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The ‘Werewolf’ Gene

A reawakening gene of human evolution, or a harmful mutation?

by Thomas Awtry on December 1, 1995
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Originally published in Creation 18, no 1 (December 1995): 51.

The general public is bombarded with evolutionary propaganda through television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. A good example of such was found in a recent newspaper article by Associated Press science writer Malcolm Ritter, 'Scientists move closer to finding "werewolf" gene'.1

The article describes a very rare condition of excessive hairiness which is not known to afflict anybody outside a large family in rural Mexico. Some newborn males are born with hair all over their face, including the eyelids, with only the lips remaining hairless. Men with the condition have inch-long hair all over their face, and on some parts of their upper body. Women with the condition, while not being affected to the same degree as the men, have random patches of hair on the face and on the body.

This hairiness condition is said to be a leftover trait from our alleged ape-type ancestry.
According to the article, scientists have moved closer to finding the gene, which someday may help treat baldness and excessive hairiness. Readers are then informed that the werewolf condition 'comes from an aberrant gene that runs through their large family, perhaps after reawakening from a long sleep during human evolution'. The last phrase speaks volumes: this hairiness condition is said to be a leftover trait from our alleged ape-type ancestry.

As is true of several evolution-creation topics of discussion, the difference lies not in the data under consideration, but rather in the interpretation of the data. While it is true that an aberrant gene now runs in the one family, it does not therefore mean that it is a 'reawakening' effect of 'human evolution'. Another interpretation which is just as viable is that it is simply a mutated gene. The mutation changed the amount of a physical feature (hairiness) of humans which has existed in humans from their initial creation. This may be from damage to a gene controlling hair growth or its distribution.

And as creationists have been saying for years about all mutations, this random mutation is harmful, if anything. The article reveals how much the individuals with the trait suffer, and how most become outcasts of society, often becoming members of sideshows for a travelling circus. It is possible then that this condition might become even more rare as selection works against these individuals. Of course, this supports the creationists' explanation, but not the evolutionary explanation. Remember, Darwinian evolution requires mutations to be favourable and cumulative, increasing viability.

Another physical phenomenon which some evolutionists have claimed in the past as evidence of evolutionary ancestry is when a child is born with a 'tail'. The 'tail', however, is really not a tail or part of the coccyx, but is rather a fatty tumour.2 The lesson to be learned, though, is that no one now claims it to be due to a 'reawakening' of human evolution.

We can learn several lessons from the article:

  1. Sometimes there is more than one interpretation of data.

  2. Evidence suggests mutations to be random and detrimental. And because

  3. Evolution must have favourable, 'uphill' mutations, and many of them, therefore

  4. Evolution, like werewolves, is a myth.

References

  1. Malcolm Ritter, Scientists move closer to finding 'werewolf' gene, The Advocate, Baton Rouge (Louisiana), 1 June 1995.
  2. H.M. Morris and G.E. Parker, What is Creation Science?, Master Books, El Cajon (California), 1987.

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