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February 2, 2008

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Is antibiotic resistance proof of evolution?

It is true that certain bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics. On the surface, this may seem like evidence for evolution. After all, these bacteria seemed to have “gained” something—a resistance which they didn’t have before.

It’s easy to see how a student could be intimidated by teachers who push evolution by declaring that bacteria have gained a resistance. Thus, they supposedly evolved.

But, when you study the matter at a molecular level and understand how this resistance came about, it becomes obvious that it has nothing to do with molecules-to-man evolution.

Dr. Georgia Purdom explains:

Mutation and natural selection, thought to be the driving forces of evolution, only lead to a loss of functional systems. Therefore, antibiotic resistance of bacteria is not an example of evolution in action but rather variation within a bacterial kind.

For evolution in the Darwinian sense to occur, an organism has to gain information—information that previously did not exist. Bacterial resistance has nothing to do with a gain of information: it can be inherited from information that already existed, there could be a loss of information, or there could be an exchange of previously existing information from another bacterium. However, none of this has anything whatsoever to do with molecules-to-man evolution.

For references and more information see Antibiotic Resistance of Bacteria: An Example of Evolution in Action?

News to Note Quick Look

Another quick canyon: Amid the otherworldly Death Valley of California, geologists are seeing the effects of “eons” of water flow carving out the land before their very eyes. Read more.


Hey, blue eyes: A single human is behind everyone with blue eyes today, reports LiveScience on recent research. We could have told them that! Read more.


Also: Apologizing for evolutionary beliefs, youthful comets, and cavemen couture. Read more.

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