Evolution in Action
Evolution can be seen in action today. Some examples are:- the change in colour of the peppered moths in England; the resistance of insects to insecticides; the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics; the breeding of livestock; the formation of new plant species by radiation treatment; and the River Guppy experiment.
The Facts Are .....
The scientific breeding of cattle is not an example of evolution. The genes for milk production and beef production are already in the species. Dairy cattle and beef cattle are just cattle. If they were all let go in a mob to indiscriminately breed for 10 years, they would all be scrub mongrels again. Cattle are only kept as high producers because humans selectively breed them in an artificial environment, and under artificial conditions. Natural selection and mutation plays no part in cattle breeding. [based on logic]
Damaging plants by radiation and producing varieties with spots and blemishes on them is not an example of the formation of new species. The original species has neither improved, nor increased in complexity. [based on logic]
Biologists from the University of Manchester have checked the colour of more than 1,800
peppered moths ( Biston betularia). They found that the area once dominated by the black moths is steadily shrinking, and the light-coloured moths are becoming more abundant. The cleaner environmental conditions occurring since the enactment of clean-air laws is believed to have been responsible for this change. These findings confirm that these moths are not an example of evolution in action. The genes for the black race were always in the species, and did not occur as a mutation response to the carbon deposits on the trees. Nothing has evolved, only the numbers of different coloured moths has changed - the species has remained Biston betularia from the start to the finish.
Science, Vol. 86, April, 1986 p:9
"The experiments beautifully demonstrate natural selection - or survival of the fittest - in action, but they do not show evolution in progress, for however the populations may alter in their content of light, intermediate or dark forms, all the moths remain from beginning to end Biston betularia." Biologist L. Harrison Matthews, writing about the British Peppered Moth which changed to a black race during the industrial revolution. Recorded in the foreword of the 1971 edition of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species".
The development of insecticide resistance in insects is often used as 'proof' of evolution in action.
These are, however, just examples of screening processes, as the ability to exhibit resistance was already in the genetic code. The resistance did not show up until these chemicals were used, killing off those without the genetic resistance. These are no more examples of evolution than the selective breeding of new colours of parrots. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 200, No. 11, June 12, 1967 p:42
The resistance of Golden Staph bacteria ( Staphylococcus aureus) to penicillin is said by evolutionists to represent an example of evolution. The DNA information and the complex enzyme penicillinase which breaks down the antibiotic so that it can't harm the bacteria, had been discovered in the bacteria in 1940, before doctors started using penicillin. The resistance did not arise because of the presence of penicillin, or because of a mutation after its introduction, as it was already there in the genetic code. According to Dr Reiss-Levy (Director of Microbiology, St. George Hospital, Sydney),
"We did not create the resistant strains. We have just given them a selective advantage by the widespread use of antibiotic therapy". "Bacterial Resistance - Problems and Solutions", The Medicine Group, June 26, 1987 p:2
"Supergerms, in other words, are not an example of evolution, but have been artificially bred by man, just as surely as Hereford cattle and Pomeranian dogs have been artificially bred by man. It was unintentional, but it was still artificial. The important varieties of supergerms, suchicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, have not come about through mutation, nor have any superbugs.
Artificial selective breeding by humans is explanation enough - and even then we must remember that the germ still remains a germ. It has not evolved into something more complex." Written by Roger Kovaciny in
"Supergerms - Do they Prove Evolution?", in Creation Ex Nihilo, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1989 p:17
"The introduction and widespread use of antibiotics is probably responsible for the spread of a formerly anonymous gene that has helped bacterial organisms survive for unknown centuries." Written by Dr Davis Smith (Harvard University) in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 200, No. 11, June 12, 1967 p:42
Sickle cell anaemia is often given as 'proof' of mutation-driven evolution in action today. This mutation, although giving resistance to malaria, confers on the person a reduced oxygen carrying efficiency. These type of changes bring about an advantage for the individual in the special conditions, but they are of a disadvantage in the normal environment, proof again, that mutations are detrimental.
Over the 300 years African negroes have been in the USA, the percentage of the sickle cell genes in their population has declined from 22% to 0.25%. This illustrates that away from special conditions which favour damaged genes, selection favours the normally functioning genes. Charlotte J. Avers, "Genetics", PWS
Publishers: Boston (Massachusetts), 1984 p:559
An 11 year experiment conducted by Californian researchers in Trinidad showed that if river guppies were moved to tributaries, their breeding habits changed. After 30-60 generations, the transferred population matured later, and had fewer, larger offspring. These changes were in response to the different type of predators in the tributaries. This experiment has been publicised as the first experiment to look at real evolutionary change under natural conditions. Unfortunately this experiment does not prove evolution. Like the selective breeding of livestock, the selection process acts in accordance with the genetic material already available in the population. No new genetic material, which is essential for evolution, has been proved to have been produced in the species. At the end of the experiment, the guppies were still guppies, only the environment had led to a modification in their behaviour. This experiment is actually scientifically inconclusive, as no attempt was made to return the adapted guppies to their original habitat. A switchback design of this type would have confirmed whether the changes were permanent or not. It is, however, very reasonable to expect that if returned, the guppies would have reverted to their original form. San Francisco Chronicle, July 26, 1990 p:A-7; US News & World Report, August 13,1990 p:60; Nature, Vol. 346, July 26, 1992 p:313
"Such studies [as the River Guppy experiment] merely show that genetic variability of the kind postulated in the models can be exploited by selection: they do not prove that the invoked selective agents are actually responsible for producing the observed differences." Written by Brian Charlesworth in his article "Life and Times of the Guppy" in Nature, Vol. 346, July 26, 1992 p:313
The resistance of rats to the anti-coagulant Warfarin seems to be an example of mutation causing evolution. Resistance is conferred by a change in the enzyme which helps in the manufacture of Vitamin K (the body's blood coagulating agent) which Warfarin previously interfered with. This is not caused by a new gene, but by damage to the existing one. Rats with these damaged genes are so inefficient in producing Vitamin K, that they require 13 times more of it in their food each day. This is another example of mutations producing harmful genetic changes. L. Burnet, "Exercises in Applied Genetics", Cambridge University Press: Cambridge (UK), 1988
Ten-year-old children of today are 4 cm taller and 2 Kg heavier than their average counterparts were in 1970. Also, today's 12-year-old girls are 10 cm taller and 10 Kg heavier than similar aged girls in 1911. These statistics are often used as 'proof' that humans are evolving, but they are basically the result of environmental factors. Better nutrition, fewer infectious diseases and better medical care are the most probable causes. Sunday Telegraph, October 9, 1994 p:130