Tiny Cave Monsters

During the reign of communism in Rumania, biologist Serban Sarbu escaped to America. When freedom came, Sarbu returned to Rumania with one goal in mind: to explore a secret cave. The cave was opened to reveal a world of strange creatures never seen before: vampire spiders, wineglass flies, water scorpions that grow “snorkels” to breathe, and leeches that suck up earthworms whole, like spaghetti noodles. Journalists heralded the discovery as evidence for evolution. But is it? The vampire spiders are still spiders; the wingless flies are still flies; the strange scorpions and leeches are still recognizable as scorpions and leeches. No, the tiny cave monsters don't prove evolution. They illustrate reproduction "after their kind"—just as Genesis says. Scientists are apt to present any form of change as evolution. But evolution is not just any change; it is the emergence of new categories of living things. The cave creatures don't represent new categories. They're just modifications of existing categories. Creationists accept this kind of minor change. The same God who created living things "after their kind" must have built in a capacity for adaptation—otherwise those "kinds" wouldn't last very long. Charles Darwin set evolution off on the wrong foot more than a century ago when he listed adaptation as evidence of evolution. It was an error made in reaction to the rigid creationism of his day. Many creationists back then taught that living things never change. So in Darwin's mind, even minor adaptations counted as evidence for evolution. Creationists back then also taught that living things never die out. So for Darwin, the fact that organisms become extinct counted as evidence for evolution. Creationists back then taught that living things were created in the same location they are found today. Giraffes were created in Africa, buffalos in North America, llamas in South America. So for Darwin, migration counted as evidence for evolution. Today, of course, none of these facts affects the evolution debate one way or the other. The older form of creationism was informed by ancient Greek philosophy, which taught that species are eternal. But modern creationists are guided by Scripture. Genesis says God created "kinds," not species. The phrase "after its kind" suggests that the boundary between kinds is defined by reproduction: A kind is an interbreeding group. The entire cat family—from domestic cats to leopards and tigers—forms a breeding chain and hence constitutes a single "kind." So does the dog family, from our familiar canine friends to wolves and jackals. And witness the vast diversity that can take place within created kinds. Domestic dogs range from the tiny Chihuahua to the lumbering Saint Bernard, yet they never change into anything besides dogs. When Darwin made his famous voyage to the Galapagos Islands, he discovered finches and tortoises that differed slightly from island to island. He thought he had discovered evolution in action. But the finches stayed finches—they never evolved into a new kind of bird—and the tortoises stayed tortoises. Today you and I can turn the tables on Darwin. What his finches really show—just like the strange cave monsters in Rumania—is that change always takes place within created kinds. Just as Genesis says.


Chuck Colson


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