13. VARIATION EXISTS
13.1 Variation is not proof for evolution
13.2 How does variation arise?
1. The system of natural variation
2. Neutral genes give legal variation
3. The starting shot for all variation: the original variation
4. Mutations cause legal, legitimate and illegal variation
5. Patterns and colours are legal variation
6. Build and figure belong to legal variation
7. (Neutral) gene are like ‘switches’ for characteristics
8. Genes can also act as ‘switches’ for each other
9. Why variation?
Variation exists. That is clear. But new variation also arises. Just think about the dachshund and the St. Bernard. They did not exist at first. Or think about the flightless cormorant. There is biological change, which is variation-on-the-same-theme. However, in the discussion on evolution, such variation is always seen as an argument or proof for evolution, which in my opinion is completely unjustified. If one calls (the appearance of new) variation ‘evolution’, then there is indeed evolution. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the suggested evolution of ALL species from common ancestors. This is more a kind of confusion of concepts than an accurate representation of the reality around us.
13.1 variation is not proof for evolution
Comparably, I could try to justify pedophilia (just to name something). If you keep the definition of ‘sex’ broad enough, anything goes. If I define sex as: treating each other in a physically affectionate manner (which some people do), then almost everything we do is sex: a friendly handshake and/or kiss in greeting, a touch, an arm around the shoulders, a hug, it is all sex. And there’s nothing wrong with that, now is there? Well, if a grown man wants to have sex with a younger child, then that is just his way of showing love, as every one of us does daily. We all have sex with each other daily!
This is a confusion of concepts. If you keep the definition broad enough, anything goes. If you define evolution as ‘the origins of new variants’, then suddenly there is also evolution. But evolution is much more than just the origins of new variation. Evolution is variation across the natural boundaries of species. Evolution is also the spontaneous origin of the first life. Evolution is also adoption, the origins of completely new, complex, specialized, dedicated robot-proteins. Evolution is the acquiring of new traits. But all these things are not suddenly true because variation can come into existence which some people call evolution!
With such a confusion of concepts, you can introduce arguments that have nothing to do with the matter. In the case of the broad definition of sex, you can use normal daily interactions between people as an argument to justify pedophilia, while everyone knows that they have nothing to do with each other. The problem lies not in the way we interact with each other, nor in how we view pedophilia; the problem lies solely in the definition of the word sex.
If you define the word ‘evolution’ broadly enough, you can bring in all sorts of arguments that do not really have anything to do with the discussion. There are proponents of the evolution theory who say that evolution is proven. However, what they actually refer to is that new variation can arise. But that is not what the discussion here is about at all. Variation indeed exists, new variation arises (we will see how later), but that variation never crosses the boundaries of species or types.
In other words: I am forced to stop using the word ‘evolution’ (any more), because it is a word that is used too broadly. It means one thing for one person and another thing to another person. Even the words micro-evolution and macro-evolution can be confusing, because in micro-evolution, the distinction is not made between evolution-of-proteins and variation + natural selection. If someone says that micro-evolution exists, what do they mean? That proteins evolve or that variation exists? Variation exists, but proteins do not evolve into more complex structures, as we have seen, and there are ‘mountain peaks’ on which there is some freedom of mutation. Besides, if we use the word evolution, or micro-evolution, for the origins of new variety, that suggests that there is a slow increase in complexity, a progression from low to high. That is contained in the word evolution. Darwin gave it that meaning. But now degeneration exists! If the word evolution just meant change or maybe even development and was only used as meaning that, it would be a different story, because biological change does indeed exist.
The strict definition of the word evolution in genetics is ‘the movement of gene frequencies in a population’. That means: look at all the variants of the genes in the whole population and count how many there are of each. Do that again a few generations later and the percentages will be different, moved. This is a real life process.You can call that evolution if you want to, as long as you don’t get all the other forms of evolution along for the ride. Personally, I think that the movement of gene frequencies is pre-eminently the normal variability of a species, because this movement is created completely by the system of natural variation: recombination.
The word ‘macro-evolution’ covers it pretty well, as far as I am concerned; it refers to the large-scale structural changes necessary to change from one type to another (more complex) type, such as for instance from a reptile or a dinosaur to a bird.
See Table 1 for all terms and their connections.
|What they mean/involve
||theory or practice?|
|Transition from one type to another
|Origins of variation and degeneration
Change in function of existing proteins
Origins of new groups of co-operating genes
|Is possible in a very limited way |
Table 1, the usage of the terms in a row
So the degeneration theory says that variation exists. And that variation can change over time. New variation can arise and old variation can die out. But that is and remains variation one the same theme. It has nothing to do with macro-evolution. If someone wants to remove the foundation for the ideas relating to the degeneration theory, then no example of variation can be used as evidence for macro-evolution. That is not the point of the discussion, because the degeneration theory does not deny that biological change exists.
13.2 How does variation arise?
What does the degeneration theory say about variation? How does variation arise?
Mutations are usually seen as one of or even the source of variation. But the degeneration theory’s concept of variation says that this is a misconception. Mutations are a source of destruction. The true, literal source of variation has been shut up inside the genome of species for a long time. It consists of (in the case of the structural genes which code for proteins) an abundance of genetic material. Mutations damage those genes, which upsets balances and/or causes ‘new’ characteristics to appear. However, those characteristics were already contained within the organism.
Another reason to see mutations as only destructive (for genetic information) is the DNA’s anti-mutation attitude, which codes for all sorts of mechanisms that try to prevent or even repair mutations. I will describe one: mismatch repair (that is the repairs to non-matching base pairs).
|Figure 1; Mismatch repair; based on Cell and molecular biology, pp 95 |
An example of the DNA’s anti-mutation attitude: mismatch repair
During DNA duplication, under the influence of so-called mutagenic chemicals or radiation, it can happen that the right bases are not opposite each other, such as a T opposite a G, where a C should have been. Certain robot proteins recognize this situation and cut out a piece of the wrong half. Other proteins see this ‘empty’ piece of DNA and refill it with the correct base.
But how do the robot proteins ‘know’ which half is wrong? If they remove the wrong half, they fixate the mutation instead of removing it! In some way, they have to determine which was the original half and which was added later. This happens by a process called DNA-methylization. Each time the sequence GATC occurs in the DNA, a molecule (methyl or CH3) is attached to it, as a sort of label. This happens some time after DNA duplication. That means that for a certain amount of time after duplication, there is a label hanging on just one side and not on the other. And that is how the Mismatch-Repair protein knows which half to remove! Cool, isn’t it? 
In other words, precision prevention and repairof mistakes mutations are programmed into the genome, or designed if you will. The fact that mutations still occur, due to radiation and harmful substances among other things, is therefore actually an inadvertent or unintentional effect.
Would life exist if there were no mutations? Of course there would, and we would really miss all that degeneration, wouldn’t we. It would be a lot more pleasant.
Would there still be variation if there were no mutations? The answer to that question is also: yes! As a result of the built-in designed, system of natural variation:
1. The system of natural variation
The system of natural variation is comprised of the following parts (in non-bacteria; bacteria have different mechanisms to bring about variation):
Sexual reproduction between a male and a female, so that the offspring can receive a mixture of the characteristics of the parents.
The double chromosomes; sex cells receive one of the two chromosomes, so that a double set of chromosomes arises during fertilization.
Recombination, the exchange of pieces of chromosomes and therefore of the genes that are on them, which causes new combinations to be made.
An overabundance of neutral genes.
The most characteristic elements of natural variation are recombination and the overabundance of neutral genes, but in the broader sense it thus includes the entire process of sexual reproduction.
Recombination is the programmed exchange of pieces of chromosomes, arranged completely by proteins (and therefore by the Creator®), which takes place between the double, diploid chromosomes. This causes more or less arbitrary new combinations of genes to arise, to the extent that the genes were heterozygous and/or are different in the two parents. There is of course no variation in the homozygotic genes that the parents have in common. It is the new combinations that give rise to new variation.
The overabundance of neutral genes is an important element of the system of natural variation, because if there were only essential genes, which could not be turned ‘off’, then there would never be variation. Because there is an overabundance of neutral genes, there can be a lot of variation and new variation can arise again from that variation.
The overabundance of genes consists of or is found out to be, among other things:
The apparently large number of genes that permit themselves to be turned ‘off’, without it having consequences worth mentioning for the viability of the individual.
The way in which the production of proteins is regulated: by promotors and repressors, which, respectively, stimulate or suppress production of the protein. Change in, or maybe even elimination of a promotor or repressor results in a change in expression of the gene, so that a greater or lesser quantity of a protein is produced. This can cause an external feature of an individual to become different. (The mechanism of gene regulation is described in chapter 6.2 in the example of the breakdown of lactose in bacteria.)
In that way, for instance, a mutation in the repressor of a growth hormone could result in a larger individual, whereas a mutation in a promoter would produce a smaller individual.
The way in which many neutral genes often work together in a metabolic path, that is to say one after the other, in order to get a certain end result, instead of one single protein taking charge of the whole process, or several genes that are dependent on each others so if one is lost, the others won't work either (see the example of the determination of fur color in mammals below, at point 8) Because of this, when different genes are dysfunctional, it has his effects on the phenotype of the individual.
2.Neutral genes give legal variation
Let’s take a look at the neutral genes, that is to say, the genes which, when they are eliminated, do not influence viability, but also do not immediately give the organism a handicap or disease (as with the tolerant genes).That these genes exist can be clear:
Genes exist as either dominant or recessive alleles. The frequently encountered normal, or wild-type, allele usually is dominant to the rare mutant form. A recessive allele often has lost part or all of its ability to perform the function of the normal allele. In a heterozygote, one copy of the dominant allele may provide enough of a given gene’s normal function to support the development of a normal phenotype. Biology, pp 246.
Because these genes apparently can be turned ‘off’, it then by definition concernes neutral genes, if they do not cause an obvious disease or handicap.
It is a bit difficult to determine how many there are, but for argument’s sake, let us assume an unfavorable situation, that is to say a very small number.
Chris Colby suggested that 20% of genes in mammals are variable. Let us then assume that 19% produce handicaps in humans (which is exaggeratedly high), so that a mere 1% are truly neutral genes. There would then be 1% of 30,000 is 300 neutral genes. Because they are not essential, these mainly play a role in external appearances, such as color, size, shape, etc.This gives you 2300 possible combinations, which is more than 1090. Once again taking the total number of atoms in the universe into account, 1080, we can see that that is enormous! It is simply incomprehensible. If we then think about the fact that a great deal of the non-coding DNA very probably plays a part in communication between cells during embryonic development, which then has even more influence on external appearances, the possible combinations become much greater. All of this is more than enough to explain all variation within species, without needing additional assistance from mutations as a source of new variation (see point 4).
This built-in possibility for variation in neutral genes will be called legal variation.
3.The starting shot for all variation: the original variation
The only thing necessary for this true source of variation to get started is a male and a female which together are heterozygous at least once (one allel ‘on’ and one allel ‘off’) for all neutral genes. All species and sub-species that we see today and in the fossils and which could come into existence in the future then come from these heterozygotic primal-types. If there are now between 10 and 100 million species, then there were perhaps an estimated 10,000 to 100,000 primal-types that differed from each other in complexity, structure and appearance.
This natural, original source of variation will be called original variation.
It seems a bit speculative to assume that the primal-types were heterozygotic for all neutral genes, but there is certainly a case to be made for that idea. If they weren’t heterozygotic, if there was no heterozygosis among the neutral genes, then that means that for thousands of years every descendant must have been an exact clone of his parents! Only after the passage of a long, long time would enough non-damaging mutations present themselves for any variation to emerge. It is just not acceptable that the Creator® would design the entire system of natural variation, and thereafter, for such a long time, wouldn’t do anything with it.
On the other hand, not all genes would have been different. Those genes essential to life would most probably have been the same on both diploid chromosomes in the male and the female.
4. Mutations cause legal, legitimate and illegal variation
Mutations are now capable of three things:
- They create a non functional allel of a neutral gene. Wich is a form of legal variation. This legal variation is a form of original variation. It produces a new external ‘effect’ when it is homozygotic, which could also have emerged from the original variation. In this way, a mutation draws from the source.
- They manipulate a neutral gene, which means that it does not lose its function, but does start behaving differently. This is also legal variation, because it occurs in neutral genes. But it is not a form of original variation! It makes a derivative gene that (most probably) was never present in the primal-types. To distinguish it from the previous form, we will call this legitimate variation: it is permitted, it is possible, but it was not originally present. This specific realm of legitimate variation is also the realm that is known today as molecular evolution. This is also drawing from the source.
- They damage an essential or tolerant gene. This is a form of illegal variation. All the examples in chapter 11 on degeneration are examples of illegal variation. Mutations in original neutral genes could also perhaps throw a wrench into the workings of other mechanisms in such a way that they make a mess after all (such as transposons?). That is then of course also illegal variation. It means muddying or poisoning the source.
The definitions of terms are therefore:
The original variation in the primal-types and the mutating variation in neutral genes (point 1).
The mutating variation in neutral genes that produces something ‘new’ (point 2).
Original and legitimate variation, or every form of mutating variation in neutral genes (to the extent that they do not foul up the workings of essential metabolisms).
The mutating variation in non-neutral genes (point 3).
The remarkable thing about this is that mutations, as long as they take place in neutral genes, bring about all sorts of new variation, whereas that is fundamentally a form of original variation, intended or made possible by the Creator®.
For instance, the male and female primal-type both have AaBbCcDd. From that, a population arises at a certain point in time in which only the alleles A, B, c, D, and d appear. The alleles a, b, and C have disappeared. All individuals are then homozygotic for A, B, and c, and are thus AABBcc. Variation among the individuals is caused by the alleles D and d. If then at a certain point gene A is damaged by a mutation, the combination aa can emerge again within the population and ‘new’ variation can be observed. However, this variation was already present in the primal-types, and has arisen again due to the mutation.
In that sense, it is not so amazing that the impression is created that ‘new variation originates by mutation’, whereas in reality the elimination of a gene is what this kind of new variation does. That is why it is incorrect to speak of mutations as a ‘source of variation.’ Mutations are a ‘bucket of variation’. They draw from the source of the overabundance-of-neutral-genes.
Mutations are not a source of new variation itself, they are at its best a bucket that draws from the already built in source, the abundance of possibilities in the form of neutral genes. In most cases though they muddy or poison the source
5. Patterns and colors are legal variation
Some typical examples of legal variation are the rich variations in colors, patterns, stripes, spots, shapes and other things in the fur, feathers and skin.
In an article called Evolution on the wing about the formation of eyes on butterfly wings, in Nature, volume 384 from November ’96, Paul M. Brakefield and his colleagues wrote:
The mutants described here show that genes also exist with large phenotypic effects on eyespot development (including size) that have no perceptible effect on other wing or body patterns.
These results in butterflies may have general implications for the evolution of color patterns in animals. The diversity of color patterns in other species taxa, such as fish, snakes, birds and various insect orders, may involve analogous developmental pathways that are uncoupled (Italic PMS) from those that control the formation of body structures. Indeed, single or small numbers of loci control dramatic features of color pattern in snakes, land snails and fish. The ability to manipulate eyespot patterns make butterflies more accesible experimentally, but it will be important to learn how color patterns in other taxa develop and evolve.
The idea that the genes for the eyes on butterfly wings are separate, so working by themselves, separate from the genes that build the butterfly wing, shows that the idea of neutral genes, that determine the external (or variation-causing) features, is right.
The results of the last 20 years of research on the genetic basis of adaptation has led us to a great Darwinian paradox. Those (genes) that are obviously variable within natural populations do not seem to lie at the basis of many major adaptive changes, while those (genes) that seemingly do constitute the foundation of many, if not most, major adaptive changes apparently are not variable within natural populations. (Emphasis in original) John McDonald, University of Georgia, cited from Darwin's Black Box,p.28
Apparently, there are genes which (are intended to) cause variation and other genes that determine the essence of the type and do not vary. This too is a confirmation of the concept of the neutral and essential genes.
6. Build and figure belong to legal variation
Another form of legal variation is, in a certain way, the build or figure of a variant. There are plainly small dogs and big hounds. The same type can thus be ‘delivered’ in a big version and a little version. The ‘parts’ of a species can also vary: big ears, little ears; short tail, long tail; short hair, long hair, etc. As we saw with the over-grown mouse in chapter 8, it is possible to get exactly the same type but twice as big, by changing one group of co-operating genes, namely that of the human growth hormone. From the primal-type, eliminating a promoter gene on the existing growth hormone will produce a smaller individual, whereas eliminating a repressor gene will produce a larger individual. Turning a growth hormone on and off in the ‘parts’ of a species produces variation in the size of these parts.
Mutating illegal variation would also be able to produce a smaller individual by damaging to the growth hormone itself, which makes it do its work less well. But I am not certain that the growth hormone would permit such mutations. However, this is about the principle, to explain the difference between illegal and legal variation.
Table 2, the broad connection between the kinds of genes and the kinds of variation
7. (Neutral) genes are like ‘switches’ for characteristics
Variation is actually, in all cases, a form of combination of existing genes, which serve as a kind of ‘switch’ for external characteristics (although actually metabolic processes are the basis of this).
In bell peppers, four genes are involved which determine the color. All peppers are green at first. Gene Y ensures that the chlorophyll, which gives it the green color, is removed from the pepper. Gene R determines whether the pigment will be red or yellow. Genes C1 en C2 determines the amount of pigment and work almost identically, but support each other. Less red results in orange and less yellow results in lemon yellow.
|Figuur 2, GA, pp. 108; a number of the possible colors of bell peppers
Table 3, The possible combinations of genes with the resultant colors
The final color is therefore dependent on which combination of genes is on.
(NEW) variation = (NEW) combination
In the hard reality of life, natural selection selects from these combinations.
The combinations of genes are mainly made up of genes or alleles that are ‘on’ or ‘off’. Genes that are ‘on’ are genes that code for a protein, which fulfils a useful practical function. These are then functional or living genes. Genes that are ‘off’ are genes that may still code for a protein, but that no longer performs a practical function in the organism, that no longer makes an external difference. They are then dead genes or dead alleles.
If a gene is 'on', then a protein is made and that protein takes care of some characteristic in the organism. If the gene is 'off', then that particular characteristic is not present in the organism, even if a protein is still being produced.
We will now pause at length with an article from Nature from Nov. ‘96, 'Evolution on the Wing', in which the process is described by which an eye on a butterfly wing is formed during embryonic development. We there see a number of examples of genes, how they function, how we can classify them, and how they are ‘switches’ for certain characteristics.
A regulator gene with the name Distal-less (Dll) causes the origin of the eye. In Figure 3 is a schematic representation of how that works.
|Figure 3, development of an eye on a butterfly wing|
a) A pre-pattern of Dll expression emerges in the larvae in the form of stripes between the pipes in the wing.
b) ‘Focuses’ are determined, where Dll expression stabilizes (the circles).
c) In the pupa, a signal goes out from a focus to the surrounding cells.
d) The cells that receive the signal produce a certain color depending on the distance to the focus and the location on the wing.
|Figure 4, Mutations on back and front wings of Bicyclus anynana|
Normally, a Bicyclus anynanas back wing looks like Figure 4a and the front wing looks like 4d. Three mutations have been discovered which cause deviating patterns: Cyclops, Spotty and Bigeye. Cyclops changes the shape of the back wing and causes one big eye (4b), when it is heterozygote. Homozygotices die in the embryo stage.
Cyclops can therefore be classified as an essential gene, which causes illegal variation.
Bigeye causes a marked enlargement of the eye in the homozygote (4c). Bigeye could therefore be a neutral gene that causes legal variation, even if it is a mutation. Spotty causes a number of extra locations where eyes develop, as in 4e. Spotty is then probably an allele of a neutral gene that brings about legal variation. The gene Dll also occurs in butterfly species that have no eyes. However, it then does not concentrate in a focus. I suspect that Dll is an essential gene and that another gene (or more) is involved in the formation of the focus (called Focus?)
The above makes it clear how variation is brought about by means of already existing (!!) genes. That variation is expressed by genes that are turned on or off like switches, depending on the alleles that are passed by the parents.
The authors of the article in Nature also say:
Extensive analyses of the monophyletic Lepidoptera indicate that roughly 15,000 species wing patterns have evolved within ~100 million years by modifications to a common set of pattern elements. (Italic PMS) Evolution on the wing, Nature, pp 236, Nov. ‘96
Evolution thus appears to be no more than variation-on-the-same-theme!
An interesting aspect that follows from this phenomenon is that it contradicts with the concept of 'gradual evolution'. Many characteristics are just switched off (or on)), instead that it takes thousands of generations before it is as perfect as can before a certain environment.
8. Genes can also act as ‘switches’ for each other
Besides the fact that neutral genes are themselves like switches for the characteristics the proteins cause in the organism, genes can also be switches for other groups of genes, so that if they are on, they give a number of other genes the chance to give their characteristics to the individual, or if they are off, all those other gene are immediately turned off, e.g. lose there effect.
Gender determination in fruit flies is dependent on one gene (and not just in fruit flies).
The Slx gene is essentially a toggle switch that is permanently locked into an “on” position in females or an “off” position in males.Genetic analysis, pp. 708
In one case the feminine gene is activated, in the other case the masculine gene is activated.
The fur color of a lot of mammals is partly determined by four genes: A, B, C, D.
'A' cause so-called ‘agouti’ hair. Agouti is actually black hair with a yellow bit almost on the tip. It causes a grayish, sometimes slightly brownish color over the entire fur, such as in house mice or wild rabbits. If the gene is lost, the yellow bit disappears from the fur and the fur becomes uniform in color.
'B' determines the color of the hair. Present (B) causes black hair. Absent (b) causes brown hair. Now you can make a table to determine the end result of the fur color:
Ab produces brown hair with a yellow band, which produces a special cinnamon-like color.
The C gene produces (the predecessor of) the brown pigment. The B-gene then makes it black. In this way, the C gene determines whether color is produced at all. If this gene does not function at all, the carrier will be albino no matter what genes A and B have as alleles. The C gene thus serves as a ‘switch’ for the genes A and B. If C is on, then A and B may determine what the fur will look like (read: they add respectively a yellow piece and/or make the pigment black). If gene C is off, A and B have nothing more to contribute. See Figure 5.
|Figure 5, switch chart for fur color in mice|
C can be seen as a positive switch for genes A and B. If C is on, A and B can do something. C’s function is serial in relation to A and B, whereas the functions and/or characteristics of A and B are parallel in relation to each other.
The fact that there are three genes which each have the responsibility for a step in the process of making pigment shows the idea of the overabundance of genes again. It is not inconceivable that the same could be done by just one more complicated protein. But in that case, so much variation in fur color could not have arisen.
Could there also be negative switches? Genes that switch other genes on when they go off. Could there also be double switches? Genes that in one case turn on this group of proteins, and in another case a different group. The gender gene is indeed such a gene, as we have seen, but could there also be neutral genes like that? So that with one single on or off switch, a whole range of variation possibilities becomes available? I suspect that this is the case, but I have not been able to find any convincing examples as yet. That is not because they do not exist, but because the way the functions of the genes are described in the books on the subject is completely different (they do not talk about ‘on’ and ‘off’). That makes it impossible for me to establish with any certainty whether negative switches could be involved.
In the neutral genes (within the same type) are genes that can act as a negative switch for other genes. That is to say, if the gene is off, the other genes have the opportunity to be expressed. Double switches will also occur, that is to say that such a gene allows different genes to be expressed when it is on then when it is off.
9. Why variation?
One question that could come up is, why would the Creator® have put this potential for variation into the types? It is of course a bit difficult for me to speak for him, but the answer is fairly obvious. The evolution theory says that animals (have to) adapt to changing circumstances. However, if life started with a pair of each type, their descendants would have to populate the entire earth, in which there are inarguable very many different ‘circumstances’. Because of their huge built-in variability, each type would find a different path in countless climates and biotopes.
On the other hand, the ability has apparently been given to man to comprehend the foundations of heredity and therefore variation. That means that man is capable of influencing that variation, breeding with it. It is therefore not unthinkable that the Creator® wanted man to control nature (partly) to his own use, and to breed grains, grasses, sheep, dogs and cows which could serve as food, or could be a help or companion.
- Variation exists.
- New variation originates.
- The originating of new variation cannot be used as evidence for evolution.
- There are neutral genes that are separate from other, essential genes and which determine the external features.
- Mutation is not necessarily needed to get variation. Heterozygosis in the neutral genes in the parental pair of the primal-types is sufficient.
- Mutation adds to existing variation not because it is a source of variation itself, but because it draws from the source.
- The true source of all variation is the existing genome of a species, which contains an overabundance of neutral genes. The system of natural variation combines and varies from this source.
- Variation in neutral genes is (usually) a form of legal, original variation.
- Variation in essential and tolerant genes is (usually) illegal variation.
- Genes are like ‘switches’ for the characteristics that they represent.
- There are also genes that can switch (the caracteristics of)other genes on or off.
|Kind of genes
||Does not occur|
||variation, micro-’evolution’, natural selection
Table 4, the kinds of genes and their effects
Questions about the concept of variation
How do you explain polymorphic allelesy?
It is known that one gene can have many different alleles (polymorphic alleles), well over ten. These alleles could only have arisen by mutation, because if all variation would come from a pair of primal-types, there would never be more than four different alleles of the same gene! (Because both the male and the female have each gene double, and 2x2 = 4.)
Of course mutations cause ‘new’ alleles, but they are not new in the sense of adoption (taking on a fundamentally different function than the one the gene already had.) They are different than the original allele, since one or maybe a few amino acids in the protein are different. If there are multiple alleles of a gene, they are always derived from one or more of the original four. Sometimes there are multiple variants, or rather mutants, of one original allele, which cause deviation in external appearances. One protein has several functional parts, like a robot can have arms, legs, motors, etc. A mutation does not necessarily have to completely disable the protein, but can cause it to work less well or only under certain circumstances.
Figure 6, GA, pp. 100; a ’Himalayan’ mouse, with white fur and a dark face and ears
In this way, a special mutation of the C gene in the fur of mammals ensures that not all pigment disappears from the animal. Only on the tips of feet, tail, ears and head, the ‘extremities’, does pigment still appear. It only functions on 'low temperatures'. In Figure 6 you can see the Himalayan mouse with such fur. The Siamese cat is also an example. The allele is indicated by ch (h for Himalaya). The only explanation is that this allele of the C gene is only partly damaged. When it is totally damaged, and thus has totally lost its function, a completely albino mouse results, that even has red eyes.
Because the concept of variation assumes that all variation can originate from a pair of primal-types, there can never be more than four original functional alleles per gene, which cannot be traced back to each other when mutations are taken into account. Thus, if more than four alleles for one gene are found within one type, which fulfil a practical function (and which cannot be traced to each other without losing their functionality in the process), then that would be a serious objection to the idea of creation.
Someday (in higher animals) two functional alleles will be found for the same essential gene, which are not derived from each other by accumulative mutation without having lost their function in the meantime (for instance two different versions of a growth hormone).
It would then be quite possible that a certain degree of variation is permitted in essential genes in this way, which is not lethal in homozygotes. A mutation in such an allele that eliminated it then would be deadly.
If such ‘double functional essential alleles’ are found within the same type, they clearly belong to the original variation and therefore confirm the concept of original variation, because variation in essential genes, which do not permit mutation, is otherwise a complete impossibility!