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Evolution or does God have a hand in it?

July 17, 2007

How can people believe these are just evolutionary changes and doubt that God is involved? They sure have stronger faith than I do!

“For at least a century, according to the experts, bacteria called Wolbachia had been playing puppet master with Hypolimnas bolina butterflies found on two Samoan islands (see an Oceania map). The bacteria had been killing off nearly all the male larvae of the butterfly, also known as the eggfly or the blue moon butterfly. But males made a comeback in 2006, the researchers found, with nearly as many of them as females.

“We thought this kind of thing was happening, but we didn’t know we’d be lucky enough to see it,” said Sylvain Charlat of the University of College London, one the researchers involved in the new study. The shift happened in five years or less—just ten generations for the butterflies—according to the new study, which will appear tomorrow in the journal Science. This is a “very, very fast evolutionary change, possibly the fastest ever monitored,” Charlat said.

The findings show that evolution can strike in a flash, even after long periods of time with little change, researchers say.”

Excerpts from Butterfly Evolves Leg Up on Male-Killing Parasite by Mason Inman for National Geographic New

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2007 10:08 am

    “How can people believe these are just evolutionary changes and doubt that God is involved? They sure have stronger faith than I do!”

    I don’t quite understand what you’re getting at here Sherie; this particular case was an amazing account of natural selection, males that had naturally developed a suppressor gene being essentially the only males around and spreading those genes to the population. How is God involved in that at all? If you’re going to suggest that God was somehow behind this change, you’ll have to come up with some sort of evidence why (otherwise all you’ve got is an argument from incredulity).

  2. July 17, 2007 6:00 pm

    Thank you for your views. I love seeing how others think differently than I do. According to this story, “A single male may have developed a mutation that allowed it and its male offspring to evade Wolbachia’s hold and pass on their genes, the researchers argue. It’s not yet clear how the butterfly does this or how long its evasive maneuver might work. It’s possible that Wolbachia could soon evolve to regain its male-killing ability.”

    I don’t view this story as natural selection at all, and from what I just quoted it seems the scientists directly involved can’t prove that either. So I don’t think my claims are any more incredulous than theirs. However, they (and maybe you) have tremendous faith in evolutionary processes and therefore believe that something such as natural selection must have occurred. I am not able to have faith in something like that which I can’t be certain exists. I instead see the hand of a powerful and loving God who choose to not let a species die out and in a very short period of time chnaged things around in a way that fits our natural laws and processes instead of doing something supernatural. I believe he does that every day as he helps people make decisions for the good and benefit of others and where they choose love over selfishness. I respect your opinions and views. You may not see God, and I may not see evolution. It is likely that neither of us could produce evidence to change the mind of the other. My evidence comes from 24 years of daily relationship with God, the creator of the world who continues to create even today. The best evidence I can offer is the depth of relationship I have found and how it has changed my life, views, beliefs, and outlooks. Does evolution exist? Probably, but only because God chooses to create in that way.

  3. July 18, 2007 8:11 am

    Sherie, thank you for your reply. I appreciate that you have been a Christian for a long time (I have been for a few years myself), but that doesn’t change what happened. Natural selection is proven to be true, even being accepted like creationist groups like Answers in Genesis (although they don’t believe it produces evolution). The term for what happened to the butterflies is “natural selection” in that a natural cause (the bacteria) made the male population plummet to a 1:100 male/female ratio. The surviving males had a variation that made them immune, and so the survivors could mate with as many females as they could, spreading their genes. What you’re essentially arguing is that you don’t “believe” in evolution, therefore it could not have happened. It does not matter how God does or does not intervene when it comes to people; this is about what happened with the butterflies. If God did save them, inducing a mutation, why did he do it? Why not simply protect them from the bacteria from the start? Those are the questions that have no answers. If you’re really interested in the topic I have an analysis of the paper and what it actually said (rather than the news reports) on my own blog here. I know I am unlikely to convince you of evolution, but natural selection has been absolutely established, this study being further evidence of how it can work.

  4. July 21, 2007 7:49 pm

    Sorry it has taken me a few days to respond. I have been busy plus needed to think. I don’t have a problem with the idea of natural selection. If you want me to say that is what happened here, okay, but I can’t stop there. I am not arguing that I don’t believe in evolutiong because I beleive in both evolution and creation. I just don’t believe in evolution as a process that occurs without the hand of a creator God at the healm.

    My comment about how God works every day in people’s lives wasn’t an attempt to move away from the subject, but rather to look at it differently. It does matter how God intervenes with people because he has a consistent character and he responds the same way to animals including butterflies. He intervenes in their lives at times, and doesn’t at other times. There are species that will survive due to natural selection, and others will not. Why does God allow one species to survive only to see another die out? I can’t answer that, but I do believe it is part of his plan. Just like a child who dies as an infant was in his power to change yet he chooses to let it happen. Natural selection may be an established and “proven” system, but there are still flaws and questions that remain with it. Those are where I see God at work. Without his hand we would continue to create, grow, and have established systems. Everything would dissolve into chaos.

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