How Evolution Really Works

© Original content written by James R. Carlson


Evolution is poorly understood, even by those who believe deeply in it. The truth is that evolution is not a process whereby species transform into new kinds of species. Instead, species adapt for their survival in various settings by simple mutations. Species transformation is a myth but species adaptation is a fact. These two types of ‘evolution’ have often been called macro evolution and micro evolution and they are not the same. More so, one does not lead to the other.

Most creationists, like myself, shy away from supporting anything to do with evolution. Evolution is typically couched in terms of species transformation, which creationists, again like me, reject entirely. However, most creationists accept species variation within a particular ‘kind’ (category of species) and accept the notion of micro evolution in principle. Yet again, most creationists do not choose to use the term ‘evolution’ in the ‘micro’ sense or any other sense.

Yet we need to be real with people. Evolution does occur for species variation within a particular kind of species. Dogs do not become cats, mice do not become men, etc.. Species transformation has never been witnessed in the present world or the past. It is all a fiction of the mind. Yet experimental science has been studying genetics for over 100 years; genetics is the modern term for micro evolution. And within this context we can examine evolution and its mechanisms.

So micro evolution functions on a scale of time that we can observe. We don’t need millions or billions of years to study its slow progress because it happens on a generational scale. Ernst Mayer even criticized Richard Dawkins for missing this difference between micro and macro evolution. Chance and genetics is not a function of macro evolution but one of micro evolution. The science of genetics (micro evolution) is one that can be studied. Theories can be falsified, tested, and data yields mathematical principles of science. However, this is not true for macro evolution, a theory that cannot be falsified, tested, or presented in real scientific terms.

A key point to observe among all the strife and debate is that there is a reality here. What that reality is, is hotly contested for many religious reasons – theistic and atheistic. Set aside religion for a moment and learn how the natural world really works and you should understand that when people confuse macro evolution with micro evolution, they usually turn genetics into species transformation, which genetics has never done. Species only mutate (genetics) in order to adapt to their surroundings for survival. This is a key point to remember. Those who miss it, miss it.

Darwin got some things right but one thing he got clearly wrong. He believed in species transformation and missed the discovery that was in his hand all along. What he got right is simple:

  1. Species do vary; we call it genetics.
  2. Natural selection is the means by which species vary in order to survive in hostile environments.
    1. Population dynamics (Malthus) describes one type of selection pressure.
    2. Biogeography (Alexander von Humboldt) describes two types of selection pressures.
      1. Climate
      2. Geography
  3. Descent with modification was Darwin’s explanation of the multiplied variety of species, which is another aspect of genetics.
    1. Evolution is an embryological term associated with the debunked idea of recapitulation. Associated with species transformation, it is actually an incorrect term to use. Herbert Spencer actually popularized this term, not Darwin.

I agree with these 3 aspects of Darwin’s explanation of the variation of the species. This presents us with a foundation for further genetic research and discovery. However, introducing the idea of species transformations, beyond genetic research, is debilitating to biological research.

Looking into the past, we can see the work of many researchers into both macro and micro evolution. Sifting through their work to dismiss the idea of species transformation, we may find insights into species mutations. In other words, we don’t have to throw out the baby with the bath water.

Francis Galton, Darwin’s cousin, disputed and refuted Darwin’s explanation of evolutionary mechanisms (gemmules) and presented his own explanation. Galton spoke of the laws of deviation and regression. (Karl Pearson later used Galton’s ideas to present the idea of a standard deviation.) However, in the day Galton presented it, deviation may refer to the many variations that species undergo randomly whereas regression is the artificial norm established within the various settings based upon selection pressures to provide a species with adaptation for survival. There is no standard regression to a new norm but this is a possible mechanism of natural selection.

Herbert Spencer spoke of things like the ‘survival of the fittest’ but thought this was a mechanism for species transformation. Instead, species do survive for being the fittest according to natural selection in various environments. The mechanism is genetic adaptation not transformation. Survival of the fittest was not Darwin’s term but it has merit for genetic research.

Seawall Wright spoke of a fitness landscape where species ascend upwards. However, he apparently dismissed Darwin’s perspective that species descend with modification. Instead of starting at the bottom of the ‘landscape’, species should be represented as starting at the top and descend downwards through genetic mutation. This leads to further research in terms of genetic optimization in the earliest parent group (created design). This might be a means of discovery for treatments of disease and other health problems.

Each of these examples shows a misunderstanding of reality on the part of key evolutionists. If only they could accept the limits of evolution as species adaptation for survival, not transformation, they would hold both lock and key in the same hand. Sadly, their religious bias against God prevents them from real discovery. I encourage more research into micro evolution – genetics. The promise is great for the future of mankind.

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