A study was recently published that argues that “Humans are still evolving even though modern housing and sanitation, medical science and a rich and varied diet appear to have largely insulated much of the population from the life-or-death struggle of natural selection.” Apparently, this study concluded that, despite “falling death rates and a decrease in family size in the western world since the start of the industrial revolution 250 years ago,” human evolution is still going forward.
Apparently humans are still evolving because “there is variation in the population in terms of reproduction” so there is “a difference in reproductive success” which allows natural selection to work. These researchers concluded, “This means that modern humans could still be evolving because people are responding to Darwinian natural selection on the genetic differences between individuals within the population.”
I think those who conducted this study may have watched too many episodes of the TV program Heroes. It’s a series (somewhat akin to the X-Men movies) based on the idea that humans are continuing to evolve. Of course, it’s a fictional TV program—as is the idea of evolution!
In another study reported recently, a scientist was researching a bird called the island scrub-jay, a species only found on Santa Cruz Island in California. The researcher apparently noted that there was biodiversity within the species that lived in different forests that were right next to one another on the same island. She writes, “These findings contradict the long-held assumption that evolution generates adaptations that are fine-tuned to local characteristics of the landscape only when populations are separated on opposite sides of a barrier, like an ocean or a stretch of inhospitable habitat.”
Natural Selection and Evolution Are Not the SameWhat do both of these studies have in common? Well, in both studies researchers observed changes in nature that are caused by the observable process of what is called natural selection, and they are calling it evolution. Natural selection really describes a process involving conservation of or loss of genetic information. But natural selection and evolution are not the same thing! Biological evolution requires the addition of brand-new information into the genome resulting in one kind of organism evolving into a different kind of organism over time. In order for an organism to gain a brand-new feature, a lot of new information is required, so evolution requires the addition of massive amounts of new information. No one has ever observed random chance and time being able to produce that type of information!
Natural selection, however, only works on existing information. Natural selection cannot add new information into DNA of the type required for molecules-to-man evolution. Rather, natural selection results in a loss or recombination of existing information, not a gain. As organisms, such as island scrub-jays, become more and more specialized to their environment they lose genetic variability. This loss of variability comes from a loss of genetic information. So what these researchers are observing is not evolution, even though they may call it that. What they are really observing is a loss of genetic information as an organism becomes more specialized—the opposite of what Darwinian evolution requires. This genetic information was originally designed by God and was put into the DNA of each kind God made. Natural selection (and other mechanisms) might result in creatures looking a little bit different, but jays still produce jays and people still produce people.
If humans did evolve to become the species they are today (as evolutionists believe) then logic indicates that evolution would continue and eventually humans would become something else. Since many secular researchers believe that idea, they are, of course, interpreting the evidence to agree with their own worldview. So they observe changes to things like human lifestyle, reproduction, and so on, and call it evolution because they are interpreting the evidence through the lens of man’s evolutionary ideas about the past. In reality, though, these researchers are merely witnessing observable changes within a created kind—a process that is perfectly consistent with biblical creation.
Humans and island scrub-jays are not still evolving because they were never evolving in the first place. Humans were specially created in the image of God and jays are just another example of the incredible diversity of the animal kingdom that God made.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.