In a painful yet laughable story, we see a Louisiana senator asking a high school teacher whether E.coli can evolve into people !! This happened during the Senate Education Committee’s hearing on Senator Karen Carter Peterson‘s bill to repeal the odious Louisiana Science Education Act (the “LSEA”). Though the act was repealed by a tiny majority, but this kind of ignorance (in the face of reason) is quite scary.
So, lets come back to the strange quip by the senator. On asking the biology teacher, whether there was any evidence of evolution actually happening in modern world, she decided to put forth one of the best evolution experiments ever – Richard Lenski’s decades long experiment on E.coli adaptation . At this point the senator quipped:“They evolve into a person?”
Now this kind of question, points out to the main arsenal which creationists use in their never-ending, pointless battle against evolutionary biology and i.e, How does the tiny changes in the gene pool of a population translate into giant, morphological changes over time ?
Microevolution which is basically, a change in gene frequency within a population is understandable they say (though, not all of them), but what they vehemently deny is macroevolution. The “creationist skeptics” refuse to be convinced unless, as the senator points out, they see an example of a bacterium directly transforming into a human being.
For the creationists like the Senator in question, this remains a sort of trump card which they wave every time in a debate about evolution. What they don’t realise is that, if they study a bit more about evolutionary biology then they can answer it themselves. The parsimonious explanation of how mutation, genetic drift, migration and natural selection can bring about evolution at both levels – micro and macro is something which these creationists still need to understand.