This is part of a series: testing evolution
I figured out how to test evolution, wrote an evolution simulator, ran it, and found that evolutionary biologists see the same results in actual living things. Now I’ll list some evidence I’ve found that, on the surface, contradicts my findings. I argue that the evidence for my simulator’s accuracy is far stronger than the evidence against. I found that in the long term, evolution isn’t the main thing that happens – devolution is, and devolution eventually leads to extinction.
Other Simulations and Mathematical Models
I’ll start by pointing out that while many simulations/models do predict that devolution isn’t a problem and doesn’t cause extinction, many also predict that it is.
Note that scientific papers on Muller’s Ratchet all tend to declare that devolution doesn’t happen in creatures that both: Shuffle their genes
Either through sex or horizontal gene transfer Have big enough populations See the evidence that my simulator is accurate for a sound debunking of this.
CORRECTION: According to creation scientist John Baumgardner, one of the main characteristics of Muller’s Ratchet is that it can only be reversed by back-mutations. I had thought that it was just devolution, and evolutionary biologists were simply turning a blind eye toward it in creatures that have sex.
Here are some simulations/models that predict that devolution will eventually cause extinction:
- The relation of recombination to mutational advance
Hermann J. Muller
- Muller’s Ratchet and Mutational Meltdowns
W. Gabriel, M. Lynch and R. Burger
- Quantifying the threat of extinction from Muller’s ratchet in the diploid Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa)
Laurence Loewe and Dunja K. Lamatsch
Here are some simulations/models that predict that devolution won’t eventually cause extinction:
- Selection against harmful mutations in large sexual and asexual populations
Alexey S. Kondrashov
- Muller’s ratchet in symbiont populations
Mats E. Pettersson, Otto G. Berg
- Horizontal Gene Transfer Can Rescue Prokaryotes from Muller’s Ratchet: Benefit of DNA from Dead Cells and Population Subdivision
Nobuto Takeuchi, et al.
I argue that the simulations/models that predict that devolution won’t eventually cause extinction are wrong, because as far as I know, experiments done on actual living things are very consistent – they show that devolution happens far faster than evolution, and eventually causes extinction. Note that for evolution to happen faster than devolution, new good mutations must consistently appear faster than new near-netural, but slightly bad mutations. Finding one good mutation in isolation that spreads fast isn’t good enough. It must be part of a consistent pattern of evolution. Here are some experiments that demonstrate devolution:
- Fitness of RNA virus decreased by Muller’s ratchet
- Rapid fitness losses in mammalian RNA virus clones due to Muller’s ratchet
E Duarte, et al.
- Accelerated evolution and Muller’s rachet in endosymbiotic bacteria
N. A. Moran
Note that while Moran uses the word “evolution” to describe what’s happening, he also says that the effect is “deleterious” (bad). Thus, I’m pretty sure that he’s using the alternate definition of “evolution” that merely means “any change over time, even if it’s neutral or bad”. If so, then the phenomenon he was running into was clearly a form of devolution (genetic degeneration), and not steady improvement in fitness over time.
- Arbovirus high fidelity variant loses fitness in mosquitoes and mice
Lark L. Coffey, et al.
I’ve listed the best evidence I know that my simulator is inaccurate, and shown that none of them invalidate my results. Furthermore, I’ve shown that, based on the available research on Muller’s Ratchet, my simulator is more accurate than many simulations and mathematical models made by evolutionary biologists. Between this and the evidence for devolution, I believe that my results are correct. Given enough time and chance, we won’t evolve into a race of supermen. We’ll instead devolve into a pile of skeletons.
The only way I see out of this mess is through genetic engineering. I very strongly oppose eugenics on moral grounds, and I don’t think it can stop devolution anyway because we’re all mutants. If, one day, someone created a disease that heals – a virus that audits our cells – this would slow, or even completely stop devolution. The database probably wouldn’t fit into a single virus, so it would be best to split the database into many shards, and put 1 shard in each virus. This would, of course, be very dangerous, and ought to be done with utmost caution. But the alternative is even worse.
- Bar of gold in the balance