An article in Ecology letters, entitled: “Eco-evolutionary Dynamics in Response to Selection on Life-history,” deals with research conducted on “soil mites that were collected from the wild and then raised in 18 glass tubes.” The researchers
found significant genetically transmitted changes in laboratory populations of soil mites in just 15 generations, leading to a doubling of the age at which the mites reached adulthood and large changes in population size.
At Phys.Org, they write:
Although previous research has implied a link between short-term changes in animal species’ physical characteristics and evolution, the Leeds-led study is the first to prove a causal relationship between rapid genetic evolution and animal population dynamics in a controlled experimental setting.
Further, lead author Tom Cameron tells us:
“We saw significant evolutionary changes relatively quickly. The age of maturity of the mites in the tubes doubled over about 15 generations, because they were competing in a different way than they would in the wild. Removing the adults caused them to remain as juveniles even longer because the genetics were responding to the high chance that they were going to die as soon as they matured. When they did eventually mature, they were so enormous they could lay all of their eggs very quickly.”
Co-author Tim Benton states:
“This demonstrates that short-term ecological change and evolution are completely intertwined and cannot reasonably be considered separate.
There are two things to note:
(1) Darwin insisted on gradual change. This is not “gradual” change, but “rapid” change. You might remember those lizards on the Adriatic Islands that developed cecal valves in probably 20 generations or less.
(2) The vacuousness of the phrase “evolutionary change.” The term that should be used is “adaptive change,” for that is EXACTLY what is happening. The organisms doesn’t change in a way that has any evolutionary importance; it just simply changes.
(3) This “rapid” change indicates that “gene frequencies” cannot be changing, simply because the changes are occurring too rapidly. So, the likely instrument of these “rapid” changes is a change in gene expression, and hence, the turning on, and the turning off of gene promoters, which can easily happen via RNA–and, it can happen in a way that is inherited a la “Lamarkian” notions–not Darwinian.
None of what is being reported is consistent with either Darwinian, or neo-Darwinian, mechanisms. This is just a plain fact. You see, two “wrongs”—being wrong in the Darwinian and neo-Darwinian sense—does not make a “right.”
But “true believers” never let facts get in the way. However, there are so many of these inconvenient facts that day-by-day are collecting that it is but a matter of time before the whole Darwinian artifice comes tumbling down.