The basic premise of evolution is that plants and animals start out simple with little genetic information and over a course of millions of years they evolved more and more genetic information and become more complex. One complete kind of animal (amphibian) evolved into a completely different kind of animal (reptile). Each new step of evolution resulted in more genetic information.
The basic premise of creation is that God created all plant life on Day 3 of creation and all animal life on Days 5 and 6. When He created them, He designed them to have a wealth of genetic information which would help them adapt to new environments as they spread out across the earth. When Adam sinned, all of creation was cursed and death and disease entered the world. After 6,000 years of the Curse, plants and animals have slowly lost genetic information due to speciation and mutations, most of which are harmful, but not all of them.
To sum it all up, evolution should result in lots of new genetic information and lots of genetic variety in each new species to the point that we should be seeing new kinds of animals evolving. With creation, we expect to see less and less genetic information and variety with each new species which given enough time will generally lead to extinction.
So let’s take a look at some of the animals in the world see if we find more or less genetic information.
The rarest dog in the world is the Ethiopian wolf. They live in the highlands of Ethiopia at elevation of around 9,000-10,000 feet. They feed exclusively on high altitude rodents. Experts estimate that there are only about 500 of them left in the wild. They occur in six locations that are isolated from one another and this may be what could lead this rare wolf to extinction.
Scientists from England and Germany have spent 12 years studying the different population groups and gathering genetic samples to compare. Overall, there is quite a bit of genetic diversity in the entire population, however, it is not being shared between the individual populations. Each population is quite distant from the next, so their breeding is restricted to members of their own group. With each new generation, the amount of genetic diversity is less and less. Many of their genes are becoming fixed. The problem with this is that it makes them less adaptable to any diseases (such as rabies that killed many of them in the past) or environmental changes.
The only hope for survival is to try to connect each of the populations somehow, which may be near impossible. Wolves have strong family bonds and they rarely allow intruders to join the family packs. Scientists are considering using artificial insemination to introduce the genetic variations from one group into another group.
What we see in the study on the Ethiopian wolves is that they better fit the creationist model of genetic decline and the danger of becoming extinct.
Another animal being studied for its genetic diversity is the koala of Australia. Although they look cute and cuddly, more than one person has suffered severe injuries by trying to handle one in the wild. They can, and often are, quite aggressive and they have long sharp claws that they use for climbing and ripping open someone’s arm when trying to be picked up.
The study on koalas has looked at the amount of genetic diversity found in modern animals and those that lived as much as 120 years ago. Scientists were surprised to find that they had relatively low genetic diversity, meaning that they, like the Ethiopian wolves are more susceptible to diseases and changes to their environment.
Like the Ethiopian wolves, koalas also best fit the creationist model of an ever decreasing amount of genetic variety or diversity. Other animals suffering the same fate is the cheetah in Africa. There are efforts being made to recover DNA from cheetah skins from several hundred years ago and then try to artificially inseminate a living cheetah in hopes of restoring some of the diversity they have lost. If they are not successful, the African cheetah could well be on the brink of extinction.
There are many examples of animals and plants that have lost much of their genetic diversity like the Ethiopian wolf, koala and cheetah. A number of them end up going extinct every year. If evolution was true, we should see more new animals being created rather than so many disappearing or on the verge of disappearing as we actually observe.
Smith, Brett. Low Genetic Diversity Spells Bad News For Koalas, Red Orbit, Oct. 24, 2012.
Walker, Matt. Rarest dog: Ethiopian wolves are genetically vulnerable, BBC Nature News, Oct. 26, 2012.
By Ryan Jaroncyk
Illustrated by Lisa Sodera
Join Arkie the Archaeopteryx as he flies through an ancient jungle and meets many unique creatures that are also not missing links. This delightful adventure helps children look at the natural world through a biblical lens, giving glory to God.
Hardback, 48 pages