According to the prevailing evolutionary theory, the history of life on earth is supposed to look like one huge tree. It starts with a single trunk splits into two and begins to branch off further and further and further until you have millions of small branches. Those animal groups that are the oldest should be further down on the tree and therefore produce a greater number of branches (species) than younger groups.
A team of researchers from U.C.L.A. set out to study the evolutionary tree of life covering approximately 1.2 million species. They expected to find older animal groups such as the 250 million year old crocodiles and alligators to have given rise to more species than a younger group such as the 50 million year old dolphins. However, there are only 23 species of crocodilians and more than 25 species of dolphins.
Co-author of the article and associate professor of ecology, Michael Alfaro commented saying:
When we look across the tree of life, the age of the group tells us almost nothing about how many species we would expect to find. In most groups, it tells us nothing.
We know that some groups, like flowering plants or cichlid fishes, have been exceptionally good at producing species during certain periods of their evolutionary history. However, when we look at the ages of all of the major groups of plants and animals, these differences in speciation rate are not sufficient to explain the differences in species number that exist in extant groups.
In an attempt to explain why some species are more adaptive to producing new species than others, they looked at the possibility of what is called the adaptive zone. This is where a group of related species such as the crocodilians diversify enough to fill their particular adaptive zone. Once the zone is filled, very few new species will be filled.
Occasionally, a new species can emerge that is able to extend beyond the adaptive zone. In this case, the new species moves away and creates its own adaptive zone and repeats the process all over again until this new adaptive zone is once again filled.
When they applied the adaptive zone theory to their findings, they discovered that this did not match the data they had collected, so that did not seem to be a viable theory. Their conclusion is that there is no correlation between the age of a group of organisms and the number of species they have produced. This posits a question for the entire evolutionary theory which calls for such a correlation to exist.
In reality, their findings fully support the creationist view of the origin of life. Instead of starting with a single tree of life and branching out, biblical creation starts with a whole field of bushes, each bush representing a created kind. The only difference in the age of each group is a matter of days. Plants were created on Day 3. Everything that flies and all aquatic life were created on Day 5 and all land animals and man were created on Day 6. At the most, there is 3 days difference in age of plant groups and land animal groups.
As you examine the bush of each created kind, you will find that some will branch out more than others. This is to be expected. For example, if you plant 100 rose bushes and come back in 5 years and count each individual branch, the odds of any 2 having the same number of branches are slim, but it could happen.
Some plants and animals have longer lifespans than other, so you would expect fewer branches on these. We know that God designed every living thing with a certain amount of genetic diversity, but we don’t know how much diversity. The number of chromosomes and genes vary from created kind to created kind so some will have more diversity than others.
The Curse will also affect the created kinds differently. Some may find themselves more susceptible to fatal genetic mutations which could greatly limit the number of species they could create. Others may be more susceptible to diseases or environmental changes which could adversely affect the number of different species they produce.
There are a host of reasons that could affect the ability to generate new species within each created kind, but you have to realize that they are still the same kind. A crocodile, alligator, caiman, and gharial are still a crocodilian. This is not evolution, but de-evolution. In the vast majority of cases, each new species has less genetic variation than the parent species. The more they continue to speciate, the less and less genetic information the new species carry. This generally continues until the species has so little genetic variation left that it is no longer to adapt to any changes in environment, diet, climate, disease, etc., and they go extinct. The cheetah is at that stage right now.
Therefore, I would like to thank Professor Alfaro and his team for showing how the real facts of biology pose a problem to the theory of evolution, but fully support the creationist model of the origins of life. As I have said so often, this type of study takes me to one of my favorite Bible passages, Job 12:7-10:
But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In) his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.
Smith, Bret. Why Do Some Younger Animal Families Have More Species Than Older Families?, Red Orbit, Aug. 29, 2012.
In 1831 a young amateur scientist, Charles Darwin, boarded HMS Beagle on an epic five-year voyage of discovery.
2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Darwins birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, Origin of Species. The Voyage that Shook the World retraces Darwins journey, exploring the places and discoveries crucial to the formulation of his Theory of Evolution.
Filmed in South America, UK, North America, Australia and Europe, The Voyage features dramatic period recreations and stunning nature cinematography interwoven with scholars sharing their perspectives on the man and the controversy.
A fascinating and thought-provoking opportunity to gain new insight into The Voyage that Shook the World.
Special features include:
- The making of The Voyage
- Extended interviews
- Directors introduction
- About CMI
Subtitles: For technical reasons, the NTSC version (available via our US and Canadian webstores) could only support 18 subtitle options: Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Czech, English (for hearing-impaired), Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.
Format: NTSC (Suitable for US and Canada)