On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. It became popular—and still is—because it explained creation without the Creator, putting in His place something called natural selection (or "survival of the fittest"). Today if a theist and atheist were together viewing a beautiful flower, or the amazing flight of a hummingbird—they would have quite different ideas regarding the origin of these organisms.
The atheist would have no choice but to recognize the unlimited power of natural selection, saying, "Selection, acting on the genetic variability in natural populations, is responsible for the wondrous diversity of animals and plant life that is so apparent as we look around us."1
But these assertions are not without serious problems, voiced by modern Darwinists (neo-Darwinists) themselves. In a refreshing admission, a noted evolutionist stated, "However, in 1859 when [Charles Darwin] published the Origin, he actually did not have a single clear-cut piece of evidence for the existence of [natural] selection."2 (See also: Margulis & Sagan, Acquiring Genomes, Basic Books, 2002.)
A professor at Nottingham Trent University asks, ". . . even if the neo-Darwinians are correct, at what level is natural selection supposed to work?"3 Certainly it's not on the very small level, "How natural selection operates at the molecular level is a major problem in evolutionary biology."4 The late S.J. Gould described the limits of this supposed creative process, "Natural selection is therefore a principle of local adaptation, not of general advance or progress."5 And that's our point! Creation scientists have no problem with Gould's evaluation of natural selection, adding that selection has nothing to do with the origin of species (macroevolution). Four other evolutionary biologists agree, "Natural selection can act only on those biologic properties that already exist [creation]; it cannot create properties in order to meet adaptational needs [macroevolution]."6
To conclude, while the evolutionist views the living world and gives credit to a mysterious, impersonal process, the creationist can simply give glory and honor to the One who created it—by the work of His fingers (Psalm 8:3-4).
1. Wen-Hsiung Li, Molecular Evolution, Sinauer, 1997, p. 432.
2. Ernest Mayr, What Evolution Is, Basic Books, N.J., 2001, p. 1213.
3. Trevor Palmer, Controversy—Catastrophism and Evolution, Kluwer Academic, 1999,
4. Yokoyama, "Color vision of the Coelacanth," Journal of Heredity, May/June 2000,
5. S.J. Gould, Scientific American, October 1994, p. 85.
6. Noble, et al., Parasitology, sixth edition, "Evolution of Parasitism," Lea and Febiger, 1989, p. 516.
Cite this article: Frank Sherwin, M.A. 2002. Natural Selection's Role in the Real World. Acts & Facts. 31 (9).