Selected by Nature or Designed to Fill?
by John D. Morris, Ph.D. *
Evolutionists like to trumpet the power of natural selection. Often they speak of it accomplishing a major evolutionary advancement, but natural selection doesn’t think or plan or provide. Does this imaginary mechanism actually “do” anything? Evolutionists in the militant atheist camp recognize that godlike powers and forethought abilities are often attributed to natural selection, and they react against it. Others search for examples of natural selection having accomplished anything of substance, but examples are hard to find.
Consider the following example regarding skin shade, which I personally observed while on my trips to Mount Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark. Ethnic Kurdish peoples dominate the Ararat region, both in nearby cities and on the mountain itself. They tend to be of an attractive moderately brown shade, although quite a bit of variety can be seen.
Mount Ararat, rising to 17,000 feet in elevation, is home to hardy Kurdish shepherd families. Inhabitants of mountain clans typically are darker than their city cousins. Living a pastoral life, they usually send their young boys out to herd sheep at an elevation of 11,000 feet or more all summer long. These mountain boys spend all day in the bright sunlight and are bathed in the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
On average, mountain Kurdish clans have skin noticeably darker than their ancestral relatives living at lower elevations. While there is discourse between the groups, there wasn’t much relocation or intermarrying, as far as I could tell. Those born into mountain clans tend to live their whole lives there. Probably more of them move to the cities than city dwellers move to high elevation, for life is hard at that elevation and the specialized skills needed for survival do not come easily.
Infants born to either city or mountain families might be rather fair-skinned, rather dark-skinned, or some shade in between, but as they grow, all of the mountain boys work the sheep herds. A darker skin shade, less prevalent in the cities, provides a natural barrier to radiation and thus enhances survival chances for the mountain folk. Some of the darker shade is due to “suntan,” but not all. We noticed that many of the fair-skinned young shepherd boys had developed vicious skin ulcers on their faces. Undoubtedly, many of these boys passed away due to skin cancer before reaching reproductive age. Thus the darker-skinned individuals bore more children. Over the generations, darker skin would become a tribal characteristic in the mountain clans.
But this isn’t evolution. It might appear to be a textbook case of natural “selection,” but is it? Did any selection process even operate at all? All key functions, reproduction, and variability are innate to people. Either the individual possessed a darker skin shade that protected him, or he did not. This was a function of genetic variability, built in from creation and not imposed through selection. The skin shade either resulted in the death or the survival of an individual and the preponderance of a particular trait within the group. Natural selection didn’t “do” anything, and certainly did not act on purpose. Genetic variety was on display, which favored some individuals, but the end result was a group of people with less potential for variation for future generations.
The Kurdish people descended from the Medes of the Bible. They have always been rather brown-skinned, and certainly have always been people. They have always had the created genetic potential to vary and fill environments. Over the generations of history, neither evolution nor natural selection has occurred in this people. Evolution has neither a mechanism nor enough time to generate significant change.
* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris, J. 2011. Selected by Nature or Designed to Fill? Acts & Facts. 40 (3): 17.