The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom — announces still more evidence for creationism. Their latest article is Blind Cavefish Illuminate Divine Engineering .
What a title! It was written by Jeffrey P. Tomkins. At the end they say Jeffrey is: “Director of Life Sciences at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.”
But first, some background. Wikipedia has an article on Cavefish. It says:
Cavefish or cave fish is a generic term for fresh and brackish water fish adapted to life in caves and other underground habitats. … Many adaptions seen in cavefish are aimed at surviving in a habitat with little food. Living in darkness, pigmentation and eyes are useless, or an actual disadvantage because of their energy requirements, and therefore typically reduced in cavefish. … Without sight, other senses are used and these may be enhanced. Examples include the lateral line for sensing vibrations, mouth suction to sense nearby obstacles (comparable to echolocation), and chemoreception (via smell and taste buds).
You’ve got to be wondering what it is about blind cavefish that reveals divine engineering. Prepare to be amazed. Here are some excerpts from Jeffrey’s article, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
How do fish with normal eyes in well-lit surface-water environments transform into blind cavefish, and should this loss of structures and functionality really be labeled evolution? The sophisticated mechanism involved in this transformation has dismayed biologists who hoped this would somehow showcase evolution. New results deflate such hopes, and point to a more accurate and creation-friendly model of radical blind cavefish changes.
Well, is it evidence of evolution or creationism? Jeffrey says:
As it turns out, the repression of eye development in cavefish is simply part of an overall strategy to conserve energy in dark and nutrient-deficient caves. In blind cavefish, eye development gets repressed and chemical, pressure, and touch sense organs get enhanced. Manufacturing and maintaining eyes and the visual centers of the brain requires and consumes large amounts of resources and energy. This drain on metabolic resources in a cave environment is alleviated when the eyes are inhibited from developing in young fish embryos.
We know that. Where’s the creationism? Jeffrey tells us:
In textbook evolution, random mutations in DNA are thought to occasionally provide some adaptive benefit to the organism. Based on this mindset, it was originally believed that harmful mutations in cavefish eye genes knocked out their function and caused a lack of development for eyes in fish embryos. However, when scientists determined the DNA sequence of different eye development genes in cavefish and compared them to the DNA of normal surface dwelling fish, no mutations were found. This inconvenient fact, combined with additional data showing sophisticated physiological and epigenetic mechanisms are involved in eye loss for successful cave life, sinks the evolutionary explanation for this once-classic example of “evolution in action.”
Jeffrey has a footnote that mentions (but doesn’t link to) this paper: An epigenetic mechanism for cavefish eye degeneration. All you can see is the abstract — which doesn’t even hint at creationism. It says:
Our results show that changes in DNA methylation-based gene repression can serve as an important molecular mechanism generating phenotypic diversity during development and evolution.
Jeffrey, however, thinks he’s really got something here. He announces:
Organisms do not adapt because they evolve, but because they were designed with innovative and clever innate systems to track and respond to environmental conditions.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] They were designed!
Then he leaps to his conclusion:
The process of adaptation in organisms is being unveiled by both secular scientists and creation scientists. Creationists maintain this is driven by a collection of ingenious mechanisms with all the hallmarks of divinely engineered systems designed by an omnipotent and all-wise Creator rather than random evolutionary processes.
So there you are, dear reader. The blind cavefish was “divinely engineered” and “designed by an omnipotent and all-wise Creator.” When this is added to the already towering stack of ICR articles showing how science proves the bible, how can you continue being a Darwinist?
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