I came across an article claiming to provide 12 examples of evolution happening right now. Such a title should immediately cause a red flag to go off for those who understand evolution. And that’s because we’ve been told that evolution is a process that takes hundreds of thousands or millions of years. For example, some scientists believe we evolved from an apelike ancestor (Australopithecus) about 4 million years ago, and modern humans supposedly emerged around 200,000 years ago. So we hardly have had enough time to witness evolution since Darwin proposed this process back in 1859- even if we want to entertain the idea that it’s a real phenomenon.
So what are the 12 examples, and what are the implications? Well, the article begins by saying “So much for high school biology.” The authors obviously understand that evolution is supposed to be a long, invisible process; that’s what they were taught to believe in school. But now they think they discovered something remarkable- namely that evolution is happening everywhere, all the time.
Bedbugs are example number one, and they explain that these little creatures were not the nuisance they are today when they wandered the earth thousands of years ago. They were nearly a different species then and only changed when humans introduced them to urban living. Now they have longer, thinner legs, thicker, waxier exoskeletons, faster metabolisms, are more active at night, and have developed a resistance to pesticides- all traits that allow them to better survive.
But wait, where’s the evolution? They didn’t evolve any new traits in the sense that new genetic information was incorporated into their genome that wasn’t available to their ancestors. They have certainly changed, but they haven’t evolved something novel- like feathers, bones or lungs. They’ve always had legs, a metabolism, a waxy skeleton, and were always active at night; in other words, the changes affected characteristics already present in the genome that are now being expressed in the offspring. The changes may beneficial, providing survival advantages, but it’s not like leg thickness was an evolutionary process. It’s no different than you having a different eye color than your parents.
Next on the list are hybrid mice that are immune to pesticides. It turns out that the offspring of an Algerian mouse and a common house mouse are fertile and are immune to pesticides, but the article admits that this is a result of a ‘chunk of genes’ inherited from their parents. And it turns out that the Algerian mice already had the gene for this resistance. So once again there’s no real evolution to see here; it’s just basic genetics and biology. The mice didn’t evolve into a different kind of animal, such as a cat. The offspring are still mice expressing existing genetic traits.
So how about the clepto sea slug? This green sea slug is able to ‘steal’ genes from what they eat and incorporate it into their DNA. When they eat algae, they’re able to use its DNA to survive on sunlight for long periods of time, and then pass these genes on to their offspring. But once again the article admits that these slugs aren’t really evolving; it says that they’re actually ‘bypassing’ traditional evolution in a process called horizontal gene transfer. This is a known process that occurs in single-celled organisms, but it’s not evolution because nothing is evolving; the genetic information already exists and is simply being transferred from one organism to another.
Other examples the article presents is dog breeding, stray dogs becoming more wolf-like, moths with darker wings, hybrid dogs, antibiotic resistance, fish immune to toxic pollution, frogs with longer legs, bugs with immunity to toxins and plants with bird perches.
But not one example demonstrates evolution. Every example provided is simply an example of how organisms express preexisting traits, which is nothing new. Dog breeders don’t induce non-existent traits (like feathers) into a dog’s genome to enable them to fly. What they do is select existing traits- like fur color and thickness- that produce the desired effects.
The article claims that there’s nothing ‘natural’ about traits found in dogs, like distinctive coloring or a friendly personality. But that’s completely false. The fact that it is natural explains why dog breeders can produce these traits from a wild wolf in just a few generations. The genetic information exists naturally in the wolf’s DNA, and if those genes are selected, then the result is offspring expressing those traits.
I was surprised that they claim that stray dogs in the wild are ‘evolving’ more wolf-like traits. Firstly, since modern dogs are descendents of wolves, such a claim is nonsense. Dogs essentially are wolves; it’s just that they’re expressing particular traits with a superficial distinction. Secondly, they’re not evolving anything that doesn’t already exist in their genome. This should be apparent because it could happen to just about any dogs released into the wild.
Another thing that surprised me is that the article resurrected Bernard Kettlewell’s fraudulent peppered moth experiment. Kettlewell actually glued dead moths onto trees to show that they were evolving due to pollution from the Industrial Revolution in England. But aside from his dishonest methodology, the moths already existed in both light and dark varieties, so this is another non-example of evolution.
Creationists have long argued that antibiotic resistance isn’t evolution because it involves a loss of information. In essence, antibiotic resistance occurs when the antibiotic can’t bind to a protein and halt its function. This can happen naturally by horizontal gene transfer (previously mentioned), or by mutation. But even with a mutation, this isn’t evolution because the information in the genome isn’t coding for new information. In this case a mistake in the DNA prevents the antibiotic from binding to the protein. And that means that antibiotic resistance, rather than being an example of evolution, is actually an example of variation. Bacteria has always had resistance, and we know that because we’ve found resistant strains in people who were frozen long before antibiotics were discovered.
The bottom line is that the authors failed to provide a single example of evolution. What they really did was provide examples of how biology works. None of the organisms evolved into a different kind of organism, nor did they evolve a non-existent trait or produce a novel genetic code for such a trait.
The authors implemented a bait-and-switch tactic by altering the definition of evolution to prove their point, and that’s often effective when the audience is unsuspecting or agrees with the premise. Most evolutionists don’t recognize the difference between these examples and what evolution really is. They often claim that any genetic change is evolution, but that can’t be the case if evolution is also responsible for changing a reptile into a bird, a fish into an amphibian, or an ape into a human. Evolutionists would like us to believe that tiny changes could be built upon to produce new genetic information to code for novel traits like feathers and wings, but they fail to provide sufficient evidence suggesting that this is even possible. They assume apes have evolved into humans, but the evidence they’ve provided is completely circumstantial and is disputable.
The authors provided examples of natural selection, speciation and adaptation- all of which are very different from evolution, which is an unpredictable and natural process that modifies the changes caused by natural selection and adaptation. Therefore they can’t be the same thing.
I find it much easier to believe that God created animals with a great amount of variety encoded into their genes that allows them to speciate, but not evolve, and that’s exactly what we do observe. None of the organisms cited in this article have changed into a different kind of organism. They all remained the same kind of organism, but with variation.