It's not always the fittest, but the luckiest, who survive
Natural selection seems like convincing evidence for evolution; explain how this applies to creation.
Simply put, creationists not only agree with the concept of natural selection, but accepted it before Darwin. Natural selection obviously occurs in nature, but it has proved to be utterly impotent as a scientific explanation of the origin of new species.
We must start by defining the term natural selection: the process in which an organism selects the traits best suited for a given environment. Many examples can be given but I will use this one: Grouse living in an area inhabited by hawks tend to survive if they have a dull color. Brightly colored grouse are easy for hawks to spot and eventually that genetic characteristic for a bright color is genetically “weeded out.”
It’s real value is as a conservation measure, keeping species as they are, not allowing them to become extinct. Thus, it tends to maintain the status quo, and never produces new genetic material. The obvious observation from a scientific point of view is that a Creator designed the organism with a great degree of variation in its gene pool so that it could survive.
Charles Darwin used natural selection as the mechanism to explain biologic evolution. British creationist scientist Edward Blyth published work on the subject 24 years before Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859. There were other writers on natural selection before Darwin also. (Interestingly, even Benjamin Franklin’s writings in 1751 on competition and population growth have been viewed by some as providing the foundation to the thinking in this area of natural selection.) Charles Darwin, however, credited as the inventor of the concept, never acknowledged any of these men in his book, Origin of Species.
Darwin claimed that natural selection could bring about evolutionary change. First of all, this cannot even attempt to explain life from non-life. Natural selection does not exist at the pre-biologic level without saying that inanimate matter somehow organizes itself. It does, however, clearly play a role in eliminating the unfit, non-adapted organisms. As a screening device for eliminating the fit and preserving the species it is a valid concept. The problem for Darwinism is that it requires creation of the fit as well. One can imagine that the mechanism for producing this higher level of fitness is chance, but imagination is not evidence!
The fittest are not always the ones that survive either. When a whale passes through a school of fish with mouth wide open, it’s not survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the luckiest.
As an explanation of origin, natural selection is a logical fallacy called a tautology. A tautology is a circular definition pretending to be an explanation; it does not reveal anything new; it is true but is not testable or explanatory and thus, is not science. (Biotic Message, Walter James Remine, p. 100) Natural selection is supposed to explain “survival of the fittest.” However, the only way to define the “fittest” is “those who survive.” This has caused many evolutionists to camouflage the tautology by using the term, adapted. However, the problem remains, they survive because they are adapted and they adapt because they survive. This explains nothing.
Darwin’s use of natural selection has impacted the world more than any other scientific concept ever devised. His “contribution to science was really quite trivial, as well as false. He neither originated nor proved his claim that natural selection could generate even one new species, let alone all the plants and animals of the past and present.” (The Long War Against God, Henry Morris, p. 160)
What is most disturbing about this concept is how it is presented unchallenged in science today. Gregory Alan Pesely said it best: “yet no one seems scandalized that men of science should be satisfied with a major principle which is no more than a tautology.”
The Biblical creation model embraces the idea of natural selection to explain the maintenance (not the origin) of an organism. That is, it explains how and where different specialized sub-types of the various created kinds “multiplied and filled the earth” after death corrupted the creation and, also, after the Flood.
Nobel Prize winner in biology and committed evolutionist, Jacques Monod, summarized it best, “[Natural] selection is the blindest, and most cruel way of evolving a new species...The struggle for life and elimination of the weakest is a horrible process, against which our whole modern ethics revolts...I am surprised that a Christian would defend the idea that this is the process which God more or less set up in order to have evolution.”3/11/00
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Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen