Evolution of a Serpent: And You Shall Eat Dust All the Days of Your Life
Whenever one has the audacity to bring up the topic of evolution in front of a Creationist, the Creationist will invariably (if he is somewhat educated) ask to see proof of these transitional species evolutionists are always talking about. The very request is silly. All species are transitional. What the Creationist wants is a fossil of an ape-man or a fish-squirrel, some clear cartoonish symbol of movement from one species to the next. Of course, evolution doesn’t work in this way. Not remotely.
But every now and then scientists unearth a fossil that contains either vestiges of an organism’s past or early mutations that eventually led to its future. PhysOrg.com published one such example today: a snake with legs. Findings like this aren’t entirely novel. Some whales, after all, have femurs and tibias. (The NCSE article is an old one, but consider it a primer. I’m sure the study of vestigial structures in aquatic mammals has progressed since 1982, but this was the only discussion pertaining to whales that wasn’t part of a larger, more expansive text.)
Now, the argument against Creationism is a silly one to enter, even for sport. The discovery of this snake, I thought, is just the kind of “transitional” species Creationists are looking for. Surely they will be dumbfounded and without retort. Why argue?
Then I found this in the comments section:
So the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
- Genesis 3:14
To be fair to the commenter, I can’t say with any certainty how serious the person is about the quote. The obvious insinuation is that this fossilized snake fits in perfectly with the account of the serpent’s creation as depicted in Genesis; and, of course, instead of considering the wealth of scientific evolutionary research, your run-of-the-mill Creationist prefers to stick his fingers in his ears and seize upon a vague verse from a vague religious text to bolster a pre-conceived, static worldview.
Thus do we inhabit the Age of Reason.
Hopefully, the whole of the internet is purged before long and this blog along with it, just in case someone thousands of years from now unearths a mutant scavenger bird with scaly dorsal tentacles and an FM antenna hooked into its brain stem and thinks I had something to do with it.
February 7, 2011