Fishy selection story reported by University of British Columbia (UBC), 28 Aug 2008 in a media release entitled: “‘Armoured’ Fish Study Helps Strengthen Darwin’s Natural Selection Theory”. UBC scientists have been studying the prevalence of an allele (gene variant) in stickleback fish that inhibits the formation of armour-like structures called lateral plates. The allele is rare in marine sticklebacks but common in freshwater fish. Scientists believe that sticklebacks evolved in the sea and then spread into freshwater environments, and loss of the armour plating helped the sticklebacks make this move.

To test this theory they moved 200 marine sticklebacks that had the armour reduction gene into freshwater ponds. Sean Rogers, one of the researchers explained, “By documenting the physical traits and genetic makeup of the offspring produced by these marine sticklebacks in freshwater, we were able to track how natural selection operates on this gene.” Rowan Barrett, another team member summarised the results: “We found a significant increase in the frequency of this allele in their offspring, evidence that natural selection favours reduced armour in freshwater.” The non-plated fish also grew larger than the plated fish. Barrett commented: “It leads us to believe that the genetic expression is also tied to increased growth rate. If the fish aren’t expending resources growing bones – which may be significantly more difficult in freshwater due to its lack of ions – they can devote more energy to increasing biomass. This in turn allows them to breed earlier and improves over-winter survival rate.” He went on to say: “This study provides further evidence for Darwin’s theory of natural selection by showing that environmental conditions can directly impact genes controlling physical traits that affect the survival of species.

Editorial Comment: This study may provide evidence for natural selection, since to select something is to choose it from a number of pre-existing options. However the study does not explain where the options came from and hence the study does nothing to support Darwin’s theory of evolution. The fact that the non-armoured fish survive better in freshwater does not tell us where the armour controlling gene came from. Natural selection is a real process, observable in the real world. The theory that fish used to be worms is a belief held by faith. In 1859 Darwin bluffed people into believing his theory of evolution, which could not be observed, by equating it with selection that could be observed. This is not science, it is deception, and it is one important reason Creation Research is making a DVD exposing this deception, to be released for the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s book about natural selection. (Ref. Darwinism, ichthyology, ecology)

Evidence News 24 Sept 2008