Is natural selection the same thing as evolution? So it’s natural selection the same thing as evolution? Well, the short answer to that is no but let’s take a more in-depth look at why that’s the case. The first thing we need to do is define natural selection and evolution. Natural selection is an observable process in which organisms with certain characteristics survive better in a given environment. And there’s a loss of information in the DNA. Genetic information decrease as a result of this process. Now evolution is defined as an unobservable process which has occurred over long periods of time in which a single-celled organism has become all the organisms that we have today and we’ve had in the past. It’s directional in the sense that dinosaurs have evolved into birds and genetic information must increase in order for this process to occur. As you can see from the definition they are very very different but let’s take a look at an example to really help us illustrate this difference better.
And one of the most used and abused examples of evolution in action, which is really natural selection in action, is a development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. When you have a bacterial infection and you take an antibiotic, you expect it to kill the bacteria. But sometimes the bacteria have a mutation in them that allows them to not be killed by the antibiotic and so they survive better or selected for in that particular environment. Because of that means however they have to pay a price for that mutation and if the environment changes say for example the antibiotic is removed, they are not considered as fit and they are less likely to survive. So what have we really observed here? First of all, bacteria remain bacteria, it’s non-directional and genetic information has been lost as a result of this process. So even if you did natural selection in long periods of time such as millions of years it simply can’t do what evolution requires of it which is to be move in a certain direction and to add genetic information.
There’s no doubt that natural selection has led to changes within kinds of animals and when we talked about “kind” we mean a Biblical category of animal that God has talked about in his word that he created animals according to their kinds which we will put it about the family level in modern classification scheme. So for example natural selection may have led to speciation or variation within the cat kind such that we have different species of cats like wild cats domestic cats but it’s not led from one kind of animal evolving into another such as dinosaurs evolving into birds.
Natural selection is a God-ordained process that allows organisms to survive in a post fall world. It acts on the variations within the kind and preserves the viability of those kinds. So natural selection cannot be a mechanism or process for evolution because it simply did not have that power. Rather it’s a great confirmation of the Bible’s history.