Sunday, 2 August 2015

4 legged snakes, creation and evolution

                             Tetrapodophis catching a lizard. Credit: James Brown, University of Portsmouth

Even though I personally find the whole creation vs evolution debate quite interesting, I have purposely avoided writing about it in the past. I find that those on both sides of the fence are completely closed off to the possibility that they may be wrong (even on a single point) so the whole conversation nine times out of ten seems pretty meaningless. But a recent article I read written by Ed Yong was to fascinating not to bring up. The post is about the discovery of a four-legged fossilized snake called Tetrapodophis. The specimen should be great news for young earth creationists. How in the world did the people of old (from Adam to Moses) know that snakes used to have legs? According to evolution, snakes lost their legs more than 90 million years ago which would remove them quite far from the time period that Genesis was written let alone the time that mankind appeared on the earth.

                                      Tetrapodophis hindlimb. Credit: Dave Martill.

But the discovery is not all good news for creationists, the mere fact that you have a dead 4-legged snake presents a problem already because most literalists believe that there was no physical death before Adams transgression in the garden. Then to complicate matters further, found inside the stomach of tetrapodophis were the remains of his last meal, the bone fragments of what was most likely a lizard or frog. If you were not aware, most creationists believe that all animals were herbivores before the fall. What was a snake, which at the very least predated the fall, doing with a meat sandwich in his mouth? These are interesting questions which I have my own theories and opinions on. But as someone once said, "you are entitled to your own opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts”.

Wouldn’t it be great if people on both sides of the fence here could learn say to one other, “you know what, you raise some good points; overall I still think that you are wrong but I concede that I may need to reevaluate one or two things on my side as well”. I can't see it happening but still, it would be nice...

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