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Range of variation is limited within kinds (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Range of variation is limited within kinds (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CB901.1:

Species may undergo minor changes, but the range of variation is limited to variation within kinds.

Source:

  • Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 51-52, 87-88.
  • Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, 109.

CreationWiki response:

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. What is a "kind"? Creationists have identified kinds with everything from species to entire kingdoms. By the narrower definitions, variation to new kinds has occurred. By the broader definitions, we would not expect to see it in historical time.

This claim is simply a statement of concept. It is simply saying that the degree of variation that is observed is limited to variation within Created kinds.

2. Helacyton gartleri shows one example of change that would be hard to call anything other than a change in kind. It is an amoeba-like life form that came from a human; evolved from a carcinoma, it spreads by taking over other laboratory cell cultures.

These in no way qualify as a new kind of orgaism, nor are HeLa cells "a wild unicellular life form." HeLa cells have been artificially kept alive for years in lab cultures. They are still human cells, but because of their disease, scientists have been able to keep them living in lab cultures.

3. Creationists have never hinted at, much less shown, any mechanism that would limit variation. Without such a mechanism, we would expect to see kinds vary over time, becoming more and more different from what they were at a given time in the past.

Wrong! Creationists have long held that, because of the laws of thermodynamics and the principles of information theory, the variations within Created kinds can only go downward, not upward. That is, the increased variation results in a loss of information within each group, so that each new group is generally weaker and less fit than its ancestors.

So Creationists do identify mechanisms that limit variation. These are increased entropy, and increased genetic noise.