Evolution’s “Tremendous Explanatory Power”
Evolution has a remarkable ability to generate all kinds of explanations. Consider a new study that found “spectacular morphological diversity” among sea snakes that “appear to have diverged very recently and rapidly.” Of particular interest were two species of the snakes with almost indistinguishable genomes, but one is longer with a large head and feeds on crevice-dwelling eels while the other is shorter with a small head and feeds on eels in burrows. How could such a rapid evolutionary change occur? An evolutionist explained it this way:
One way this could have happened is if the ancestral species was large-headed, and a population rapidly evolved small heads to probe eel burrows -- and subsequently stopped interbreeding with the large-headed forms.
Once again evolution produced an explanation. The small-headed snakes rapidly evolved “to probe eel burrows.” But aside from the borrowed Aristotelian teleology (in evolution snakes do not evolve in order to probe burrows, or anything else for that matter), if there were no small-headed snakes then the evolutionists could have just as easily produced an explanation for why no such evolution occurred.
In other words, evolution produces explanations for what is observed. No matter how surprising the science is, evolution can always adjust and produce a new explanation to replace the old one. But the ability to produce explanations is not the same as tremendous explanatory power.