Science & Nature

The 44,000

The evidence supporting Darwinist theory is colossal, far more impressive than the text-based portfolio of a supernatural archetype. One tenet of evolutionary theory is the incredibly protracted time frames in which evolution occurs. We humans are are small-minded. We are also — by virtue of our size, function in nature, embryological disposition, and life spans — equipped (and required by natural selection) only to master decade spans, psychologically and physically. It’s difficult for us to fathom the meaning of 44,000 generations. We cognitively assume such numbers through poetry or geology (or through magnificent leaps in imagination), but we can’t personally experience more than 2 or 3 generations in either direction (ancestors / descendants).

Imagine a research laboratory in which E. coli is farmed and studied every day, relentlessly. Imagine that “generations” in E. coli time are so accelerated, they look like those terrifying graphics used in the subterranean science facility where most of The Andromeda Strain‘s drama takes place.

Studying 44,000 generations in a 20-year time span has yielded mutations in E. coli that demonstrate how same-species developing and reproducing in isolation from each other can diverge. One of the unsung beauties of the findings in this article is that it also clearly — and microscopically — dismisses one of Big Religion’s weakest (but otherwise most PR sexy) arguments: Darwinism withers before gaps in the fossil record.

The scientists and their frozen, multi-generation stock act as layers in the earth’s crust, able to easily reproduce E. coli generational history in increments of 500 generations. No gaps here, just precision attempts to understand the gorgeous and perplexing nuances of life.

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