Genetics is the science of heredity: the study of how traits are passed on from organisms to their descendants. It is perhaps the most relevant field of science to the issue of creation and evolution. Which position on origins is most consistent with our modern understanding of genetics? Do all organisms on earth share a common ancestor as Charles Darwin believed? Or do all organisms trace back to a large number of separately created kinds which are not biologically related to other kinds? Can the science of genetics shed light on these questions?
When Charles Darwin wrote “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, he employed an ingenious trick to persuade people of evolution. He linked evolution to natural selection, implying that natural selection was the mechanism of evolution. This was a clever trap because when something false (evolution) is linked with something true (natural selection), people are often fooled.
Sometimes a creationist will say “there are no transitional species” or “animals do change, but one species never changes into another.” While I appreciate the sentiment, these claims are not true. In reality, new species do arise over time – a phenomenon we call speciation. Secularists sometimes claim that speciation is proof of Darwinian evolution, but this too is an error. All of these mistakes can be eliminated when we distinguish between species and kinds.
What do a round Earth, natural selection, and dinosaurs have in common? They are all things that are demonstrably true and biblical that some professing Christians deny. All of these things are mentioned or implied in Scripture. And they are scientifically provable. Yet, some Christians claim that such things are false or even anti-biblical! When Christians deny things that are observable, provable, and biblical, it is dishonoring to the Lord and makes unbelievers less likely to embrace the Christian worldview.
What exactly is natural selection? Is it the same as evolution? Does it really occur? And who came up with the idea? Unfortunately, a few creationists have greatly misunderstood natural selection, and have used faulty arguments to try to convince others of their misunderstanding. It is important that we understand this topic properly, both from a scientific perspective and from a biblical perspective, so that we do not inadvertently promote error.