If you spend any time looking into evolution and its claims, you will run into a commonly-used phrase… “natural selection.” This concept is at the forefront of evolution. Some even see it as the hallmark of evolutionary thinking.
In fact, it was predominantly displayed as the subtitle of Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.
Darwin saw natural selection as the means by which organisms survived because of favorable genetic variations that were inherited from their ancestors. Author of the book Evolution, Douglas Futuyama, defined natural selection as: “The differential survival of and/or reproduction of classes of entities that differ in one or more characteristics.”
In a world of “survival of the fittest” natural selection was the explanation behind why the fit survived.
Most Creationists do not object to the science behind natural selection. It happens. It is observable. Certain genetic differences within a species enable certain members of that species a better chance to survive – and to pass on these favorable genetic traits to their offspring. It is even observed that many species can genetically adapt to their environment – thus ensuring the strengthening and survival of their species. Evolution’s iconic examples of “Darwin’s finches” and the peppered moths scientifically prove this ability to adapt and survive.
But that is not where evolutionary thinking stops.
Characteristically, evolutionists extrapolate beyond the science and then use the science to support their postulations and theories…
In Darwin’s day, he was aware of the efforts of animal and plant breeders working diligently to produce strains of animals or plants to meet certain favorable criteria. The breeders worked with their subjects’ genetic variations to isolate those variations and direct them towards improvements in the characteristics they found most desirable. This is why we now have Chihuahuas and Great Danes – all from the same “dog” DNA. These are genetic variations at work.
Darwin noticed the malleability of genetic material and observed how adaptations could be made. It is this adaptability that led him to speculate about the possibility that these adaptations might be endless – and, given enough time (and the right circumstances), could produce entirely different species. It didn’t take long for him to go all the way back to the beginning and imagine a common ancestor responsible for each and every species on earth.
Darwin looked to natural selection as the mechanism that would make these kinds of dramatic changes possible – even plausible. In his mind, these genetic adaptations would arise in a species, and enhance their ability to survive. Then, these adapted traits would be passed on to their progeny. The offspring would experience more favorable adaptations, survive, and pass those genetic changes on to their offspring. And on and on… until those genetic changes were so different from the original sources that they would BE an entirely new species.
There you have it… the (surprisingly simple) mechanism of evolution.
There’s only one problem… Darwin’s speculation has NO scientific support. We have not observed an entirely new species evolving from a previous (and different) species. And what we can observe (the fossil record) offers no support either. We see tons of adaptations but still have yet to see the confirming evidence of a transitional form (say: a half-reptile, half-bird) in the fossil record.
Without proof of such sweeping changes (evolution) it is more likely that adaptation comes with limitations. It seems more accurate (according to the data) that natural selection just might be limited in scope and function.
Of course, this is what Creationists would expect to find. We believe that our Creator created all organisms after their own kind – and equipped those organisms with the amazing genetic capability to adapt to all manner of changing conditions.
What is more… all the evidence supports this view much better than the speculations of men, like Darwin, who possessed such vivid imaginations…