Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Stickleback Research

It's worth repeating that if Charles Darwin had explained that evolution proceeds in fits and starts, his theory would have been ridiculed from the start. Imagine if Darwin had explained that, according to his theory of evolution, species rapidly appear as if planted there, and then go unchanged for eons. Darwin would have been laughed off the stage. Darwin had to present a narrative of gradualism. Funny thing is, the fits-and-starts narrative is today precisely what evolutionists tell us.

Evolutionists have tried to justify the fits-and-starts narrative with evidence of rapid changes in fish morphology. Problem is, those rapid changes are too rapid. They are a sign of a built-in adaptive capability rather than a lucky accident which evolutionists envision. New research on stickleback fish continues to tell this story. Evolutionist Mike Shapiro was interviewed for this article, which explained that:

There are six and perhaps eight stickleback species, all in the Northern Hemisphere. They live in Europe; coastal North America north from northern Mexico on the Pacific and north from New York on the Atlantic; and all over coastal northern Asia. Like salmon, many live in the sea and swim upstream to spawn. Others live in lakes.

After Ice Age glaciers started melting some 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, sea-going sticklebacks swam up streams to newly formed lakes. Many populations of ninespine and threespine sticklebacks were trapped in lakes, creating an experiment in evolution.

They adapted very quickly and dramatically to these new freshwater environments," says Shapiro. "Some of the changes include shifts in body shape and size, the amount of armor on their bodies and, occasionally, complete loss of major structures like the pelvis. That's the equivalent of us losing our legs."

Such rapid adaptations do not help us understand why the fossil record is characterized by the rapid appearance of new species followed by eons of no change.