawkins answering an unrelated question. It’s patently silly.

So what’s the answer? Dawkins explains the situation and answers the question here. But I’m going to simplify the answer.

An example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information is Down’s Syndrome. Here’s a karyotype for the genetic defect. Look at chromosome 21. It should have two copies but it actually has three. Bam. That’s more information. That is precisely the question creationists want answered: how can information increase in the genome? Mutation.

Of course, the way the question is worded is stupid. Evolution is all about increasing (and sometimes decreasing) information. Duplications do this: one gene is copied twice, one copy diverges to participate in some other function, and bam, we not only have more information, but we have more useful, advantageous information. We see this all the time, all the way down to minute differences in snails.

Let me put in another way. DNA is composed of 4 letters: A, C, T, G. These are in triplet form. That means it takes three letters to make an amino acid. For example, GGC is the amino acid glycine (so is GGA and GGG). A change in one of these letters is a mutation. In most instances, a mutation will change an amino acid. Let’s say the first G in GGC is changed to a C. That makes CGC, which codes for arginine. The gene in which this mutation occurred will now have one amino acid replaced. It is possible that it was have the same basic function as the previous amino acid, but often enough it has a different function. It may make a more ideal protein or an entirely new one. This is a change in information. In order for this information to be maintained, natural selection must act on the organism (or gene, depending on your view). That is the evolutionary process which maintains, increases, and decreases information in the genome. It happens every single day.

I should apologize to my non-creationist readers who didn’t need me to be so basic, but these creationists keep asking questions that are answered in the first weeks of every spring and fall in any intro to bio course.

Anyway, here’s a video of Dawkins talking about dishonest creationists.

Advertisements