If you believe in evolution, then don’t worry about climate change

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In a recent column in the Daily Inter Lake, Gene Lyons criticized creationists for being scientifically illiterate. He specifically accused creationists of denying the evidence for climate change. 

Yet I am a creationist who accepts the evidence for climate change. I also accept the evidence that man may be partially, or even completely, responsible for this change. I also know that this climate change may drive many species to extinction. 

But as a scientifically literate person I have one question for those who accept the theory of evolution: “Why do you care about climate change and its effects on different species?” There is ample evidence that the Earth’s climate has been changing, and that species have been going extinct, throughout history. These two processes are in fact required in order for evolution to occur.

Charles Darwin, in his book “On the Origin of Species,” stated: “As natural selection acts solely by the preservation of profitable modifications, each new form will tend in a fully-stocked country to take the place of, and finally to exterminate, its own less improved parent or other less-favoured forms with which it comes into competition. Thus extinction and natural selection will, as we have seen, go hand in hand. Hence, if we look at each species as descended from some other unknown form, both the parent and all the transitional varieties will generally have been exterminated by the very process of formation and perfection of the new form.” 

Darwin proposed that environmental changes, and the resulting competition for resources, would result in the survival of what he termed the “best fitted” individuals. It was this competition, and the subsequent extinction of less favorable forms, that would result in the formation of a new species. Darwin knew that environmental changes, and species extinction, were foundational to his theory.

According to Darwin, as individuals face these changing environmental conditions only those that are the “best fitted” will survive. These individuals will then reproduce and pass their characteristics on to their offspring. As a result other less “fit” populations will lose out in the competition for food and other resources and will go extinct. It is this process that results in descent with modification and the formation of new and improved forms. 

Again from Charles Darwin: “The extinction of species and of whole groups of species, which has played so conspicuous a part in the history of the organic world, almost inevitably follows on the principle of natural selection; for old forms will be supplanted by new and improved forms.”

Extinction, including mass extinction, is the natural outcome of the evolutionary process. As Darwin himself said: “Thus, as it seems to me, the manner in which single species and whole groups of species become extinct, accords well with the theory of natural selection. We need not marvel at extinction; if we must marvel, let it be at our presumption in imagining for a moment that we understand the many complex contingencies, on which the existence of each species depends.”

Save the whales. Save the turtles. Save something. Why is it that we are so concerned with saving all those species that evolution is evidently willing to exterminate. Global warming, the growing ozone hole and melting ice caps strike fear into so many. But why? According to evolutionary theory these environmental changes will result in “better fitted” individuals. For some reason those who accept the theory of evolution are appalled at the natural consequence of extinction. But what would happen if extinction could be prevented?

It is estimated that only 1 percent of all of the species that have ever lived are here on earth today. What happened to the other 99 percent? They went extinct, of course. What would have happened if all of those extinctions had never occurred? The earth would be covered in dead plants, animals, bacteria, fungi and every other life form that has ever existed. It should be obvious to any scientifically literate person that extinctions are necessary in order for the evolutionary process to take place. And there is one extinction in particular that is thought to have been very important to our own species.

Most scientists assume that the dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago. This extinction is thought to have been the result of a large meteor striking the earth. This meteor strike sent up a huge cloud of dust into the atmosphere which prevented sunshine from hitting the earth. This lack of sunshine caused a shortage of oxygen and also a cooling temperature. These changing environmental conditions are believed to have resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs. 

Scientists assume that it was the extinction of the dinosaurs that allowed small mammals to prosper. Evolutionary theory teaches that these small mammals eventually developed over millions of years into the human race.

But let us imagine for a moment that 65 million years ago some space aliens had come here and witnessed the devastation caused by this meteor. Instantly these aliens sprung into action. They started a campaign to collect money to “save the dinosaurs.” What would have happened if they had been successful? According to evolutionary theory we, the human race, would not be here.

Now some may claim that humans are changing the environment at a faster rate than nature does. But humans have been discussing global warming, the depletion of the ozone layer, invasive species and many other environmental changes for a very long time. It is hard to imagine any environmental change taking place faster than what happens when a giant meteor hits the earth. And yet scientists believe that the eventual result of that very sudden environmental change was you and me.

Evolutionary theory demands both environmental changes and species extinction. The conservation movement is contradictory to both the theory of evolution and modern science. An evolutionist who supports conservation is like being an atheist who supports their local church. It isn’t logical and it does not make any sense.

Van Fleet is a resident of Kalispell.

 

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