Lions, Gazelles and Evolution

 

At one of the universities that we spoke at recently, a paper was circulated in support of evolution. One of the explanations of evolution was natural selection, or more commonly called, the survival of the fittest. The idea presented was that a lion which managed to catch and eat a gazelle just slightly increased the general speed of the population of gazelles by weeding out a slower one.

On the other side, slower lions can’t catch the faster gazelles and consequently do not eat as well. Therefore, they can’t fight off the stronger, well-fed lions in their struggle for a mate.  Therefore the lion’s speed is linked to the gazelle’s speed.

While this type of natural selection seems obvious, it still does not demonstrate evolution, since gazelles remain gazelles and lions remain lions. Also, one might wonder with all those millions of years to perfect their speed, why both lions and gazelles aren’t yet running at the speed of sound! Perhaps the lions or the gazelles should have turned their attention to developing rifles.

By the way, natural selection or survival of the fittest was actually proposed first by a creationist, Edward Blythe, 24 years before Darwin’s publication of his book, On the Origin of Species. (See  the January/February 2000 edition of Think & Believe.)  The idea back then was that natural selection actually is a conservation mechanism to weed out the misfits and to keep the population strong. Minor changes in speed, color changes, etc. are great to talk about. They can play a role in natural selection, but they merely demonstrate variation with the created kinds and not how evolution from cells to people takes place. For more information and articles on natural selection and why this does not prove evolution, go to our website and search for “natural selection.”

 

Dave Nutting

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