Creation Paper- Did Horses Really Evolve?

GvD Christie
Did Horses Really Evolve?

There is a deep conflict between evolutionists and creationists. Scientists on both “sides” frequently debate the truth of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Darwin was made famous by his popularizing of evolution in his two most-popular books, On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man.

Although creationists are frequently portrayed as a powerless, obsessive minority, most of the great scientific minds of history have been Bible-believing Christians who believed that their faith made their scientific studies not just better, but possible. Such is the case with Sir Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Francis Bacon, and many others who were all devout Christians. Creationists merely claim that the God of Christianity created the Earth, rather than the undirected, random processes of the Big Bang (or other evolutionary origin theories).

Evolution claims that horses, like everything else in this world, evolved over millions of years through chance processes from a common ancestor. On the other hand, creationists claim that animals were created in separate “kinds” (read the first chapter of Genesis). Creationists postulate that natural selection and mutation can produce varieties within these original kinds, but never turn an animal into a different kind (as evolution requires).

A common evolutionary propaganda idea is the "horse series." The famed horse series, allegedly showing the process of the evolution of the horse, has been proven wrong by new discoveries in science. Nevertheless, it is still presented as fact in many evolutionary resources. But first let's look more into the history of the horse fossils contained in the series.

In 1841, paleontologist Richard Owen found a fossil. He dubbed it Hyracotherium because of its similarity to the hyrax, or rock badger. Owen did not see any relation to the horse upon his first examination. Nevertheless, two scientists, O.C. Marsh and T.H. Huxley, decided to rename the discovery Eohippus after noting supposed evolutionary similarities to the modern horse (Sarfati, n.p.). Eohippus had the teeth of an omnivore, was about the size of a large dog, and had multiple toes – four in the front, three in the back.

And from that first discovery of Eohippus came the rest of the famed tree of horse evolution, frequently used as an excellent example and “proof” of the evolution. In this evolutionary tree, Mesohippus follows Eohippus, appearing suddenly about 15 million years later, with a “vestigial” fourth toe in the front legs. About 17 million years ago, the evolutionary model says, came Merychippus. It had evolved longer legs, better suited for running (like the modern horse) and had only three toes (Hunt, n.p.).

This “clear-cut tree,” as it is described in many textbooks, is now said to be more reminiscent of an indistinguishable bush, showing no progression of evolution. Nevertheless, this diagram even appears in the famous Smithsonian Museum – and yet there are numerous problems with it!

First of all, there are no “transitional” species between the three previously mentioned fossils. There is only sudden, abrupt change. If the evolutionary theory was true, one would expect to find multiple fossils showing the slow disappearance of toes and lengthening of legs. Even more problematic is the fact that there is no way for the evolutionist to describe how the change took place. Quite literally, all that is said is that these early horses “gave rise” to later horses (Hunt, n.p.), but there is no explanation of how this occurred.

Supposed “vestigial” organs are frequently cited as another example of evolution. Toes that were on previous horses and remain on later ones, but are “useless,” supposedly proves how horses changed. However, not all evolutionists agree with this view – in fact, the evolutionary zoologist S.R. Scadding has even said, “vestigial organs provide no evidence for evolutionary theory.” (Sarfati, n.p.).

This is due to two main reasons. First, it often happens that a part of an animal is deemed vestigial, only later to have a use found; just because the use of an organ is unknown does not automatically mean it has no use. Secondly, vestigial organs, if anything, prove de-volution rather than evolution – vestigial organs would show a loss of information because the organ is no longer working, rather than the increase of information as required by evolution. (Batten, n.p.) In the case of the horse, especially, vestigial limbs cannot be proof. For instance, the splint bone, which was supposed to be vestigial (Hunt, n.p.), does indeed have a function: it protects the extremely important suspensory ligament and helps support the horse’s slender legs while galloping. (Sarfati, n.p.)

Even if fossil horses have different numbers of toes, or are different sizes, there is no reason to assert that there was an evolutionary sequence between them. Even today, there have been horses in the Southwestern part of the United States that have multiple toes similar to the fossilized Pliohippus. The genes for the multiple toes are still there, just usually hidden. (Sarfati, n.p.)

Today, there are many variations on the general horse “kind” – there is the massive Clydesdale, the well-known draft horse that pulls the Budweiser wagon; and there is the miniscule Miniature Horse, which can be as few as eighteen inches tall. (Sarfati, n.p.) Looking at these two side by side, it is true that they look very different – but nevertheless, each is still a horse. Just like the fossilized horses unearthed, some living horses are very small and some are very tall.

Despite the undisputed differences between these now extinct horses and the modern horses, it can easily be argued that the former are merely variations on today’s horse kind. The supposed vestigial organs of the horse, which were thought to prove its evolution, are not evidence for evolution, and further, horses have no useless organs. And yet, the evolution of the horse is still taught in schools today as truth! Whether you believe evolution occurred or not depends on your worldview and how you interpret the facts. However, the scientific evidence fits more easily in a Biblical worldview rather than an evolutionary worldview.

God Bless,

GvD Christie

Works Cited

-*- Batten, Dr. Don, and Dr. Jonathan Sarfati. “’Vestigial’ Organs: What Do They Prove?” 10 April 2008.

-*- Hunt, Kathleen. “Horse Evolution.” TalkOrigins Jan. 4, 1995. 8 April 2008.

-*- Menton, David N., Ph.D. “The Human Tail, and other Tales of Evolution.” 1997. Missouri Association for Creation. 19 April 2008.

-*- Sarfati, Jonathan. “The non-evolution of the horse.” Creation Volume 21. June 1999 on Answers in Genesis. 8 April 2008.


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