Turtles Are Proof of Creationism

Prepare to be stunned, dear reader. Your silly belief in evolution is about to be blown away by the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.

Their latest article will clearly convince you that turtles have always existed as turtles — going all the way back to the beginning of the world, 6,000 years ago. It’s titled Turtles Have Always Been Turtles.

It was written by Frank Sherwin, M.A. (He’s so proud of his Master’s degree.) At the end of the article he’s described as “Research Associate at ICR” with an “M.A. in zoology from the University of Northern Colorado.” Here are some excerpts from his article, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Turtles (Chelonia) are found in oceans, freshwater ponds, and on land. The Galapagos tortoise is the largest living species of tortoise and, like the sea turtle, is able to live well over a century. … Like all other animal kinds, turtles have always been turtles, and “the relationship of turtles to other reptiles is controversial.”

Sherwin has a footnote after that last sentence. In fact, his article has eight footnotes. We haven’t pursued any of them, but you are certainly free to do so. Then he says:

Evolutionist Ann Campbell Burke spoke of turtle evolution as an “evolutionary conundrum” and a “puzzle,” [Gasp!] saying, “It is already clear, however, that a strong consensus of turtle roots will not ‘solve’ all the riddles of their morphological [form or appearance] evolution,” and a more recent study stated, “The early evolution of turtles continues to be a contentious issue in vertebrate palaeontology.”

Wikipedia has an article on the Turtle, with some information about their evolution, but it does appear to be a bit fuzzy. Sherwin tells us:

Just as there is quite an array of different dog breeds from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane, we’re not surprised to find a variety of turtles since they were and are designed [Designed!] to move in and fill diverse ecological niches.

That explains a lot! Sherwin continues, and the stuff you see in brackets that isn’t in red font is his:

When it comes to the origin of the turtle’s unique shell, an evolutionist recently reported, “How the turtle shell evolved has puzzled scientists for years.” [A shocking admission!] Some secular scientists suggest the turtle Hox genes [homeotic genes involved in the basic developmental body plan] may be the reason for the remarkable transformation of a tetrapod (amniote) into turtles, but there’s no compelling scientific evidence for this.

If there’s no compelling evidence, creationism is the only answer. The article concludes with this:

God created a large number of animal kinds with amazing designs, the turtles among them. They were, and are, small and large. They have various features (horned shells, different beaks, flippers, claws, etc.), but they’re all turtles. Always were, always will be.

So it really is turtles all the way down. Now don’t you feel silly, dear reader?

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29 responses to “Turtles Are Proof of Creationism

  1. This is B Plus work Frank. I had hoped for “god created large and small turtles” earlier in your report. Please be more direct . Signed, Mrs Liota , your 4th grade teacher. 🙂

  2. And all of the different shapes and sizes of turtles were designed for their particular niche. Just as each of the other plants and animals have been designed to share those niches.
    For example, take the various eyes. The ocean turtles have their vertebrate-style eyes designed for the ocean. While the ocean octopuses have their octopus-style eyes designed for the ocean. And the ocean jellyfish have their lack of eyes designed for their existence in the ocean.

  3. Dave Luckett

    Turtles, tortoises and terrapins – all same! Species adaptations are just details. So now we have a whole Order – the Testudines – claimed as one “kind”. The fact that Galapagos tortoises and down-home snappin’ turtles are a whole lot less alike than humans and gorillas (let alone chimpanzees) will not prevent Sherwin from claiming that the latter groups are different kinds. Because. Sherwin just knows this. Divine inspiration. So much surer than actually thinking.

  4. I have to point out that the Bible never uses the Hebrew word “min” ( kind) in reference to humans. It is particularly noticeable in Genesis 1, when all of those living things are “according to their kind” until when it comes to humans. No kind.
    Also, the Bible doesn’t know about gorillas, chimps, orangs, or gibbons. (The word “ape” in the English of the King James Version referred to what we now call [old world] monkeys.)

  5. Michael Fugate

    Which came first the turtle or the niche?

  6. chris schilling

    @TomS says:
    “And the ocean jellyfish have their lack of eyes designed for their existence in the ocean.”

    You’re clever, young man, very clever. But it’s creationism all the way down.🎓

  7. Usual creationist lies – I remind them to the half-turtle Odontochelys semitestacea from the Triassic of China. Turtles were not always turtles.

  8. @ Dave The mighty Terrapins of the University of Maryland Abbreviated name the ” Terps ” .

  9. Turtles had to always be there. The world balances on the back of a turtle. Or is that something other than the babble. Gee, I get so confused with my cosmologies. If only there was a scientific way to settle all this…..

  10. There are way too many smart [bleeps!} on this site.
    @Take eg JSJ: “I remind them to the half-turtle”
    Aha! But where are 1/4 turtle and the 3/4 turtle?
    Checkmate, athiest!
    The correct conclusion hence is that Odontochelys semitestacea either is a turtle or not a turtle at all.

    @MichaelF also thinks he’s: “Which came first the turtle or the niche?”
    Read Genesis 1, silly fool, you can find the answer there. Or ask the TWVE scientists of ICR. Better still, ask Ol’Hambo.

    In the mean time there is a little something I don’t understand.

    “the relationship of turtles to other reptiles is controversial.”
    Then why call them reptiles?

  11. Dave Luckett

    If Genesis never uses the word “min” (kind) of human beings, does that mean that Scripture teaches that humans are not of a kind? I rather think that is a long bow to pull. After all, it does teach common descent of all human
    beings – a fairly radical idea in its day.

    Does it teach that apes – which are today described as “tailless primates”, and which therefore includes humans – are of different kinds? Difficult to argue that, since it does not mention what we regard as apes today at all. Does it even teach that old-world monkeys and humans are of different kinds? Monkeys are not mentioned in Genesis, either, being only found in an identical reference in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, but it would be difficult to argue that, also.

    The problem, of course, is definition, and creationists like to weasel between nonce understandings, usually without any attempt at definition – as here. But since one of the central shibboleths of creationism is “I ain’t kin to no ape”, we can confidently expect that whatever the Bible says or doesn’t say about apes or human beings, the creationist noise machine will insist that they are different kinds, although in the same family, Hominidae, while also insisting that turtles and tortoises are the same kind, although they form an entire Order, Testudines the members of which are far more diverse among themselves than humans and other apes are.

    What, you expect consistency?

  12. And the only mention of “turtle” in the KJV is as a bird, the turtle dove.

  13. Christine Marie Janis

    This is the usual creationist mishmash of quotemines, lies and halftruths.

    Annie Burke has not worked on turtles for over 20 years, thus any quote from her would be before the several transitional turtle fossils that have been recently discovered.

    Also, these sorts of words from scientists (” “evolutionary conundrum” and a “puzzle,”) are usually culled from the introduction of a paper where the writers lay out the existing issues, before they announce how their new research has actually solved the ‘problem’ posed in the intro.

    I don’t have any of Annie Burke’s evodevo papers on turtles to hand to check those particular quotemines, but this quote was easy to track down.

    “How the turtle shell evolved has puzzled scientists for years.”

    It’s from a BBC report on a paper in Nature that documents the fossil of an early turtle that lacks a shell, thus throwing much more light on the issue of the evolution of the turtle shell.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45261121

  14. “God created a large number of animal kinds with amazing designs, the turtles among them. They were, and are, small and large. They have various features (horned shells, different beaks, flippers, claws, etc.), but they’re all turtles.” And since all these different kinds were individually created, they must have been represented on the Ark. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about

  15. @PaulB doesn’t get creacrap, which is very unusuaL: there is only one kind of turtles (hence “turtles have always been turtles”), so only two pair enterd and left the Ark. Subsequently hyper-accelerated micro-evolution is responsible for all the different species.
    That this is not worth thinking about, well, that’s what it’s creacrap for. ChristineMJ just has confirmed that the principle “creacrappers are guilty of lying until proven otherwise” still works as fine as always.

  16. @FrankB
    Are turtles (other than the KJV turtle doves) fish?

  17. Michael Fugate

    Sea turtles on day 5, tortoises on day 6. Were amphibious animals caught between days?

  18. What about penguins, which don’t fly but do swim, or ostriches which do neither? Asking for a friend

  19. Sherwin just posted another one at the ICR website: Bats Have Always Been Bats .

  20. But they haven’t awlays been quite so batty. Wikipedia: The 2003 discovery of an early fossil bat from the 52 million year old Green River Formation, Onychonycteris finneyi, indicates that flight evolved before echolocative abilities.[20][21] Onychonycteris had claws on all five of its fingers, whereas modern bats have at most two claws on two digits of each hand. It also had longer hind legs and shorter forearms, similar to climbing mammals that hang under branches

  21. @TomS, MichaelF and PaulB: dunno, I’m an incurable darwinist nazicommie. My understanding of creacrap is limited andjust a bit better than yours – sometimes, for very brief moments. Then materialist brainYou should ask an expert, like FrankS from ICR, Ol’Hambo or the author who declared that

    “The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger.”

    @SC: nice link, especially the last sentence. It means that the IDiots from Seatlle are no non-evilutionists.

  22. Snakes Have Always Been Snakes, Cats Have Always Been Cats, Dogs Have Always been Dogs.

    Hey, this creationist publishing is EZ. EZ Has Always Been EZ.

    I could be famous!

    Our daily dog walk takes us across the golf course past the Par 3 short hole (100 yards) with an amazing water hazard. It’s a good sized pond with turtles, snakes, fish and visited by Wood Ducks, Heron, Ibis and Cormorants. It also has a nifty Gravitational Anomaly that will pull down a flying golf ball right into the water. Ker-PLUNK!

    Anyhoo, it’s turtle hatchling season and the little nippers are all over the place sitting on logs, along the shore and on the cypress tree knees. Cute little guys! Wonderfully and blessedly made, of course.

  23. It’s like the song from Casablanca:
    You must remember this,
    A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
    A bat is just a bat,
    The fundamental things apply,
    As time goes by.

  24. @SC
    That last article makes the astounding claim that the origin of mammals is somehow cryptic.

  25. Michael Fugate

    Evolutionary biologists don’t think rodents turned into bats (I always imagine God in a Monty Python pet shop skit altering a terrier) – the two orders are not thought that closely related. Bats are in the Laurasiatheria with moles, carnivores, and ungulates while rodents are in the Euarchontoglires with primates and rabbits.

    The Smithsonian article is about the fossil record and doesn’t mention the molecular data. As with turtles, the answer for creationists will always be the same no matter what evidence science uncovers. As docbill says it is EZ, too EZ.

  26. And dinosaurs were always dragons!

  27. So, a bat is not a Fledermaus (flitter mouse).

  28. With deference and awe to the great finger in the sky, with regards to Sherwin, I believe “Bats In The Belfry”. a reference to a certain degree of insanity might be appropriate here. O great one.

  29. Michael Fugate

    Evolution of the Turtle Body Plan by the Folding and Creation of New Muscle Connections
    Science 325, 193 (2009);
    Hiroshi Nagashima, et al.
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1173826