Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Guppy "Evolution" and Interpretation Bias

In addition to confirmation bias, another problem that arises when evaluating the theory of evolution is interpretation bias. Evolutionists routinely interpret new findings according to evolution, and then use the findings as evidence for evolution.

A good example of this is the interpretation of adaptative change as evolutionary change. Adaptive change is mediated by complex cellular mechanisms in response to environmental pressures. And adaptive change occurs rapidly. This does not fit the theory of evolution which views variation as blind to environmental pressure.

New research on guppies provides a good example of this type of adaptive change, and the evolutionary interpretation. Guppies were transplanted into an environment with predators, and within eight years they had adapted variations that improved their survival rate in the new environment. It was an excellent experiment, but the results were presented as an example of evolutionary change. As one science writer put it:

The fact that fitness differences were found after only eight years shows just how fast evolution can work—for short-lived species anyway.

This is an unfortunate example of a way that evolution restricts scientific research.