Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is one of the biggest problems facing modern medicine, and it’s also often lauded as evidence for evolution. Bacteria have the ability to survive when introduced to an antibiotic that would normally kill them. Recently a popular video claimed that scientists were able to watch evolution happen in just 11 days as bacteria “evolved” resistance. But did they really see molecules-to-man evolution in action?
Well, we’ve written about antibiotic resistance many times, and this new study offers no new support for evolution. Evolution involves the addition of brand-new genetic information to create novel features that allow one kind of organism to evolve into a completely different kind of organism. These drug-resistant bacteria didn’t get any new genetic information of this type—there is no known process that can add this new information. According to the video, mutations caused the bacteria to become drug-resistant. But mutations don’t add the information required for molecules-to-man evolution! They actually do the opposite and cause a decrease (or alteration) in information. The bacteria may be more fit to survive in the artificial environment of the petri dish filled with antibiotics, but, released into their natural environment, they will likely diminish and die out because they are actually less fit than the other bacteria. It’s not evolution—it’s bacteria producing more bacteria.
It’s not evolution—it’s bacteria producing more bacteria.
What this study does teach us is the incredible speed at which bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics. It really is a neat video, and, stripped of its evolutionary assumptions, is great observational science that will hopefully help scientists as they struggle to deal with superbugs, a sad reality in our sin-cursed world. You can watch the video.
Actually, if scientists gave up their evolutionary paradigm, they would be better researchers, and I predict they would make some startling scientific and medical advances.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.