Evolution or Selection?


Take the Pop Quiz
on Evolution and
the Origin of Life

Go beyond theory
to experience:

Explore the universal constant of design at
GoldenNumber

The Phi Nest

Is Atheism a Religion?


 Recommended books
In Association with Amazon.com

 

In this section:  Chance or Design?   The Scientific Method Life in a Test Tube? The Eye Irreducible Complexity Anything Can Happen? Evolution or Selection? Real Examples of Evolution "Do You Feel Lucky?" (Abio)Genesis 1:1 Life from Comets? Life on Mars? Richard Dawkins A Brief History of Slime...

Natural adaptations or Intelligent Design?

When is it evolution and
when is it just selection?


We're told that life is evolving all the time.  Drug-resistant strains of bacteria "evolve" to make the fight against disease more difficult.

Is this evolution or just selection?

Bacteria

Everyone has a different finger print, but nobody would argue that this represents evolution.  It's a naturally occurring variation, yet a surefire way to identify intruders. Our immune system controls foreign substances by making an antibody with a molecular arrangement that fits the shape of molecules on the surface of the intruding substance.

The key question is this:

Do new viruses really represent evolution, or is it just the same basic organism with a "fingerprint" we have yet to encounter?  In a billion years will its descendents have become a new intelligent life form or will they still just be viruses?

Suppose a disease has two strains, most of which was curable, but a small portion of which was resistant to drugs.  Each decade, the drugs knock out half the incidences of the curable disease:

96% curable, 4% resistant bacteria 48% curable, 52% resistant bacteria 24% curable, 76% resistant bacteria 12% curable, 88% resistant bacteria

Year 0

Year 10 Year 20 Year 30

Did the curable bacteria "evolve" or did the resistant one just become more prevalent?

Lhasa Apso - still just one species of dog When this same thing happens with dogs, it's called breeding.  No new species has evolved because no new information has been created.  We've just sifted existing information into different gene pools.   Put them all back together and you'll soon have a population of happy mutts again. Doberman - still one species of dog

Variation is not necessarily evolution!

Natural selection and adaptation does in fact occur when the environment changes in a way that favors specific characteristics.

The real question, however, is whether these characteristics represent new information or whether they were already programmed into the DNA of various organisms so the species can adapt to changing environments.

Peppered mothA classic example of selection said to explain adaptation and evolution is the peppered moth in England.  Back in 1850, the trees where the peppered moths lived were mostly white because of the white lichen that grew on them.  The birds found the black peppered moths on the white trees to be easy prey and ate them, so 98% of the peppered moths in the area were white.  Later industrialization and pollution killed the lichen, revealing the trees' black bark. The birds now found the white peppered moths easy prey and ate them instead, so 98% of the peppered moths were black by 1950.

The trouble is that this demonstrates selection but certainly not evolution, as both light and dark moths existed before and after industrialization and no new information was created in the DNA.

Evolution, as an explanation for new species or life itself, must mean that new and unique information is added to the DNA to create new features and functions:  eyes for sight, thumbs for grasp, wings for flight.  Have you ever observed a hint of even the simplest of new features to come about by natural processes?


If evolution does occur . . .
could it have occurred without direction?

The Other Side of Common Beliefs
Common Beliefs

Seek the Truth
Seek the Truth

In this section
 Chance or Design?   The Scientific Method Life in a Test Tube? The Eye Irreducible Complexity Anything Can Happen? Evolution or Selection? Real Examples of Evolution "Do You Feel Lucky?" (Abio)Genesis 1:1 Life from Comets? Life on Mars? Richard Dawkins A Brief History of Slime...

 

 


Copyright 1997-2002, The Evolution of Truth