+Finn Ekberg Christiansen
Upon reading through this thread, I came across something you wrote: "I...know what natural selection means. I for one have a hard time figuring out how one lucky creature with one lucky mutation can 'dominate a million comrades' into oblivion."
This statement makes it abundantly clear that you actually do not
know what natural selection is. I don't mean this as an insult because most people actually don't understand it simply because it's never been explained to them accurately. Elsewhere you commit Hoyle's fallacy, reinforcing my suspicions that you might need a quick primer on the subject.
The answer to this question is
natural selection. Let's set aside the fact that mutation is just one of several sources of variation and go with the scenario to which you show special incredulity. Though it should be made clear that the individual is not what "dominates a million comrades into oblivion," but rather a mutant gene that becomes more frequent in a population. That is to say, an individual does not evolve, a population does.
A "lucky" mutant allele (ie, a beneficial one), aids an individual's survival in his present environment. That individual out-competes his fellows and produces more offspring which have a fair chance of receiving the mutation. In successive generations the allele may still go extinct, but if it is not selected against it has the opportunity to become fixed within the population. The frequency of a beneficial allele will tend to increase at the expense of other alleles because individuals with that allele (again) out-compete those who do not and certain mutant alleles of exceptional benefit may become universal.
This isn't even taking into account the founder effect, sexual selection, genetic drift (as it relates to punctuated equilibrium theory), synapsis/recombination, dominance, epistasis, silent mutation or any of the other factors that affect allele frequencies and overall success.
Just so there's no confusion, this change in allele frequency is what we call evolution from the perspective of molecular genetics. This is not only
how a species adapts but also how, over time, speciation may occur in conjunction with population isolation or with new environmental stresses.
If, after this explanation, you still "have a hard time figuring out" evolution/natural selection, I can only conclude that you are being willfully obstinate out of loyalty to your preconceived position. And that's perfectly fine, I'm all for people believing whatever they like. But if that is the case, you should probably stop offering that position as something deserving of any scientific recognition, because it isn't.
You also keep making references to "blind" evolution, which makes no sense. You seem to be buying into the idea that naturalistic evolutionary theory rests entirely on random events and this is not the case. This is where the whole natural selection thing I explained comes in. You may be using the term merely to contrast with the religious concept of "guided" evolution, but that's as superfluous a concept in light of natural selection as is the idea that a deity guides the motions of the planets around the sun in light of Newtonian physics. That is to say, even if it were true, it is untestable and must, by definition, describe a phenomenon in a way that exactly mirrors what science predicts. It is then useless except to reassure people in their religious convictions.