Intelligent Design

Darwin’s Finches Continue to Reveal More About Evolutionists Than Evolution

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Forty years ago biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant began an ongoing study of the different finch species on the Galápagos Islands. They gathered valuable data and during drought years they observed the finches adapt to the environmental challenges. In particular, the population of medium ground finches, Geospiza fortis, shifted toward a larger beak. This was because the drought left smaller seeds in scarce supply, and so those G. fortis with smaller beaks died off. These initial observations were followed with detailed studies of the changes that took place at the molecular level. The latest such study, published in February of this year, describes how a particular protein affects the embryonic development of the finch’s beak. All of this makes for a good case study in adaptation. Unfortunately, it also is a good case study in the misrepresentation of science by evolutionists.  Read more

19 Replies to “Darwin’s Finches Continue to Reveal More About Evolutionists Than Evolution

  1. 1
    Zachriel says:

    Cornelius Hunter: for Darwin they were powerful evidence because, he believed, they did not interbreed.

    Darwin was well-aware that organisms can hybridize, including, as he pointed out, crosses between finches and canaries. He noted that hybridization may result in a large number of offspring, but sterile; or a small number of offspring, but fertile; or any manner of degree of reproductive isolation. The degree of isolation roughly but not strictly follows systematic affinity.

    The fact remains that Darwin’s finches are separate species that share a common ancestor.

  2. 2
    Joe says:

    The fact remains that our concept of species is ambiguous and would have different populations of humans as different species.

    Also finches evolving into finches is exactly what baraminology predicts.

  3. 3
    StuartHarris says:

    The different hybrids, varieties or whatever word you want to use, of Darwin’s finches are not separate species any more than a German Shepard is a separate species from a Labrador Retriever.

    They can interbreed and create fertile offspring.

  4. 4
    Zachriel says:

    StuartHarris: The different hybrids, varieties or whatever word you want to use, of Darwin’s finches are not separate species any more than a German Shepard is a separate species from a Labrador Retriever.

    Most species of Darwin’s finches do not interbreed, and those that do, do so rarely; consequently, they maintain their distinguishing traits. Shepherds and Retrievers readily interbreed, and only maintain their distinguishing traits artificially.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    Zachriel: Most species of Darwin’s finches do not interbreed

    So?

    Zachriel: and those that do, do so rarely.

    So?

    Zachriel: consequently, they maintain their distinguishing traits

    So?

    Zachriel: Shepherds and Retrievers readily interbreed, and only maintain their distinguishing traits artificially.

    So?

    I guess that about sums it up.

  6. 6
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: Most species of Darwin’s finches do not interbreed, and those that do, do so rarely.

    Mung: So?

    We answered this already. Because of limited gene flow, they maintain the traits that distinguish them as a species.

    Zachriel: Shepherds and Retrievers readily interbreed, and only maintain their distinguishing traits artificially.

    Mung: So?

    It means they are not separate species. They’re not even separate subspecies, but breeds of Canis lupus familiaris.

  7. 7
    Joe says:

    Zachriel is back to declaring different populations of humans as different species “Because of limited gene flow, they maintain the traits that distinguish them as a species”.

  8. 8
    Mapou says:

    Who cares if small beak finches and large beak finches interbreed or not? The fact is that they did not undergo any kind of mutations and selection in order to change their beak sizes. They are simply genetically programmed to adapt to environmental changes.

    Epigenetics is ringing a loud bell in the Galápagos islands and I can hear it thousands of miles away. Who needs Darwinists and their pseudoscience?

  9. 9
    arkady967 says:

    You don’t mind if it is true, but someone else minds, very much, if it isn’t. Indeed, they won’t have it. So, the sort of distortion necessary to confirm the theory, will happen regardless of the data. Teaching critical thinking skills, and applying them to the dogma, would be a nice place to start. I’m guessing that won’t be allowed to happen.

  10. 10
    mahuna says:

    Darwin had no idea what a species was, and all of his comments on species are guesses.

    In “Origin of Species”, Darwin, who in later life became a collector and breeder of pigeons, perhaps the most well informed person in the world on pigeons, declares that there is only ONE “specie” of pigeon. In fact, there are over 300.

    In the same chapter, Darwin, who had friends who bred dogs, declares that there are THREE “species” of domesticated dog. In fact, there is only one.

    That is, holding 2 animals of the SAME specie in his hands, he couldn’t recognize them as the same specie. And holding 2 animals of DIFFERENT species in his hands, he couldn’t recognize them as different. So, nothing that Darwin ever wrote or said about “species” has any particular meaning.

    Some animals and plants LOOK alike, and some animals and plants do NOT look alike. Beyond that, Darwin is worthless.

  11. 11
    Zachriel says:

    Mapou: The fact is that they did not undergo any kind of mutations and selection in order to change their beak sizes.

    Grant & Grant showed that the characteristics were heritable. Changes in heritable traits in response to changes in the environment is called natural selection.

    mahuna: Darwin had no idea what a species was, and all of his comments on species are guesses.

    Darwin very much knew what a species was, as did other scientists of the day with whom he collaborated.

    mahuna: In “Origin of Species”, Darwin, who in later life became a collector and breeder of pigeons, perhaps the most well informed person in the world on pigeons, declares that there is only ONE “specie” of pigeon.

    False. Darwin was well-aware of the many species of pigeon, however, all domestic pigeons are a single species, a subspecies of Columba livia.

    mahuna: In the same chapter, Darwin, who had friends who bred dogs, declares that there are THREE “species” of domesticated dog.

    Again, that is false. Darwin knew there was only a single species of dog, but speculated that the common ancestor might have been a hybrid of various canine species. On this Darwin was wrong. Dogs are descendants of a common ancestor with the gray wolf, with admixture from modern wolves.

    mahuna: Beyond that, Darwin is worthless.

    Yet Darwin was considered a scientists of the first rank, even before he published his work on evolution.


    ETA: You may want to read Origin of Species, at least the relevant sections, and not rely on quote-mines.

  12. 12
    Joe says:

    If Darwin had half the knowledge that Zachriel thinks he had he would never have proposed his “theory”. The different breeds of dogs meet the species concept, as do different populations of humans.

  13. 13
    StuartHarris says:

    Zachriel: “Most species of Darwin’s finches do not interbreed, and those that do, do so rarely; consequently, they maintain their distinguishing traits. Shepherds and Retrievers readily interbreed, and only maintain their distinguishing traits artificially.”

    It’s just the geographic isolation of the finches that makes them interbreed rarely, not genetics. They all have the same genome. You could make your same point about the past history of humans and call different races of humans different species because for a long period they were reproductively isolated from one another.

    The creation of whole new genomes is what is at question with evolution. Darwin’s finches tell us nothing regarding this.

  14. 14
    wd400 says:

    It’s just the geographic isolation of the finches that makes them interbreed rarely, not genetics. They all have the same genome

    Nah.

    The creation of whole new genomes is what is at question with evolution

    All genomes are related to other genomes, so it’s the modification of genomes that evolution has to explain.

  15. 15
    StuartHarris says:

    wd400,

    Yes I agree. By creation of a whole new genome I mean the modification of one to the extant that it is no longer compatible with its ancestral genome. Darwin’s finches do not demonstrate this.

    These discussions usually orbit around our varying definitions of the words “species”, “genome”, “evolution” and so forth. No other field of science has terms as elastic as these.

  16. 16
    Zachriel says:

    StuartHarris: It’s just the geographic isolation of the finches that makes them interbreed rarely, not genetics.

    It’s called allopatric speciation. See Grant & Grant, The secondary contact phase of allopatric speciation in Darwin’s finches, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2009.

    StuartHarris: They all have the same genome.

    Um, no. Lamichhaney et al., Evolution of Darwin’s finches and their beaks revealed by genome sequencing, Nature 2015.
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-74PY.....chTree.gif

    StuartHarris: You could make your same point about the past history of humans and call different races of humans different species because for a long period they were reproductively isolated from one another.

    Humans readily interbreed, while most species of Darwin’s finches rarely interbreed. Moreover, human genetic isolation has been incomplete and even then only occurred in limited populations recently, over the last few tens-of-thousands of years. Humans are not only the same species, but the same subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens.

    On the other hand, Darwin’s Finches have been diversifying for several million years, though hybridization is still important for understanding their evolutionary history.

    wd400: Nah.

    Okay, you got there first.

    StuartHarris: By creation of a whole new genome I mean the modification of one to the extant that it is no longer compatible with its ancestral genome.

    By your reckoning, there could be no such thing as a hybrid. Interspecific hybridization and even intergeneric hybridization occurs occasionally in birds. That doesn’t mean they aren’t separate species. We don’t generally expect complete reproductive isolation to occur in human timescales, though it is sometimes observed in plants.

  17. 17
    wd400 says:

    : By creation of a whole new genome I mean the modification of one to the extant that it is no longer compatible with its ancestral genome.

    Google for “dobzhansky-muller incompatibility”. The sort of thing yo are talking abotu requires only two mutations, and no selection (although adaptive models of speciation will work faster)

    These discussions usually orbit around our varying definitions of the words “species”, “genome”, “evolution” and so forth. No other field of science has terms as elastic as these.

    Species are fundamentally fuzzy objects, and our language reflects this. If you read the literature of the mathematical treatment you’ll see it’s very precise, and can be applied to empirical examples.

  18. 18
    Mung says:

    I like fuzzy objects.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    as to the claim of empirical evidence for speciation. That claim, like Twain’s death, is greatly exaggerated:

    “A matter of unfinished business for biologists is the identification of evolution’s smoking gun,”… “the smoking gun of evolution is speciation, not local adaptation and differentiation of populations.”
    Keith Stewart Thomson – evolutionary biologist – Natural Selection and Evolution’s Smoking Gun, – American Scientist – 1997

    “Perhaps the most obvious challenge is to demonstrate evolution empirically. There are, arguably, some 2 to 10 million species on earth. The fossil record shows that most species survive somewhere between 3 and 5 million years. In that case, we ought to be seeing small but significant numbers of originations (new species) .. every decade.”
    Keith Stewart Thomson, Professor of Biology and Dean of the Graduate School, Yale University (Nov. -Dec. American Scientist, 1997 pg. 516)

    Wired Science: One Long Bluff – Refuting a recent finch speciation claim – Jonathan Wells – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: “Does the report in Wired Science mean that “biologists have witnessed that elusive moment when a single species (of Galapagos finch) splits in two?” Absolutely not.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....bluff.html

    Selection and Speciation: Why Darwinism Is False – Jonathan Wells:
    Excerpt: there are observed instances of secondary speciation — which is not what Darwinism needs — but no observed instances of primary speciation, not even in bacteria. British bacteriologist Alan H. Linton looked for confirmed reports of primary speciation and concluded in 2001: “None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....why_d.html

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.
    – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

    “The closest science has come to observing and recording actual speciation in animals is the work of Theodosius Dobzhansky in Drosophilia paulistorium fruit flies. But even here, only reproductive isolation, not a new species, appeared.”
    from page 32 “Acquiring Genomes” Lynn Margulis

    At one of her many public talks, she [Lynn Margulis] asks the molecular biologists in the audience to name a single unambiguous example of the formation of a new species by the accumulation of mutations. Her challenge goes unmet.
    Michael Behe – Darwin’s Black Box – Page 26

    The Trouble with Darwin by Kas Thomas – February 16, 2014
    Excerpt: Darwin’s landmark work was called The Origin of Species, yet it doesn’t actually explain in detail how speciation happens (and in fact, no one has seen it happen in the laboratory, unless you want to count plant hybridization or certain breeding anomalies in fruit flies). Almost everything in evolutionary theory is based on “survival of the fittest,” a tautology that explains nothing. (“Fittest” means most able to survive. Survival of the fittest means survival of those who survive.) The means by which new survival skills emerge is, at best, murky. Of course, we can’t expect Darwin himself to have proposed detailed genetic or epigenetic causes for speciation, given that he was unaware of the work of Mendel, but the fact is, even today we have a hard time figuring out how things like a bacterial flagellum first appeared.
    When I was in school, we were taught that mutations in DNA are the driving force behind evolution, an idea that is now thoroughly discredited. The overwhelming majority of non-neutral mutations are deleterious (reducing, not increasing, survival). This is easily demonstrated in the lab. Most mutations lead to loss of function, not gain of function. Evolutionary theory, it turns out, is great at explaining things like the loss of eyesight, over time, by cave-dwelling creatures. It’s terrible at explaining gain of function.
    It’s also terrible at explaining the speed at which speciation occurs. (Of course, The Origin of Species is entirely silent on the subject of how life arose from abiotic conditions in the first place.) It doesn’t explain the Cambrian Explosion, for example, or the sudden appearance of intelligence in hominids,,,
    http://bigthink.com/devil-in-t.....ith-darwin

    The Receding Myth of “Junk DNA” – Jonathan Wells – October 6, 2011
    Excerpt: Farrell is shocked by my statement in The Myth of Junk DNA that biologists have never observed speciation (the origin of a new species) by natural selection. He refers to “extensive work being done in the field” by two biologists, H. Allen Orr and Matthew L. Niemiller.
    But Orr and Niemiller study the genetics of existing species and try to find evidence supporting hypotheses about their origins. As I documented in my 2006 book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, there is nothing in the scientific literature showing that they or any others have ever observed the origin of a new species by natural selection.
    In plants, new species have been observed to originate by chromosome doubling (polyploidy). But speciation by polyploidy is not due to natural selection (nor to genetic drift, another process mentioned by Farrell), and even evolutionary biologists acknowledge that polyploidy does not solve Darwin’s problem.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....51651.html

    “Despite a close watch, we have witnessed no new species emerge in the wild in recorded history. Also, most remarkably, we have seen no new animal species emerge in domestic breeding. That includes no new species of fruitflies in hundreds of millions of generations in fruitfly studies, where both soft and harsh pressures have been deliberately applied to the fly populations to induce speciation. And in computer life, where the term “species” does not yet have meaning, we see no cascading emergence of entirely new kinds of variety beyond an initial burst. In the wild, in breeding, and in artificial life, we see the emergence of variation. But by the absence of greater change, we also clearly see that the limits of variation appear to be narrowly bounded, and often bounded within species.”
    Kevin Kelly from his book, “Out of Control”

    “Whatever we may try to do within a given species, we soon reach limits which we cannot break through. A wall exists on every side of each species. That wall is the DNA coding, which permits wide variety within it (within the gene pool, or the genotype of a species)-but no exit through that wall. Darwin’s gradualism is bounded by internal constraints, beyond which selection is useless.”
    R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990)

    It’s official: there are no ring species – July 2014
    Excerpt: A while back, when I said in the comments of an evolution post that there were no good “ring species,” a few readers asked me what I meant by that. “What about the salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii? Or seagulls in the genus Larus? Aren’t those good ring species?” My answer was that those had been shown not to be ring species in the classic sense, but there was still one species that might be a candidate: the greenish warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides around the Tibetan Plateau.
    But now that one, too, has been struck off the list of ring species, leaving no good cases.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....g-species/

    Here is a detailed refutation, by Casey Luskin, to TalkOrigins severely misleading site on the claimed evidence for observed macro-evolution (speciation);

    Specious Speciation: The Myth of Observed Large-Scale Evolutionary Change – Casey Luskin – January 2012 – article
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....55281.html

    Here is part 2 of a podcast exposing the Talk Origin’s speciation FAQ as a ‘literature bluff’

    Talk Origins Speciation FAQ, pt. 2: Lack of Evidence for Big Claims – Casey Luskin – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....9_41-08_00

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