Does 'The Beak Of The Finch' Prove Darwin Was Right? | The Institute for Creation Research
Does 'The Beak Of The Finch' Prove Darwin Was Right?

As the naturalist on the Beagle, Charles Darwin made numerous valuable observations of as yet undiscovered plants and animals. Along the way, the Beagle anchored for an extended stay in the Galapagos Islands, 600 miles off the western coast of South America. While the crew mapped these rugged volcanic islands, Darwin studied the unique animals living there, especially the numerous varieties of finches, today classed as fourteen different species. Numerous features suggested to Darwin that these birds were related to each other and related to similar birds in South America. Yet they showed significant differences between them, including some features not found in South America. Of particular interest were the beaks. Some were small, others parrot-like. Some were curved, one had a boring beak.

Some creationists of Darwin's day held to the absolute immutability of species, that God had created each species for each specific ecological habitat, and no significant changes had ever occurred or could ever occur. But, to Darwin, these animals appeared to be related and now showed much variety. They further appeared to have migrated from South America and acquired other traits after arrival. He could not reconcile the evidence with this particular creationist teaching. Thus his concept of evolution by natural selection began to take form.

But today's creationists, and even some in Darwin's day, freely allow for limited change within created kinds, or basic categories. It is within the creationist model to propose that the present varieties of finch descended from one or more ancestral categories of finch and that migration of animals into new areas can and does happen. Creationists agree fully with Darwin over the finches. But they disagree with the wholly unsupported evolutionary speculation that finches evolved from fish and ultimately from single-celled organisms. Rather, the evidence better fits the idea that each basic category of animal was created as that category. Changes are limited by the genetic information present at the start.

What, then, are we to make of the recent newspaper articles worldwide proclaiming that a new study of finches and their beaks have shown "Darwin was Right"? A team of Princeton scientists have won a prestigious award for 20 years of study of the finch's beaks on one tiny island in the Galapagos chain, home of only a few finch species, and a best-selling novel entitled The Beak of the Finch tells their story and explains their findings. Just what was found?

The two scholars, Drs. Peter and Rosemary Grant observed how, under drought conditions, birds with larger beaks were better adapted than others, thus their percentage increased. But this trend reversed when the cyclical conditions reversed. Furthermore, in times of drought, the normally separate species were observed to cross-breed. They are related after all. Darwin was right!

But is this really evolution? Even after the changes there is still the same array of beak sizes and shapes. This is variation and adaptation, not evolution.

Actually, de-evolution has occurred; the observation is that there are larger groupings of species into what may be more reminiscent of the originally created kind. Creation agrees with Darwin's observations and with the newer observations, but evolution doesn't, even though the Grants interpret this as rapid evolution. Wonderful study-great data, wrong interpretation.

*Dr. John Morris is the President of ICR.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 1994. Does 'The Beak Of The Finch' Prove Darwin Was Right?. Acts & Facts. 23 (12).

The Latest
Continuous Environmental Tracking : An Engineering-Based Model...
Purpose The Institute for Creation Research is engaged in our biggest science initiative in the last two decades, and it could be our most important...

CET: Testing the Cavefish Model
Staff Writer Purpose The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is testing an engineering- based model of rapid biological adaptation called...

Original Biochemistry in Fossils
Purpose In 1997, paleontologist Dr. Mary Schweitzer accidentally stumbled upon what appeared to be blood vessels and blood cells from a T. rex...

Debunking an Iconic Uniformitarian Ice Age Theory
Purpose The Milankovitch, or astronomical, theory holds that the timing of Ice Ages is controlled by slow changes in Earth’s orbital and...

ICR and Explaining the Ice Age
by Larry Vardiman, Ph.D., and Michael J. Oard, M.S.* Purpose There is strong geological evidence for an Ice Age, so the Institute for Creation...

Planetary Magnetism
Purpose In 1971, Dr. Thomas Barnes publicized a then “trade secret” of scientists studying the earth’s magnetic field, which...

Cosmology Research
Purpose Taking the Hebrew text of Scripture at face value without inserting gaps or revising the meanings, the universe is only about 6,000 years...

The Coconino Sandstone: Water, not Wind
Purpose The Coconino Sandstone is one of the most well-known formations in Grand Canyon. The blond-colored sandstone, just three layers down from...

Global Stratigraphy Supports a Progressive Worldwide Flood
Purpose Is there geological evidence for a global flood? Is there evidence that the waters rose and peaked on Day 150 as recorded in Genesis 8?...

Human-Chimp DNA Similarity Research Refutes Evolution
Purpose An oft-repeated claim of evolutionary propaganda is that the DNA of chimpanzees and humans is 98.5% identical. This high level of DNA...