email - December 2002

What Do Evolutionists Say?

We received an email from John D suggesting that we correct our article about Horses and Peppered Moths (February, 2002).

Subject: Correction
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 11:18:00 -0500
From: John D

I found this statement on your website: "The idea that diet, exercise, or the environment, can somehow change the DNA in the reproductive cells so that the offspring are better adapted to the environment is without scientific support. But this is, effectively, what evolutionists are saying when they claim that creatures adapt to their environment."

Actually, that's not what I understand evolutionists to say at all. I understand them to say that the DNA in reproductive cells changes slightly from parent to child. Most of the DNA is a copy of DNA from one parent or the other, but sometimes mistakes - mutations - enter the pool. Sometimes the mistakes help the offspring in adapting to their environment, sometimes they hurt it. The offspring with beneficial mutations will do better than their cousins, who will disappear on the ashbin of evolutionary history. Repeat over dozens or hundreds of generations, and you have a splendidly-adapted creature. And _that's_ how evolutionists understand that creatures adapt to their environment.

John D.

Of course some evolutionists do believe the scenario John has presented. But, if you listen to what the park rangers in Death Valley National Park say about how plants adapted to the desert, what is taught in our public schools, what was said on the highly-touted PBS special on evolution last year, Darwin's Origin of Species, tour guides leading children through natural history museums, and explanations of how the change in ape diet from vegetables to meat caused people to have bigger brains, you will hear evolutionists present a much more "active" method of evolution than the "passive" scenario John presents.

It is difficult to document what park rangers or museum guides tell people. Fortunately, the issue of Scientific American on the newsstands right now (December, 2002) contains an article by William R. Leonard titled “Food for Thought” with the prominent subtitle “Dietary change was a driving force in human evolution”. Let’s see what he says.

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