The debate over evolution normally centers on the fossil record. Evolutionists maintain that it documents their claims of graduated changes over millions of years. Creationists, along with the neo-evolutionists or punctuated equilibriumists, see not a record of slow graduated changes, but rather sudden rapid changes from one kind to another. “Where,” they ask, “are all the transitionals then?” “There, reply the traditional evolutionists – can’t you see them?” “Er not really,” reply their opponents, “show us one more time.”
When pressed, the evolutionists generally become a bit more coy and round the apparently millions of examples of transitionals down to about two: Archaeopteryx, along with a few examples of skeletons which were used by an artist with an overactive imagination to draw what he thinks it might have looked like with some flesh, lots of straggly hair and big knuckles.
Personally, I find the whole “is-it-a-transitional-fossil-or-isn’t-it” thing a bit of a sidetrack to Nowheresville. What I really want to see – if I am to accept the theory of evolution – is not some disputed examples of dead transitionals, but some real living ones. You know, ones which actually have flesh and skin on so I can see if they are authentic or not, rather than relying on someone who saw Planet of the Apes at a cannabis party back in 1969 and thought it was a documentary.
Now this is where the evolutionists get really annoyed and start saying, “look there are plenty of living transitionals if you open your eyes and look. Here is a moth which has adapted and changed color over time, for example.” To which I respond, “That’s great. I’m all for moths changing color over time as a conservative mechanism to protect the species. But I’m afraid that’s not quite what I’m looking for. I am aware that microevolution – adaptations within kinds – occurs. The Bible assumes that it does, as it starts with one man and one woman, and ends with people of all nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues. What I want is a living transitional from one kind to another. A cow/whale hybrid for example. Or an apeman. Anything like that would do.”
To which the evolutionists reply that such creatures did exist, but they died out. Survival of the fittest and all that. However, far from placating me, this confuses me more than ever and I reply, no doubt naively and with an utter failure to understand the finer nuances of Darwinism, “But if the apemen all died out because their genes just weren’t strong enough, then why are the apes still around? Their genes were surely weaker than the apemen’s, which is why the stronger ones apparently evolved in the first place. Surely they should all have died out when the apemen emerged.”
Having revealed my scepticism, I have recently been eating my words, with a nice dollop of mint sauce on the side. For on March 31st this year, a lamb was born at a farm in Northumberland, England, with five legs.1 I kid you not. The lamb, which is named Quinto, is said to be perfectly fine with her extra appendage, which is fully formed. She has become the star attraction at the farm, with hundreds of visitors turning up to see her. However, a shadow hangs over Quinto, as the threat of amputation stalks her every day of her life, should her extra leg become problematic.
Amputated? I can scarce believe this. Evolutionists ought to be protesting vigorously. They ought to be standing outside that farm waving placards. They have been waiting for years for a real live kind-to-kind transitional animal to come along, and now that a candidate has emerged, surely they cannot just stand back and allow it to have its transitional leg cut off.
More research needs to be done, but it appears that Quinto is evolving into another creature and so may well be the only example of a living kind-to-kind transitional creature anywhere in the world. Of course it is too early too early to tell which kind of creature she is evolving into, and it could take another million years or so before we know for sure. However, all early indications seem to point to one of three possibilities.
The first is that Quinto is an example of a transitional species somewhere between a lamb and a sort of giant, woolly spider. Tests may need to be carried out to see if Quinto has a predilection for flies, and if confirmed, she may well need to be given a new species name: a Speep or a Spamb perhaps. It may even be the case that when fully evolved into an eight-legged Spamb, Quinto’s descendants could even end up possessing the ability to spin their own wool. That would be cool, wouldn’t it?
The second possibility is that the extra appendage has appeared as an anomaly and is merely a throwback to the evolutionary past of the sheep. If this turns out to be the case, then the history of sheep evolution may have to be radically revised, as it would appear that sheep may well have evolved directly from the octopus. Again tests will need to be carried out, but if Quinto is seen to be gravitating towards water and prefers sprawling along the ground rather than walking, this would be strong evidence in favor of the Octopamb theory.
The final possibility is that the extra limb is simply a defense mechanism against predators such as foxes. The extra limb would allow lambs such as Quinto to run away from a fox at full speed, but give them the ability to kick their attackers in the head with the extra leg without needing to slow down.
So I say leave Quinto’s fifth leg alone. Let us see if evolution is happening right before our very eyes. If we cut it off we might never get to find out. And then all we’ll have between us and actually accepting the Genesis account will be good old Archaeopteryx and all those dodgy drawings.