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Bacteria and Evolution

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. Administrator2

    Administrator2 New Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    [Administrator: This begins by being picked up from another thread. However the bacteria discussion came up a number of times and we have tried to combine them here]


    Originally posted by Charlie:
    Spetner brings up this point and makes the point that some bacteria have added information, but that information was already present in another bacterium or virus. So for evolution, no new information has been added overall, which is required by evolutionary theory.

    This was sort of my point. Obviously (demonstrably), these bacteria gain information that gives them an advantage. Typically, this is gained through conjugation (a form of exchanging plasmids via a pilus) or some sort of genetic "scavenging" after DNA has been released nearby in the mileu. Actual mutation is rare (that is a bacterium actually changing its genetic makeup rather than simply adding to it), but has occurred (or at least that is what they taught me in Microbiology in medical school).

    Viruses should be brought up here. Some debate whether or not they are living or non-living organisms. This is an arbitrary point, but very recognizable when compared to other forms of "life." They do mutate. They actually change their genes without gaining new information. The reason for this is the fidelity of their replicases if very low and permits "mistakes" to be made which result weaker viruses (99.9% of the time) and rarely stronger viruses (0.01% of the time). The numbers are misleading, however. The stronger ones are "selected" (I hate that term, it is so Darwinian) and replicate rapidly such that they are in the majority in a hurry. This is the "survival of the fittest" they teach you about in business and biology.

    I am willing to accept the term microevolution as a suitable word for adaptations, but I do not really believe that in microevolution the genome gains new information.

    In these cases, the genome does gain new DNA in addition to its old. This is fact and has been demonstrated through sequencing. But, like you, I don't really consider this "evolution" in the sense that evolutionists do. I see it as a God given mechanism to adapt on a very basic level. Hence the name microevolution to distinguish it from large scale organismic tranformation of species.

    QUESTION: Are scientists actually observing macroevolution as it happens in bacteria?
    RESPONSE: That depends on how "macroevolution" is defined. Scientists have seen bacteria exchange genetic material. They have seen bacteria become antibiotic resistant. They have seen bacteria become bigger from mutations. But have they ever seen bacteria become anything other than bacteria? No. Have they ever seen one type of bacteria, such as E.coli, become some other type of bacteria that is not (in this case) E.coli? No, they haven't. In fact, with over a hundred years of work with E.coli behind us, (at 20 minutes per generation time, that's over 2 1/5 MILLION generations of E.coli minimum that have been witnessed), and despite forcing or encouraging mutations, they still cannot get anything but E.coli. So it's your call. Is that macroevolution? By some evolutionists' standards it qualifies.

    Actually, we have directly observed instances of E. coli evolving into an entirely new genera. In vertebrates, that is the equivalent of a chimp evolving into a human.