I was debating with one theist.. who said....

"At least 99.9% of mutations are harmful A 99.9% harmful mutation rate couldn't account for the evolutionary process mutations in the time
span evolutionists say that life has evolved for. If there is a 0.1%
chance of any given mutation being beneficial then time span would, be
more then Now, imagine what the chances are of a fish evolving into a
human being?

Never in even a trillion years. Mathematicians say that any odd greater than 1 in 1 million os mathematically insignificant."


Can someone help me to refute this?

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ya... I took a course on optimization this sem which included a chapter of GAs... I got it and it was interesting.... I can explain him now...
Note also the part that says "if a mutation changes a protein produced by a gene". As Adriana already pointed out, not every mutation changes the protein coded by the gene.
Lots of lovely, long, technical answers here. But as a lay person who doesn't always get all the fancy info.....Didn't scientists recently decide that changes in the environment are equally as important if not more important than mutations? This changes the odds dramatically, whatever those odds actually are.
Actually a 99% deleterious mutation rate might be close to reality. But what is missed is that mutations are happening in parallel, not just in series. You could have a thousand random mutations occur every day in a large population, and ten adaptive ones. Any deleterious mutations are removed from the gene pool via natural selection. But what we have to understand is that it is natural selection that decides which mutations are adaptive and which are deleterious, not some vaguely alluded to mathematical formula.
There are valleys and peaks of adaptation on the evolutionary landscape. Mutations happen all the time, but for a great white shark, an example of an organism on an adaptive peak in the evolutionary landscape, almost any mutation would be deleterious, it would approach 100%. But for animals on the brink of extinction, or presented with a brand new continent, or a new climate, changes which would have offered negative advantage only generations before might suddenly be very adaptive. The percentage of mutations that might be adaptive could increase exponentially.
Indeed, they always tend to think of things in series. One mutation per generation. Right now, it is estimated that there are 140 million humans born every year. Assuming this guys (false) estimates as factual, and knowing that each human has between 50-100 mutations on average (of which about 3 actually change a protein. Most are neutral - talkorigins), then there should be .42 million beneficial mutations every year, just counting the 3 that change proteins.

I was thinking the same thing ... the biggest fallacy in the mutation argument is that the theist thinks that mutation = harmful. 


They couldn't be more wrong.  mutation more clearly means a 'change'.  


As for flipping coins, even if you flipped a coin a million times, and it landed heads a million times ... so what?  Just because there is a number with a very large exponent after it to describe the odds of an event, that does NOT mean it can't happen.  Because it obviously did (in the hypothetical scenario.)


Or there is a chance the coin could land on it's side ... thus negating the necessary 50 / 50 chance of heads / tails.  


So to say even with a coin that is both heads on each side ... it will always land heads, is simply false.  


Odds to me seem meaningless when you are trying to state whether or not something actually happened.  They are only good at predicting future events that have not yet happened. 


Reminds of the probability Jesus rose from the dead ... I don't care HOW many times a man dies ... is buried for 3 days, and rises again ... he could die and resurrect himself a million times.  That still doesn't prove anything remotely like a God.  


As Christopher Hitchens says ... "I'll give you all your miracles ... the virgin birth, the resurrection ... all of it ... You're still right where you were before.  Holding an empty sack."





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