What Is the Theory of Evolution?

The theory of evolution is a secular science model which suggests that all organisms have descended from a common ancestor. Through the processes of descent with modification and natural selection, the first molecules of life slowly became more complex and eventually brought about the plants and animals, including man, known today. The theory of evolution suggests that the first self-replicating molecules formed about 3.5 billion years ago. Then organisms went through a stage of diversification about 1 billion years ago. Later, man appeared about 1 million years ago.

Descent with modification is a fundamental concept of evolution. This concept requires a method for increasing orders of complexity. Modern genetic studies have given details into how this modification can occur. Some genetic mutations are thought to be beneficial to life by better adapting it to the environment and helping in reproduction. Then, through the process of natural selection, these mutations continue into future generations.

The theory of evolution states that there is a slow and gradual change from simpler life forms, like viruses and bacteria, to more complex life forms including organisms such as plants and animals. It also states that many life forms that were less successful have died out and become extinct. Such a development should leave a fossil record showing the gradual changes in organisms. There should also be a development of simple languages to more complex languages, especially in man.

The theory of Evolution is a secular science theory and, therefore, denies the existence of any gods and any concepts of a special creation or the actions of a creator. The primary concept is abiogenesis, that life came from non-life, and that life slowly evolved into more complex organisms rather than being created fully formed and functional. It postulates that death and natural selection brought about man as opposed to the idea of mankind bringing death into the world. Furthermore, it includes plants as having life in them and places mankind among the animals.

Within the evolutionary paradigm, plant life started with alga, moved into nonvascular plants (such as mosses and hornworts), then vascular plants. The vascular plants began without seeds (like the spore producing ferns), then developed cone-bearing plants, and finally developed into the modern flowering plants.

Technically, the theory of evolution is a study of the common descent of organisms and does not include the earth sciences. However, the term ‘evolution’ has gained a more generic use which includes the naturalistic origins of everything rather than just living things. The primary model used in naturalistic origins is the Big Bang theory which states the universe started in an explosion or expansion of a dense collection of particles approximately 18 billion years ago. The planets, stars, and galaxies slowly formed through uniformitarian processes. The Earth started taking its current form about 4.5 billion years ago. Uniformitarianism predicts that, over time, the erosional and depositional processes should form layers making a standard geologic column.

Species Concepts in Evolution

By some counts, at least 22 different species concepts have been proposed within evolutionary circles. Each of them has their own benefits and problems which tend to be associated with the field of science for which they were made. A quick description of the more commonly encountered concepts will serve as an example.

Ring Species Concept

The Ring Species Concept is defined as a series of connected populations which spread around a geographic barrier where neighboring populations are able to interbreed but the distant populations that meet after the barrier are unable to interbreed. The basic idea was first suggested in the early 1900’s and the concept was formalized in the 1940’s. This idea was to show in a spatial dimension what is typically expected of evolution in a time dimension. Only a few species have been suggested as potential Ring Species, but with further study each has been found to not qualify as true Ring Species. Therefore, the Ring Species concept is an evolutionary idea lacking any proven examples.

Last Updated: 2018-07-28
Todd Elder

Todd Elder

Todd Elder has a deep desire to understand and experience Creation. As a Baraminologist, his current research includes developing the Katagenos Species Concept, the Natanzera Classification System, and the Floral Formula Method of determining Plant Kinds. As an author and speaker, his books and seminar materials are designed to encourage a growing relationship with the Creator.
Todd Elder

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