Where are the mutants? The losers? The freaks?
Intermediate forms, half-completed?
“Selected against”, as biology speaks,
The ones whom the “fit” ones defeated?
There ought to be millions, just wasting away;
Evolution requires variation!
But look at the creatures around us today—
A healthy and hale population!
Where are the creatures that didn’t last long,
Who will never enjoy reproduction?
If they’re not here to see, evolution is wrong!
It’s the obvious, simple deduction.
The inspiration for this one came from a comment somewhere, which I have not been able to locate again. The commenter wanted to know where two things were–all the intermediate forms, and all the variability from which nature selects. Where are the mottled (that is, not all white) polar bears, being seen by seals and thus ineffective hunters, starving to death? We ought to see all sorts of less-fit animals all around us if evolution is right!
And I want to reply to that commenter in two ways. The first, of course, is at the population level, to point out that this commenter has the situation completely backward. The reason those examples are few and far between is simply that the engine of selection has been at work culling them. The situation that this commenter claims disproves evolution is a direct consequence of evolution.
But at another level… Natural selection is (or can be) brutal. I myself am a mutant, though my differences are either neutral or useful; I have successfully passed on my genes. So, does the variability that natural selection works with exist in our world? Of course! I also, though, remember a little girl, the daughter of a friend of mine. She was also part of the variability in our population, and the reason you don’t see her around is that she died before you got the chance to see her. She was beautiful, and fatally flawed, and did not see her second month. Her particular mutation is precisely the sort of thing the commenter is saying is not seen. And really, it isn’t, unless you actually look for it.
Sometimes, you have to look quickly.