Question 78: How can I answer evolutionists related to the beak structure of finches, which form the basis of Darwin’s theory and which are included in almost all books of evolutionists?
Submitted by on Mon, 05/10/2020 - 14:38
Dear Brother / Sister,
Answer: Since the time of Darwin, evolutionists have claimed that the present-day Galapagos finches evolved from a species that came from South America in the past. These birds are presented as an example of evolution through natural selection and as evidence of biological diversity.1
In fact, Darwin did not mention finches very much in his book called “The Origin of Species”. The 20th century evolutionists made the finches famous.
Finches in the Galapagos Islands are divided into 14 species. Six of them are called “Ground Finches” as they feed on grass seeds on the ground and six of them are called “Tree Finches”. All of the tree finches except for one feed on insects. The striking point here is that each finch species has been created with a beak structure to enable them to meet their nutritional needs fully.
Grant et al. studied finches in the Galapagos Islands between 1970 and 1980. They determined the beak, wing and body measurements of the birds they caught with nets. After marking these birds with special tapes, they released the birds.
Galapagos Islands receive a lot of rainfall in certain periods, which are followed by dry periods. In the species that feed on grass seeds, the short-beaked individuals increase due to precipitation and hence abundance of weed seeds;
in the dry period, the short-beaked individuals decrease with the death of those that feed on grass seeds, and the number of long-beaked individuals feeding on other foods increases.
Grant and his team found that the finches that survived the drought had slightly larger bodies and slightly larger beaks than normal. They say that natural selection eliminated the finches that feed on only small seeds and they argue that the finches with large bills that could break open the shells of large and hard seeds survive.
They regarded 20 selections enough for the medium ground finch to turn into a large ground finch. If the drought was estimated to occur every ten years, this transformation was likely to occur in 200 years. At worst, this change could have happened in 2000 years,2,3.
Grant et al. found out that seeds abundantly increased with the rainfall in 1982-1983 and hence the average beak size of ground finches returned to the pre-1977 drought size. This state surprised evolutionist researchers, who expected a steady increase in beak size.4
The data obtained related to the change of finch beaks show that there is no change based on evolution. The average beak size sometimes increases around a fixed value in rainy seasons, and decreases a little in dry seasons; so, the beak size fluctuates depending on the rainfall. Therefore, there is no clear change.
As a matter of fact, Peter Grant himself likens this situation to the pendulum of a wall clock and states the following:
The finch population, subjected to natural selection, is oscillating back and forth like the pendulum of a wall clock.5
Danny Faulkner, a professor of Astronomy and Physics at South Carolina University, states that the finch beaks’ fluctuations cannot represent evidence of evolution:
And so if you have supposed microevolution one direction and then later it reverts right back to where it started from, that’s not evolution, it can’t be.6
The biologist Dr. Jonathan Wells of California University points out that the U.S. National Academy of Sciences deceived people with the statements in a booklet they published:
In a 1999 booklet defending evolution, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences called Darwin’s finches “a particularly compelling example” of the origin of species. The booklet cites the Grants’ work, and explains how “a single year of drought on the islands can drive evolutionary changes in the finches:“If droughts occur about once every 10 years on the islands, a new species of finch might arise in only about 200 years.” That is all. It does not mention that the selection reversed after the drought and that no change occurred based on evolution in the long run. Thus, the booklet hides a very important part of the evidence and displays an ideological attitude, not a scientific one, by deceiving people.7
It is completely an ideological effort, not a scientific one, that evolutionist researchers attribute the fluctuation in the finch beaks to evolution.
Some researchers state that the diversity of finch species is not as it is suggested. Various genetic studies on finches have shown that there is no genetic difference among these birds.8
Similarly, researchers from the Max Planck Institute and Princeton University stated in 1999that the classification of Galapagos finches at the molecular level cannot be made and they all have similar molecular structures.9
The Encyclopedia of Life Sciences mentions the same issue as follows:
There is no evidence that there is a definite genetic barrier among Darwin’s finch species 10.
In conclusion, Galapagos finches are actually subspecies of a single species. What Darwin and his supporters saw in the Galapagos Islands and put forward as “evolution” was actually structures that formed as a result of variation or combination. It is not possible for a new species to emerge with such variations.
Evolutionist biologists call the selection of variations belonging to a species by natural selection “microevolution.” Variations do not constitute evidence for evolution because variation is the emergence of existing genetic information with different matches. Variation does not give a new feature to genetic information.
If Galapagos finches mate with different matchings for thousands of years or were exposed to different climatic environments, only new variations will emerge; they will still remain as finches.
To put it briefly, the story of Galapagos finches is not a scientific result, but an ideological way of thinking based on atheism, presented under the guise of science.
1.Timothy A. Mousseau, Alexander E. Olvido, Geographical Variation, Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, 2000, g.els.net.
2.Peter R. Grant, “Natural Selection and Darwin’s Finches”, Scientific American, October 1991, p. 82-87.
3.Peter R. Grant, B. Rosemary Grant, “Speciation and Hybridization in Island Birds”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 351, 1996, p. 765-772; Peter R. Grant, B. Rosemary Grant, “Speciation and Hybridization of Birds on Islands”, p. 142-162 in Peter R. Grant (editor), Evolution on Islands, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998.
4.Peter R. Grant, B. Rosemary Grant, “Speciation and Hybridization in Island Birds”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 351, 1996, p. 765-772; Peter R. Grant, B. Rosemary Grant, “Speciation and Hybridization of Birds on Islands”, p. 142-162 in Peter R. Grant (editor), Evolution on Islands, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998.
5.Peter R. Grant, “Natural Selection and Darwin’s Finches”, Scientific American, October 1991, p. 82-87.
6.Gailon Totheroh, “Evolution Outdated”, 2001, http://www.discovery.org/viewDB/index.php3?program=CRSCstories&command=view&id=596.
7.Gailon Totheroh, “Evolution Outdated”, 2001, http://www.discovery.org/viewDB/index.php3?program=CRSCstories&command=view&id=596.
8.James L. Patton, “Genetical processes in the Galapagos”, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, vol. 21, 1984, p. 91-111; Nancy Jo, “Karyotypic Analysis of Darwin’s Finches”, p. 201-217; R.I Bowman, M. Berson, A.E. Leviton (Editors), Patterns of Evolution in Galapagos Organisms, CA: Pacific Division, AAAS, San Francisco, 1983.
9.A. Sato, C. O’Huigin, F. Figueroa, S.R. Grant, B.R. Grant, H. Tichy, J. Klein, ”Phylogeny of Darwin’s finches as revealed by mt DNA sequences”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 96, Issue 9, 27 Nisan 1999, p. 5101-5106.
10.Michaela Hau, Martin Wikelski, “Darwin’s Finches”, Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, 2000, www.els.net.
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