In Chile searching for a means to understand evolution and creation as both representing the truth, I remembered something that I had read in a Creationist book some 12 years earlier in 1980. I remembered the comment that the horse had ‘de-evolved’ not evolved. In effect, the primitive horse possessed four toes on the front legs and three toes on the back legs. Over time these had been reduced to one. The modern horse runs on one hoof on each leg i.e. one toe on each leg. This adapts it to fast running in grassland environments. (Incidentally the evolution of the horses’ teeth actually created these grasslands). This equine story is presented as a classic textbook proof of evolution. I’d stored this insight I’d read about in the back of my mind.
1992 Chile: Loss of parts – that rang a bell. I’d read The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin aged 14 and again aged 19. It was my favourite book. Darwin based much of his argument for Natural Selection on the observation of rudimentary organs. Many organisms have organs and parts that no longer serve a function, and yet are present in a very rudimentary way. When, in new circumstances an organ is not useful, it is reduced by Natural Selection until it is hardly present in some species, although fully developed in others.
Darwin commented that if species were created, then the presence of reduced, dysfunctional organs and parts makes no sense. Why would God create a form of life with dysfunctional parts? The God proclaimed by the church is a God of purpose. This is one of the most powerful arguments in favour of the operation of Natural Selection, and thus the belief that species have evolved from previous ancestors.
And yet, is this not the seed of its own destruction?