As an aside, this is yet another evolutionary expectation that has been falsified. We now know, no thanks to evolution, that biological variation very much is not random with respect to need. In fact, we observe rapid, non random, adaptations arising to cope with changing environments. Evolutionists, after resisting the findings, subsumed them within evolution. Such amazing adaptive capabilities, claimed evolutionists, were created by evolution. After all, populations that can rapidly adapt to challenging conditions would be better off, and so preserved by natural selection.
That was not entirely an aside because it raises the question of selection. Given that biological variation is random with respect to need, does natural selection help to explain how those amazing adaptive capabilities, or the other thousands of fantastic biological designs, arose?
According to evolutionists it certainly is. Breeders select for the traits they desire and Darwin argued that nature—by virtue of differential survival rates—effectively selects for the more fit designs.
Evolutionists often refer to selection “pressure” to indicate the powerful and effective role of natural selection in the evolution of biological designs. But in fact there is no such thing as selection pressure. Remember, according to evolution biological variation is random with respect to need. And selection is powerless to change this. It does not coax the needed mutations to occur. Natural selection is merely the consequence of (i) some mutations not working and so disappearing from the population and (ii) others having a neutral or positive effect and so perhaps surviving. We might say that selection kills off the bad designs. It certainly does not induce certain designs to arise.
So if selection pressure is a fiction then what role is there for natural selection? The answer is not much. In fact, starting at that warm little pond almost four billion years ago, evolution must have created humans via a very long sequence of random biological changes. Humans, and everything in between, arose by an astronomically long series of lucky shots. Selection merely eliminated the wrong turns.
Evolutionists are wrong to appeal so strongly to natural selection as the driving force behind evolution’s brilliance. The secret in the soup is evolution’s heroic claim about the nature of chemistry, physics, biology and life itself. Simply put, evolutionists imagine that from a lifeless pond to a human being, there is a long, gradual sequence of tiny, simple changes, each of which confers a slightly positive improvement in the ability to reproduce.
Each of these tiny, simple changes consists of a modest chemical modification, drawn from a small population of possibilities. For example, there are only four letters in the alphabet of DNA. If changing a particular DNA nucleotide to one of the other three letters confers a reproductive enhancement, then is it not likely to occur randomly at some point, and then be selected? Sure, but natural selection is not the key to this story.
The key to the evolution miracle is not natural selection, which itself is relatively uncontroversial, but the unfounded and unspoken assumption that the nature of matter, chemical bonds, chemistry’s periodic table, physic’s universal laws, and all of biology conspire together to form spontaneously a most unlikely thing: life. That is, starting from no life at all, the millions and millions of species and their incredible designs all spontaneously form via gradual, tiny chemical changes that just happen to occur at random. All this because there is an astronomical number of ever improving designs, all linked by those tiny changes. These never-ending lineages of nearly identical species form a myriad of pathways in biology’s immense design space. These pathways lead to each and every species we observe.
This is the heavy lifting behind evolutionary theory, not natural selection. Evolutionists tout selection and selection pressure, but these merely provide cover for the real absurdity. It would be like claiming that jet aircraft could be constructed by a long sequence of intermediates, each of which could fly.
But we need not depend on analogies or intuition. Biology gives us little doubt that there is no such evolutionary magic. Perhaps evolution’s many pathways leading to the many species are real, but there is no scientific evidence for them. Experiments consistently reveal limitations to change, not the sort of biological elasticity evolution requires. Even a mere, single protein molecule cannot be evolved from scratch. And biological designs give us little reason to think they are one in a long line of gradually changing designs, each working a bit better than the previous.
But evolutionists deny the science and insist that with natural selection, evolution becomes feasible. They resist acknowledging the fact that there is no such thing as selection pressure, and that their theory relies on random biological variation coupled with a fanciful notion of life.
For example, an evolutionist recently asked this question:
Let’s have CH clarify: when creationist debaters try to convince people that modern evolutionary theory is a theory of adaptation by pure random mutation, are they misleading their audiences? Is that a problem for CH?
The professor’s concern is that these creationists do not tell their audiences about natural selection and its role in evolutionary theory. Sure, if we want to describe evolution we need to include natural selection. But in that case we need to describe it accurately. We need to explain its limitations. And we need to explain evolution’s unlikely assumptions about the nature of biology and life. If evolutionists are concerned about self-serving, scientifically faulty descriptions of their theory, then perhaps they should look closer to home.