Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism

Mark Vuletic

Assertion

Structural homologies reflect a common design plan, not common descent.

Analysis

Presumably, a creator could have done whatever it wanted to, no matter how pointless, or how seemingly calculated to convince people that evolution has occurred. But if we assume that a creator would not be irrational or malicious, it is difficult to think of a reason why a creator would design organisms with the kinds of commonalities they share.

Let's take an example: when considering the ancient bony fishes (Osteichthyes) that appeared in the Devonian period, vertebrate evolution specialist Alfred S. Romer notes that

It is of interest that the pattern of bones laid down in these old fishes may be traced, with modifications, into almost every later and higher vertebrate type. Almost every element of the human skull can, for example, be directly compared with a corresponding element in the skull of ancient bony fishes. Higher forms have often lost bones, but only rarely have new ones been added. (Romer 1959: 57)

Seriously now, what possible reason could a creator have to create organisms with homology on such a fine scale, such that the skull bones of ancient fish can be matched to those human beings in a manner that makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective? Is the creator stupid? Is the creator a deceiver?

Let us note, furthermore, that it is not simply that structural homologies exist, but that the phylogenies we construct on their basis typically match those we construct on the basis of molecular similarities and those we construct on the basis of fossil evidence. The correlation of all of this data, which makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective, is even more baffling from a creationist perspective.

References

Romer AS. 1959. The Vertebrate Story: Fourth Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Last updated: 6 Dec 2008

Comment
Pleased? Angered? Confused? Have something else you would like
me to write about? Please send in your questions and comments!