Well, he did it: the Digital Cuttlefish found a novel argument against evolution. It has to be seen to be believed — this creationist is claiming that the X-Men disprove the theory of evolution.
Already you should be saying “It’s a comic book and a movie! It’s not real!”, and for a bonus you might point out that the biology of the X-Men franchise is ludicrously awful, and in general, the mass media don’t understand evolution, but let’s give him a chance. Let’s see this argument.
Every living organism – including humans – is in a constant state of degradation or deterioration not evolution. From the moment something comes to be, it already is dying and will eventually die.
The entire living organic system is in a constant fight for survival. Unfortunately, there is nothing in its intrinsic composition powerful enough that would enable it to suppress the inevitable and fateful pull toward its own dissolution or death.
Otherwise, it would divert all of its energy into overcoming said fate by ‘evolving’ out of it, exactly like X-Men’s Wolverine manages to do. Why? Because the survival instinct is the most dominant one. Said evolving characteristic – if it were possible – would in turn be uniformly present in all of creation and entropy would be nothing but a bad memory.
So if evolution were true, we all ought to be super-strong, virtually immortal beings with the ability to heal any injury. Why? Because such an individual would win against death, and therefore is the paragon of evolution. This ignores the mechanism by which evolution works: by incremental improvement in the populations ability to cope with stress from the environment.
Once you’re born, you see, you’ve got all the genetic potential you’re ever going to have — sorry, gang, but you aren’t going to ‘evolve’ the ability to regenerate or grow claws. But maybe, if you’re lucky, your children might acquire a mutation that enhances wound healing slightly, or makes them better at fighting, and if the environment tolerates the change, or they’re thereby made more fit, you’ll have more children and grandchildren and etc., and maybe there will be selection for further improvements.
Get it? You’re done. You aren’t going to get any genetic improvements. But maybe your descendants will, and then they’ll be better than you at surviving, and then you get to…die. And be replaced.
Evolution is about changing from generation to generation. Part of that change is death. Individuals are discarded as the population improves. The individuals who succeed are the ones who leave the most progeny, not the ones who live forever and beat up the most bad guys, and by that measure Wolverine is an evolutionary failure. So there isn’t just pressure to evolve better claws, but there’s an even more significant pressure to reproduce, or assist in reproduction, a goal which might actually be hindered by having giant claws.
Not that he could have evolved in the first place: his powers are unreal, physically impossible, and not the product of any version of evolution that science has ever offered.
It’s a comic book. Are you also going to argue that we ought to be able to fly like Superman, because evolution?