Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

Beach mouse artwork

It is important to define terms

by Dr. Georgia Purdom

Natural selection is an observable process that is often purported to be the underlying mechanism of unobservable molecules-to-man evolution.

Let’s listen in on a hypothetical conversation between a biblical creationist (C) and an evolutionist (E) as they discuss some recent scientific news headlines:

E: Have you heard about the research findings regarding mouse evolution?

C: Are you referring to the finding of coat color change in beach mice?

E: Yes, isn’t it a wonderful example of evolution in action?

C: No, I think it’s a good example of natural selection in action, which is merely selecting information that already exists.

E: Well, what about antibiotic resistance in bacteria? Don’t you think that’s a good example of evolution occurring right before our eyes?

C: No, you seem to be confusing the terms “evolution” and “natural selection.”

E: But natural selection is the primary mechanism that drives evolution.

C: Natural selection doesn’t drive molecules-to-man evolution; you are giving natural selection a power that it does not have—one that can supposedly add new information to the genome, as molecules-to-manevolution requires. But natural selection simply can’t do that because it works with information that already exists.

Natural Selection is an observable process that is often purported to be the underlying mechanism of unobservable molecules-to-man evolution. The concepts are indeed different, though some mistakenly interchange the two. So let’s take a closer look. There are two major questions to answer:

  1. How do biblical creationists rightly view the observable phenomenon of natural selection?
  2. Could this process cause the increase in genetic information necessary for molecules-to-man evolution? …

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image credit: Beach mouse original artwork based on J.B. Miller photo