Mutant Fruit Flies Bug Evolution
|by||Kyle Butt, M.A.|
According to the prevailing theory of evolution, beneficial mutations acted upon by natural selection provide the driving force behind nature's production of new creatures. Of course, since mechanisms that reproduce genetic information in organisms are remarkably efficient, genetic modification by mutations are extremely rare. What is more, the overwhelming majority of mutations are so detrimental to the welfare of the mutant organism, the mutant dies or becomes a victim of predation before it has the ability to pass on its genes, and thus nature eliminates the mutation from the gene pool. Allegedly, in the rarest of cases, a "good" mutation that confers an advantage on an organism slips into the gene pool. Since this "beneficial" mutation aids the organism's survival and reproductive ability, more offspring are produced that have the mutation. Supposedly, myriad millions of these types of mutations have accrued, by which single-celled bacteria have evolved, over billions of years, into humans. When asked why we do not see this process taking place before our eyes, we are told that it simply happens too slowly, is too gradual, and cannot be tested or witnessed in a single human generation, or even in hundreds of years.
What if, however, the process could be expedited? What if we could find some way to introduce exaggerated numbers of mutations into an organism's gene pool? Could we select the "beneficial" mutations and produce our own, humanly initiated, evolving creatures? If evolution was actually true, and we could find an organism that could be genetically manipulated satisfactorily, then we should be able to "reproduce" evolution in a lab.
Enter Drosophila melanogaster, also known as the common fruit fly. Drosophila maintains several characteristics that make it the perfect specimen for laboratory mutation experiments. First, the female fly is extremely fertile. She can potentially lay 100 eggs a day, up to 2,000 eggs in her life (Reeve and Black, 2001, p. 157). Second, Drosophila grows from an egg to an adult in 10-12 days, thus producing up to 30 generations per year (p. 157). Due to these and other ideal traits, since 1901 the fruit fly has been one of, if not the, most often used organisms in genetic mutation experiments. Reeve and Black noted: "The exploitation that made Drosophila the most important organism for genetical research was its selection by the embryologist Thomas Hunt Morgan for his studies of mutation..." (p. 157).
Since the early 1900s, multiplied millions of fruit fly generations have been bred in laboratories across the globe. Scientists performing these experiments have introduced fruit flies to various levels of radiation and countless other factors designed to produce mutations. Sherwin noted that over 3,000 different mutations have been documented in the fruit fly gene pool (n.d.). These mutations have caused such physical characteristics as eyeless flies, flies with different colored eyes, flies with legs growing from their heads, extra pairs of wings, various colored bodies, wingless flies, flies with unusually large wings, flies with useless wings, flies with twisted wings, etc. The list could go on for hundreds of pages.
So extensive have fruit fly experiments been, that the massive numbers of generations produced, and the mutations created, would be the equivalent of millions of years of supposed evolutionary time. Furthermore, intelligent scientists have acted as the "selecting agent," thus speeding up the accumulation of "beneficial" mutations. If evolution by genetic mutation and natural selection really can take place, we should discover that the fruit fly has mutated into several new kinds of animals that branch out from their "flyhood" into other types of organisms. We should see creatures that are part fly and part something else.
What do we see? Fruit flies. That is all we see. After a hundred years of experimentation, thousands of lab-induced mutations in multiplied millions of flies, and intelligent selection acting on those mutations, the world's most brilliant minds have not been able to produce any different kinds of creatures from Drosophila. Concerning the fruit fly stasis, late evolutionist Pierre Grassé stated: "The fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster), the favorite pet insect of the geneticists, whose geographical, biotopical, urban, and rural genotypes are now known inside out, seems not to have changed since the remotest times (as quoted in Sherwin, n.d.). Norman Macbeth highlighted the late evolutionist Richard Goldschmidt's thoughts about the fruit fly: "After observing mutations in fruit flies for many years, Goldschmidt fell into despair. The changes, he lamented, were so hopelessly micro that if a thousand mutations were combined in one specimen, there would still be no new species" (1971, p. 33). The bottom line of all experiments ever done on fruit flies is that they stay fruit flies.
The results of such experimentation "fly" in the face of evolution, but they are exactly what one would expect to find if the biblical story of Creation is true. In Genesis 1, the Bible states that God made all the flying creatures and land animals on days five and six of the Creation week. In the creation model, the Bible specifically states that all organisms were to multiply according to their own kinds (Genesis 1:11,21,24,25). Thus, one would expect fruit flies, regardless of the number of mutations introduced and selected, to be bound to reproduce only after their "own kind"--which is exactly what the last 100 years of fruit fly research has shown. It is amazing how menacingly a little fruit fly can bug those who adhere to evolution.
MacBeth, Norman (1971), Darwin Retried (Boston, MA: Gambit).
, [On-line], URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=JjLWYKqehRsC&pg=PA157&lpg= PA157&dq=Drosophila+Fruit+fly+mutations&source=web&ots= V5yPPBPE6h&sig=fOkUS_qLsARelWNDqpe5uhq70mI&hl=en.
Sherwin, Frank (no date), "Fruit Flies in the Face of Macroevolution," [On-line], URL: http://www.icr.org/article/2602/.