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No Speciation?

on May 8, 2010
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ScienceNOW: “Island Reptiles Buck an Evolutionary TrendRapid speciation (multiple species descending from a single population) is often cited as confirmation of the creation worldview. Can we say the same when no speciation occurs?

Creationists frequently argue that examples of rapid speciation support the creation worldview because such examples demonstrate how the diversity of life we see today could have arisen since the Flood. By contrast, such speciation is far faster than what evolutionists suspect.

Such speciation is far faster than what evolutionists suspect.

A study of lizards on the island of Martinique reveals the opposite situation: no apparent speciation in the last eight million years, according to a team led by Bangor University evolutionary biologist Roger Thorpe. The scientists believe the lizards on Martinique today once lived (eight million years ago) on four separate islands that now form Martinique. They expected greater genetic divergence during that supposed isolation, but according to the team’s research, genetic study shows that the lizards diverged too little to become separate species.

In a twist, the researchers report that, despite their conclusions about the last eight million years, the lizards may be in the process of speciation today. Different lizard populations have been split in different habitats on the island and now rarely interbreed. The result “really surprised” Thorpe, who added that “people need to rethink their assumptions” about how speciation works.

Or could it be that the team’s assumptions are wrong, both with regard to how long the lizards have lived on the ground now forming Martinique (eight million years or a few thousand?) and about how long (because of wrong evolutionary assumptions) it usually takes a species to diverge? Creationist models of animal dispersal and adaptation predict that from the time animals departed the Ark, they would have adapted rapidly to new environments, including through the process of speciation. And, of course, this process results in less genetic information, not more—the opposite of what Darwinian evolution requires.


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