Darwin’s Finches: The Hype Continues

In #All, Apologetics, Biology, Creation, Science by Brian Johnson

Darwinian evolution is a theory that can best explain things if one focuses mostly on older scientific data. Keep in mind that Darwin didn’t have a degree in Biology, his degree was in Theology. This isn’t to say that he couldn’t have understood some of what he was observing but what he focused on was what we would call in modern times ‘microevolution’. From this idea of microevolution, for instance, a finch’s beak changes sizes based on the environment and food sources available, he then used this to simply extrapolate backwards the ideas that we would consider ‘macroevolution’. His ideas on macroevolution, however, were based mostly on ‘maybe, coulda, mighta’ speculative science but were enough to influence all kinds of people.

Fast forward to modern times. If you look at what science has discovered over the past 30 or so years it is extremely easy to infer, based on the empirical evidence, that a creation event took place with a Creator behind it all. Scientists are discovering that Darwinian evolution can’t do the things some people THINK it can do. Macroevolution is almost entirely based on assumptions and assertions. Evolutionists ‘assume’ certain things are possible via the Darwinian mechanisms and then they ‘assert’ to everyone that these things actually did happen. They seem to think that as long as they can come up with some way on paper that it could happen that means that it actually did happen. Some of this faith based speculative science is what our children are being taught as truth and a lot of people are being fooled.

In this article they break down Darwin’s Finches and show exactly what happens on the Galápagos Islands concerning these birds. As you can see there really isn’t much of anything happening but that doesn’t stop the main stream media from blowing up something that isn’t there. As you read this I want you to pay close attention as to the actual scientific evidence being presented and then match it to which idea best explains the evidence. Here are the two ideas I want you to use in your evaluation. First, a couple of definitions.

Kind – (Gen 1:24) A ‘kind’ is best illustrated as a ‘Family’ of organisms from a secular biological classification standpoint with a couple of exceptions. Dogs and Cats would be examples of different ‘kinds’ of organisms.

Family – A Family would be things like the Canine Family (dogs) or the Feline Family (cats).

Creation Theory – God created everything pretty much as we see them today. These organisms are able to adapt to their environment in small ways but they never change from being their same ‘kind’ (Family) of organism.

Darwinian Theory – Everything started from a single cell and then, via the purely natural mechanisms of Darwinian evolution, evolved into the diversity of life we see around us today. According to this idea we should see organisms eventually evolve from one Family (kind) of organisms into something that would no longer be considered the same Family (kind) of organisms.

Read the article below and then then match where the modern day observed evidence fits in terms of the above two ideas. One or the other? Both? This is how I personally approach the scientific evidence I read about on websites and peer reviewed journals.

Original article from Evolution News and Views

 

Darwin’s Finches: The Hype Continues

Every few years we are treated to glowing news stories about “Darwin’s finches.” The latest, published today in The Washington Post, is titled “200 years after Darwin, this is how the iconic Galápagos finches are still evolving,” and, as usual, it is full of hype.

When Charles Darwin visited the Galápagos Islands in 1835, he collected specimens of the local wildlife. These included some finches that he threw into bags, many of them mislabeled. Although the Galápagos finches had little impact on Darwin’s thinking (he doesn’t even mention them in The Origin of Species), biologists who studied them a century later called them “Darwin’s finches” and invented the myth that Darwin had correlated differences in the finches’ beaks with different food sources (he hadn’t). According to the myth, Darwin was inspired by the finches to formulate his theory of evolution, though according to historian of science Frank Sulloway “nothing could be further from the truth.”

In the 1970s, biologists studied a population of medium ground finches on one of the islands in great detail. When a severe drought left only large, hard-to-crack seeds, 85 percent of the birds perished. The survivors had beaks that were about 5 percent larger than the average beak size in the original population. The biologists estimated that if similar droughts occurred once every ten years, the population could become a new species in only 200 years. In a 1999 booklet defending evolution, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences called the finches “a particularly compelling example” of the origin of species.

But after the drought, birds with smaller beaks flourished again, and the average beak size of the population returned to normal. No net evolution had occurred. No matter; Darwin’s finches became an icon of evolution that is still featured in most biology textbooks.

In the 1980s, a population of large ground finches, with larger beaks than the medium ground finches, migrated to the island. When a drought in 2004-2005 again reduced the food supply, the medium and large ground finch populations both declined. But since even the largest beaks among the medium ground finches were no match for the beaks of the large ground finches, the latter pretty much monopolized the larger seeds and the former had to make do with smaller seeds. This time, the medium ground finches that survived the drought had beaks that were smaller than the average size in the original population. Biologists studying the finches argued that birds with smaller beaks were better able to eat the tiny seeds that were left after the large ground finches ate the big ones, and they concluded that this was again an example of “evolutionary change.”

Then those biologists, together with some colleagues, studied DNA sequences in the medium ground finches. They correlated several regions of DNA with the 2004-2005 decrease in average beak size, and they concluded that one region in particular, called HMGA2, is associated with beak size. (Note, however, that HMGA2 did not cause the decrease.)

Enter The Washington Post. According to today’s article, the biologists “pinpointed the bit of finch DNA behind the swift transition” in average beak size and “now have a pretty thorough blueprint of how these famous finches evolve.”

Wait a minute. Average beak size increased slightly during one drought, only to return to normal after the rains return. Then average beak size decreased slightly during another drought. A region of DNA is correlated with beak size. And somehow that tells us how finches evolved in the first place?

As Winston Churchill might say, “Never in the field of science was so much based by so many on so little.”