Does Antibiotic Resistance Prove Evolution?

Antibiotic resistance is a real and immanent health threat for the US and around the world.  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 2 million people acquire an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection, killing 23,000 people annually (https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html accessed 8 October 2018).  My grandmother died from such an infection several years ago, so the topic of antibiotic resistance is very practical in my life.  But what do you say to evolutionists that frequently cite antibiotic resistance as proof of evolution happening?  The truth is that antibiotic resistance does not support evolution for several reasons.
 
How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?
The first matter we need to address is how do antibiotics cause antibiotic resistances.  It is commonly known that people are supposed to take antibiotics for a regular infection as prescribed from the doctor.  When people take those antibiotics, they are supposed to take them fully, not miss a dose, and for the full duration of the prescription.  The bacteria you have during that infection are constantly being bombarded with medicine that is not usually killing the bacteria (i.e., bactericidal), but preventing them from growing (i.e., bacteriostatic).  So the bacteria during the infection are facing the antibiotic in a regular fashion so long as you are taking it regularly.  While taking the antibiotic regularly, the bacteria are unable to grow and they are killed off by your immune system.  But when you use the antibiotic intermittently, the bacteria get a chance to become resistant to the antibiotics.
 
Bacteria have a series of mechanisms whereby they become resistant to the very antibiotics you are using for the infection.  In almost every instance, the mechanism of action for the antibiotic is often related to the mechanism of resistance.  For instance, penicillin works by targeting the bacterial cell wall and the mechanism of resistance to penicillin involves incorporation of an alternate subunit to the bacterial cell wall.  There is no exception to this rule for how antibiotic resistances emerge (with one exception).  To understand the various mechanisms of resistance, then, one has to study the mechanism of action for the various antibiotics.  The five basic mechanisms of action to antibiotics are: inhibit cell wall synthesis, inhibit protein synthesis, inhibit DNA or RNA synthesis, injury to the plasma membrane, or inhibition of metabolite synthesis (Tortora et al. 2018).  Equally, the four basic mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics are: blocking entry, inactivating enzymes, altering the target molecule, or efflux of the antibiotic (Tortora et al. 2018).  The mechanisms of resistance are each documented to occur via mutation in the chromosome of the bacteria.
 
But is it evolution?
Next, we need to address what is meant by the term evolution.  Simply put, evolution means change.  But when scientists use the word evolution they mean the goo-to-you version of evolution.  Evolution is supposed to happen because of evidences like bacteria evolving resistance to antibiotics.  However, there is a problem with the term evolution in the previous sentence that needs clarification.  When most people talk about the evolution of bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant, they mean to use the word microevolution.  Microevolution is the small changes that occur to living things that are observable.  Bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics are a great example of microevolution happening today.  But people often cite the microevolution of bacteria to antibiotics as proof of macroevolution.  Macroevolution is supposed to be the accumulation of mutations over deep time like millions of years.  By definition, macroevolution is not observable because no one can do an experiment for millions of years.  That being said, there is no documented proof of microevolutionary changes leading to macroevolution.  The reason for this absence of proof is that accumulation of mutations is insufficient to explain how monkeys and man shared common ancestry.
 
How fast do bacteria become resistant?

The central question of whether antibiotic resistances prove evolution comes down to a matter of mutation rates for bacteria versus humans.  Regularly in my classes, I show how easy it is to select for streptomycin-resistant E. coli.  The way we do this is to grow an overnight culture of E. coli and place it onto petri dishes containing streptomycin in it.  Spontaneously, there are mutations that occur during the first overnight which are selected for the following overnight by growing in the presence of the streptomycin.  The rate for streptomycin resistance is 0.00004 mutations per 100,000 cells.  So antibiotic resistance is something that can happen overnight and at a rate that is easy to calculate.  This rate of 0.00004 is supposed to be the rapid rate that evolutionists want for evolution to be true.  But the problem with this number is that it is actually low compared to the mutation rates for human disorders such as retinoblastoma (1.2-2.3), achondroplasia (4.2-14.3), or Huntington’s chorea (0.5) (Dobzhansky 1970).  The mutation rates for human disorders are roughly 10,000 times faster than for antibiotic resistance of bacteria.  The conclusion must be that either bacteria are microevolving too slowly or that humans are microevolving too fast.  This observation of known mutation rates means that humans and bacteria must have existed for the same length of time and that we cannot have existed for too long.  We cannot have existed for millions of years with this fast of a mutation rate because we would overmutate into extinction.
 
Conclusion
Antibiotic resistance cannot be used for proof of evolution.  Antibiotic resistances are actually great proof of creation.  Antibiotic resistances are actually just great examples of microevolution, which does not lead to macroevolution.  Known mutation rates are too slow for bacteria to be evolving into antibiotic resistant bacteria.  If we apply the same logic that bacteria are evolving fast, then humans must be evolving even faster.  And if humans are evolving faster than bacteria, then humans cannot have existed for millions of years.  The entire idea of using antibiotic resistance as proof of evolution is just hogwash.  All the available data for antibiotic resistances demonstrate how intricately designed bacteria are to show the glory of God.
 
Dobzhansky, T.  1970.  Genetics of the Evolutionary Process.  Columbia University Press: New York, NY. p.70.
Tortora, G. J., et al. 2018. Microbiology, an Introduction. 13th ed. San Francisco, California: Pearson Co.

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

1 Chronicles 16:8-12 1 Chronicles 22:14 1 Chronicles 29:11 1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 1 Corinthians 15:21 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 1 Corinthians 15:33 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 1 John 2:15-17 1 John 4:10 1 John 4:19 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 4:12-13 1 Peter 4:12-19 1 Peter 5:10 1 Thessalonians 5:11 1 Timothy 6:10 1 Timothy 6:3-10 100 miles 1Peter 1:17-21 2 Chronicles 9:13-29 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 2 Corinthians 3:17 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Peter 3:9 2 Samuel 23:8-12 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 3:12 2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 4:11 25% are staying 50k 55-mile race Abraham was very rich. Abuja Acts 11 Acts 13 and 15 Acts 17:11 Acts 1:8 Acts 9 Albert Einstein America waited too long. Apostle Peter Barna poll Barnabas Be a Berean Be bold! Be bold Be happy! Be part of the process. Be still and know that I am God Best Evidence God Created Bible Bob Gillespie Brian Miller CRT Candace Nordine Carl Kerby Jr. Carl Kerby Choosing for Two Christ in me Christ opened my eyes. Christian witness Chruch Colossians 1:27 Colossians 2:14 Colossians 3:17 Colossians 3:1 Colossians 4:5-6 Columbo Tactic D. Mark Jacobs Jr. Dan Lietha Dave Glander David Tautofi DeBunked 15 DeBunked TV DeBunked Deuteronomy 11:13 Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Did Jesus Commit Suicide? Dr. Andrew Fabich Dr. Francis Schaeffer Dr. Jason Lisle Dr. William Beal Draa Mackey Easter Ecclesiastes 12:13 Ecclesiastes 4:10 Eleazar Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 3:17-18 Ephesians 3:19-21 Ephesians 4:29 Ephesians 5:15-17 Ephesians 6:4 Exodus 17:11 Exodus 17:12 Exodus 33:14 Facing the Giants Frank Figueroa Galatians 2:20 Galatians 5:1 Galatians 5:22-23 Galatians 6:9 Gen Z Genesis 13:1-2 Genesis 1:14-15 Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:31 Genesis 3:10 Genesis 3 Glendive Montana God created you God is rich in mercy God loves us. God loves you God won the battle God-shaped vacuum God's Word God's character God's joy God's plan God's pursuit God\'s Word God\'s character God\'s joy God\'s plan God\'s pursuit God\\\'s character God\\\'s joy God\\\'s plan God\\\'s pursuit God\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\'s joy God\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan Gods Word is truth Gods Word Gods care Gods character Gods divine plan Gods light Gods love story Gods plan of redemption Gods plan Gods wisdom Good Shepherd Gospel message Grammar matters Groggy Hawaii He is always faithful. Heaven Hebrews 10:19-22 Hebrews 11 Hebrews 12:1-3 Hebrews 12 Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 7:25 Hell His glory Holly Varnum Holy Spirit How can I fight and overcome fear? Hubble Huntsman Center I Peter 3:15 IMPACT Impact Curriculum Is it okay for a Christian to be rich? Is life good? Isaiah 26:3-4 Isaiah 40:28-31 Isaiah 40:29 Isaiah 40:31 Isaiah 41 Isaiah 43:1 Isaiah 45:9a Isaiah 55:8-9 Isaiah 55:8 Isaiah 64:8 It is well with my soul Jamaica James 1:12 James 1:15 James 1:17 James 1:2 James 4:10 January 2022 Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:13 Jesus and me Jesus chose to die. Jesus comforts the broken-hearted. Jesus saw their faith Job 1:3 Job 2:8 John 10:17-18 John 10:27 John 11:25 John 14:6 John 15:13 John 15:16a John 16:33 John 1:12 John 1:35-42 John 3:16-17 John 3:16 John 8:32 John 8:36 John Mark John Ray Joni Eareckson Tada Joni and Friends Joseph A. Kennedy Joshua 1:9 Joshua 22:5 Joshua 24:15 Juan Valdes Justice Kaimuki Bulldogs Kaimuki High School King David King Solomon Know It! Live It! Share It! Lacey Reitz Lamentations 3:22-24 Leviticus 18:24-30 Leviticus 25:23 Liberty Institute Life in layers Life is good because God is good. Life is good Listen to His voice. Listen Loose the Lion Luke 12:12 Luke 18:1 Luke 22:32 Luke 5:1-11 MTD Malachi 3:3 Malachi 3:6 Mark 10:8 Mark 16:15 Mark 1:16-18 Mark 2:3-5 Mark 5:19 Mark 6:31 Martin Luther Master Potter Matthew 10:20 Matthew 10:32 Matthew 11:28-29 Matthew 11:28 Matthew 11:29-30 Matthew 11:29 Matthew 13 Matthew 14:22-33 Matthew 16:24 Matthew 19:16-24 Matthew 19:23-24 Matthew 27:75 Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 4:18-20 Matthew 5:13 Matthew 5:16 Matthew 6:19-20 Matthew 6:19 Matthew 6:27 Matthew 6:33 Matthew 9:35 May 15 1987 Memory Lane Mere Christianity Mic'd Up Mic\'d Up Mic\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d Up Michigan State University Money is their god. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Mosaic NRB National Religious Broadcasters Nigeria Parable of the sower Pastor Baba Peter Philippians 1:6 Philippians 2:3-4 Philippians 3:12-16 Philippians 3:7-8 Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:8 Plan C Please say Yes! Please say "Yes!" Please say \"Yes!\" Please say \\\"Yes!\\\" Potter Proverbs 12:26 Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 15:4 Proverbs 16:3 Proverbs 18:12 Proverbs 18:24 Proverbs 19:21 Proverbs 1:20 Proverbs 3:5-6 Psalm 100:5 Psalm 103:2-5 Psalm 119:105 Psalm 119:11 Psalm 119:160 Psalm 122:1 Psalm 138:1-2 Psalm 139:14 Psalm 139:17 Psalm 13:6 Psalm 147:4 Psalm 16:11 Psalm 18:1-2 Psalm 19:1 Psalm 1:1 Psalm 23:1 Psalm 23:2 Psalm 23:4 Psalm 23:6 Psalm 27 Psalm 34:19 Psalm 40:2 Psalm 40:8 Psalm 42 Psalm 68:19 Psalm 69:9a Psalm 8:3 Psalm 8:4 Psalm 92:1-4 Pursued Put God first Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life Reasons for Hope* Reasons for Hope Respond to God's voice Respond to God\'s voice Respond to God\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\'s voice Resurrection RforH Romans 10:14 Romans 10:15 Romans 10:9-10 Romans 10:9 Romans 12:1-2 Romans 12:9-21 Romans 1:16 Romans 3:23 Romans 5:12 Romans 5:17 Romans 6:23 Romans 8:14 Romans 8:26 Romans 8:28 Sanctity of Life Schaftlein Report Scriptures September 11 Shelby Pruitt Spurgeon Stay bold! Stay bold Supreme Court Surprised by Joy The Right Ingredients The Screwtape Letters There is no truth Think before you post. TikTok Tish Kerby Trust His heart Trusting God Use God's Word correctly. Use God\'s Word correctly. Wade Wacker Wealthy Christians What is a Christian? What is my purpose? Who Made God? Why am I here? Why did Jesus have to die? Wooed Word of God Your grace still amazes me. a little at a time a process; not an event abortion absolute truth accepting help achieving the impossible angry another child of God struggling answering questions antidote to fear anxious apologetics astronomy astrophysics be not afraid biblical Christianity biblical creationist biblical perspective biblical worldview blindfold boldness bold brokenness butterfly caged called to encourage cancellation cease striving certainty challenge character check your attitude children clay coercion come alongside comfort zone comfortable Christian commas save lives compromised confidence confused conjunction created in Gods image critical race theory critical thinking curriculum cut the head off the snake debate defend depressed depression design of the eye desperate passion dinosaur dig don't fight alone don't stop don\'t fight alone don\'t stop don\\\'t fight alone don\\\'t stop don\\\\\\\'t stop dont stop doubt encouragement entrusted by God to do good eternal life eternity without God evangelism examine the scriptures eye fair and impartial faith walk family circle family first fear not fearfully and wonderfully made fear feeling lost feeling overwhelmed filled with joy and worship flight cancelled football coach former athiest freedom of choice galaxies give a defense give thanks glory in His holy name good news of Jesus Christ good news grace gratitude grog having conversations heroes of the faith hope human eye humble ourselves illness impact lives impact your teammates positively impulsive incomprehensible God isolation keep moving keep progressing largest church in the world layers light year speed like Christ live in freedom loss of loved ones love of money love made for another world made in His image marriage memories memorization without application memorizing Scripture missing opportunities more like Christ multiple meanings mystical truth never compromised no complaints no hope no pain no gain no quitting nonconformist not a fetus not ashamed objective right and wrong one foot in front of the other opened doors opportunity to bring hope overwhelming distance part of a team passionate patience patriotism paying it forward persecution persevere perspective physics plans positive messages postgame prayer potsherd pottery potter power of the Word praying preposition progress quadriplegic quiet time reach the younger generation reality exists reality reassurance red cardinal redemptive work of Christ refining refocus what church looks like relationship with God relentless forward motion represent Christ resolutions rest right time right words root of all evil sacrifice salvation see God move seed experiment seek the Lord shine a light silversmith situation slavery social media son of encouragement speak life speak your truth spiritual apathy spiritual harvest stagnant church stand boldly on the Word of God stand up against evil star-gazing starstruck stars step by step stranded stress statistics stress study for yourself suffering symbol of God's love and reassurance symbol of God\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\\\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of Gods love and reassurance teaching science telescope thankful the apple of his eye the finish line the lion will defend itself the seeing eye think for yourself thriving in Christ traditions traffic trials tribulation troubles truth turn to God ultamarathon ultrarunner unborn child uncage the Lion uncertain uncover the truth unfair universe unpredictable use your gift visual reminders wethering the storm where two worlds collide windows to the soul worldview worth fighting for your circle matters youth ministry youth zeal for worship