Animal & Plant Species
Whythe Species Barrier cannot be Broken
This chapter is based on pp. 441-474 of Origin of the Life (Volume Two of our three-volume Evolution Disproved Series). Not included in this chapter are at least 87 statements by scientists. You will find them, plus much more, on our website: evolution-facts.org.
Evolution is based on change from one species to another. In chapters 9 and 10, Natural Selection and Mutations, we have found that there is no mechanism by which it can occur; and in chapter 12, Fossils and Strata, we will learn that there is no past evidence of such change.
The fact that all plant and animal true species are distinct types is a crux in the entire controversy. So we will here devote a full chapter to speciation. This material will help fill out the picture of what we are learning in other chapters.
DARWIN ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES—The battle over evolutionary theory finds its center in the species. This is where *Charles Darwin attempted to fight it, but without success. Even though he called his first book by that name, he never did try to figure out the origin of the species.
"Darwin never really did discuss the origin of the species in his Origin of the Species."—*Niles Eldredge, Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria, (1985), p. 33.
*Darwin could not figure out why species even existed. If his theory was correct, there would be no distinct species, only confused creatures everywhere and no two alike.
"Charles Darwin, himself the father of evolution in his later days, gradually became aware of the lack of real evidence for his evolutionary speculation and wrote: ‘As by this theory, innumerable transitional forms must have existed. Why do we not find them embedded in the crust of the earth? Why is not all nature in confusion instead of being, as we see them, well defined species?"—H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation (1966), p. 139.
To make the situation worse, *Darwin did not know of one instance in which a species changed into another.
"Not one change of species into another is on record . . we cannot prove that a single species has been changed."—*Charles Darwin, My Life and Letters.
ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES UNKNOWN—(*#1/27 Origin of the Species Unknown / #2/13 The Experts Are Puzzled*) The problem of species has become a major unsolved problem of the evolutionists, because they cannot figure out where they came from.
"More biologists would agree with Professor Hampton Carson of Washington University, St. Louis, when he says that speciation is ‘a major unsolved problem of evolutionary biology.’ "—*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 141.
"In the last thirty years or so speciation has emerged as the major unsolved problem. The British geneticist, William Bateson, was the first to focus attention on the question. In 1922 he wrote: ‘In dim outline evolution is evident enough. But that particular and essential bit of the theory of evolution which is concerned with the origin and nature of species remains utterly mysterious.’
Sixty years later we are if anything worse off, research having only revealed complexity within complexity."—*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 140.
1- IDENTIFYING THE SPECIES
PLANT AND ANIMAL CLASSIFICATIONS—(*#3/15 Classifying the Plants and Animals*) The science of classifying plants and animals is called taxonomy.
"Classification or taxonomy is the theory and practice of naming, describing, and classifying organisms."—*Stansfield, The Science of Evolution (1977), p. 98.
Taxonomists have placed all plants and animals in logical categories and then arranged them on several major levels, which are these:
It should be kept in mind that there is no such thing as a kingdom, phylum, class, order, or family. Those are just convenient names and are like rooms in a zoo or botanical garden, each one with a different collection of plant or animal species. It is the species that are alive; the rooms are not. The terms "phyla, classes, orders, families," and most of the "genera" are merely category labels. It is only the true species which should count. This includes some of what is listed as "species," and some life forms called "genera," which should be labeled as species.
Here is an example of how classification works. This is the classification of the house cat:
"PHYLUM Chordata—all animals possessing at some time in their life cycle pharyngeal pouches, a notochord, and a dorsal tubular nerve cord.
"SUBPHYLUM Vertebrata—all those animals that possess vertebrae.
"CLASS Mammalia—all those animals that have internally regulated body temperature, possess hair, and suckle their young.
"ORDER Carnivora—All those mammals whose teeth are adapted to a predatory mode of life, but which are not insectivores.
"FAMILY Felidae—all those Carnivora with retractile claws, lengthy tail, and a certain tooth arrangement.
"GENUS Felis—the true cats.
"SPECIES domestica—[the domesticated cats]."— Wayne Frair and Percival Davis, A Case for Creation (1983), p. 37.
SCIENTIFIC NAMES FOR SPECIES—If you go to the zoo, you will see a sign on one cage, "Giant Panda," with the words, "Alluropoda melanoleuca" just below it. The first line is capitalized and is the common name of this large black-and-white bear from China; the second line is its "scientific name." Scientists worldwide understand these two-part Latin names (called binominals). The first word is the genus, and the second is species. Sometimes the name of the discoverer or namer is added as a third word. The Swedish naturalist, Linnaeus, invented this method of scientific nomenclature in the 1750s.
*Darwin recognized that there was no evidence that any species had evolved from any other species. He decided that, instead of denying the existence of species, the only practical solution for evolutionists was, first, to classify plants and animals; second, point to similarities between them; and, then, declare that therefore one must have evolved from the other or from a common ancestor. From beginning to end, evolution is just theory, theory, theory.
THE GENESIS KIND—Back in the beginning, the law of the "Genesis kinds" was established:
"Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind . . And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind."—Genesis 1:11, 12.
In the same way, the birds, sea life, and animals were each to reproduce "after their kind" (Genesis 1:20-22, 24-25). This principle was not to be violated. And this is what we find in the fossil record and in the world today. The "Genesis kind" is generally equivalent to the species level, but sometimes the genus level. This variation is due to flaws in our humanly devised classification systems.
Since the Hebrew words used in Genesis for "create" and "kind" are bara and min, Frank Marsh, a careful research scholar in speciation, has suggested the term baramin as an identifying name for this "Genesis kind." (Min is used 10 times in Genesis 1, and 21 times in the rest of the Old Testament.) It would be a good word to use, since it is more accurate than "species," which can at times be incorrect. Other names for the Genesis kinds are the Genesis species, the true species, and the biological species. The present author favors "true species" as the term most easily understood.
BIOLOGICAL SPECIES—The term, "biological species," is increasingly becoming accepted as a basic reference point by scientists. Although there are instances in which obvious sub-species do not cross breed, biological species would normally apply to those species which do not cross-breed outside of their own kind. However, there are instances in which two sub-species of a true species no longer cross breed.
MICRO- VS. MACROEVOLUTION—(*#4/6 Micro and Macro*) Evolutionists point to changes WITHIN the species and call that "microevolution," and then proceed to tell us that such sub-species changes prove that theorized changes ACROSS species (which they term "macroevolution") must also be occurring.
But random gene shuffling within the species only produces new varieties and breeds. The DNA code barrier is not penetrated. New plant varieties and animal breeds never cross the species barrier.
New varieties and new breeds are not evolution; they are only variation within the already existing species. There is no such thing as "microevolution." Changes within the true species are not evolution.
COUNTING THE SPECIES—*Aristotle could list only about 500 kinds of animals; and his pupil, *Theophrastus, the most eminent botanist of ancient Greece, listed only about 500 different plants.
Through the centuries, as naturalists counted new varieties of creatures in the field, in the air, and in the sea, and as new areas of the world were explored, the number of identified species of animals and plants grew. By 1800 it had reached 70,000. Today there are several million. Two-thirds of them are animal and one-third are plant. The flowering plants and insects are the two largest single categories.
Nearly all of these millions of so-called "species" consist of sub-species of a much smaller number of original Genesis kinds, the true species. For example, today there are many different hummingbirds; but, originally, there was only one. Its gene pool permitted it to produce many sub-species.
JOHN RAY—John Ray (Wray) (1627-1705) apparently was the first scientist to formally recognize the "species." He prepared a large classification of all the species of plants and animals known in his time (about 18,600).
Ray was an earnest Christian who, in the wonderful structures of plants and animals, saw abundant evidence of a Creator’s hand.
CARL LINNAEUS—Carl von Linne (1707-1778) spent his adult life as a teacher at the University of Uppsala. At the age of 50, he latinized his name to "Carolus Linnaeus." The classification system of plants and animals developed by Linnaeus was to become the standard used today. He published it in his book, Systema Naturae, in 1735.
Linnaeus came to two definite conclusions: (1) Species were, for the most part, the equivalent of the "Genesis kind." (2) There had been no change across the basic categories—now or earlier. As a result of his studies, Linnaeus arrived at a firm belief in Special Creation and the fixity of species. He said, "We reckon as many species as issued in pairs from the hands of the Creator" (quoted in *H.F. Osborne, From the Greeks to Darwin, 1929, p. 187).
Men today may call themselves experts in taxonomy, but it is significant that the two men in human history able to lay a solid foundation for biological classification—saw in all their findings only evidence of Creation, not evolution.
LINNAEUS AND RAY—Linnaeus was the one who developed our modern system of classification. Unfortunately, he frequently listed, as separate species, life forms that could interbreed. Some of these decisions were based on ignorance, but nevertheless we live with the results today. Thus, the true species are not always those that are listed in the textbooks as "species." It is now recognized, by many qualified biologists, that John Ray did better quality work; for he carefully adhered to biological species in preparing his species categories. In contrast, Linnaeus at times confused them by placing true species in genera or sub-species categories.
LUMPERS AND SPLITTERS—There has been a perennial problem in regard to the "lumpers" and "splitters." There is a tendency for the taxonomists—the experts who classify plants and animals—to fall into one or the other of these two categories.
The lumpers place species together, which should be divided into sub-species. The splitters tend to put true species into sub-species categories.
"Lumper species," are also called "Linnaean species" because, back in the early 1700s, both Linnaeus and Ray pioneered the lumping of species. "Splitter species" are also called "Jordanian species" for the French botanist, Jordan, who initiated this approach in the early 1800s.
So today we find both Linnaean and Jordanian species scattered throughout the scientific lists of plants and animals. It is important to keep this in mind, for selective breeding of Jordanian species can appear to produce new species! This would appear to prove evolutionary claims, and indicate species cross-over has taken place, —when, actually, two members of different sub-species, of the same true species, have interbred.
When the Santa Gertrudis cattle were developed in the 1960s by breeding zebu bulls with strains of Texas longhorns, Herefords, and shorthorns, the result was a new sub-species; but some splitters classify it as a "new species." Yet the Santa Gertrudis is merely another type of the cattle species and able to crossbreed with several others.
COMPARING THE TREES
FAMILY TREE—(*#8/7 Our Family Tree*) Everyone has seen paintings in museums and textbooks of our "family tree," with its worms, birds, apes, and man shown in relation to how they evolved from one another. The impression is given that there can be no doubt that it really happened that way, for did not scientists prepare those charts?
The truth is that the "Evolutionary Tree of Life" is just another fake, like all the other "evidences" of evolutionary theory.
One example of what you will find on one "limb" of this imaginary "tree" are a mutually diverse group of creatures called the "coelenterates" solely because they have a sac-like body, tentacles, and a single mouth opening. Although coral and jellyfish are not a bit alike, they are therefore classified together. We are supposed to believe that, because coral and jellyfish are together on the tree, one evolved from the other! One is a hard-bodied creature; the other does not have a bone in its body. In the plant kingdom, the Compositae is merely a wastebasket category that includes all the flowering plants that cannot be fitted in somewhere else. So therefore, they are supposed to have evolved from one another. This "tree" is a classificationist’s nightmare!
All it really consists of is separate twigs, with each twig a separate species. Even *Richard Milner, a diligent evolutionist researcher, admits the fact.
"Delicate twigs, burgeoning in all directions, is closer to our current idea of evolutionary history."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 54.
SUBSPECIES OF DOGS
2 - FACTS ABOUT SPECIES
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SPECIES—Here are some facts about species and sub-species that will help you understand some of the problems inherent in this interesting field of plant and animal classification:
1 - Chickadees.The Carolina Chickadee (Parus carolinus) and the black-capped Chickadee (Parus atricapillus) look just like each other in every way, and freely interbreed. Yet they have different songs! Although they have been classified as two different species, we have here one species with two alternate gene factors.
2 - Wheat. Linnaeus classified spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L) as a different species than winter wheat (T. hybernum L). Yet they are both strains of the same wheat. They will cross and produce fertile hybrids. They should have been classified as sub-species.
3 - Ladybugs. The ladybird beetle (Coccinellidae) has been divided into a number of different "species," but solely on the basis of different wing covers and the number and arrangement of spots on their backs.
4 - Song sparrows. For over two centuries four species of sparrows in North America had been listed (Lincoln, fox, swamp, and song). Gradually this number increased as taxonomists moved westward and found additional sparrows. Soon we had lots of sparrow "species." But as more and more were discovered, it was recognized that they were but intermediates between the others! So the experts finally got together and reclassified them all as sub-species of but one species, the song sparrow (Passereila melodía).
5 - Foxes. The red fox (Vulpes fulva) and the Newfoundland red fox have been categorized in different species, although the only difference is a paler reddish coat and shorter tail for the Newfoundland variety. Six taxonomists list 10 varieties of red fox, while 2 others list one species (Vulpes fulva) and count 12 sub-species. All these foxes are actually in one true species.
6 - Cattle. There are several different sub-species of cattle (Bos taurus L). Although the American bison (Bison bison L) and the European bison (Bison bonasus L) have a similar morphology (appearance), they will still generally crossbreed with cattle. In addition, it has been discovered that the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) also interbreeds with them—yet the bison and cattle have been placed in totally different genera.
7 - Corn. One expert (*Sturtevant) categorized 6 species of corn (sweet, flint, flour, pod, dent, and popcorn) while other taxonomists acknowledge that they are all only varieties of one species.
8 - Finches. In the chapter on Natural Selection, we discuss *Charles Darwin’s finches (13, 14, 17, or 19; the count varies regarding this look-alike bird), which he found on the Galapagos Islands. Although about the same in size, shape and color, and together form a set of sub-species of finches which originally came from South America, yet Darwin called them different species—and therefore a proof of evolution. Those finches made a strong impression on his mind.
9 - Platypus. (*#9/3 The Creature that Fits no Category*) This one is so strange that it does not fit any category of animals.
"When zoologists examined a platypus for the first time, some suspected a hoax, thinking that parts of different animals had been sewn together. The platypus has the fur of an otter, the tail of a beaver, the bill and feet of a duck, and the venomous spurs of a fighting gamecock. Although the platypus is a mammal, it lays eggs and does not have nipples (milk oozes out of pore openings in the abdomen)."—*Asimov’s Book of Facts (1979), p. 135.
INCREASING SUB-SPECIES—There are many different sub-species in some species while there are but few for others. A key factor seems to be the ability of the creature to travel, whether by seed, spore, or in person.
For example, the tiny fruit flies cannot travel very far, so there are many varieties of them. The animal with the most sub-species appears to be the southern pocket gopher (Thomomys umbrinus) with 214 subspecies and, next to it, the northern pocket gopher (T. talpoides) with 66. Another highly isolated species is the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) with 66 subspecies.
In the case of animals that have been domesticated, such as dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, pigeons, and chickens, there are many sub-species as a result of selective breeding. The same holds true for cultivated crops (corn, beans, lettuce, and cabbage).
There are instances in which sub-species generally do not breed across sub-species. The other extreme is instances in which animals above the species level will produce young from an apparent cross-breeding. In some cases these are true species, and should have been classified as such. But there are also instances in which breeding didNOT occur—although it appeared to take place! In true fertilization, the male and female elements unite and produce young. But there are times when two different species have been bred and young have been produced—in which no true breeding occurred!
This false breeding takes place when the presence of male sperm stimulates the egg to begin production on a new life form, but the sperm is rejected because it is from a different species. The resulting birth is known as parthenogenesis. Scientific analysis has established that this false breeding across true species works in exactly the manner described here.
It is significant that mankind can never successfully breed across with any other species, including any of the great apes.
"There is no evidence of the origin of a hybrid between man and any other mammal."—*Edward Colin, Elements of Genetics, 1946, pp. 222-223.
One careful researcher (Frank Marsh) spent years tracking down every report of crosses above that of true species. Each time he found them to be hoaxes. One instance was of bird feathers sewn to a stuffed animal skin. It made good copy for a newspaper article, so it was printed.
3 - DISPROVING SPECIES EVOLUTION
MENDELIAN GENETICS—It has been said that the foundations of evolutionary theory were laid by the work of *Charles Darwin (1809-1882), but that the principles which Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) discovered, as he worked with garden peas at about the same time that Darwin was writing his book, were the means of abolishing that theory.
Everyone is acquainted with the illustration of the rough and smooth-coated guinea pigs. It was the work of Mendel that formed the basis for understanding the transmission of inherited characteristics. Mendel prepared the foundation for modern genetics. It was later discovered that within the cell are chromosomes, and inside the chromosomes are genes, and inside them is the coded DNA. (For more information on this, see chapter 8, DNA.) Random shuffling of the genetic code is what determines whether or not that baby guinea pig will inherit a rough or a smooth coat from its parents. But either way he will remain a guinea pig. Because that tiny newborn creature is locked into being a guinea pig is the reason why Darwin’s theory crumbles before the science of genetics.
PRIMITIVE ANCESTORS—Evolutionists tell us that certain creatures are more "primitive" than others, and are their "ancestors." But that is just theory. Consider but one example: the monotremes and the marsupials, which are supposed to be "primitive ancestors" of the mammals. Both have organs that are different from mammals and just as complex. (For an excellent analysis, see A.W. Mehlert, "A Critique of the Alleged Reptile to Mammal Transition" in Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1988, p. 10.)
MANY VARIATIONS POSSIBLE—Yes, variations are limited by the species barrier,—but immense variations are possible within a given species!
*Francisco Ayala has calculated that, among humans, a single couple could theoretically produce 102017 children before they would have to produce one that was identical to one of their earlier children (not counting identical twins, which came from the same egg and sperm). That would be 1 followed by 2017 zeroes. The number of atoms in the known universe is only 1080. So the number of possible variations within any given species is quite broad. Yet all of them would only be variations within the same species.
ALWAYS A LIMIT—We discussed artificial selection in chapter 9, Natural Selection, and found it to be highly selective plant and animal breeding. In regard to any given single factor, selective breeding may, for a time, be carried out; but soon a limit in factor variety will be reached. What limits it? It is the DNA code in the genes. That code forbids a cross-over to a new species. The genetic makeup within the chromosomes forms a barrier, a literal wall of separation between one species and another.
LIMITS OF VARIABILITY—This is a crucial factor. All evolutionary theory pivots on whether or not there are such limits on how far you can breed differences in a species. Can one species change into another one? If there are definite limits forbidding it, then evolution cannot occur. An evolutionary encyclopedia provides us with a brief overview of the history of theory and "pure-line research" into limits of variability:
"Alfred Russell Wallace and Charles Darwin had insisted that through gradual, continuous change, species could (in Wallace’s phrase) ‘depart indefinitely from the original type.’ Around 1900 came the first direct test of that proposition: the ‘pure line research’ of Wilhelm Ludwig Johannsen (1857-1927). What would happen, Johannsen wondered, if the largest members of a population were always bred with the largest, and the smallest with the smallest? How big or how small would they continue to get after a few generations? Would they ‘depart indefinitely’ from the original type, or are there built-in limits and constraints?
"Experimenting on self-fertilizing beans, Johannsen selected and bred the extremes in sizes over several generations. But instead of a steady, continuous growth or shrinkage as Darwin’s theory seemed to predict, he produced two stabilized populations (or ‘pure lines’) of large and small beans. After a few generations, they had reached a specific size and remained there, unable to vary further in either direction. Continued selection had no effect.
"Johannsen’s work stimulated many others to conduct similar experiments. One of the earliest was Herbert Spencer Jennings (1868-1947) of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, the world authority on the behavior of microscopic organisms. He selected for body size in Paramecium and found that after a few generations selection had no effect. One simply cannot breed a paramecium the size of a baseball. Even after hundreds of generations, his pure lines remained constrained within fixed limits, ‘as unyielding as iron.’
"Another pioneer in pure line research was Raymond Pearl (1879-1940), who experimented with chickens at the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station. Pearl took up the problem . . [to] evolve a hen that lays eggs all day long.
"He found you could breed some super-layers, but an absolute limit was soon reached . . In fact, Pearl produced some evidence indicating that production might actually be increased by relaxing selection—by breeding from ‘lower than maximum’ producers."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 376.
Whatever we may try to do within a given species, we soon reach limits which we cannot break through. A wall exists on every side of each species. That wall is the DNA coding, which permits wide variety within it (within the gene pool, or the genotype of a species)—but no exit through that wall.
"Darwin’s gradualism was bounded by internal constraints, beyond which selection was useless."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 46.