Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Sharks And The City"

It’s no secret that I don’t buy into the “theory” of evolution – except to admit that it is indeed a theory. It certainly hasn’t met the test of becoming a scientific law, even though modern science winks and tells us that…(whisper)…it really has.

Today, an article was published by AFP News Agency (that’s in France) entitled, “World-first hybrid shark found off Australia”. In this “news” story, they tell of a shark found near Australia which appears to be a breed combining two separate species of sharks. While very similar in size and appearance, the Australian black-tip shark is supposed to only tolerate warmer climates, while the common black-tip shark is found farther south and survives in cooler environments (that is, closer to Antarctica). What they found were at least 57 sharks in the warmer waters which had hybrid genetics from both breeds of shark. Put simply, at one time, some Australian sharks mated with some non-Australian sharks and they swam north, to be found in the warmer climate. In theory, these hybrid sharks might have the genetics in place to survive a wider range of temperatures (though nowhere in the article do they actually prove that this is true).

The writer of the article seems to have fallen completely for the modern evolution argument, and makes some very serious assumptions and errors. I feel compelled to point these out, because…hey…no one in the news world seems to challenge the modern “scientific method”. Here are some excerpts from the article, and my responses:

First – the title says “World-first hybrid shark”, but is that really the case? What should have been written is that these are the first to be discovered. The article actually later does say (near the bottom) that more than one generation of hybrid shark was found, and that testing could be done to determine if this phenomenon had been going on undetected for some time. But the title doesn’t really lead you to believe that, does it? It’s meant to be a little sensationalistic.

Second, the author says that this finding is “a potential sign the predators were adapting to cope with climate change”. Well, that is a real stretch. It implies that these sharks met each other at some halfway point, with knowledge of each other’s differing temperature capabilities, and struck a bargain. Something like this - “Hello, fellow Chondrichthyes! We sharks are all aware of the impending global warming crisis. You guys down south seem to be able survive at a wider variety of temps. Doesn’t it make sense that, maybe if we interbred, we might be able to transfer some of that temperature tolerance into our own genetic code? Then we sharks up north would be better prepared for what’s ahead!  Just sayin'!” Um, I’m sorry, but I just don’t think sharks are that smart. What is more likely is that some northern sharks were down south at the same time that some southern sharks were up north, and they had a little “shark party”. Remember, their brains are not supposed to be very big, right?

Third, the researcher in the article tells us that “If it (the Australian shark) hybridises with the common species it can effectively shift its range further south into cooler waters, so the effect of this hybridising is a range expansion”. But isn’t that the reverse of the desired trait? If the earth is warming, why would they want to be able to expand their range into cooler waters? The researcher didn’t think through this statement when he made the claim attaching all of this behavior to sharks responding to global warming.

Fourth, the lead researcher for the discovery said, “This is evolution in action.” Again, I have to say, “No”. There is no evolving to a higher form that occurred here. Sharks down south already had the enhanced cold-tolerance. The mating of the two species simply transferred a trait that already existed in the species to a new hybrid. That is no different than breeding a curly-haired poodle with a straight-haired Yorkshire terrier in order to get a playful dog that doesn’t shed. Dog breeders do that all the time, but no one calls it “evolution”. It is simply breeding within species to express certain desired traits. Man has been breeding animals for this purpose...since the Creation.

Fifth, they write, “It means the Australian black-tip could be adapting to ensure its survival as sea temperatures change because of global warming.” What a leap toward the author’s conclusion – global warming! But let me ask - if “survival of the fittest” were truly in play here, wouldn’t it make more sense for the more temperature-tolerant shark to just wait around for the other sharks to die out when the environment becomes warmer? If the sharks are so intelligent about this whole thing, why would the hardier shark lend his genes to the weaker breed at all? The desired trait is already in place in the southern sharks. Why not just let things be, and move into the Australian waters later when the weak breed dies out?  The researchers are attributing intelligence to the shark's behavior that is simply not possible.

Finally, I have to ask: What prevents the Australian shark from “adapting” by swimming a couple of hundred miles south (away from the equator) every hundred years or so (assuming the steady “global warming” theory is real)? Again, if they are so smart, this seems like a pretty viable solution – and much more believable than sharks having a genetics discussion and striking a bargain over some social wine and caviar.

Sigh…I read these things, and I wonder, “Does anyone else cry out for a little truth in the scientific process?” I think I was raised in a pretty rigorous classroom that taught the scientific method well. But articles like this tell me that our world is moving away from what makes sense…to a place where men seek to please their own itching ears. Hmmm…where have I heard that before?

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