Dr. Todd Wood discusses the concept of natural selection and explains how it works with created kinds.
DEL: So, natural selection, what is it? Does it have the kind of creative potential that we need for all of this?
TODD: Natural selection is basically all about killing off things that aren’t fit for the environment. So, if you’re a finch in the Galapagos and you have a really tiny beak and the only food available to you is really big, hard seeds, you’re going to die. And that’s exactly what we observe. And so we can watch over the generations as the beak size of finches change in the Galapagos. But they’re still finches. They’re still birds. The notion that natural selection can generate all of the diversity we see around us – that’s not been demonstrated. What we find most often with natural selection is that natural selection does a lot of fine tuning. So, right over here we’ve got these oryx, beautiful creatures and very, very pale colors. The wild range of the oryx is right on the southern end of the Sahara desert. And so you can see their coloration makes sense. If you get a really dark colored one, that’s going to be really easy for predators to find, and so they end up being these really beautiful, light colors. And that’s an example of where selection would take a variation and turn it into an adaptation.
DEL: And that brings us back to the notion that a really exquisite design in the beginning…
TODD WOOD: Oh, I think so. Absolutely.
DEL: Has provided these creatures with the ability to survive and to change for their benefit.
TODD: Absolutely. So the ability to be able to change your coloration like that, to be able to fit in an environment, that’s got to be built into the system before it starts. Now, don’t get me wrong. Natural selection and random variation can do amazing things. It’s pretty astonishing the kinds of changes that we can see. But we don’t see one kind changing into another. All we see are variations that happened within a created kind. So, there’s a felid tree which has all the cats on it. There’s the canid tree which has all the dogs on it. There’s the ursid tree which has all the bears on it. There’s the equid tree with all the horses on it. Each individual created kind then has its own individual tree so that you end up with something like an orchard or a forest.