Variations in Traits are Designed, not Random

A word that is commonly used in discussions of genetics is alleles. Simply put, they are pairs of genes, one from each parent, that match. Alleles are on the chromosomes. They often have slight differences, and those as well as similarities affect organisms.

People have tried to figure out where new traits that were not in a lineage came from. The Bearded Buddha had some ideas that he put into his version of natural selection. Gregor Mendel pioneered genetics (peas be upon him), and his research showed that Darwin was on the wrong trail.

Wallkill Rail Trail at Kingston, NY, Unsplash / Cowboy Bob Sorensen (modified at PhotoFunia)
For a long time, it was believed that random mutations married up with natural selection to drive evolution. It was learned that DNA is heavily influenced by epigenetics. Evidence also shows that the Master Engineer designed living things to adapt, change how genes are expressed, and environment does not cause the changes. Sorry, Charlie. No, not really sorry.
Our world is dynamic, offering changes and challenges to its living residents. Plant and animal trait variations can help them adapt to certain settings. Some adapt quickly as they pioneer new niches, developing traits to fit the environmental conditions. How does this happen?

Two 19th-century pioneers investigated this question. Charles Darwin (1809–1882) observed pigeons (Columba livia). He noticed that certain hybrids suddenly displayed feather patterns or other traits that neither parent breed had shown. Gregor Mendel (1822–1884) saw certain traits suddenly appear in pea plants (Pisum sativum) that he studied for eight years. Where did the new variations come from? Mendel and Darwin gave different answers.

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Mendel noted that if inherited characteristics came in two versions, which we now call alleles, they would explain the results. Independent sorting of alleles into sperm and egg cells would produce the ratios he tabulated.

The entire article can be read by visiting "Trait Variation: Engineered Alleles, Yes! Random Mutations, No!"