Science news articles speak freely of the evolution of this or that, but the fine print often shows a disconnect with the evolution explanation.  Can one speak of the evolution of something that has not changed for millions or years?  The details in the following stories raise questions whether anything significant has evolved in the sense Darwin meant – from simple to complex.

1. The evolution of horses:  New Scientist featured a six-picture gallery of horses with the headline, “The not-so-natural history of horse evolution.”  It was clear from the photos, however, that all the horses except two are modern products of artificial breeding.  The first photo showed an artist reconstruction of Hyracotherium, “considered by palaeontologists to be the earliest horse.”  Even granting that, the creature had more toes than modern horses, and differed little from modern horses except in size (i.e., it had all the horsy equipment of body plan, internal organs, and systems).  Przewalski’s horse, an endangered species, “the last true wild horse,” is a member of the same genus as all modern horses.  Whatever evolution the article promised seems trivial, but the subhead read, “NewScientist traces the course of horse evolution and breeding from their ancient origins and wild forms to the first cloned racehorse.”

2. The evolution of tunicates:  An article on PhysOrg promised hat a “Study sheds light on tunicate evolution.”  Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution compared one gene, 185 rDNA, between 72 species of thaliacens, subgroups of tunicates that live primarily in sea plankton.  The group, they said, was monophyletic, “indicating that the pyrosomes, salps, and doliolids arose from a common ancestor,” the article explained, claiming that the study allowed them to gain “new insights on evolutionary relationships both within the Thaliacea and between thaliaceans and other tunicates.”  This claim ignores whether or not creationists would classify these pelagic filter-feeders, all with similar levels of complexity, within a single created kind.  It also makes its judgment based on one gene, when comparisons of different genes and proteins are often known to lead to different phylogenies….

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