Better together: Evolution (genes)

Let’s now take a little meander into some genetics: What exactly is a gene? I like to think of a gene as a little piece of coding information, just like coding on a computer. You type in a line of computer language and something happens; you get a box or a circle for example. Now, if you have lots of bits of computer code, you can design and draw a picture. If you have lots of genes, its an animal (or plant) that is designed and ‘drawn’.

When two animals reproduce, their genes (which are slightly different because no two animals are identical) mix and so the offspring is a mixture of the two parents. This is why children look a bit like a mixture of their parents. The reason why siblings look slightly different to each other (but are still both a mixture of their parents) is because each child only contains half the genes of each parent. So if each parent had 20 genes (scientists think there are actually about 25000 genes in each person), they would each donate 10 genes to their child (so the child would have 20 genes in total too).

Children take after their parents because they contain half of each parents genes. So if their parents can run faster than most, the offspring will also be able to run faster. This means that there will be more faster running individuals in the population; lets, for now, just think of the population as a herd of gazelles. If we look a few more generations ahead, where only the fastest gazelles were able to survive and not be eaten, only fast gazelles will be born, as only the fast gazelles will reproduce. So all the gazelles will be faster than the gazelles a few generations ago.


Better together: Evolution (overview)

Before I combine the ‘theories’ of Evolution and Creation, I will give a brief overview of each separately. This is because there seems to be quite a lot of confusion about what exactly Evolution is.

First off, the word theory has a different definition in science to its everyday use. Normally, a theory is a thought or explanation that has occurred to a person and not yet been proven; in science, this is called a Hypothesis. A scientific theory is a hypothesis which has undergone rigorous testing and is now considered as truth.

Now that that’s sorted, lets get onto the good stuff. Lets just define it first, then I’ll go on to give you a few examples because they’re always easier to comprehend.

Evolution is the process in which living things change with each passing generation as a result of selection. 

So, an animal (or plant etc) cannot itself evolve. What happens is that animals which aren’t as fit (this could be that they: run slower, are smaller, are larger if being small helps the animal to survive) don’t survive until they are able to reproduce. This is termed survival of the fittest, only those that survive are able to pass on their genes and have children.

Evolution: Gods most elegant system

I have never understood why Creationist Christians spend their time attempting to undermine or disprove one of Gods most elegant achievements: Evolution. Evolution and Creation are not in any way mutually exclusive, in fact, combined they make up the most beautifully balanced system imaginable.

In this blog, I am going to try to shine some light on common misconceptions people have about both Evolution and Creation. As a christian biologist, my studies have brought me closer to God. The more I learn, the more I am able to appreciate His remarkable abilities. Please, let me share my views and what I have learnt before making up your own mind.