In previous articles, we observed that Noah took just a few thousand animals on board the gigantic barge known as the Ark. The animals stepped off the Ark, migrated all around the globe, and gave rise to new species within the last few thousand years. Furthermore, genetics seems to indicate that speciation is ongoing.
These revolutionary conclusions are at odds with the typical evolutionary narrative. According to Darwin, species take millions of years to form, and the concept of rapid speciation contradicts the evolutionists’ established claims of the last 150 years.
Or have we missed something?
Darwin’s Opening Argument for Common Ancestry
Careful reexamination of the first two chapters of Darwin’s seminal work, On the Origin of Species, leads to a surprising conclusion.1 To see where Darwin’s logic leads, the historical context for his arguments is critical.
In Darwin’s day, his opponents were advocates of a concept termed species fixity. The proponents of species fixity believed that the Hebrew min were species, not biological families. Furthermore, they thought that these species were unchanging, fixed, and unable to form new species. In other words, the creationists of 1859 did not carefully exegete the Scriptures in the manner that we did in a previous post.
Darwin’s first argument against the view of species fixity was clever. He didn’t appeal to the fossil record or to millions of years of earth history. Darwin didn’t invoke embryonic recapitulation or the geographic distribution of species around the globe. Instead, Darwin used his opponents’ own logic against them.
Even though species fixity advocates rejected the formation of new species, they accepted the formation of new breeds within a species. For example, the horse species has a tremendous variety in breeds. These domesticated groups of individuals display a magnificent diversity in body size, muscle tone, coat length, coat color, and other features. Proponents of species fixity agreed that all of this variety arose from a common ancestor—the horse species.
Darwin posed a challenge to his opponents: Compare the variety in breeds to the variety in species. For example, compare the diversity in horse breeds to the diversity in horse-like species. If breeds have a common ancestor yet vary so widely, why deny the common ancestry of species, which vary less widely? If so much change can arise from a common horse breed ancestor, then surely a lesser amount of change can arise from the common ancestor to a few horse-like species!
In Darwin’s day, the comparison would have been even easier. Today, a significant gap exists between the striped species (e.g., the zebras) and the unstriped species (e.g., asses and horses). Back then, a creature called the quagga existed, which was partially striped, implying that formation of non-striped species from striped species was plausible.
Today, creationists would find no fault in Darwin’s argument. It is entirely consistent with the biblical view of speciation that we derived in our previous post. In fact, if you take Darwin’s argument one step further, you can argue both for the formation of new species within a kind and against the change of one kind into another kind. For example, according to evolution, the next closest living relatives to horse-like creatures are rhinos and tapirs. It should be immediately obvious that all the variety in horse breeds could never bridge the gap between horse-like creatures and their supposed evolutionary cousins. Kinds don’t change into other kinds.2
Applying Darwin’s Logic to the Timescale Question
Darwin’s argument also contains an implicit piece of evidence against his overall timescale. Based on the fossil record and the geology of his day, Darwin claimed that species took a long time to form. Modern evolutionists agree with him and put the timescale in the millions-of-years realm. Yet taken one step further, Darwin’s breed-species comparison demonstrates that species must have arisen recently.
This fact becomes obvious when we employ the same strategy that Darwin did against his opponents in 1859. Using the evolutionists’ own claims, we can show that they are inconsistent with themselves. For example, evolutionists would concede that animal breeds arose recently—recent by the standard of their timescale.3 Why? Because breeds, by definition, were the result of intentional activity by intelligent humans. According to the evolutionary timescale, intelligent humans did not exist until recently—within the last 200,000 years. Thus, 200,000 years represents the upper time boundary for the origin of domestic breeds.
In fact, when we explore the evolutionary literature further, some evolutionists put the timescale of breed origins within the last 12,000 years.4
Comparing the variety in breeds and species, evolutionists are forced to concede the recent origin of the latter. As we observed, breeds have more variety than species (e.g., see images above). Yet evolutionists would say that all this breed variety appeared within thousands of years—perhaps within the last 12,000 years. At the same time, they would insist that the small amount of variety among species in the wild took millions of years to form. This logic is not consistent.
Thus, by the evolutionists own standard—by Darwin’s own standard!—species must have arisen recently.5
Even though this timescale it not the biblical one, the argument we just followed is a strong chain of reasoning against the evolutionary view. For evolutionists to reject it, they would have to throw out the first two chapters of Darwin’s foundational work. To lose the first two chapters would, in effect, require the evolutionists to engage the species fixity proponents anew.
In response to this claim, evolutionists would likely invoke data from other scientific fields to argue for millions of years. But this would do them no good. Instead of helping their contentions, it would expose a secret that evolutionists have kept hidden since 1859.