The Coming New Species

Should We Expect to See Strange Creatures Soon?

Looking at the variety of animals and plants in the world, it is obvious that they all are related in varying degrees to one another. Lions are members of the felidae family, for example, and all cats are in the order carnivora; and they are mammals, and vertebrates, and all are animals. Both plants and animals have cells whose internal structure is almost identical, save that plant cells have cell walls, and some have chloroplasts. The fossil record cialis turnt clearly shows that new species appear and are similar to earlier species. Many eventually have become extinct, only to be replaced by new (but also similar) species. It is obvious that some kind of evolution, or something like evolution, has been taking place; and it also seems likely that natural selection, as Darwin believed, has played some role in it. But a closer look at the fossil record, a more careful consideration of the evidence, shows that random mutation combined with natural selection (neo-Darwinism) does not adequately explain the process. Remember that Darwin had never heard of genetics or of mutation, and the complex internal structure of living cells was virtually unknown in his time. The fact is that only intelligent design can explain the development of life on Earth. Entire books have been written on this subject, so here it is only possible to summarize some of the main points. But first it is only honest to admit that intelligent design requires a Designer, and, almost by definition, only a Supreme Being would have the power, the knowledge, the longevity, and the sheer patience to tinker with living organisms for at least 3.85 billion years. This is not intended to be an endorsement of any particular religion.

The strongest evidence for intelligent design includes irreducible complexity (a phrase first used by biochemist Michael Behe), the immense gaps in the fossil record, and the existence of symbiotic relationships between different species.

Irreducible complexity means that certain organs or groups of organs are only viable in their complete and finished form. For example, most of the complex internal structure of living cells had to be there from the beginning, or the cells would not have survived…no intermediate forms are viable. Consider the flagellum, a whip-like tail on some cells that spins around rather like the screw on a ship and propels the creature forward. It is powered by rotor and stator rings of tiny organelles that are electrochemically charged, like organic electric motors. If the organism had only the tail, or only one ring, or even both rings with no tail, it would not be capable of swimming and would have invested much of its energy in worthless appendages that, in accordance with Darwin’s own insistence on natural selection, would have doomed most such creatures, so that they would not live to reproduce. No single mutation could produce the tail and the rings all at once…but they all had to be there at once.

Another example is the complex blood clotting process that saves us from bleeding to death from minor wounds…every step in the process had to be there at once, or we would not even be here. Still another example would be feathers, particularly the intricate flight feathers with their complex, branching structure and filaments held together by canadian pharmacy tiny hooks. It is another case of all or nothing; without the entire structure the feathers would be less effective for insulation than down feathers and worthless for flight. There would be no birds in the sky.

And then there are the immense gaps in the fossil record. Now, it is true that most plant and animal remains never become fossilized; many fossils are destroyed by erosion, landslides, or volcanism; and many are subducted into the mantle or simply buried so deeply by sediments that they are never found. So it is hardly surprising that, for example, there are no intermediates to explain the slight differences in Darwin’s finches on various islands in the Galapagos chain. But what about truly major leaps? What about animals or plants moving from sea to land, or from the land into the air or back into the sea? The changes necessary are extreme, and few or no intermediates have ever been found. The Darwinists can claim a few possible intermediates in the movement of both arthropods and vertebrates from the sea onto the land, such as lobe-finned fishes, but there are still many gaps. The same problem exists for the transformation of land animals into whales…only a few possible intermediates have ever been found, leaving huge gaps.

Consider, for example, marine reptiles, the plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs that appeared during the middle Triassic to early Jurassic periods. These animals had flippers, not legs, and their young were born alive to survive in the water (earlier reptiles laid eggs). The only possible intermediate ancestors ever discovered would be the Triassic nothosaurs, which looked rather like crocodiles, although they were not related to them, and this leaves several wide gaps.

But far more damning to Darwinism is the repeated “invention” of flight. One day there were crawling insects. Then, quite suddenly, some two hundred fifty to three canada pharmacy online rx hundred million years BP (before the present) in the Permian period there were many species of flying insects, most of them not even related to one another. Flight requires wings and control surfaces, an engine (very efficient muscles and respiratory and circulatory systems), and a pilot (an animal with excellent vision and flight behavior). If any of these elements is not present, the animal cannot fly. There should at least be a few climbing and gliding insects in the fossil record, but there are none. Flight just appeared all at once, the whole package, and did so repeatedly. This happened again with the flying reptiles, the pterosaurs, who first flew in the late Triassic, about two hundred twenty million years BP. Some later versions had fur and lacked teeth, so they may not have even been reptiles anymore. Once again, there are no gliding ancestors. Birds, structurally similar to small theropod dinosaurs, date back to the Jurassic, some one hundred sixty million years BP. All at once, they had wings, flight feathers, powerful chest muscles, strong hearts and lungs, excellent vision, and all the skills necessary. Even though at least one early example, archaeopteryx, had teeth and a somewhat reptilian tail, it was still a complete bird. No gliders have been found. Those flying mammals, the bats, date back to the Eocene epoch, or perhaps as far back as the late Cretaceous; and, again, they had the whole package at once, and also a kind of sonar. No intermediates have ever been found.

Angiosperms, or flowering plants, presumably “evolved” from gymnosperms (like pine trees). All at once, about one hundred forty million years BP, they arrived with flowers and fruit. No intermediates have been found, although many gymnosperms at least had seeds. But flowers exist to attract pollinators, which are then rewarded with nectar. And animals that scatter the seeds in their droppings eat fruits with indigestible seeds. Here we have symbiosis and an unbridgeable gap in the fossil record combined. If a plant wasted its energy producing flowers and nectar without pollinators, it would be unlikely to survive. And why would bees “evolve” nectar-eating behavior and know to look for flowers? If insects were prone to eat nectar before nectar existed, they would have been very, very hungry. Here we have symbiosis, irreducible complexity, and a gap in the record all at once.

And then there is the famous Cambrian explosion. The earliest evidence for life yet found on Earth consists of fossil traces of one-celled organisms dating back to about 3.85 billion years BP. The earliest cells were prokaryotes, with no distinct nucleus, nucleolus, and nuclear membrane. Their DNA was scattered (and still is, for prokaryotes are generic viagra still around) throughout the cell. About 1.4 billion BP eukaryotes developed with a nucleus and nucleolus (the cells of our own bodies are eukaryotes). By the Ediacarian period there are a few traces of multi-celled animals, very simple worm-like organisms. Then, around five hundred and thirty million years BP came the Cambrian explosion. All at once a bewildering array of bizarre marine animals appeared, among them most of the phyla existing today. Many of their fossils were first found in the Burgess shale deposits on the west slope of the Canadian Rockies; there is a fascinating exhibit there at the base of the ridge where they were discovered.

In addition to the aforementioned flowering plants and pollinators, there are numerous other examples of symbiotic relationships between species. In Central America there grows a plant called the bullhorn acacia, which has hollow thorns and produces small fruit-like bodies on its stem. A species of ant lives in these thorns and eats the “fruit.” If any animal so much as touches the plant (I speak here from experience) the ants swarm out to attack it to protect their host. If the ants did not already exist and have this behavior pattern, the plant would have wasted its efforts developing the hollow thorns and the “fruits” and would have been unlikely to survive. But if the ants had this lifestyle without the plant already being there in its final form, they would have died out. So, again, we have irreducible complexity and symbiosis, and, needless to say, no ancestral, intermediate forms of either the acacia or the ant have ever been found. To make matters even worse, a very similar relationship exists between another ant species and another type of plant in Africa.

Creationists (and, to be honest, intelligent design is a kind of creationism) often ask Darwinists why we have seen no new species evolve in modern times, but this question is a two-edged sword. Intelligent design should also be producing new species today, but where are they? Certainly new animal and plant species are discovered all the time; usually they are small organisms since there are far more small creatures than large, and often they are in remote areas like the Amazonian rainforest, but there is no way to know if these are species that have just emerged or if they have been there for a long time and only now have been discovered and studied.

Then there are the cryptids, mysterious creatures like Bigfoot, the chupacabra, and the Loch Ness monster to name but three. But there is no final, absolute proof these creatures truly exist; if they exist and are living animals, we don’t know if they are fairly new species or very old ones. And there is good reason to suspect that, if they exist, they may be paranormal in nature. Also there are out-of-place animals, like cougars and black panthers and lions in England, and black panthers (cougars are not believed to have a melanistic variant) and even lions in the United States, and the “kangaroo” that appeared in the suburbs of Chicago, violently resisted capture by the police, and then vanished. Alligators and enormous snakes have been found in even the northern parts of America. Some of these creatures may have been escaped pets or circus animals; others, for all we know, may have been paranormal in nature. And, if paranormal “animals” exist, we don’t know what role, if any, they play in intelligent design.

In recent years, primarily in Texas, strange, hairless canines have been photographed, videotaped, and even shot and then studied. They are often referred to as chupacabras, but, in fact, they have no resemblance whatever to the creatures reported in Puerto Rico. They resemble dogs, or perhaps coyotes, but have long, narrow snouts, protruding canine teeth, thick and hairless tails, and, usually, their ears are smaller than is typical for coyotes. Some have reportedly been shown to have coyote DNA, or dog/coyote hybrid DNA, or even wolf/coyote DNA (although wolves are not known to exist in the wild in Texas). The simplest explanation would be that they are, indeed, hybrids, and are suffering from mange, but this does not seem to explain the protruding teeth. And why would there be a sudden outbreak of mange in Texas? And why has it not spread widely among domestic dogs in that state?

Meanwhile, on Long Island, in July 2008, a fairly small hairless animal, clearly a land animal and apparently a mammal, washed up on a beach. It had small ears and a beak-like snout. Another was found on another Long Island beach in May 2009, and one under the Brooklyn Bridge in July 2012. Even Loren Coleman, who studies cryptids and believes that all manner of strange creatures dwell on this earth, thinks that these are probably known animals, such as raccoons, that decayed, perhaps in sea water, and lost their hair. Still, loss of hair is not a common part of the decomposition process, and the resemblance to the creatures in Texas cannot be ignored. Long Island has a somewhat sinister reputation and entire books have been written about it; it is the home of Brookhaven National Laboratories and near to the Plum Island research center, where, reportedly, biological warfare technology is developed. Lyme disease first canada pharmacy online rx appeared near Plum Island, in Connecticut. Of course, the one under the bridge apparently had no connection to Long Island. These creatures all seem to have conventional explanations, and there is no proof that they are new species; but they are just mysterious enough that we should keep our minds open on the subject.

Perhaps new species tend to appear after major extinction events and/or at certain periods of change that may have regular cycles. Although seemingly nothing noteworthy happened on the dreaded Mayan calendar date of 12/21/2012, if taken as the last year of a century, the first year would have been 1913, when America was changed forever by the imposition of an income tax and the creation of the Federal Reserve. World War One began the very next year and ended an even five years into the new century, in 1918. The midpoint of the century would be 1963…the year of the Kennedy assassination. And the Earth and Sun did line up with the center of the galaxy during this period. In recent years, the movement of Earth’s magnetic poles has speeded up, and earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are definitely becoming much more frequent, with earthquakes in areas where they used to be quite rare. Birds are falling dead from the skies; sea animals are washing up dead on beaches; and people are reporting loud booming sounds that no one can explain. Add to this the major political and economic changes taking place, particularly in the United States, and yes, it does appear that something very strange is happening.

Perhaps one morning we will awaken to see animals and plants among us that were not there the day before. Whether or not that happens, we are certainly under the Chinese curse of living in interesting times.

By William B. Stoecker