No Evolution for Algae

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No evolution for algae, according to a report in Nature, vol 431, p566, 30 Sep 2004. Sinead Collins and Graham Bell of McGill University believe that as atmospheric carbon dioxide will increase over the next century, and plants may adapt to the changing atmosphere. Therefore “such evolved plant communities of the next century are likely to be genetically different from contemporary communities.”

To test this theory they grew Chlamydomonas a single celled green alga in a high carbon dioxide atmosphere in order to see how plants would evolve. However, they found after about 1,000 generations of selection for growth in high carbon dioxide conditions, the alga “failed to evolve specific adaptations to a CO2 concentration of 1,050 parts per million.” Normal carbon dioxide is about 400 parts per million. They did find a few cells that developed high rates of photosynthesis and respiration in the high carbon dioxide atmosphere but these had a smaller cell size and grew poorly at normal carbon dioxide levels. The researchers suggested that these cells had undergone mutations that decreased their ability to concentrate carbon dioxide inside the cell.

Editorial Comment: We are pleased the authors of this study did not claim the mutated algae were evolving. They acknowledged that the unusual environment the algae were grown in compensated for loss of a normal function, but overall the plants were degenerate. This experiment provides good evidence that plants either maintain or lose genetic information as they reproduce, but do not invent (evolve) any new genetic information no matter what selection pressure they are subjected to. This is what you would predict on the basis of Genesis based Creation, i.e. plants were created as different unrelated kinds and some have degenerated as they reproduced in a world damaged by sin and judgement. (Ref. algae, plants, mutations)

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