The conventional picture of Darwinian evolution was summarized by Gould as based on two undeniable facts and an inescapable conclusion (Gould, 1977: 11):
(1) Organisms vary, and these [random] variations are inherited (at least in part) by their offspring.
(2) Organisms produce more offspring than can possibly survive.
(3) On average, offspring that vary most strongly in directions favored by the environment will survive and propagate. Favorable variation will therefore accumulate in populations by natural selection.
It is yet another evolutionary proof that has failed badly for, as is intuitively obvious to anyone not committed to evolution, random biological variations do not necessarily add up to the astonishingly complex designs we find in the biological world. Indeed, that would be quite a remarkable finding. As Gould would later explain, the large-scale change evolution requires did not arise from the sorts of small-scale biological variation that can help species to adapt:
Whatever genetic and developmental setting permitted this cardinal event [the Cambrian explosion], it was not business as usual, to be simply extrapolated from Darwinian changes in modern populations. We cannot begin to answer “what is (multicellular) life”? without understanding such events.
Another peer-reviewed paper put it this way:
It is relatively well known how organisms adapt to their environment and, arguably, even how new species originate. However, whether this knowledge suffices to explain macroevolution, narrowly defined here to describe evolutionary processes that bring about fundamental novelties or changes in body plans, has remained highly controversial.
Such sentiment is common and it represents the failure not of a minor tenet of evolutionary theory, but of a fundamental prediction. Indeed, this highlights one of the common reasons people have always been skeptical of evolution.
It’s not exactly shocking (except for evolutionists, see for example here, here and here) that species might be able to adapt to changing environments. We hardly need to invoke the heroic idea that all of biology arose from random events to make sense of adaptation.
But the idea that, beginning in a warm little pond somewhere, random events would inexorably build one upon the next in a biological construction job of ever increasing sophistication is, yes, quite heroic. Yet amazingly evolutionists have insisted this very thing is true. They know not how, but they are sure that somehow the incredibly high-dimension biological design hyperspace is filled with gradual, ever-increasing fitness pathways that lead to the millions upon millions of species and all their intricate and creative designs. And so therefore, they have believed that the mere existence of biological variation that is inherited, limited resources and natural selection, together make evolution a truism.
But now even evolutionists are coming around to what was obvious from the beginning. Biology is not a “just add water” kind of project. It is yet another miserable failure of evolutionary theory. But evolutionists will, of course, remain undeterred. For evolution must be a fact. Religion drives science, and it matters.