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"Rapid" Evolution: an Account

on July 14, 2007
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LiveScience: “Evolution Occurs in the Blink of an Eye

You heard it here first: “evolution” happens fast! This fact has long been pointed out by creationists (see, for example, the video “Rapid Speciation”), and slowly but surely, evolutionists seem to be catching on.

The latest example of such evolution comes from a butterfly population on an island in the South Pacific, where selective pressure narrowed the portion of male Blue Moon butterflies to one percent, then promoted their share to nearly forty percent—“all in less than a year.” Gregory Hurst, a University College London evolutionary geneticist who participated in the study that observed the trends, explained their surprise:

“We usually think of natural selection as acting slowly, over hundreds or thousands of years … [b]ut the example in this study happened in a blink of the eye, in terms of evolutionary time.”

The beneficial mutations we observe either destroy or alter existing information, but never create new information.

(Of course, even in terms of the creation timeline, one year is quite rapid; after all, 6,000 years, though decried as laughably brief by old-agers, is nonetheless an extremely long period of time!)

Disappointingly, the study, which was published in this week’s issue of the journal Science, apparently does not discuss the exact mechanism of the butterflies’ evolution other than saying laboratory work “indicated the males had evolved suppressor genes to shield against the parasite.” Although it is difficult for us to speculate on such nebulous “evolution,” experience with similar claims suggests it is not the sort that is purported to have given rise to all of life. This is because, time and time again, we see selective pressure causing life to adapt in ways that require no new genetic information; the beneficial mutations we observe either destroy or alter existing information, but never create new information.

Such rapid adaptation, which can give rise to rapid speciation, explains how land-bound life has expanded to its current high level of diversity even after the diversity “bottleneck” caused by the Flood. Adaptations based on the genetic information in the animals brought on board the Ark have multiplied the original created kinds into the variety of species we find today, some 4,300 years after the Flood. Of course it’s important to understand the terminology—especially when the term evolution, in particular, is commonly misused via equivocation—and know the difference between what’s occurring here, i.e., natural selection, and molecules-to-man evolution. See also Natural Selection vs. Evolution.


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