Suppose simple life forms exist on a life-supporting planet.
How could these develop into more complex life forms and
ultimately into human beings? This was the focus of
The evolutionary textbooks offer various examples of “evolution” within species as proof of their theory. These include the beaks of finches, fruit flies, and bacteria resistant to antibiotics. But are these genuine examples of evolution? To get a better grasp of the process that makes these changes occur it is necessary to understand the difference between changes of characteristics within the same species and changes that transform one species into another species. These two kinds of changes, respectively called natural selection (or also survival of the fittest) and genetic mutations proof to be quite different.
Darwin and the Survival of the Fittest
Traditional evolutionary theory – also called Darwinism – considers natural selection the driving force behind evolution. It is the observation that individual organisms with favorable characteristics are more likely to survive and reproduce than those lacking these traits. As a result, subsequent generations are largely comprised of the organisms with favorable traits, so these traits will occur more and more. After a number of generations, all organisms will have the favorable traits and those without them will have died out. Hence, natural selection is also a survival of the fittest, as Darwin liked to call this process.
One of his most
famous illustrations from The
Origin of Species has
come to be known as Darwin’s
Finches, and it is still used in most evolutionary textbooks.
There is Much
Confusion on How Natural Selection "Impacted" the
Evolution of a Species?
There are many other illustrations of natural selection. For instance, today there are as many as 200 breeds of dogs. Did you know that most of these breeds did not exist in the days of Jesus? Likely all dogs then were similar in terms of size, hair, color, behavior etc. and looked like what we now would call “a common street dog.” So does this mean that in only 2,000 years dogs have evolved into 200 new species? If so, this – like Darwin’s Finches – would be convincing evidence for evolution.
That, however, is
not the case. Genetics has taught us how natural selection works.
Every organism has unique DNA, grouped in genes on chromosomes.
The genes are the units of genetic information that specify the
“blueprint” for a particular characteristic of the organism.
For instance in human beings, certain combinations of genes will
control eye color, hair color, skin color, height and blood group
as well as tendencies for high blood pressure and heart disease.
and/or natural selection certain genetic characteristics are
favored over others. As
these characteristics are controlled by genes, the organisms with
these traits have their genes “set” to produce these
characteristics. Therefore, offspring in subsequent generations
are likely to have these same gene settings. This results in a
dominance or even exclusivity of these favored characteristics.
So in a pure breed dog, the genetic information passed down
from the parents is set to the desired characteristics of the
breed. The genetic information that would produce the non-desired
characteristics has disappeared through the selective breeding of
the previous generations. Hence in terms of genetic information,
pure breeds have less genetic diversity than “street dogs.”
Let me illustrate. A
pure breed Labrador will have only the genetic information that
produces the characteristics of a
selection or breeding does NOT lead to new species. It only
emphasizes certain characteristics selected through controlled
breeding (dogs) or the natural environment (
Or in the case of
As nicely summarized by Dr. Elmer Noble:
“Natural selection can act only on those biological properties that already exist; it cannot create properties in order to meet adaptational needs.”
How does natural selection and evolution relate? Are there
historical breakthroughs in natural selection? Natural selection
is widely observed in the world around us. Unfortunately it is
often misused as evidence for evolutionary changes. Most
evolutionary textbooks claim
To make things
even more confusing, these variations within a species are also
suggesting permanent changes in the species on a small scale. As
explained, these changes might appear significant and permanent,
but they are not. No new genetic information is added, actually
the opposite happened – genetic information is lost.
 Jonathan Wells , Icons of Evolution (2000), chapter 8.
 Elmer Noble, Ph.D. Zoology, Glenn Nobel, Ph.D. Biology, Gerhard Schad, Ph.D. Biology, Austin MacInnes, Ph.D. Biology, Parasitology: The Biology of Animal Parasites, 1989, p. 516.
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