Beneficial Mutations: Tetrachromacy, or Four Color Vision

Could Human Tetrachromacy be the mutation the evolutionists have been searching for?

Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland with Rainbow

We know the only way evolutionists can explain new information being generated is by mutations.

But if you know anything about science, you know what a problem mutations are in the real world. If every person on earth understood what mutations were doing to their own bodies and to everything around them, they would never buy the idea that this is what we have to thank for even existing.

Evolutionists know this. So, they love to find examples of beneficial mutations. Times when mutations haven’t (directly) caused disease, suffering, and death.

Personally, my favorite mutation of all is the one that allows me to eat ice cream without having to take a lactose pill. Thank you, Jesus, for allowing a mutation to break the shut down switch that should have kicked in when I stopped drinking baby milk!

Today, we’re going to have a look at a newly discovered mutation that gives some people amazing vision:

4 color vision

Much like Sickle Cell Anema, a little bit of mutation might just make some cool things possible.

The way our eyes register color is amazing. You’ve heard of the eye’s rods and cones. Cones are the ones that see in color. A photon of light gets a Vitamin A molecule excited and triggers the pigment in the receptors at the back of our eyes. Usually, each cone cell has one of three colors it is designed to absorb, allowing us to see the shades of red, green, and blue.

Wave lengths showing 3 color vision

Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D. at the University of Washington has lots more for those of you who love studying anatomy on his Neuroscience for Kids Color Vision page.

Any glowing screen uses these three colors to give you all the shades of color we see. If you ever mess around in a photo making program, you’ll be able to find out the R,G,B (red, green, blue) values for each pixel you’re working with.

But people with color blindness only have two color receptors. Two of the usual color values get smushed into one. Usually, they can’t tell the difference between red and green, the first two values on the R,G,B scale. Rarely, a person can’t see the color blue, the second two got blended.
Sometimes, people can sort of see the differences between colors, but not as well as most people.

Wave lengths showing 2 color vision

Typical red-green color blindness

In fact, scientists know there is a huge amount of variation in the genes telling our cone cells what to do. This got some of them thinking:

What if a person, probably a lady because she has two copies of the X chromosome, had the three normal pigments, but also had a fourth pigment sort of between red and green? She could see some fine differences between colors the rest of us couldn’t.
Scientists started figuring out tests to check out their ideas and asking for volunteers. They looked for women who had dads or sons who were color blind, since they would be carriers of that mutant eye gene.

Wave lengths showing 4 color vision

photo by Georges NobletSure enough, they found some women who could tell the difference between two colors that looked identical to most people. One of them had even decided to become an artist who especially likes to paint at twilight when most people only see grays.

This lady’s favorite color is white because anything brighter is almost overwhelming.

She also has a daughter who is color blind, which is very rare (I’d link to the BBC article that told me this, but the sidebar ads aren’t nice).

The fancy term for this 4 color vision is Tetrachromacy. Tetra means four and “chrome” [krohm] means color. It’s just a quick way to say what you mean and find what you’re looking for on a search engine!

So, tell me

Is this helping humans evolve into Super Humans? Is it giving us something new? If we continue collecting mutations similar to these will our descendants become beings with abilities never seen before?

If something had happened to my genes and I lost the ability to see the usual “visual” spectrum of color, it would be nice to know my daughter might be extra good at telling the difference between one paint color and another. But it takes a lot of thinking to even come up with a story of how this could have been of benefit for natural selection to kick in and make us more likely to survive because of it.

BTW Some people can even see a bit of UV light

Now, that sounds more like a super power! Ultraviolet is the invisible light beyond the blue end of the rainbow. But they only see it because their corneas aren’t filtering it out properly. Of course you know what the problem with UV light is. It causes cell damage. It’s the stuff we put on sunscreen to block!

In fact, it’s dangerous to wear sunglasses without UV protection because you can get a sunburn on your eyes.

But, as usual, the search for a mutation truly advancing evolution goes on. I wouldn’t bother holding my breath.

Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. Nehemiah 9:6