This is such a cool demonstration of evolution in action. It’s also terrifying.
Bacteria are placed on opposite ends of a large table-like dish. They begin multiplying fast… until they hit a barrier: A tiny dose of an antibiotic that will kill them. They have to evolve a defense… and they do. So they cross the barrier until the next one, which has ten times the antibiotic. And they have to evolve to overcome that. And it keeps going until the bacteria are able to cross into an area of the table that has a thousand times the antibiotic.
Ed Yong at the Atlantic puts this in context:
… Disease-causing bacteria and other microbes are increasingly evolving to resist our drugs; by 2050, these impervious infections could potentially kill ten million people a year. The problem of drug-resistant infections is terrifying but also abstract; by their nature, microbes are invisible to the naked eye, and the process by which they defy our drugs is even harder to visualise.
But now you can: just watch that video again. You’re seeing evolution in action. You’re watching living things facing down new challenges, dying, competing, thriving, invading, and adapting — all in a two-minute movie.
Like I said, scary but awesome.
The sad part is that this will never change the minds of Creationists. They’ll insist that they’re looking at “microevolution” — which they accept — but not the change of species. They fail to understand that evolution is nothing but microevolution like this, happening over and over again, over millions and millions of years. You’re never going to see one animal poof into another one in the blink of an eye. That’s not how it works.