Question: "What do creationists believe about natural selection?"
Answer: Natural selection is considered to be the survival of the fittest and is often confused with evolution. But far from being proof for evolution and against creationism, natural selection is quite a reasonable and “God-given” process whereby we observe a certain genotype (the genetic makeup of an organism or group of organisms) that has pre-existed and has gradually adapted to one particular environment. Genes that are pre-existent are those genes that have always been there but certain environmental factors behave as a selection pressure that weeds out other genetic traits that are unsuitable. Hence, those that carry unsuitable genotypes are eventually removed from the gene pool.
The best example of natural selection in a modern-day environment is the peppered moth, Biston betularia. This moth has adapted through changes in genotype— not the result of random or spontaneous mutation, as evolutionists would prefer—to having two different appearances or “traits” within that species. The peppered variety live in the country on surfaces covered in lichen. Their “peppered” appearance has developed so as to appear invisible to birds. In the cities, where there is more pollution, the surfaces are darker, and the melanic form dwells there. These two types are of the same species, but environmental factors have predisposed a “selection” pressure on each type, so that only one type exists in each particular environment.
Clearly, the peppered moth types were rapidly spotted in the towns, by birds and other predators, and so were easy prey. However, within the pool there were a small number which were dark and less visible and survived to be able to pass on their traits, which in time lead to a “gene pool” of predominantly dark moths. The environment only has an indirect effect; the provision of one particular allele leads to the selection of one favorable genotype. This genotype is permitted the survival of the fittest.
It is because natural selection favors “pre-existent” genetic traits in any particular environment or situation that enables creationists to agree with the process. Clearly, there are many arguments against evolution, but the very fact that natural selection permits the expression of genetic material that may have never been manifested, due to the effects of being recessive or being diluted due to other, stronger traits, suggests that God has provided the means for survival in changing environments. If anything, natural selection would have been more prevalent after the flood due to the rapid change in climatic conditions. Despite all the consequences that the Fall brought into creation, the Most High had the wonderful ability to foresee the need for a process that would ensure the continuing survival of life on earth, for which He continues to care (Psalm 24:1; Job 12:7-9).