How Does Isolation Affect the Theory of EvolutionQUESTION: How Does Isolation Affect the Theory of Evolution?ANSWER:
The question, "How does isolation affect the theory of evolution?" has become a more frequently asked and a more relevant question since a concept called Punctuated Equilibrium was proposed by Niles Eldridge and Stephen Jay Gould in 1972. The concept postulated that evolution took place with long periods of stasis (species not changing) and with speciation (evolution of a new species) occurring almost instantaneously or over a relatively short time period.
The concept also postulated that most evolution would take place in small isolated populations over relatively rapid geological time periods. By reducing the numerical size of the transitional population and the number of years for which it exists, Punctuated Equilibrium would greatly limit the number of expected fossilized organisms with transitional characteristics. The concept was proposed to find an alternative explanation for the absence of transitional fossils that otherwise are direct evidence for special creation. This made isolation an important concept along with Punctuated Equilibrium to provide a scientific explanation to maintain evolutionary theory as a viable concept.
Isolation was also an evolutionary concept before Punctuated Equilibrium. Darwin postulated that the finches were unique on the Galapagos Islands because of their "geographic isolation." In addition, evolutionists have postulated that once sufficient differences evolved between two isolated breading populations that the populations would no longer interbreed. This is known as "reproductive isolation."
Does the isolation concept make the theory of evolution more viable? When a small population from a species becomes isolated, the characteristics of that population may become different than the remaining population because its gene pool is smaller and more limited. The extreme limit or effect of this isolated breeding is controlled, selective breeding such as dog breeding. Nobody has ever selectively bred a dog to result in another species like a cat. The examples that evolutionists use such as the finches or the peppered moths also never evolved into another species. These are all examples of microevolution. Everyone agrees microevolution is real, but is just the variety already preprogrammed within the DNA that is being isolated.
How do evolutionists claim that macroevolution (formation of new species) is true? Evolutionists just blur the line between microevolution and macroevolution. They assume that any change can be extrapolated to a species change. Evolutionists also postulate DNA mutations, copying errors, are the raw material upon which natural selection can operate to ultimately form new species. Fruit fly experiments combined breeding with irradiation to cause mutations in a species that has a very short generation period to speed up the effects of evolution. Although some strange four winged flies were generated, no improvements that would give a breeding advantage were produced or any new species.
Does Punctuated Equilibrium save the theory of evolution and eliminate special creation as the source of our origin? Is Punctuated Equilibrium a testable scientific theory? Theories are testable when they make predictions which scientists can in principle observe. Many scientists have stated that scientific theories must be based upon repeatable observations subject to testing, and be "falsifiable," so observations can refute the theory. Punctuated Equilibrium claims that natural selection operated with great effect exactly where it was least likely to be documented; in small, localized, transitory populations. The lack of evidence that made Punctuated Equilibrium a concept also makes it untestable. In addition, if evolution cannot happen under slow, gradual Darwinian evolution, how could it happen under Punctuated Equilibrium in a much shorter time? No potential or additional mechanism is provided.
However, the actual fossils that do exist without the presence of transitional fossils actually support special creation as a testable scientific theory. However, because of the change in the definition of science during the last century this statement probably should be qualified as only being true under the old definition of science. That definition included a search for truth rather than trying to find a natural explanation for everything and eliminating any supernatural conclusion as false by definition.