Mega Problems for Bat Evolution

on September 1, 1992

Originally published in Creation 14(4):50, September 1992

Say ‘bats’ and most people think of what are known as microbats—the echo-locating, usually insect-eating types. But there are also larger megabats, such as the fruit bats.

In recent years, there has been a ‘passionate debate’ among evolutionists about whether or not the two types (lumped together in one order, the Chiroptera) are in fact related by common descent. This is because a fruit bat’s brain has specialized visual pathways which are much more like those of primates, the order which includes apes, monkeys and men.

So to be consistent, if judging evolutionary ancestry by similarities, some evolutionists have argued that we should view the megabats as descended from a common ancestor to monkeys and man, rather than from some common bat ancestor. But this raises huge problems.
It seems hard enough to imagine one line of mammals evolving powered flight. If megabats and microbats did not get their wing design from a common ancestor, they must have independently evolved the same design (so-called ‘parallel evolution’).

On the other hand, if all bats have evolved from one bat, then it means that by another remarkable coincidence, the visual pathways of megabats have independently evolved a similar design to that of primates.

Such arguments all assume the truth of evolution in discussing the significance of such similarities. Evidence which doesn’t fit is ‘explained away’ by each side by invoking ‘parallel evolution’. But the evidence beautifully fits the creation model of common design features, rather than common ancestry.

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