Is Natural Selection not Christian?
natural selection: the process by which genetic traits are passed on to each successive generation. Over time, natural selection helps species become better adapted to their environment. Also known as “survival of the fittest,” natural selection is the driving force behind the process of evolution. (Nat Geo) [emphasis added]
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20)
Have you ever heard someone say that if one believes in natural selection, then one can not believe in God? Did it come from the same people who said one could not believe in science in general and believe in God? Today we hear more often than not how science has disproved the existence of God and that the theory of evolution is now the only “intelligent” answer to the question of where we (humans) come from and how we came to be. In fact, there are some such as Bill Nye and Lawrence Krauss who claim not teaching children evolution is destructive to humanity and akin to child abuse. The idea that science and a creator god cannot coexist is faulty logic that comes from either ignorance, willful ignorance, or from someone who knows the truth but refuses to believe for whatever reason. Even if a god used evolution to further his creation process the assumption some divine being, who when having just finished creating everything in the universe, was not also capable of creating the laws of nature that governs this creation would be absurd. Going from the assumption that the Bible is 100% accurate, there was a literal six day creation week, and at some time God created both the physical laws and the spiritual laws it will be my attempt to explain natural selection as one of God’s many created processes. I am no expert in this field, everything I say should be considered an opinion, but I need practice so you are it. The people I quote are experts in the field and I would highly encourage everyone to read the books or online articles I reference. In my weak attempt to explain the true purpose of natural selection I will be using wolves and dogs, but it is my understanding that this process applies to all living creatures.
In the beginning God created everything in the universe and as the creator He wrote the physical laws and processes that governs His creation. When God rested on the seventh day and claimed everything was very good there were no mistakes (death, mutations, sickness, disease, etc.) Whether it lasted a day, a month, or a few years God’s creation was perfect without blemish. Sin is a very vague term, but the end result of sin I would define as someone/something being separated from God. It is because of sin that mutations occur in DNA, why everything eventually breaks down, and why there is evil in the world.
In Genesis we see that God created all the animals, in quick succession, each after his own “kind”. One of the reasons Noah could fit all the animals on the ark was because God made them in “kinds”.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21)
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:25)
The definition of what is meant by “kind” becomes the most difficult task, but creation scientists prefer to define a kind as two things capable of interbreeding (Parker). We see some evidence of this today in that dogs and cats, for example can not breed, but a dog and a wolf can. A lion and a tiger can breed, but not a lion and a horse. If all cats, lions, tigers came from one original super cat; all dogs, jackals, wolves came from one original super wolf; Zebras, Stallions, and the likes came from some super horse, then those animals would have been the first kind. Knowing what would eventually happen to His creation God placed within each “kind” the potential for genetic variability (Purdom). For example, whatever initial wolf kind Noah brought on board the ark, those initial wolf parents, had within their DNA the potential innumerable variations (Fig 1).
Remember the punnett square from Bio 101? The punnett square is a simple method of showing all the different possible genotypes by two parents (O’Neil). In the example of different dog fur lengths (Fig 2) the dogs with a phenotype only for long hair have lost their ability to code for small hair. After the flood all the animals from the ark would have began spreading across the planet and same may have become isolated in certain regions where a particular fur length may have given better survivability than
others (Fig 3). Over time some variations would be better suited for certain areas, providing greater success in survivability, but there is a big difference between variability within a species to something becoming a completely new type of species.
Natural selection only works using the information already stored within a population of organisms and never adds information (Ham). Even in terms of mutations within the DNA there has only been observed destruction of the original material. A group of “evolutionist” microbiologists from Uppsala University in Sweden, after completing a mutation experiment on two bacterial genes, found mutations could not possibly have any beneficial purpose (Thomas).
So why are domesticated animals so different from their ancestors? Jane McGrath wrote an article on How Stuff Works where she describes the process of animal domestication and while it has nothing to do with natural selection it does hint at an ingenious design.
A 20th century Russian Geneticist, Dmitri Belyaev, was able to solve part of the mystery surrounding how a wolf made such a drastic transformation. In his attempts to breed tame foxes, Belyaev found that after several generations of selective breeding, foxes not only became tamer (which he expected) but also began to take on dog-like characteristics.
Though DNA evidence tells us that wolves, not foxes, are the forefathers of dogs, this experiment uncovered surprising revelations about how behavior and appearance could have changed wolves into dogs. As the foxes became tamer, so also did they develop floppy ears, short snouts, spotted coats, highly-set tails and even a tendency to bark. Amazingly, many of these characteristics are absent in wild foxes, much as they are in wolves, so neither artificial nor natural selection could intentionally draw them out. Instead, genes that account for tameness must also carry a code for such things as floppy ears.
Since the process of natural selection only works from the genetic information already present in an organism, then it may be more accurate to say natural selection is a process of devolution rather than evolution. (Ham) Evolution, in all respects, is one (among many) creation theories, whether the “creating” was done by an intelligent being or by a cosmic fluke, and/or burp. Science helps us understand the world around us, but it is important to understand our interpretation of the data can be swayed by our initial assumption. Natural selection is a process just like all the others. When we look at this particular process in more detail, however, we find it fits much more with a Biblical view than an evolutionists.
Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children. 2012. Vieo. YouTubeWeb. 14 Jan 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU&list=PL5uULy4b0kV7ptjEsuMwvBAHENZ0aiGcy&feature=c4-overview-vl>.
cold-hot-dog-fur.jpg. 2008. Photograph. Answers in GenesisWeb. 11 Jan 2014. <http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/is-natural-selection-evolution
dog-fur.jpg. 2008. Photograph. Answers in GenesisWeb. 11 Jan 2014. <http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/is-natural-selection-evolution
Ham, Ken, Jonathan Sarfati, and Carl Wieland. The Revised & Expanded Answers Book. 19th printing. Green Forest: Master Books, Inc., 2000. 278. Print.”National Geographic’s Strange Days on Earth.” Glossary. n.d. n. page. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. <http://www.pbs.org/strangedays/glossary/N.html>.
Lawrence Krauss: Teaching Creationism is Child Abuse. 2013. Video. YouTube Web. 14 Jan 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTedvV6oZjo>.
Lietha, Dan. natural-devolution.jpg. 2012. Photograph. PinterestWeb. 14 Jan 2014.
O’Neil, Dennis. “Basic Principles of Genetics: Probability of Inheritance.” . Palomar College, n.d. Web. 15 Jan 2014. <http://anthro.palomar.edu/mendel/mendel_2.htm>.
McGrath, Jane. “How Animal Domestication Works” 14 April 2008. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/all-about-animals/animal-domestication.htm> 13 January 2014.
Parker, Gary. “Species and Kind” 01 Jan. 1994: n. page. Web. 15 Jan. 2014. <http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cfl/species-kind#r25>
Purdom, Georgia. “Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?.” New Answers Book 1. 03 JAN 2008: n. page. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. <http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/is-natural-selection-evolution
Thomas, Brian. “Mutation Study Contradicts Evolution.”Institute of Creation Research. (2010): n. page. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <http://www.icr.org/articles/view/5783/286/>.