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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CA520:

The Origin of Species does not deliver on the promise of its title; it does not address speciation.


Menton, David N. 1997. Species, speciation and the Genesis kind.


  1. Not much, anyway. However, biology did not stop with Darwin. Much has been learned about the subject since.

  2. Darwin explained at length how a species can change its form gradually but, over long periods of time, drastically. Even if new species did not branch off from such a lineage, many people would still consider that process an origin of new species.

  3. Darwin proposed that natural selection had a fundamental role in speciation, but did not elaborate much on the mechanism. It is now believed that much speciation is due not to natural selection, but to geographical isolation and genetic drift (allopatric speciation). However, natural selection is still seen to play a role in other speciation, such as speciation due to specialization on different hosts (Filchak et al. 2000), and natural selection drives incipient species to greater diversity (Presgraves et al. 2003).

  4. Darwin wrote about speciation, including the role of geographic isolation, in other works (Kottler 1978).


  1. Filchak, Kenneth E., Joseph B. Roethele and Jeffrey L. Feder. 2000. Natural selection and sympatric divergence in the apple maggot Rhagoletis pomonella. Nature 407: 739-742.
  2. Kottler, Malcolm J. 1978. Charles Darwin's biological species concept and theory of geographic speciation: the Transmutation Notebooks. Annals of Science 35: 275-297.
  3. Presgraves, D. C., L. Balagopalan, S. M. Abmayr and H. A. Orr. 2003. Adaptive evolution drives divergence of a hybrid inviability gene between two species of Drosophila. Nature 423: 715-719. See also Holding, C., 2003. Driving Drosophila diversity. The Scientist,

Further Reading:

Otte, D. and J. A. Endler. 1989. Speciation and Its Consequences. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Assoc.
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created 2001-2-18, modified 2004-9-1