Last week we posted Another Transitional Fossil — Lizard to Snake, at the end of which we said:
Now you have two competing theories about the origin of snakes: One, that snakes evolved from lizards, and transitional fossils exist as evidence; or two, that snakes lost their legs in a Ka-boom! event in the Garden of Eden after one of them tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. You decide, dear reader.
To help you in making your decision, we present to you, dear reader, the viewpoint from Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. What we found is in AIG’s News to Note, February 12, 2011 — “A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint.”
It’s the fourth item down. The title is a link to an article from the BBC, which is often the the source of AIG’s information: Studying How Snakes Got Legless. Here are some excerpts from AIG’s reaction to the news, with bold font added by us:
Although evidence of limb-loss in snakes may seem like clear-cut evidence for the truth of Genesis 3, evolutionists have their own stories about how lizards or a form of marine reptile lost their limbs in becoming modern snakes.
Right. In the creationist version of reality, “snakes” with limbs existed only briefly in the Garden of Eden, yet AIG isn’t at all surprised that fossil evidence of such creatures from that very fleeting time has been found. Let’s read on:
We wrote back in September 2009 that:
[AIG quotes their earlier article:] Both evolutionists and creationists actually believe that snakes weren’t always legless. Evolutionists believe that snakes are the evolutionary descendants of lizards that gradually lost their legs (as we discussed in 2007 and 2008); thus, they view this legged snake as hearkening back to its evolutionary ancestors. As for creationists, we read in Genesis 3:14 that God punished the serpent for deceiving Eve[.]
The transitional fossils we wrote about have been known for a while, so it’s not surprising that AIG wrote about them before. What was new in our article was the discovery of a second leg for one of those fossils, such discovery made possible by improved technology. We continue with AIG’s interpretation of the evidence:
This week’s news is the publication, at last, of research we described back in April 2008. X-ray examinations of a snake fossil found in Lebanon in 2000 reveal a snake in “an early stage in limb loss.” The three-dimensional images from the X-ray scan revealed that the supposedly 95-million-year-old fossil was hiding ankle bones, though it lacked foot and toe bones. We repeat here the main points of our original analysis:
We won’t quote much from AIG’s earlier “analysis,” because you can read that at the AIG website if you like. In brief, their two points are these:
1. If snakes once had legs they’ve now lost, this fits in perfectly with the creation model. …
2. Evolutionists conceptualize snakes as evolved lizards (or marine reptiles) because it’s the only conclusion from an evolutionary standpoint — yet this conclusion ignores the fact that snakes require a very specialized backbone and some snakes have unhinging jaws, also unlike other reptiles.
After giving us their earlier “analysis,” AIG says:
In short, a snake with “legs” neither threatens the creation model nor is any evidence of a genetic information-adding evolutionary transition.
That must be deeply satisfying to the creationists. Oh, in their final paragraph they address our original point about these fossils actually being from the time of the Garden of Eden. AIG’s not worried about that. They say:
Now what about the connection between this snake and the serpent of Genesis 3, which was cursed in Genesis 3:14 to crawl on its belly? As we’ve noted previously, fossilized snake forms are most likely from Noah’s Flood, more than a thousand years after the events in Genesis 3. Furthermore, Scripture isn’t specific about the anatomy of the Eden serpent nor if the curse on it applied to all “serpents” or just one.
So there you are. They can reinterpret anything they like, not only physical evidence but also scripture, in order to make it fit their dogma. But somehow they never apply that talent to their basic message of creationism.
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