Christianity · creationism · evolution · science

Superbugs tell difference between evolution & natural selection

Did you know there is a stark difference between natural selection and evolution? I didn’t until recently when the differences were explained to me. Previously I thought the two terms were synonymous. Basically, evolution is the theory that a life form can naturally take completely new external information into its genes that tells it how to bring about a complicated new characteristic that it never had before. Natural selection is the natural ability of a life form to use the variations it already has in its genetic code to bring about changes within the same kind of life form. Dog breeding is the perfect example of this natural selection where dogs can be bred for a specific climate or specific purpose, like hunting.

For years we’ve been told that the new scary superbugs infecting hospitals and gyms were proof of evolution. However, further research that has been available for quite some time has shown that these new germs are merely the result of natural selection, not evolution.

How did these germs become resistant to chemicals designed to kill their kind? There are about three different ways this happened. Firstly, some of these germs were already immune to specific medicines. For instance, let’s say there are about two of every 100 bacteria in an environment with a naturally-occurring dominant gene to resist a specific medication. When the medicine is applied to the bacteria’s environment, the 2% of the bacteria with resistance (they are considered mutants) will survive while the other 98% will die. The surviving bacteria will then have offspring possessing its dominant gene of resistance and the 2% will multiply quickly and thrive in that environment.

Scientists have known for quite some time that in places where modern germ killers never existed, there were already germs resistant to them. Therefore, the resistance in the germs was not introduced from some source outside the organisms, which means evolution had no part in the process.

A second way germs can acquire resistance is by receiving that information from another germ. For example, bacteria have the ability to transfer genetic information to other bacteria using a tube and injecting other bacteria with a “plasmid,” a packet of DNA. The information was already naturally occurring and was passed on to the next germ, causing a mutation, without any outside source or species. No proof exists that this process was ever evolutionary and the present interactions among germs points out this is how information has always been transferred.

The third way resistance is acquired is by genetic mutation. Bacteria possess tiny chemical pumps that they use to take in nourishment from outside their cell walls. If they are surrounded by antibiotics and their pumps work correctly, they inadvertently take in the antibiotics which kills them. However, some bacteria have mutations, or genetic defects, which prevent their pumps from operating properly. In a normal environment, they are weak since their ability to nourish themselves is compromised. But in an environment where man-made germ killers are introduced, the weak bacteria are prone to survive and thrive since their faulty pumps don’t pull in the antibiotics.

Essentially, germs resistant to germ killers tend to be the weakest of their species and germ killers tend to kill off the strongest germs, giving the opportunity for the defective, mutant germs to take over. So the so-called superbugs are really the underachievers of the bunch and are simply the unlikely beneficiaries of an enemy attack, not evolution.

Sources:

Carl Wieland. Superbugs not super at all. Creation magazine. December 1997. Volume 20, issue 1, pp. 10-13.

Can you tell the difference between evolution and natural selection? Creation Ministries International flyer.

–Harry A. Gaylord–

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7 thoughts on “Superbugs tell difference between evolution & natural selection

  1. Natural selection is a component of evolution. It is largely the directional force behind gradualistic evolution, the changes that occur over long periods of time in reaction to the environment. Also microevolution is driven by natural selection. However, the bugs did in fact, evolve, and it is due to natural selection. They are closely related terms.

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    1. But the main component of evolution is the belief that one species can take genetic info into itself that is totally foreign to its own genetic makeup to turn itself into a totally different species. This process has never happened. Natural selection is about minor changes or mutations resulting from genes a life form already has & that no matter how many of those changes occur, a new species never arises.

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      1. Well, the theory of evolution attributes mutations as the insertion of new genetic material. As for what it says about ‘making new species’, the word species itself has almost 30 different definitions depending on which kind of scientist you ask. But essentially gradual evolution says speciation occurs when a population is split by a barrier of some sort. It could be a mountain, or a river, or a change in mating season preference (or a bunch of other stuff). Thus the slightly different environments that each population is subjected to, naturally selects different phenotypes as the dominant trait. Eventually enough changes occur to make wildly different looking animals. I just took a class on evolution, so I’m hoping that I’m clarifying things well.

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      2. Since there is confusion about what species means, I’ll break it down this way. Evolution says a fish kind can become a whale kind or a dinosaur kind can become a bird kind. This has never been proven. Out of all the many fossils that have been discovered all over the world, not one has shown that monkeys and humans had a common ancestor. Not one fossil has shown that cats and dogs had a common ancestor. Not one has shown that dinosaurs evolved into birds. A fossil showing changes from one kind of creature to another are called transitional fossils. No transitional fossils of any type showing the changes to “make wildly different animals” have ever been found.

        What you may see in your textbooks & mentioned in your evolution class are pure assumptions or artist’s renditions of what they “believe” happened, and not proof of what actually did happen. They have never proven that a specific kind of animal took in genetic material that wasn’t already in its DNA so it could morph into something else. Real mutations have only proven to degrade a life form, not improve it, and all mutations sprouted from what was already in a life form’s DNA. That is what the facts show.

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    1. That’s interesting. You admit evolution has a lot of inferences, but think my science is off. Yet you haven’t thoroughly looked into the evidence I’ve presented or the overwhelming evidence that exposes evolution for the lie it is. If you read some of the other articles at the website I refer to above and from answersingenesis.org, you’ll see what I mean.

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