June 6, 2013
NO ONE BELIEVES IN eVOLUTION ANY MORE:
Darwin's Finches (Priscilla Long, American Scholar)
Then came what became known as the "selection event of 1977." A severe drought. The rainy season brought no rain. Plants dried up. The finches pecked the scorched volcanic earth in a desperate search for seeds. The total number of seeds declined and the available seeds were harder, larger ones that smaller-beaked birds could not crack open. Finches died in droves. On the island Daphne Major, in March 1976, the total number of finches was 1,400. By December 1977, fewer than 300 remained. The survivors were the larger birds with the beaks--both deep and narrow--better able to crack open the hardest seedpods. It was, writes Weiner, "the most intense episode of natural selection ever documented in nature."Here was natural selection occuring not over the slow eons, as Darwin and his contemporaries and scions assumed it must, but in a few short seasons before the very eyes of the Grants and their co-researchers.How much bigger were the beaks of the survivors? About one-half a millimeter. Consider that a lentil is an enormous four millimeters wide. To the finches, a half millimeter made the difference between life and death.Now that they had survived, would these bigger birds be able to pass to their offspring their bigger bodies and bigger beaks?Yes they would. After survival, sex. After natural selection, sexual selection. A majority of the survivors were male, since during the drought their larger size had given them an advantage. In finch society during breeding season, the male builds a nest and sings. The female chooses her mate.In the seasons following the great drought, with rain levels back to normal, among G. fortis, the medium ground finch on Daphne Major, the females consistently selected the biggest males with the blackest feathers and the strongest beaks. Over the next few generations, the entire population of G. fortis grew larger, with stronger beaks.And there you have it. Evolution through natural selection.
Even setting aside the old line that, "No one can tell the finches apart other than the Grants," note how meager the claim is here. Even Darwinists have stopped pretending that natural selection can produce speciation.
Posted by Orrin Judd at June 6, 2013 5:29 AM
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