Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mutant Humans With Enhanced Abilities

Many biblical creationists argue that there are no beneficial mutations, that mutations are always harmful, never an improvement.

Numerous counterexamples could be given, but the creationist could ask, what about humans? Yes, there is sickle-cell disease that makes people have a higher resistance to a certain disease, but that clearly comes at a cost. Why don’t we see beneficial mutations that don’t have such drawbacks? What about mutations in humans that (for example) make them stronger or give them bones that are harder to break?

Actually, we have examples of both sorts of mutations. There is a family in Connecticut that displays very strong bones due to a mutation, comparing them to the hero in Unbreakable (a movie character who had unbreakable bones).

As for increased strength, there is something called myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy. From this scientific organization:

Myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy is a rare condition characterized by reduced body fat and increased muscle size. Affected individuals have up to twice the usual amount of muscle mass in their bodies. They also tend to have increased muscle strength. Myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy is not known to cause any medical problems, and affected individuals are intellectually normal.

Myostatin affects skeletal muscle but it doesn’t affect cardiac muscle (the heart) so cardiac muscle hypertrophy doesn’t result from this.

Yet another example of a beneficial mutation in humans is a sort of mutation found in women allows them to perceive more colors, at least in the sense of having greater perception of different shades of colors.

I don’t want to give a false impression though; not all religious people deny the existence of beneficial mutations in humans. While doing some research I stumbled upon this Ratio Christi article that concedes their existence.

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