When a cell divides, it makes a copy of its DNA — and sometimes the copy is not quite perfect. That small difference from the original DNA sequence is a mutation.
Mutations can also be caused by exposure to specific chemicals or radiation. These agents cause the DNA to break down.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states:
All matter and energy goes from a state of complexity and useful energy to a state of less complexity and less useful energy for doing work. The entropy of the entire universe always increases.
Isaac Asimov in the Smithsonian Institute Journal, June 1970, p. 6 stated: “Another way of stating the second law then is: ‘The universe is constantly getting more disorderly!’ Viewed that way, we can see the second law all about us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never enter it, it becomes dusty and musty. How difficult to maintain houses, and machinery, and our bodies in perfect working order: how easy to let them deteriorate. In fact, all we have to do is nothing, and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself … and that is what the second law is all about.”
Mutations are well known to cause diseases like cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, inherited osteoporosis and literally more than 1000 others.
Do mutations add genetic information?
"But in all the reading I've done in the life-sciences literature, I've never found a mutation that added information. All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not increase it." Dr. Lee Spetner (Ph.D. Physics - MIT, taught information and communications at Johns Hopkins University), Not By Chance, 1997, pp. 131, 138
"We see the apparent inability of mutations truly to contribute to the origin of new structures. The theory of gene duplication in its present form is unable to account for the origin of new genetic information - a must for any theory of evolutionary mechanism." Ray Bohlin, (Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology), Creation, Evolution, and Modern Science, 2000, p. 41.
8. There are extremely complex mechanisms in place that prevent change.
"Much like a book editor, enzymes proofread the DNA and replace incorrect nucleotides with correct nucleotides." Prentice Hall Biology - 2006, p. 301
"In spite of these mechanisms, however, changes in the DNA occasionally do occur." Prentice Hall Biology - 2006, Pg. 301
Many mechanisms prevent change in our DNA.
In spite of this, occasionally, a change takes place, but it is rare. In spite of the repair mechanisms, in spite of the rarity of mutational changes, in a very, very, rare occasion, a change might be helpful. How many harmful mutations will accumulate before enough beneficial mutations do, to actually improve a life form? Will the life form go extinct before it gets a chance to improve?
The more mutations you get in a population group, it would seem, the less likely it is to survive.
Much of the clip art on this site is courtesy of Phillip Martin.