I am stealing a question from this:
Creation Magazine Live! Do we all come from two people? (Creation Magazine LIVE! 3-15)
Descended from eight people who got off a really big boat ....
"have between them a maximum of 16 genetic alleles for each genetic locus ... That means if the creationists are correct that most mutations are deleterious and that no new genetic information can arise through mutation, there cannot be any genetic alleles with more than 16 alleles, since that is the maximum that could have gotten off the Big Boat."
One can note, and here CMI was meritorious that all the eight on the boat descending from only two and Even being nearly a clone of Adam, genetically (excepting the sex, as was Jesus of Mary), there would for arising of the 16 alleles be at least a similar problem pre-flood. And there the generations are counted. Noah was tenth from Adam going by father of father of father only, and I have a hard time imagining his wife could have been 20 from Eve going by mother of mother of mother only, though that is possible.
Indeed, I am not sure any line preflood reached beyond 20 or 30 generations from Adam and Eve, but could be wrong.
"Today we find genetic loci (such as hemoglobin or HLA complex) that have well over *400* different alleles (indeed some have over *700* different alleles)."
Same problem as previously, but now with post-Flood data available to us, rather than guesses as to how many different alleles Noah, his wife, their three daughters in law, maximum 10, but maybe less per locus, provided post-flood humanity with.
"since 400 is more than 16 that means that somehow the GENETIC INFORMATION INCREASED from the time they got off the Big Boat until now."
I wonder if his logic is as good as his arithmetic.
400 variations on same basic recipe is not the same thing as coming up with it in the first place. What a creationist means with new information coming up is not a new variation on existing recipe, rather a radically new recipe for a radically new function. 400 new alleles (minus original ten) for hemoglobin does not count. Creating a new function, comparable to hemoglobin and HLA complex or to the genes for speech (like the one gene were only one allele - or, possibly a second, considering a slight variation in Neanderthals, if I recall correctly - functions in man, other alleles totally, but recognisible where the base pair differs, being found in brute beasts), one that did not exist in the other men, would count. That would be increase in information.
Then there is a question whether any single locus for hemoglobin or HLA complex (sounds complex to me, even without looking up what it means) really has that number of alleles, or whether it may rather be a multiplication of existing alleles for different loci concerned with hemoglobin, different loci concerned with HLA complex that make the 400 or in some cases 700.
"if genetic mutations always produce a LOSS in information ... then how did we go from 16 alleles to over 400 alleles ...?"
Already answered, since already asked or nearly so. New variation on existing info does not equal new info. Adding sponge cake with lemon to the other sponge cake recipes does not equal inventing the sponge cake. It is THAT which we mean by adding information.
"if these new alleles did not appear through mutations, then how did they get there?"
Probably through mutations. Adding alleles to an existing function, whereas adding a new function, no, those are two different things.
"according to their, uh, 'theory', all of these mutations must have appeared in the space of just *4000* years ..."
Kent Hovind who is a Protestant and trusts Ussher and Masoretic text for chronology says it was 4400 years ago. I trust St Jerome who used the LXX (pronounce Septuagint) for chronological questions, and Roman Martyrology for December 25 says Christ is born "Anno a creatione mundi, quando in principio Deus creavit caelum et terram, quinquies millesimo centesimo nonagesimo nono; a diluvio autem, anno bis millesimo nongentesimo quinquagesimo septimo ..." In the year from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, five thousandth one hundredth and ninetyninth, but from the Flood, the two thousandth nine hundredth fiftyseventh year. So the Flood will soon be five thousand years old - if the world and time get old enough for that memorial date to occur. But that was just a little red herring, let us get to the real problem of the questioner:
"That gives a rate of BENEFICIAL MUTATIONS, which add NEW GENETIC INFORMATION, of one every ten years or roughly two every generation...."
I begin to sense a really awfully red little inedible herring here! Not the one about new alleles equalling necessarily beneficial mutations as opposed to merely not hurtful ones, and these could arrive through loss of useful but not strictly necessary infirmation, that has already been answered, but about the rate of mutations.
400 alleles are over all of the human population of six to seven times the cube of a thousand (some say billions, and some say milliards for a number of that order). NOT within each man taken singly. NOT within each genealogical line, known or unknown, back to Noah.
Shall we see if the questioner really intends to make this blunder?
"one every ten years or roughly two every generation-a much higher rate of beneficial mutations than have ever been recorded anywhere in nature. Nowhere today do we see such a rate anywhere so high."
O ... K ... all over a world wide population is not "anywhere", it is not a local population to be studied. It is a sum total. 400 mutations for 5000 years is indeed one in every 12.5 years, but spread out over all men. It should not be compared to a medical study, which deals with very few men, easy to observe, but rather with the medium population of the world taken all over the time. 8 people were obviously less than the medium. Six or Seven times the cube of a thousand may very well be above that medium. We do not know how big it was really. But spread that 12.5 years between preserved mutations out over say a million or two or maybe ten or hundred or five hundred (we really do not know how quickly population has increased after the Flood and before 1800). You start getting realistic rates, even if you multiply this with all the "loci" here are over 400 alleles for, and perhaps you should deduct from that some functions with over 400 alleles, but which are in more than one locus. Where 400 "alleles" for the function are really meta-alleles, rescrambling in different combinations the ten alleles possibly present at the Arc. FOR EACH REAL locus making up the function.
"So not only would I like to know what produced this extraordinarily high rate of non-deletrious mutations, but what stopped it (indeed what stopped it conveniently right before the very time when we first developed the technological means to study it)."
Your illusion of it stopping, if considered that way, is exactly very conventiently in the transit you make yourself from summing up projections backwards dealing with all humanity which has a very large population to attending to those studies of very small populations.
"Since less than 1% of observed mutations are beneficial (the vast majority of mutations are indeed deleterious or neutral and have no effect), that means that for every beneficient mutation which added a new allele ..."
A mutation need not be beneficial to add a new allele. It would need to be beneficial to oust the older alleles from all over a population. And this of course only on the view of the "survival of the fittest". If we look realistically at existence, survival has much more to do with chances - or as we Christians would say, with acts of God - than with fitness or unfitness of a genome part. Persons and beasts and plants survive and reproduce in concrete situations. Sometimes a new gene or rather a new allele to a locus is involved. In those few cases it is more likely to be involved in someone not surviving than in someone surviving.
But just to add a new allele to the gene pool, it is sufficient that it is not too immediately deleterious.
If we go to another part of genetics, chromosome numbers, adding a third chromosome to one of the larger ones (say 1 or 3) will, if affecting all cells of a foetus, kill it before birth. Only survivals are from mozaical foeti, with just two chromosomes in some of their cells. That would be an exteme but very clear case of genetic change playing a direct role for survival - negatively. Indeed this is so clear, that if we discard, as we should, P Z Myers' scenario for centromere fission, we must also note that neither can chromosome numbers in mammals grow by making pairs grow into trisomies that grow into tetrasomies that split into two pairs: a tetrasomy is a worse genetic condition than a trisomy. If a trisomy 21 is a case of Down's syndrome, a tetrasomy 21 is an extremely grave case of Down's syndrome. Not likely in brute nature to grow and produce offspring.
So, if one could imagine a new allele being as deleterious immediately as a trisomy 1 non-mozaical or as a tetrasomy 21, that would indeed eliminate itself from the gene pool very quickly. Even if karyotypal and other genetic diseases are not the same thing.
But for a new allele to simply stay one of the available options in the human gene pool - and that is what we talk about with the 400 alleles for hemoglobin - it is sufficient it is not too deleterious, it need not be positively beneficient.
Therefore, the 400 number of alleles need not at all represent the 1% beneficient mutations, it will include results of the neutral ones. And adding a new allele is obviously not the same thing as adding new information, as I already said.
"... that means that for every beneficient mutation which added a new allele, there should have been roughly 99 others which did not."
Every mutation adds a new allele. Some stay in the gene pool, others do not.
But if one were to credit the questioner with some logic, one might presume he meant that every new allele which stays corresponds to 99 which are eliminated. Even if that is erroneous too.
"So to give us roughly 400 beneficial mutations would require somewhere around 40,000 total mutations, a rate of roughly 100 mutations in each locus EVERY YEAR or 2,000 mutations per locus for EACH GENERATION. Do you know what we call people who experience mutation rates that high? We call them 'cancer victims' ..."
In cancer victims we are dealing with 100 mutations per locus within the scope of one person. In the cells affected. With deleterious ones remaining until the victim of the cancer dies of these mutations.
In the human population we are dealing with a far less drastic mutation rate, since it is the mutation rate within humanity as a whole. We are also dealing with the fact that most mutations are either tolerable or weeded out, naturally. Without any human acts of eugenicism, thank you! Either by early death or by non-mating and non-reproduction.
If I were copy pasting, I might copy for you the last comment in the letter just for fun - it is visible if you stop the video at 4:29 and read it to the bottom and resume the play of the video - but since I cannot copy-paste a text rolling on the video, I refer you to it.
I find it pretty faulty of the Creationist Geneticist to have said that genetics are dooming us. No, since most mutations are neutral and since those who aren't but are fatal are very easily weeded out by their own fatality. What he is indirectly doing is encouraging a kind of eugenic hysteria. Sorry, but that is about the upshot.
It is true that things like sickle cell anaemia is increasing, but also that it is not being favoured in selection if for instance bad cases are too tired (naturally) for being good flirts and for being good breadwinners - two things a girl looks at before getting a man. A scrambled version of the genome is still functional if it is occurring. And sufficiently so, if it is getting reproduced, at least for civilised people.
Some Barbarians in Prussia and - where is it Margaret Sanger came from in the States - have less than 100 years ago spread a pretty similar hysteria to the one voiced by the guest star.
Maybe that is what comes from giving exposure not just to a decent Calvinist (for a Calvinist) like Zuiddam, but to a very non-decent possible Jew and certain holder of some diploma in Academic pseudo-discipline Economics like Ben Stein. While shunning a Catholic like me, when it comes to linking outside their site.
CMI has its good sides, but at some occasion the Protestantism is bound to show for the worse. Even when avoiding subjects they correctly identify as clearly divisive like Predestination or - usually - Sacraments.
Update on Thursday in Paschal Week: their expert whom I complained of is Dr Robert W. Carter - in Nanterre University Library I have no headphones, so I could not hear him being introduced, only read the text of the question. Now he is identified, I will of course contact him about this./HGL