Pedigreed Mutants Cause Disease

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Pedigreed mutants cause disease, according to reports from the BBC and Daily Telegraph, 19 August 2008. The BBC has made a documentary film showing the effects of years of inbreeding in dogs bred for pedigree dog shows such as Crufts in Britain. Many of these dogs have genetic mutations which can cause diseases including bone deformities, joint problems, eye problems, epilepsy, and tendency for cancer, allergies and heart disease. Mark Evans, head vet with the RSPCA, commented: "When I watch Crufts, what I see is a parade of mutants. It's some freakish garish beauty pageant that has nothing, frankly to do with health and welfare. We've become completely and utterly desensitised to the fact that breeding these deformed, disabled, disease-prone animals is either shocking or abnormal."

According to Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, which sets standards for pedigree dogs, many of the health problems have their roots in Victorian times and inbreeding was an "essential tool" in the development of breeds. However, Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College London, commented: "If dog breeders insist on going further down that road, I can say with confidence that there is a universe of suffering waiting for many of these breeds and many, if not most, will not survive."

BBC, Telegraph

Editorial Comment: Mutations are believed to be the sources of changes that make living things evolve from simple to complex. However, observations of mutations at work, as in these dog breeds, show us that they do not improve living things. Instead, they cause them to degenerate, and eventually die out. Mutations are changes to genes, caused by damage to DNA or bad copying of DNA, and are really like random typographical errors in the instructions for building a body. Such random messing about with life’s instructions is not going to improve it any more than randomly messing up the instructions for building a complex machine. Steve Jones is an ardent evolutionist and vigorous opponent of creationism, but he should take note of his own words about mutant animals not surviving. If they don’t survive, they will not evolve. (Ref. canines, degeneration, pathology, genetics)

Evidence News 24 September 2008

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