"Nearly all mutations are harmful (#C918)
Harmful mutations outnumber 1 beneficial mutations one million to one. 2 This fact, together with the fact that most mutations are invisible to natural selection, provides strong evidence that we are degrading, not improving as evolution would say.
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Coyne, J. A. (2009). Why Evolution Is True. New York: Viking.
Sanford, J. C., & Baumgardner, J. (2008). Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (3rd ed.). Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications.
- Coyne, 2009, p. 118: “Mutations are simply errors in DNA replication. Most of them are harmful or neutral, but a few can turn out to be useful. The useful ones are the raw material for evolution. But there is no know biological way to jack up the probability that a mutation will meet the current adaptive needs of the organism. Although it’s better for mice living on sand dunes to have lighter coats, their chance of getting such a useful utation is no higher than for mice living on dark soil. Rather than calling mutations “random,” then, it seems more accurate to call them “indifferent”: the chance of a mutation arising is indifferent to whether it would be helpful to the individual.” ↩
- Sanford, 2008, p. 24 ↩