This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

Issue Features
View this issue online as it looks in print
Discovery Magazine 4/1/2013

Natural Selection

by  AP Staff

The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was the main title of Charles Darwin’s book, first published in 1859. Those last two words, “natural selection,” have been discussed often in the halls of science. And it is no secret that Darwin’s concept of natural selection (or “survival of the fittest,” as it has come to be known) has been at the center of evolutionary thought.

According to Darwin, a creature with a particular advantage—the “fittest of its kind”—would be “naturally selected” to pass on the advantage to its offspring. A horse with long legs, for example, would be able to gallop faster than the rest, thus escaping from wolves or other predators in order to produce other baby horses with long legs. A “fit” creature, therefore, was one that could best carry out the functions that kept it alive, and made it best adapted to its environment. This is what Darwin meant by “survival of the fittest.”   

But problems with the theory of natural selection soon developed. Somehow, natural selection was supposed to ensure the “survival of the fittest,” but the only realistic way to define the “fittest” was “those that survive.” Basically, then, natural selection simply says that all the winners win, and those who win are the winners. Natural selection does not explain how those creatures came to be the most “fit.”

Creationists have never objected to the idea of natural selection as a way that gets rid of unfit, poorly adapted organisms. As a matter of fact, creationists long before Darwin said that natural selection was a good conservation principle (think of it as a screening device for getting rid of the unfit). If a harmful mutation causes a grasshopper to have only one leg, then that grasshopper will be an easier meal for a bird. Natural selection is the Creator’s plan for preventing harmful mutations from destroying an entire species. But natural selection cannot cause one kind of animal or plant to “evolve” into another kind of animal or plant. In reality, it is nothing more than an argument that reasons in a circle. As one scientist said, “[N]atural selection can account for the survival of the fittest, but it cannot account for the arrival of the fittest.”

Copyright © 2013 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, excepting brief quotations, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558

Web Store

Defending the Faith Study Bible

We are very excited to announce the NEW AP Defending the Faith Study Bible now available.

Featured Audio


Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio