Watch the video on antibacterial drug resistance in E. coli.

Some people use this type of experiment as the chief evidence for darwinian evolution.

Here’s my beef. Bacteria have sources of genetic variation besides mutation (picture below). In fact those other sources of variation occur thousands or even millions times more often than mutation. So the overwhelming odds are that the drug resistant bacteria was not a product of mutation. Mutations occur randomly and are typically fatal. To say that “mutants” show up with drug resistance is a COLOSSAL assumption.

genetic variety

In the comments, people even suggest that the bacteria had to wait for the right mutation to show up, meaning it happened within the first few days of the experiment. This is an even more ridiculous assumption. When people say that, it’s like they think mutations happen in response to the environment. An environment can select a variant for survival but not stimulate a variant into existence.

Certainly the further development of the drug resistance was not a product of mutation. It occurred because all the bacteria in the second strip had drug resistance, and as genetic information was shared, the trait was further developed. It’s like breeding but for asexual organisms.

Most importantly, even if this whole process was driven by mutation, at the end we still have E. coli bacteria. We could choose to classify the drug resistant strain as a new species if we wanted to, but truth is it’s still E. coli. This just simply is not evidence for the evolution of species from a common ancestor.

Let’s say something came along that killed all people under 6 feet tall. The remaining people would not be mutants. They’re just a product of genetic variation. With the removal of non-tall people from the gene pool, we would produce taller and taller people. Again, this is not mutation. It’s just breeding. Now this tall population would not have progressed toward being a different species. It would not be more evolved. This scenario demonstrates natural selection and the emergence of a trait within a population, but it in no way supports darwinian evolution. Get real, people.