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BBC NEWS: “Scientists map elephant evolution”
Scientists from the U.S., Germany, and Switzerland have “calculated the date at which the African and the Asian elephant went their separate ways”—supposedly some 7.6 million years ago.
We would agree that the various elephantine creatures mentioned in the BBC article are likely all descended from similar ancestry.
Of course, such calculations are based on “facts” that are far from incontrovertible and on methods of interpretation based largely or wholly on presupposed uniformitarian and evolutionary dogma. For instance, this recent elephantine calculation is based on assumptions about the mutation rate, and founded on the idea that two organisms’ joint evolutionary ancestry is reflected in the differences in their genomes (itself an idea based on the presupposition of their long-age evolutionary divergence from common ancestry).
Although we certainly do not (and need not) agree on the timescale, we would agree that the various elephantine creatures mentioned in the BBC article—African and Asian elephants, mastodons, and woolly mammoths—are likely all descended from similar ancestry— the same biblical kind present at creation, as Michael Oard describes in The elephant kind. Oard explains,
The mammoths and mastodons that lived after the Flood may have diverged from two elephants that contained genes for all of the elephant kind. Mammoths are fairly close in anatomy to the Asian elephant. It is likely that if the woolly mammoth lived today that it could interbreed with the Asian elephant.
Ultimately, then, even if we concede the use of the term “evolution” in regard to these scientists’ calculations, it is undoubtedly a downhill form of evolution (the only kind ever observed), one that has reduced or merely shuffled existing overall genetic information over a much shorter period of time—and therefore gives no credence to the goo-to-you evolutionary hypothesis.
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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.