Natural selection is the maintenance of a functional advantage that enables a species to compete better in the wild. Natural selection is the naturalistic equivalent of backyard breeding. Over the centuries, human breeders have dramatically changed the pet population by choosing individuals and removing unwanted properties over time. Similarly, natural selection gradually eliminates the species incapable to survive over time.
Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
Darwin’s theory of evolution is a slow and gradual process. Darwin wrote: “… Natural selection only works with the smallest successive variations; they can never make a sudden big leap, but they must collect, but certainly in slow steps.” A specific complexity permeates the microscopic biological world. The biologist Michael Denton wrote: “Although the smallest bacterial cells are incredibly small and weigh less than 1012 grams, each one is actually a veritable microminiaturized factory with thousands of exquisitely designed parts of intricate molecular machines, 100,000 atoms in total, much more intricate than any other.”
And we don’t need a microscope to look at irreducible complexity. The eye, ear, and heart are examples of irreducible complexity but were not recognized as such in Darwin’s day. Darwin confessed, however, “Well, to assume that the eye, with all its inimitable inventions of focusing at different distances, receiving different amounts of light, and correcting spherical and chromatic aberrations through natural selection, can be free, it is extremely absurd.”
Challenges to Darwin
Darwin and his theories have been challenged many times over the past 150 years. The challenges were primarily based on a perceived conflict with the preconceived notions of creationism. Many of those who challenge Darwin were supporters of the Young Earth Hypothesis, which states that the Earth is only about 6,000 years old and all species were individually created by one god. Some of the proponents of these theories have suggested that the chemical and physical laws that exist today were different or nonexistent in earlier times. These theories are not scientifically verifiable and lie outside the realm of biology or have been refuted by one or more branches of science.