Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 3
CHAPTER 27 - GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION
" `The Darwinian theory of descent has not a single fact to confirm it in the realm of nature. It is not the result of scientific research, but purely the product of imagination.' "-*Dr. Fleischman, quoted in F. Meldau, Why We Believe in Creation, Not Evolution, p. 10. [Erlangen zoologist.]
"Despite the fact that no convincing explanation of how random evolutionary processes could have resulted in such an ordered pattern of diversity, the idea of uniform rates of evolution is presented in the literature as if it were an empirical discovery [a discovery based on experience, experiment, or observation]. The hold of the evolutionary paradigm is so powerful that an idea which is more like a principle of medieval astrology than a serious twentieth century scientific theory has become a reality for evolutionary biologists. " *Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1986), p. 306.
"The origin of all diversity among living beings remains a mystery as totally unexplained as if the book of Mr. Darwin had never been written, for no theory unsupported by fact, however plausible it may appear, can be admitted in science." L. Agassiz on the Origin of Species, American Journal of Science 30 (1860), p. 154.
"The theory of evolution suffers from grave defects, which are more and more apparent as time advances. It can no longer square with practical scientific knowledge. "-*Albert Fleishmann, Zoologist.
Why are certain plants and animals in certain areas of the world and not in others? The distribution of living things on the earth has intrigued minds since the days of the first explorers. Why are similar climatic zones populated by unrelated groups of animals and plants? Evolutionists contend that plant and animal distribution worldwide is explained by "descent with change. " They use the factor of geographic distribution as an evidence of evolution.
BIO-GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION Except for the earthworm and the ant, there are no plants or animals which are found nearly everywhere in the world. Most are only found in certain areas, and some have a very narrow range. The science of zoogeography includes the study of the facts regarding animal distribution and an effort to explain those facts. Phytogeography is the name for plant distribution, and Biogeography the name for both. Attempts are made to explain the present distribution as the result of evolution.
At the beginning of this chapter, it should be understood that there are difficulties involved in bio-distribution which neither side can explain. However, we will find in the following discussion that, overall, creationism provides the most satisfactory solutions. It should also be noted that here, as elsewhere in this set of books, we use the term "species" in the sense of the Genesis kinds. These are the true, unalterable species. In classifying plants and animals, taxonomists have at times labeled true species as sub-species or as genera, so we cannot always rely on labels when ascertaining true species. (For more on this, see chapter 15, Species Evolution.)
One of the first statements on the subject was made by 'Charles Darwin in chapters 12 and 13 of Origin of the Species. In those two chapters he, for the first time, used the phrase biogeographical distribution to describe the subject.
It has sometimes been said that geographic distribution is a distinctive evidence in favor of evolution. Why then are the evolutionists themselves so very puzzled about that evidence-the worldwide distribution of plants and animals?
"Willis also noticed another curious fact, which could be connected with all this. Just to take an example, the cabbage-like plant Coleus barbatus is widely distributed in Asia and Africa, including those parts of Ceylon where he was working. But its near cousin Coleus elongatus is known only in Ceylon. Willis found many other instances of this puzzling distribution and found it impossible to believe that natural selection could so have favoured one species but not another barely distinguishable from it."-'G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 82.
`Biologists, as I said, use the term niche to describe the circumstances in which an organism manages to survive.
"One of the odd features about niches is how many remain empty. For instance there are plenty of sea snakes in the Pacific and Indian oceans; why are there none in the Atlantic? Or again, why are there no blood-drinking bats in Africa? There are plenty of blood-drinking bats in the tropics of the New World, and fish-eating bats too. A quite recent case is the cattle egret, which lives on the insects stirred up by grazing cattle throughout the Old World. In the 'thirties these birds reached North and South America, where they are thriving. Even before there were cattle in North America there were bison, which would have provided the required conditions. It seems that ecological vacancies may persist for millions of years without any species evolving to occupy them. "-*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 154.
Yes, there are puzzles to geographic distribution that the scientists simply cannot explain. You will recall that the statement was made at the beginning of this chapter that, wherever there is soil, the earthworm and the ant are found universally throughout the world. Yet how could the earthworm or the ant be everywhere in the world, if there are birds, animals, and plants which are not? What is slower in travel-time than an earthworm or an ant? Talk about the race of the turtle and the hare; consider the earthworm and the hare in a foot-race to reach the other side of the globe!
What could possibly be the answer?
Large numbers of earthworm and ant eggs probably survived the Flood and were deposited all over the world. At its conclusion, they emerged and went about their business. In contrast, rabbits and hares had to get there from the Ark. It was not until our own century that they made it to a variety of areas they had never before reached.
But, forgetting those two humble creatures the ant and the earthworm,-let us now turn our attention to a variety of scientific evidences in regard to the geographic distribution of living things in our world:
BIOGEOGRAPHICAL ZONES Researchers have defined six biogeographic areas, each characterized by certain unique animals. These six divisions were originally based on mammalian distribution, but they have been found useful for a number of other types of animals, as well as many plants.
(1) Nearctic. Included here is North America, from the Mexican highlands on the south to the Arctic islands and Greenland in the north. Characteristic animals include: prong-horned antelope, mountain goat, caribou, muskrat, rattlesnake, bison, catfish, turkey, and raccoon.
Interestingly enough, many North American animals are closely related to those found in eastern Asia, and some species are identical. Because of this, the two regions have also been grouped together as the Holarctlc Region or Boreal Realm.
(2) Palearctic. This area includes Eurasia (Europe and Asia), and extends on the south to North Africa, Afghanistan, Persia, and the Himalayas. Characteristic animals: wild boar, fallow deer, roe deer, hedgehog, antelope, wolves, bears, moles, rodents, pheasants, thrushes, magpie, salamanders, frogs, and toads.
(3) Neotroplcal. Included here are South America, Central America, the Mexican lowlands, and the Caribbean islands. Characteristic animals: alpaca, llama, peccaries, arboreal sloth, armadillo, guinea pig, anteater, vampire bat, most hummingbirds, jaguar, and New World monkeys (which alone have a prehensile tail for gripping branches). No native sheep, cattle, or antelopes are to be found in this area.
(4) Ethiopian. This large region includes Africa (including the Sahara desert), southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar, and other islands off the coast of Africa. Characteristic animals: African elephant, rhinoceros, lion, chimpanzee, gorilla, hippopotamus, zebra, giraffe, a variety of antelopes, secretary bird, guinea fowl. Only a few kinds of sheep, goats, and pigs are to be found. Lacking entirely are cattle, deer, and bear. Madagascar has a variety of unique animals.
(5) Oriental. Included here is Asia south of the Himalayas: India, and all southeast Asia and island nations east of it (Malay, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Celebes, and the Philippines; but not the islands listed below, under Australian). Characteristic animals: Indian elephant, Indian rhinoceros, Old World monkeys, baboons, orangutan, peacock, jungle fowl, cobras, and certain lizards, frogs, and toads. No tree frogs or salamanders are to be found. (This region is sometimes referred to as the Paleotropical Realm.
(6) Australian. This area includes New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and Oceania (Pacific islands). Characteristic animals: most marsupials (pouch animals), all monotremes (egglaying mammals), emu, cassowary, lyre birds, birds of paradise, cockatoos, tree frogs, tuataras, kiwis, Australian lungfish. Missing are salamanders, true frogs, finches, woodpeckers, pheasants, and all placental mammals (except bats and a rat--both of which were introduced by man).
What are the answers to such a puzzling geographic distribution? In the following discussion, we will explore possibilities:
LAND BRIDGES--Part of the solution would be the existence of "land bridges." These would be strips of land connecting now-separated land areas which later sank, or separated land areas between which land strips later arose connecting them. Evolutionists recognize this as a partial solution; we do also. On any physical world map, which includes ocean depths, you will see the sunken land bridges.
After the Flood, the animals went outward from the Near East. A land pathway permitted some to travel across to Australia. Later, that isthmus sank, isolating the animals in Australia. That would explain how the animals got to Australia.
LAND BRIDGES AND THE BALANCE OF NATURE--But why are there different animals in Australia? This would be the suggestion of the present writer: Animals traveled outward from the Ark to repopulate the continents. Then the land bridge sank, isolating those in Australia. On the Australian continent the normal competition, predation, and balances of nature were in operation. Certain wildlife were killed off and became extinct.
The wild dog of Australia, the dingo, could have eliminated many animals, but not the kangaroo. With Its powerful legs and tall, the kangaroo could defend itself against the dingo. However, there is a question as to the origin of the Dingo. It was thought at first to be indigenous but then evidence pointed more to it having came to the continent more recently along with with aboriginal man, likely from Asia through the Malayan peninsula, and then having reverted to the wild. The Dingo, also known as the Warrigal, was first classified as Canis Dingo, while many argued it should be Canis Familiaris Dingo, having descended from the domestic dog, and then recently it has been re-classified by some as Canis Lupus Dingo as it is believed to have descended from semi-domesticated relatives of the white-footed wolf of south Asia and to have been transported to the continent by Asian seafarers.
But a question would still remain: If the kangaroo traveled from the Ark to Australia, --why are there no kangaroos in Southeast Asia? Let us now consider possible solutions to that problem:
As the animals initially traveled outward from the Ark, the kangaroo may have remained in packs and tended to move eastward, without having entered Africa. But we will assume that it spread outward in all directions. After reaching Australia, the land bridge sank. But what about the kangaroos in Asia and Africa? Here is one suggestion: There is clear indication that the land bridge connecting Australia to Asia was one of the first to sink. Tigers in Asia, bears In Europe, and lions and tigers in Africa could easily kill off the kangaroos in those areas. We have focused on the kangaroo, while there are many other unusual animal populations in various localities. But the kangaroo illustration points us toward a definite partial solution.
Another example of a land bridge which sank would be Madagascar, a large island east of Africa. It has a variety of animal life, which differs from, that found on the African continent. The island has no large animals and no snakes. Most of the lemur species live only on this island. The lemur cannot defend itself very well. It could have reached the island just before the land bridge sank, and the bridge sank before any large animal predators arrived. That would explain why there are lemurs on Madagascar and not elsewhere; they were killed off in Africa. It is also possible that, after leaving the Ark, the lemurs tended to stay together in a pack and their wanderings took them mainly southward in Africa. This possibility would not be essential, but may be considered as a possibility. It would explain why certain types of animals tend to be found in certain locations: they tended to pack together for mutual warning and protection as they traveled outward from the Near East. Later land bridges sank and they were isolated.
Chapter 19, The Flood, indicates that very violent, even earth-shaking events occurred as the deluge terminated and for a time thereafter. This included the rising of continental masses and mountain ranges, and, for corresponding geostasy (the corresponding balancing of large earth masses), the sinking of other areas, such as the Arctic. Chapter 26, Paleomagnetism, provides evidence pointing to the fact that the violence of some of the explosions shook the very core of the earth, causing magnetic reversals. With all this in mind, the possibility of land bridges rising and sinking would be quite understandable.
The evolutionists have a different explanation of the marsupials in Australia:
"Because placental mammals never developed there, marsupials took over the areas which, on other continents, are occupied by placentals --giving rise to a marsupial 'rat,' a marsupial 'woodchuck,' a marsupial 'bear,' and a marsupial 'dog.' One wonders if, given enough time, a marsupial primate might have eventually appeared, and perhaps even a marsupial man."-'Helen Curds, Biology (1988), p. 713.
Bison never got into South America because the forests of Central America were impassable to them. However, the balance of nature eliminated them back in Asia after some migrated to North America across the Bering Strait.
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CLIMATIC CONDITIONS SO far, we have noticed land bridges and balance of nature through predation as key factors. But consider climate as another barrier of sorts. Certain animals cannot survive where there is too much rain, or too little. Rainfall has a powerful effect on the type of vegetation in an area. Thus climate would provide additional barriers and would effectively sort out still more animals. Certain animals live in jungles, that do not live in Arctic tundra, temperate tree forests, grasslands, deserts, or northern evergreen forests. Each one would have a different type of wildlife.
Also consider climatic zonal areas as barriers. some animals could not pass over high snowy mountain ranges or across desert areas to vegetative regions beyond.
EVOLUTION OR MIGRATION? Evolutionists theorize that the reason different animals are found in different areas-is that they are found where they evolved from other species. That may sound logical, but it does not fit the facts.
Alligators are found only in the rivers of southeastern United States, and in the Yangtze River of China. Evolution cannot explain such a situation. It would mean that alligators Independently evolved into their present form in one river in China, and also independently evolved into the same form In the American Southeast) But, considering that evolution is a totally chance occurrence, It would not be possible for the alligator to independently evolve twice in the same way) In fact, zealous evolutionists strongly affirm that evolution is "non-repeatable." By this they mean that each species could only evolve one time, and not twice. (In view of that fact, how could breeding occur: both a male and a female would have to evolve, and at the same time and within a few miles apart))
"The evolutionary happenings .. [of paleontology and paleobiology are] unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible."-'T Dobzhansky, "On Methods of Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology," in American Scientist 45 (1957), p. 388.
Sassafras, tulip trees, and magnolias grow only in eastern United States, Japan, and eastern China. Now the situation is getting even worse! Here are three different types of trees that, each, would have had to independently evolve in at least two widely separated locations: the U.S. and China (or Japan). Such an arrangement would be impossible for evolution to produce, since it is said to operate merely by random accidents.
There are large areas lacking certain animals: New Zealand and Hawaii lack snakes; there are no bears in Africa; Australia and New Zealand have no placental mammals except those later introduced by man; The Ethiopian region has the largest number of mammals, yet has no monotremes or marsupials.
Then there are tapirs. One genus is found in Central America and the northern part of South America; the other is located in the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Sumatra. Evolutionary theory, which declares that where a creature is found is where it evolved into existence, cannot explain these widely-separated regions where the tapir is found. In contrast, creationists point to the land bridge which once was at the Bering Strait and later sank. Across that land bridge streamed the wildlife from Asia that came to North, Central, and South America. Interestingly enough, it is widely recognized by scientists that wildlife did indeed travel to the American continents from Asia, and not viceversa. The evidence is abundant that everything traveled outward from the Near East.
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We said earlier that the land bridge north of Australia appears to have sunk earlier. Of the six major bio-geographic areas, two are separated by an ocean channel that is only 20 miles [32 km] wide!
"The imaginary dividing line between the Oriental and Australian realms, known as Wallace's Line, separates Bali and Lombok, goes through the straits of Makassar between Borneo and Celebes, and then passes east of the Philippines. Although the islands of Bali and Lombok [in Java] are separated by a channel only 20 miles wide, their respective animals and plants are more unlike than are those of England and Japan-almost half a world apart."- *Claude A. Villes, Biology (1967), p. 616.
It has been suggested that Wallace's Line may be explained by two land bridges-one from Asia, and the other from Antarctica into Australia. We know that, anciently, there was a time when various plants and animals lived in the far north and south. It appears that, for a time after the Flood, there remained a semi-tropical condition worldwide, enabling many animals and plants to be In the Arctic and Antarctic; then volcanic eruptions produced so much air pollution for a time that an ice age was the result. (See chapter 19, Effects of the Flood). The low sea level during the ice age may have exposed continental shelves and opened up many routes now closed by sea.
POPULATION GENETICS Evolutionists theorize that environmental selection combined with genetic drift can produce changes from one species into another by changing the organism's genetic make-up. But a careful study of natural selection only reveals that it produces changes within the species, never across species. In fact, the only examples of species change which the evolutionists can present are always changes within--and never across--species. The light and dark varieties of peppered moth in England is one such example.
The abundance of data which has surfaced in regard to genetics, the harmfulness of mutations, and facts about DNA make It impossible for evolution to occur in any location-with geographic distribution or without geographic distribution! (See chapter 13, Natural Selection, and chapter 14, Mutations.) All by itself, DNA is a wall that cannot be passed. One species could never change into another without millions of complicated, positive, inter-networked alterations in the DNA molecule of the species making the changeover. Billions of correct changes would have to be made all at once, yet studies reveal that even one such change rarely occurs; when it does, it weakens, damages, and ultimately leads to the elimination of the organism or its descendents. So how could millions of correct ones suddenly occur? Changes in DNA can only occur through mutations, and they are always harmful.
Population genetics is the study of races of people and types of animals, where they are located throughout the world, and how they may have evolved. In chapter 13, Natural Selection, a variety of statements by scientists are quoted, indicating that population genetics has failed to prove evolution.
However, it is clear that when a species is isolated in an area, subspecies can indeed be produced-and rather quickly. A number of examples of this will be found in chapter 15, Species Evolution. This is done through gene shuffling, and is the reason why your children do not look exactly like you. Given separation and enough centuries, one of your children could become the ancestor of a different race than another of your children. An example of this would be Isaac's two sons, Jacob the ancestor of the Hebrews and Esau the progenitor of the Arabs.
SELECTION WITHIN REALMS Thus we can see that the difference between biological realms is partially explained by migration, barriers, and types of climate and predation within each area, which would tend to select out certain species for survival. -But we are not here referring to Darwinian "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest." Darwin's theory used selection and survival as a means of changing one species into another; we are only speaking about a weeding-out process of already-existing species in an area, by the problems which that environment presented to them.
For example, the prairie dog would not do well in a forest, for he cannot see far enough to warn his family so they could quickly jump down their holes. A muskrat would not do well in the arid open country inhabited by the prairie dog, for there is not enough food or places to hide.
Why would Europeans have horses,--yet there were none in America when they arrived? The Europeans obtained their horses from the Near East. Landing in America, the Spanish conquistadors explored the southwest, but some of their horses escaped. When Americans later journeyed westward, they found that the Indians had tamed the wild horses and had become excellent horsemen. Yet later archaeological studies have revealed that, in ancient times, there were horses in North America! Elephants were here too! Later changes in climatic conditions, flora, and predators eliminated them. America at one time supported a fauna of large mammals much like those found in Africa today. In general, only the smaller mammals survived in America.
The Galapagos Islands, which lie on the Pacific Equator 650 miles [1,046 km] west of Ecuador, has subspecies of types of birds and wildlife found in South America, whereas the Cape de Verde Islands, 450 miles [724 km] off the west coast of Africa, has African subspecies.
*Darwin could not figure out why certain species were missing from certain areas. There are no frogs, toads, or salamanders in the true Pacific Islands. The obvious answer is that, even though the terrain would be ideal for them, they would die in seawater before they could migrate to those islands.
Even though an animal might be well adapted to an area, it would have had to migrate to that area In order to later live there. In the migrations after the Flood, not all animals migrated into all areas.
ADAPTIVE RADIATION Evolutionists theorize that, after a species has evolved, it then radiates outward producing still other life forms. A variation of that theory is correct: After migrating to an area where it settles, a species then can, through gene reshuffling, produce new subspecies. The Darwin finches are an example of this.
On the Galapagos Islands in the western Pacific, *Charles Darwin found 13 (some say 14, 17, or 19) varieties of a dark brown finch. This finch was closely related to finches found in South America. After having returned to England in 1838, he decided that those finches he had earlier seen were probably 13 different species, --and were therefore a proof of evolution! Surely, he thought, one species had crossed over the species barrier and produced still other species! But a close examination of the 13 species reveals they are only variations of one brown finch. In legs, feet, bodies, coloration, eyes, and internal organs, they are all essentially the same. The only differences are variations in beaks, body sizes, and food gathering habits.
Walter E. Lammerts, a University of California scientist, personally studied the collection of 3,700 specimens of the 13 varieties of Darwin finch, located in the California Academy of Sciences research facilities in San Francisco. He found them to consist only of subspecies of a single finch. (See W.E. Lammerts, "The Galapagos Island Finches," in Why Not Creation? (1970), pp. 354-366.) Yet *Charles Darwin chose to classify them into four different genera.
*Asimov tells us that the two-year voyage of the Beagle was the most important scientific sea voyage in history, and he then explains that this was primarily because during the voyage Darwin found those finches on the Galapagoes Islands!
"Darwin, aged twenty-two, made the voyage of the Beagle the most important sea voyage in the history of science . . His most striking discovery came in a group of islands in the Pacific, about 650 miles west of Ecuador, called the Galapagos Islands.. What attracted Darwin's attention during the five-week stay [on the islands] was the variety of finches on the islands, they are known as Darwin's finches to this day. He found the birds divided into at least fourteen different species, distinguished from one another mainly by differences in the size and shape of their bills. These particular species did not exist anywhere else in the world, but they resembled an apparently close relative on the South American mainland."- *Isaac Asimov, Asimov's New Guide to Science (1984), p. 775.
What made this "the most important science voyage in the history of science"? *Asimov tells us that Darwin's key discovery on the voyage was finding those finches! How can we know they are subspecies? Because they are almost identical in every way, except for very slight differences in body and beak size, and different food habits. That made it `the most scientific "voyage in history? Is that the best that evolutionary theory has to offer as proof? By the way, is it 13 or 14? No one can know for certain, since the birds look so much alike, some think there are 13 different ones, others contend there may be 14, 17, or 19. The birds just look too much alike for anyone to be certain.
Elsewhere in the same large book, under the section, "Evidence for Evolution," *Asimov cites but one example. He tells us that one of the most outstanding examples of evolution would be the two sub-species of the peppered moth in England!
"One of the arguments of the creationists is that no one has ever seen the forces of evolution at work. That would seem the most nearly irrefutable of their arguments, and yet it, too, is wrong.
"In fact, if any confirmation of Darwinism were needed, it has turned up in examples of natural selection that have taken place before our eyes (now that we know what to watch for). A notable example occurred in Darwin's native land. "In England, it seems, the peppered moth exists in two varieties, a light a dark .."-*Isaac Asimov, Asimov's New Guide to Science (1984), p. 780.
*Asimov then goes on to explain what we have already discussed in detail in chapter 13, Natural Selection, about how the birds ate the dark variety when the air was clean the tree-bark light, and later when British pollution occurred, they ate the white variety resting on the dark bark. --But there were always two varieties of moth, before and after the Industrial Revolution in England began, and both are varieties of one species, so in what way does the peppered moth prove evolution?
This idea that Darwin's greatest achievement was his discovery of sub-species of a finch appears puzzling, yet it is held by many evolutionists. *Gordon Taylor comments that that discovery was to change all future biology:
"It was in 1835 that the young Charles Darwin-he was twenty-six-reached the Galapagos Islands and there noticed a number of finch-like birds. His diary does not mention them and there is only a brief mention in The Voyage of the Beagle, but these birds were to change the course of biology. "- *G.R. Taylor, Great Evolutionary Mystery (1983), p. 15.
It is intriguing that, according to his diary and other oceanic records, *Darwin did not consider them important until after he thought back over the trip years later.
The honey-creepers (Drapanildea) of Hawaii are another commonly-cited example of evolution. On those islands we find 22 sub-species which primarily vary, as do the Darwin finches, in bill size and food habits. Sub-species have indeed developed, but the species itself has not changed. The DNA gene pool of the honeycreepers provided for a wide span of bill sizes, whereas there are other birds whose bills cannot vary as much.
EVIDENCE OF SPECIES MIGRATIO Fossil evidence indicates that at some time in the past, life forms existed in localities where they are not today found.
Although no true camels are found in the Americas today, members of the camel family are found in South America, but anciently real camels lived in North America! It has been suggested that at some time in the past North and South America may not have been connected, and that the Central American land bridge arose later. That theory would indicate that a separate land bridge to South America anciently existed, linking it to Antarctica or Africa. Fossilized Canadian porcupines and American opossums have been found in South America.
The Norfolk pine, the star pine, and the monkey puzzle tree are now native to South America, but fossils of them have been found in North America. The Dawn redwood and the gingko tree, now found only in China, anciently were native to North America.
Within amber in the Baltic have been found insects, which today only live in areas very distant from the Baltic.
Land bridges, connecting certain areas, must have later sank: Madagascar is closer to Africa than to Asia, but its animals are more like those in Asia than those in Arica. The animals of New Guinea are very similar to those in Australia, but quite different from those of other islands to the north and west which are almost as near as Australia. The wildlife of Sumatra is more like that of Borneo and less like that found in Java, yet Sumatra is closer to Java than to Borneo.
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TIME REQUIRED FOR MIGRATION Evolutionists assume that migrations which might have occurred must have required great periods of time. But it has been demonstrated that animals can emigrate large distances in only a few years or decades, and there are a variety of ways it can be done. It is now known that wind, water currents, floating rafts of vegetation,--and even the feet and wings of birds-can carry small creatures to distant places, and do it surprisingly fast. Larger animals can travel to new areas rather quickly in search of food.
The island of Krakatao, between the islands of Java and Sumatra, blew its top-including everything above sea level--in 1883. Later lava flows built it up again. In 1963, the island of Surtsey began forming about 20 miles [32 km] south of Iceland. When its last lava stopped flowing in 1967, Surtsey was 567 feet [1,728 dm] high, and covered more than a square mile [1.6 sq km]. Scientists carefully observed both islands and found that soil, plants, and various creatures appeared on these newly made islands very quickly. They migrated in from elsewhere.
LOWERED SEA LEVELS In chapter 19, Effects of the Flood, we discussed the fact that the oceans were once lower than they now are. In fact, there is strong indication of these lower sea levels on the below sea-level slopes of the continents. The outer edge of the continental shelves themselves constitute one of these lower ocean sea-level marks. During the time that the oceans were lower, land bridges would have existed for wildlife to travel to areas now separated.
"Question: How could kangaroos have traveled from Australia to Naoh's Ark? Answer: At least two each of all the kinds of air-breathing animals --including kangaroos--must have lived on the same continent where the Ark was built, so they could come to Noah by divine guidance (Genesis 6:20; 7:9) without having to cross oceans.
"Question: How did kangaroos reach Australia from Mount Ararat after the Flood? Answer:
A great land bridge apparently connected Asia and Australia in the early post-Flood period. During this most intense phase of the 'ice age,' such vast quantities of water were locked in the polar regions that ocean levels were hundreds of feet lower than they are now. The National Geographic Atlas of the World clearly shows the shallow continental shelf that extends even now from Indochina almost to Australia."-John C. Whitcomb, World that Perished (1988), p. 27.
"Oceanographer K.A. Emery says that due to continental glaciers in the water, the oceans have been as low as almost 150 meters [492 feet] below the present levels. He thinks there were four major lowerings of the sea level. 'This meant that when the sea was low, the entire shelf was exposed . .' [*K.O. Emery, "Continental Shelves," Scientific American, September 1969, pp. 252255.]
"If the National Geographic map of the Pacific Ocean Floor, October 1969, is examined it will be seen that the water over most of the continental shelves of both southeast Asia and Australia are much shallower than 400 feet [1,219 dm]. These areas must have been land when the oceans were low and the islands were then mountains.
Between these two continental shelves are a series of trenches thousands of feet deep that roughly follow the Wallace Line. These trenches, no doubt, were ocean channels at that time and were wide enough to form barriers for most land animals and plants.
While these geographic features might seem to explain the general distributional pattern, they still do not help in accounting for the location of the Wallace Line between Bali and Lombok, as the map shows the continental shelf to be unbroken to the end of the Lesser Sunda Islands."-H. M. Morris, et. al., Science and Creation (1971), p. 52.
THE LEBZELTER PRINCIPLE Two principles have been developed in relation to population genetics that should be considered here. Both are acclaimed by evolutionists as providing strong evidence of evolution. But, as usual, the evolutionists are overstating their case. In 1932, *Viktor Lebzelter suggested this rule:
"When man lives in large conglomerates, race tends to be stable while cultures become diversified; but where he lives in small isolated groups, culture is stable but diversified races evolve. " *Viktor Lebzelter, Rassengeschichte de Menscheit (1932), p. 27.
To put it into simpler words, when people live, socialize, and select mates from a large group, their racial characteristics are stablized, while within the large group a variety of subcultures will develop. But when members only have a highly-restricted number of people to socialize with and intermarry among, their cultural patterns will tend to be the same throughout the small group, but racial oddities will develop. The cause, of course, is excessive interbreeding.
"The quickest way to expose lethal traits [in the genes] is by intensive and continual inbreeding."- *Willard Hollander, "Lethal Heredity," in Scientific American, July 1952, p. 60.
"When a recessive gene arises by mutation, it will only after some time occur in an double dose by means of intermarriage-soonest by a marriage of cousins. "- *G. Dahlberg, quoted in Ernst Mayr Animal Species and Evolution (1963), p. 518.
The evolutionists tell us that this Lebzelter principle is another evidence of evolution, but we find it to be no evidence at all. Although this concept is indeed a useful one, it does not help the Darwinists. Evolutionists declare that it is the small, restricted groups (plants, animals, and people), which have produced the new species. But there is no evidence that that has ever occurred.
Yet the Lebzelter principle does have application to conditions just after the Creation and again at the end of the Flood. In the time of Adam and Eve, and again as the eight members of Noah's family left the Ark, there was only a small group and there would have been a decided tendency to produce a variety of racial stock. As the people scattered after the destruction of the Tower of Babel, they would have settled in new areas, thus producing many restricted groups, and these would have stabilized into distinct races, to the extent that they remained separate from other groups. But, in all of this, no NEW species were produced! Evolution had not occurred; only subspecies.
THE HARDY-WEINBERG PRINCIPLE The second concept was worked out by two scientists. It involves the use of a complex quadratic equation that is supposed to describe how populations of organisms change. A number of States require that the Hardy-Weinberg principle be taught to high school students. The mathematics involved is difficult to grasp and the students struggle with it, not certain how they will work it in class-much less remember it later. But the desired impression has been conveyed to the students-that evolution has been proven mathematically.
But, once again, we have an evidence which is no evidence. Here is the Hardy-Weinberg principle:
"If mating is random [natural breeding, not inbreeding or line breeding], and occurs in a large population, and no external limitations are applied, both the gene frequencies [percentage of occurrence of particular genes] and the genetic proportions in the population itself will remain constant from generation to generation. By definition, this is a stable population."
It is obvious that the Hardy-Weinberg principle is merely a combining of the stable aspects of both halves of the Lebzelter principle, and then stated algebraically. As with the Lebzelter principle, there is nothing in the HardyWeinberg principle which supports evolution as being correct. Both the Lebzelter and Hardy-Weinberg principles were developed through the study of sub-species variations (sub-species are called "races" in human beings).
But there is a far more powerful way to produce genetic problems than by in-breeding, and the scientists have been doing it for decades: applying heavy radiation to the reproductive genes. Fruit flies, other animals, and plants have been irradiated. At Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Chernobyl, large numbers of people, animals, and plants were strongly irradiated. If new species could have been produced, it should have been demonstrated on those occasions, but this did not happen. It never happens. The resulting mutations always weaken and damage the irradiated organism, and it or its offspring generally die out. But changes in species do not occur.
For additional information on species and subspecies as they relate to evolution, see chapters 13-15 (Natural Selection, Mutations, and Species Evolution).
ISLAND ANIMALS AND BIRDS Because it was more difficult for species to arrive there, islands tend to have a more limited number of species than are to be found on the continents. The farther the Island is from a continent, the less species it will have. The British Isles are called "continental islands," since their plants and animals are quite similar to those found in Europe.
But "oceanic islands" in the Pacific have smaller numbers of species, and are often subspecies which are often somewhat different than those on land. Over a period of time gene shuffling has produced slightly different varieties in the islands than are found on the continents.
But it also true that, worldwide, a sizable number of species has become extinct in the past, for many species are found only in fossilized form. With this fact in mind, it is likely that some of the species found only on the oceanic islands, eventually became extinct on the continents.
SUMMARY Evolutionists consider geographical distribution to be one of their stronger arguments. But there are serious problems: Location of animals does not prove evolution. What is needed is actual evidence of trans-species evolution occurring-and this is never observed. Someone will say that evolution occurs only so rarely that that is why we do not find it in the fossil record or see it happening today. But, since millions of species are alive today, continually occurring species changes would have to occur in order to produce so many different types. We should see species changes occurring now!
How could we know that a species change was occurring? We would find a transitional species--halfway between one species and another, but this is never seen. The standard reply to that is that long ages are needed, and that it happened in the past. Then we should also see large numbers of transitional species in the fossil record, but none exist.
The fact of animals found, here, there, or somewhere else is no proof of evolution. Without actual evidence of transitional species, the evolutionary theory is dead on its feet. Geographic distribution can only be an aid IF cross-species changes have occurred in the past and are occurring now. But without those changes, bio-geographic data is of little use to the Darwinists.
Mehlert, in a book review, says it well:
"With regard to the argument of geographic distribution, there are indeed questions to be answered, but none are insurmountable. As Morris and Whitcomb [Genesis Flood (1961), pp. 80-88] point out, little is known about animal movements in the past, either from science or scripture, but we only need to show that a general migration of animals from the Near East since the Flood is reasonable and possible.
"For example, fossil marsupials have been found not only in Australia but in Europe and the Americas, and that no fossils have yet been found in Asia does not mean any more than any argument from silence. Marsupials have been widespread in the past. How many lion fossils have been found in the Palestine area where they once thrived? None. There is nothing at all that bars the migration of the kangaroo kind to Australia via southeast Asia, and this could have occurred within a few dozen years without leaving fossil evidence . .
"Evolutionist zoologist might also be asked to explain the presence of tapirs today only in South America and the Malaysian islands-on opposite sides of the Earth! What is sauce for the evolutionary goose should be sauce for the creationist gander!"-A. W. Mehlert, "Book Review," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1987, p. 24.
GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION CHAPTER 27
STUDY AND REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 - On a map of the world, outline the six biogeographically zones.
2 - Suggest several possible reasons explaining why there are certain animals in certain areas, while others are elsewhere.
3 - Mention several species puzzlers for evolutionary theory: plants or animals which are found in a few widely-varied locations, and not in the areas between them.
4 - Briefly explain why the study of population genetics has failed to reveal any evidence supporting evolution. You may wish to refer to the appendix in chapter 13, Natural Selection, dealing with this topic.
5 - Explain this sentence: "Adaptive radiation provides no evidence in favor of evolution, for it is only referring to the increase of subspecies."
6 - List several evidences that species have indeed migrated, and once were in areas they are now absent from.
7 - How would earlier lowered sea levels have aided the migration of species?
8 - Define and differentiate between the Lebzelter principle and the Hardy-Weinberg principle. Does either one provide any support for evolutionary theory?
9 - Which were the last areas of the world to receive new species? Those areas, even today, still have the fewest.
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CHAPTER 28- THE CREATOR'S HANDIWORK: THE BIRDS