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Lizards Touted as Proving Evolution

on November 18, 2006
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National Geographic News: Evolution's “Driving Force” Shifts Based on Behavior, Study Says

“Darwin got it right!” Observations are “confirming Charles Darwin's theory on natural selection!” With such sensational headlines and stories, it's no wonder much of the public believes science has “proven” evolution.

So what's really going on in this story? Scientists in the Bahamas have been carefully observing the leg lengths of brown anole lizards after scientists released predatory curly-tailed lizards onto the islands. At first, natural selection served to increase the average length of anole legs, as the longer-legged, faster anoles could escape the curly-tailed lizards. But then:

[A]s the anoles increasingly sought safety in trees, where the bulky curly-tails could not pursue them, shorter-legged lizards were favored for their superior climbing ability.

The fact that this “evolution” has happened fast helps show how rapid speciation could have occurred after the Flood.

Now, from a creationist perspective, what's happening is pretty straightforward: natural selection (Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?, not Darwin's idea, by the way) is altering average leg lengths in a population by working on pre-existing information. This sort of so-called “evolution” will never generate new genetic information, such as a special organ to help the anoles fight the curly-tailed lizards. Furthermore, the fact that this “evolution” has happened fast helps show how rapid speciation could have occurred after the Flood.

Team leader Jonathan Losos comments that the study “demonstrates that evolutionary biology can be a predictive, experimental science like any other.” Yet this sort of “evolutionary biology” is nothing like the sort that allegedly shows how humans evolved from a primordial ocean, and which is based not on any experimentation or prediction but rather on naturalistic assumptions.

In a similar story this week, scientists encouraged the “evolution” of robotic tadpoles by “mating” the best swimmers to see how swimming ability increased. (The mating was actually a computer generated “genetic mixing.”) Yet again, this robotic “evolution” only worked on the designs the scientists had come up with-it's not as though one of the robotic amphibians mutated into a robotic reptile!


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