In this chapter Darwin deals with Natural Selection. Granting the fact that science has improved and that many of his speculations about cross-breeding aren’t all that interesting, what I did find fascinating was that every case he brought forward proved microevolution. Not a single case proved macroevolution.
He gives us the recipe for how this works:
Thesis: Natural selection is the preservation of favorable individual differences and the destruction of those which are injurious (40).
Darwin admits his term “Natural Selection” is misleading. Evolution posits a blind, unguided process and natural selection implies an active guider. And Nature’s evolution takes place over “long periods of time” (49). This is key because it will create huge problems with the Cambrian fossil record.
This chapter also has his famous “tree” which tries to point toward common ancestry.
Quoting Jonathan Wells Lee Strobel writes:
“His theory predicts a long history of gradual divergence from a common ancestor, with the differences slowly becoming bigger and bigger until you get the major differences we have now. The fossil evidence, even in his day, showed the opposite: the rapid appearance of phylum-level differences in what’s called the ‘Cambrian explosion.’
“Darwin believed that future fossil discoveries would vindicate his theory—but that hasn’t happened. Actually, fossil discoveries over the last hundred and fifty years have turned his tree upside down by showing the Cambrian explosion was even more abrupt and extensive than scientists once thought” (Strobel 43).