Just this sort of change has been demonstrated by the breeders and Darwin surmised that nature could do the same thing, except to a greater degree given long time periods and the ruthless, unending battle for survival. In all of this there is, however, the basic assumption that populations just naturally have significant variation.
Evolution relies on the fact that populations consist of individuals of various sizes, shapes and skills. For a given environment some individuals are going to be better reproducers than others. It is a simple fact that seems so obvious no one ever much questioned it.
But in the twentieth century a great deal was learned about genetics and how such biological variations arise in populations. It isn't simple.
Biological variation arises as a consequence of a profoundly complex Mendelian machine consisting of genes and their interactions, molecular machines that replicate and copy the DNA, other machines that translate the copied DNA into proteins according to the genetic code, and so forth. If the resulting biological variation is the fuel of evolution, then how did the variation, and its underlying machines, arise in the first place?
With evolution we must believe that evolution just so happened to create elaborate machinery which just so happened to enable further evolution to occur. Evolvability must have evolved.
I say "just so happened" not in derision, but rather to describe evolutionary theory. Remember, the idea behind evolution is that a population will change because the winners are better represented in future generation. In other words, we can expect the future generations to be better at reproducing. That does not mean we should expect more biological variation via incredibly complex molecular machines acting in coordinated fashion. As one evolutionist admitted in a recent paper:
If evolvability represents the long-term evolutionary potential of a population, there is no reason why individual selection will necessarily maximize it. On the contrary, logically, individual selection could have the effect of destroying evolvability. … one can imagine that fixation of the fittest genotype from those presently available might have detrimental effects on the population’s evolvability—its ability to adapt in the future. … It could be that individual species show a tendency to evolve towards an inability to respond adaptively to subsequent environmental changes—at the level of individual selection, non-evolvability could, in principle, be favoured.
This reveals a profound serendipity in evolutionary theory. Evolution relies on a biological variation machine which did not need to be present. It just so happened that evolvability evolved so evolution could occur.
But this is not all. This problem of complex biological variation, which has been known for many years, is now being amplified by new research showing that biological variation is not only awfully convenient, but that this variation in populations actually responds to environmental challenges.
When there is an environmental shift species amazingly, in direct contradiction to evolutionary theory, respond rapidly and effectively to the new challenge. Sometimes the response is an invisible molecular adjustment that alters the metabolism; in other instances the organism's entire body plan is modified. From molecular to morphological change, biological adaptations are rapid and effective.
As if evolution was not silly enough already, science increasingly reveals its absurdities. Only religious convictions can find such mythology to be fact. Evolutionists now speak of adaptive mutations and adaptive substitutions. And they wonder how their blind process could design such intelligence. How could differential reproductive success lead to organisms that amazingly adapt to change? How could evolution produce machines tuned and ready to adjust to the environment? Like physiological changes that adjust an individual to environmental changes, adaptive changes adjust a population to environmental changes. In both cases biology relies on profoundly complex mechanisms.
Since evolutionists are convinced their idea must be a fact, they must believe this all makes perfect sense. Somehow, in this mockery of science, evolvability evolves. For instance:
For Kirshner & Gerhart (1998), the developmental process, in animals in particular, is such as to enhance the probability that new mutations changing phenotype will be adaptive, and the adaptive substitutions occurring serve to reinforce the ability of the developmental process to subsequently change adaptively. Draghi & Wagner (2007) have argued on theoretical grounds that adaptive substitutions will tend to increase future adaptability.
Amazing. I guess we're just living in the right universe. Religion drives science, and it matters.