The Legless Snakes

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BBC News: “Studying How Snakes Got LeglessWhy and how did “serpents” lose their limbs? The research may move forward, but the answer stays (largely) the same.

Although evidence of limb-loss in snakes may seem like clear-cut evidence for the truth of Genesis 3, evolutionists have their own stories about how lizards or a form of marine reptile lost their limbs in becoming modern snakes. We wrote back in September 2009 that:

To some, a snake spontaneously growing a leg (or so it appears) would seem to be out-and-out proof of evolution. After all, if a snake can grow a leg, why couldn’t a fish grow feet, a dinosaur grow feathers, etc.? How could creationists explain the increase in genetic information that a snake leg would require?

But there’s a catch. Both evolutionists and creationists actually believe that snakes weren’t always legless. Evolutionists believe that snakes are the evolutionary descendants of lizards that gradually lost their legs (as we discussed in 2007 and 2008; thus, they view this legged snake as hearkening back to its evolutionary ancestors. As for creationists, we read in Genesis 3:14 that God punished the serpent for deceiving Eve[.]

A snake with “legs” neither threatens the creation model nor is any evidence of a genetic information-adding evolutionary transition.

This week’s news is the publication, at last, of research we described back in April 2008 . X-ray examinations of a snake fossil found in Lebanon in 2000 reveal a snake in “an early stage in limb loss.” The three-dimensional images from the X-ray scan revealed that the supposedly 95-million-year-old fossil was hiding ankle bones, though it lacked foot and toe bones. We repeat here the main points of our original analysis:

  1. If snakes once had legs they’ve now lost, this fits in perfectly with the creation model. The “evolution” we observe around us is all information-reducing, degenerating change. That is, creatures become less sophisticated from their original forms and actually lose features and functionality. It makes sense, then, that snakes may have been created with legs but that over time, natural selection in specific environments favored those without legs—a simpler form. That said, these so-called “legs,” which evolutionists admit were too short in this specimen to be used for ambulation, may have been used in copulation. Perhaps no snakes ever “walked” in any sense.
  2. Evolutionists conceptualize snakes as evolved lizards (or marine reptiles) because it’s the only conclusion from an evolutionary standpoint—yet this conclusion ignores the fact that snakes require a very specialized backbone and some snakes have unhinging jaws, also unlike other reptiles.

In short, a snake with “legs” neither threatens the creation model nor is any evidence of a genetic information-adding evolutionary transition.

Now what about the connection between this snake and the serpent of Genesis 3, which was cursed in Genesis 3:14 to crawl on its belly? As we’ve noted previously, fossilized snake forms are most likely from Noah’s Flood, more than a thousand years after the events in Genesis 3. Furthermore, Scripture isn’t specific about the anatomy of the Eden serpent nor if the curse on it applied to all “serpents” or just one. [For a recent perspective, see Did the Serpent Originally Have Legs?]

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