Evolution Leads to Tooth Decay

on September 12, 2009

ScienceDaily: “Molecular Decay Of Enamel-specific Gene In Toothless Mammals Supports Theory Of EvolutionTooth loss and molecular decay purportedly prove Charles Darwin right. Does that mean brushing twice a day keeps evolution away?

In a study heralded as providing “support” for Darwin’s ideas, biologists at the University of California–Riverside set out to show that some mammals without tooth enamel or any teeth at all retained the enamelin gene (a gene involved in enamel production), though likely showing molecular decay. The reason for this hypothesis? Fossils of some toothless mammals (e.g., baleen whales) reveal that they once had teeth, and mammals with teeth lacking enamel (e.g., sloths) once had enamel.

Fossils of some toothless mammals reveal that they once had teeth, and mammals with teeth lacking enamel once had enamel.

Not surprisingly, the group found exactly this. With the help of modern gene sequencing, the researchers discovered mutations in the enamelin gene “that disrupt how the enamelin protein is coded, resulting in obliteration of the genetic blueprint for the enamelin protein.”

According to the report, this vindicates Darwin because

[t]he fossil record demonstrates that the first mammals had teeth with enamel. Mammals without enamel therefore must have descended from mammals with enamel-covered teeth.

If that seems underwhelming, perhaps you would be more persuaded by Professor Mark Springer (head of the study), who informs any doubters that

[i]n our research we clearly see the parallel evolution of enamel loss in the fossil record and the molecular decay of the enamelin gene into a pseudogene in representatives of four different orders of mammals that have lost enamel.

The results of this study show quite clearly the effects of different starting assumptions. The Bible tells us—long before this research or Darwin arrived on the scene—that the Curse (Genesis 3) impacted every living thing when God removed some of His sustaining power. This is most evident through the mutational decay of the genome, which often causes various disorders.

It’s no surprise, then, that mammalian genes have lost function over time. These creatures were designed for a much different world than the one after the Fall, but God gave them enough variability to survive—even with genetic entropy.

What we see from this evidence is that the mammals in this study were created with the information for teeth and enamel. Through mutations, these genes lost function, and some of the animals lost teeth. Far from lending credence to Darwinism, this research reveals how impossible molecules-to-man evolution really is. Mammals likely lost the ability to form teeth and enamel because of genetic degradation—the mammals, however, have always been mammals.


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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.