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The ‘Evolution of Populations’ Myth

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

If evolution is true, then as an explanation for human existence it must operate at the level of individual organisms, not just among populations.

One of the more subtle intellectual dodges employed by evolutionists today involves utilizing the language of “populations” with grand explanations of “differential reproduction,” and “gene flow” and “genetic drift.” The ideas attached to these terms are helpful for some purposes, but it appears that they get pushed into science curriculum, at least in part, for somewhat more nefarious reasons.

Because the focus on populations in the study of evolutionary of humans is a dodge. Defining “evolution” as “differential reproduction” in populations deliberately misdirects discussions of evolution away from the explanation of evolution Darwin had in mind. Simply observing “genetic drift” in nature fails to provide any evidentiary support for the necessary massive re-tooling of DNA that nature must have achieved to produce novel features in individual organisms, like eyes, lungs, and brains.

Evolution of entirely new coded information to build entirely new biological features is the kind of evolution of interest to explain the evolution of human beings from sea sponges.

Genetic drift and all its related cousins that result in “differential reproduction” cannot explain the genetic transformation required to re-program a simple coded string to build a sea sponge to the completely new, complex coded string to build a human being. Genetic drift, whatever it is, relies on the same genetic disordering upon which natural selection relies. And no amount of sorting among the growing pile of disorder can transform the disorder into order.

Here is how the dodge works: Teachers imply one revolutionary idea is true (evolution of humans from sea sponges) based on observations of a related mundane idea (genetic drift in existing gene pools) so that students will infer the truth of the revolutionary idea based on the truth of the mundane idea.

Implication and inference. For most students, interested not in evolution of life but in the evolution of their grades, the dodge works. Implications can remain unspoken while inferences lodge permanently in the brains of students who believe they have learned the “fact” of evolution.

We believe it is time to call out the dodge. As Dale Carnegie said: Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.

We fearlessly argue our point using teaching material from the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Texas, Austin, Texas. The University of Texas is a premier university in the United States. It is not unique or particularly more dodgy than others; it is merely a convenient example.

The University of Texas starts out a section entitled “Evolution and Natural Selection” with the following paragraph:

Evolution occurs whenever gene frequencies in a population change in time. Individuals do not evolve, but populations do. In addition to natural selection, there are several other agents of evolution, including genetic drift, gene flow, meiotic drive, and mutation.

Sounds reasonable, right? If you were a student you would read right past this paragraph and believe you have learned something important. But let’s consider this paragraph sentence by sentence.

Sentence 1: Evolution occurs whenever gene frequencies in a population change in time.

If this statement accurately captures how “evolution occurs,” then evolution is uninteresting as an explanation for anything important. This “evolution” may “occur” but it certainly cannot explain how humans evolved from sea sponges.

Don’t be deterred by unfamiliar language. Genes are merely coded segments of DNA. The coded segments build and maintain whatever organism they are in. Alleles (mentioned below) are merely variants of genes. And genes can vary for a variety of reasons. The one reason of relevance to the massive change necessary for sponge-to-human evolution is mutations: unguided, purposeless copying mistakes.

Changes in gene frequencies–the relative frequency of an allele at a particular locus in a population, expressed as a fraction or percentage–happen in all of nature all the time. And in no case does the mere fact of one gene (or allele) being present in higher numbers ever produce anything new in the population, which is a requirement for any explanation of the evolution of sea sponge genes into human genes.

Changes in the proportions of existing genes in a population of sea sponges might explain why some sea sponges lived or died at any particular time (see the rabbit example below). But can shifting proportions of existing gene variants (alleles) in existing sea sponges ever result in new genes, including entirely new genetic codes necessary to explain the massive re-programming of the sea sponge DNA to become human DNA? Can shifting percentages of existing genes explain the origin of new genes programmed to build, maintain, and reproduce eyes, lungs, brains, and everything else a body needs to be a human?

Consider the following example of “genetic drift” in populations as an example of how “evolution occurs.” This hypothetical example comes from, and relates to a population of rabbits:

A population of 100 rabbits lives in the woods. The rabbits have many different coat colors: black, brown, tan, white, grey, and even red. In the population, the different alleles [gene variations] that create coat color are equally distributed. A disease comes into the rabbit population and kills 98 of the rabbits. The only rabbits that are left are red and grey rabbits, simply by chance. The genes have thus “drifted” from 6 alleles to only 2.

Note that in this example nothing new was created. The only “evolution” was devolution. The net result from genetic drift is a loss of genes (alleles) on earth.

There remains absolutely no evidence to suggest that naturally changing gene frequencies in a population can do any more than what natural selection does; in fact, it is the same phenomena, differently named. In any event, whether termed natural selection or genetic drift, the net result is the same: the removal of certain genes from circulation. Such changes, by definition, never produce new information to build any new morphology in any individual in the population.

This idea that merely observing shifting proportions of existing genes subject to natural selection and implying that somehow this “genetic drift” serves as an explanation from which to infer that entirely new genetic codes can be programmed by nature: That’s part of the dodge.

Sentence 2: Individuals do not evolve, but populations do.

This statement is purposefully misleading for one reason: Scientific evidence does not support the possibility of individuals evolving from a primitive life form as Darwin theorized and every evolutionist after him insists.

The only reason evolution continues as a topic of discussion lies with Darwin’s supposed genius in harnessing natural selection. But look it up: Every single example of natural selection–the key to any process of evolution–is an example of individual organisms being subjected to being eaten, starving, or otherwise dying at nature’s hand.

Whether it is light-colored moths, green bugs, short-necked giraffes, or this, or that, or the other, natural selection always operates at the level of individuals.

Of course, if evolution is true, in some sense “populations” evolve. But populations evolve for one, and only one reason: The individuals that make up the population evolve. And without the individuals evolving there would be no evolution of the population.

If human beings evolved from sea sponges (as we are told), then there was at one point in the history of earth in which no human beings existed. And there was necessarily a time in history when the first human being appeared on earth. This first human being was an individual and evolved to be the first human individual.

Populations are nothing more than a group of individuals. To say that evolution happens to populations is merely to say that evolution happens to the individuals making up the population. Thus, to teach evolution as the idea wherein evolution happens only at the population level: That’s part of the dodge.

Sentence 3: In addition to natural selection, there are several other agents of evolution, including genetic drift, gene flow, meiotic drive, and mutation.

There is only one “agent” in this sentence that can possibly produce anything new on earth that could remotely make evolution of humans from sea sponges possible: mutation(s).

Genetic mutations or other heritable variations stand as the only source of new “stuff” upon which all the other “agents” of evolution can work. But, importantly, none of the other agents can change the “stuff” of mutations. If, for example, eyes are to evolve, then the stuff of eyes–coded instructions to build all the components of the eye, connect them together, join them to the face and the brain, and provide for maintenance features such as tears–must first be produced by genetic mutations. Whether all at once or little-by-little, the mutation-produced stuff of eyes must then be left undisturbed by all the other listed “agents,” which serve only to remove some of the stuff of eyes from circulation on earth.

Think about it: as we show in The Natural Selection Paradox, none of the listed agents (that merely describe the same function as natural selection) can do anything but remove existing genes from circulation on earth. Thus, if evolution is true, evolution of human beings from sea sponges must have occurred due to the lucky cumulative collection of innumerable genetic mutations alone.

Implying that a long list of important-sounding “agents” lurk about to make “evolution occur” completes the dodge. Students, who largely don’t care, infer what is implied, and believe they have heard something true.

But we know better, and we are calling out the dodge.

Will you join us?

Think about it.


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