Some definitions on the word mutation in relation to evolution.
Mutation: When parental DNA is copied to form a new DNA molecule it is normally copied exactly. A mutation is any change in the new DNA molecule from the parental DNA molecule. Mutations may alter single bases or nucleotides, short stretches of bases or parts of whole chromosomes. Mutations can be detected both at the DNA level or the phenotypic level.
- Evolution By Matt Ridley Third Edition
Mutation: A change in the genetic material of a cell (arising from point mutations or base-pair changes, insertions, deletions, duplications, etc.). Mutations in the genetic material in reproductive cells (sperm or egg) are know as germ-line mutations. These changes can be inherited and are an important source of heritable variation in populations of organisms. They thus provide some of the grist for the mill of natural selection.
- God, the Devil, and Darwin - A critique of Intelligent Design Theory By Niall Shanks
Mutation: A change in inheritable genetic material, most commonly due to a "copying error" during the process of DNA replication. Mutations can be harmful, beneficial, or neutral. They contribute to the genetic variability in a population which services as the raw material for evolutionary change.
- The Science of Evolution and the myth of creationism - Knowing what's real and why it matters By Ardea Skybreak