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Originally published in Creation 5, no 4 (April 1983): 9.
No one has ever seen a mutated lizard or snake which would give a clue as to how it could have evolved to become so legless, and yet so perfectly adapted to being a snake.
Have you ever noticed that snakes move rather differently from other reptiles? Those who claim snakes are simply the legless descendants of other reptiles, really don’t appreciate just how unique snakes are. No matter how carefully you removed the legs from a lizard, it would never move like a snake. Snakes move the way they do, because they have a distinctive backbone. To make a lizard or alligator into a snake, you would need to add special backbones, (vertebrae) in special places. Without these additional bones, snake movement just isn’t possible. Then there’s that mouth. You would need to add an extra row of teeth to start with, then specially reshape them. At the same time you must change and redesign the jaw with a new suspension unit, to give it the special unlockable snake-wide swallow ability.
The skull would then need re-inforcing to give more protection to the brain, and then you would have to change the shape of the throat so that it could breathe as well as swallow. All this before we even consider how to add special ducts and hollows for the snake’s venom or saliva, change the lungs, rebuild the eyes, and so it goes on.
Well, how would you make a snake? One way you wouldn’t, is by slow small changes (or mutations) to a legged reptile. No observed mutation can do anything like produce the special equipment in a snake, even if you started with a “soundly functional lizard”. Snakes have not evolved either slowly or rapidly from any other creatures we call reptiles. Not only is there no trace of transitional forms in the fossil record, but no one has ever seen a mutated lizard or snake which would give a clue as to how it could have evolved to become so legless, and yet so perfectly adapted to being a snake. In fact, snakes look so deliberately designed that scientists who say otherwise, haven’t really got a leg to stand on!