My reasons for believing evolution is not a matter of chance

One of the criticisms of evolution that is given by religious people is that evolution is a matter of chance, and God wouldn’t use a scheme that relied on chance to create persons in his image. There are two reasons why I believe evolution is not a matter of chance.

First, the charge that evolution is a matter of chance implies that the changes or mutations occur randomly in the DNA of the organism. However, the mutations that cause changes to the DNA are not random. They are caused by sources that put a bias on which DNA sequences will be changed. Examples of such sources are solar radiation, air and water temperature of the environment in which the organism lives, and mutations caused by disease.

Second, the mutations are not transmitted in a random fashion to subsequent generations of the organism. Evolution involves a principle called natural selection, in which mutations, that favor the survival of the organism, will likely continue to subsequent generations while mutations, that do not favor survival of the organism, may not continue to subsequent generations because the organism-line may die out. That is, natural selection puts a bias on which mutations continue to subsequent generations. Of course, some mutations that don’t favor survival of the organism may be transmitted to subsequent generations because other mutations favor survival, and those mutations may cause the organism to not die out.

Evolution of life on this earth has been going on for millions of years, likely over a billion years. That amount of time is long enough that changes in an organism, that individually might be considered minor, continue in subsequent generations due to natural selection, until eventually the changes have caused the organism to be a different organism.

An example of this is a fish that “walks” on land using its fins as legs. Living about 375 million years ago was “An extraordinary fish that…had unique features in its head that helped pave the way for vertebrate animals to live on land, scientists said on Wednesday (October 2008).” Perhaps something like the following occurred millions of years ago. Ancestors of the fish would inadvertently swim near the shore of the water and end up in shallow water. The fish would flop around until they either died or got back into water where they could swim. While a fish was flopping in shallow water, it was exposed to solar radiation that changed its DNA. Over a long period of time, those changes increased the likelihood that the fish could survive out of water. Eventually the fish had evolved into the “walking fish” that was recently discovered in fossilized form by scientists.

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