Tiny Fish Rapidly Adapted to Cold Water. Was It Evolution? | The Institute for Creation Research

Tiny Fish Rapidly Adapted to Cold Water. Was It Evolution?

Researchers have found that tiny fish called sticklebacks can adapt rapidly to a decrease in water temperature. This discovery adds to a long and growing list of animal trait variations that happen quickly. The researchers cited the stickleback adaptation as an example of evolution in action, but the rapidity of this change identifies it as the result of intentional programming--not mindless mutations.

The tiny stickleback seems to have a history of adaptability. A University of British Columbia press release indicated that populations of these fish once lived in the ocean, but then moved to live in freshwater lakes and streams.1 Other marine fish have been found with the ability to thrive in fresh water in only a few generations, like the pompano populations that are bred for freshwater fish farming.2

A team of Canadian and European scientists transplanted sticklebacks from Oyster Lagoon in southwest British Columbia to cold freshwater ponds. In just three years, which corresponds to three generations, stickleback fish "developed tolerance for" water that is 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit colder than the marine population's habitat.1

By the third generation, descendants remained of those "rare individuals" that already had the capacity to tolerate cold before the experiment began.1 The study authors wrote, "This rate of phenotypic evolution is among the most rapid to be observed in a natural population."3

But why were these fish able to adapt so quickly to colder waters? According to the researchers, "Our results suggest that cold tolerance is under strong selection and that marine sticklebacks carry sufficient genetic variation to adapt to changes in temperature over remarkably short time scales."3

But in considering this conclusion, it becomes apparent that the reference to "selection" is superfluous. All that is really needed for these fish to change as they did was for them to have the programmed instructions for "genetic variation" that the authors inferred from the data.3

It was the engineered genetic instructions, not nature's cold temperatures, that directed some offspring to develop slightly different traits in order for them to continue surviving. And engineered instructions are exactly what would be expected from an Architect who equipped His swimming creatures with what they would need to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas."4

References

  1. Tiny fish evolved to tolerate colder temperature in three years: UBC study. The University of British Columbia press release, August 4, 2010.
  2. Thomas, B. Fish Studies Answer Flood Question. ICR News. Posted on icr.org March 9, 2009, accessed August 11, 2010.
  3. Barrett, R. D. H. et al. Rapid evolution of cold tolerance in stickleback. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Published online before print, August 4, 2010.
  4. Genesis 1:22.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on August 17, 2010.

The Latest
NEWS
Ireland’s First Dinosaur Bones Found in Flood Rocks
Ireland finally has some dinosaur fossils of its own.1 The ground-breaking discovery came as a bit of a surprise, however, as the bones were...

NEWS
Control Loops in Humans and Nature
Ever had a blood test? Along with a value measured, there are also the normal max/min limits for that value. This implies that the body normally controls...

NEWS
Creation and Climate Science with Dr. Jake Hebert
ICR physicist Dr. Jake Hebert* recently made a guest appearance on Good Heavens! A Podcast About the Universe with Wayne and Dan. Dr. Hebert presented...

NEWS
Inside May 2021 Acts & Facts
How should Christians respond when authorities are in conflict with God’s Word? Can we trust scientific measurements and reports about fossil...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Volcanoes
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Tributes of Honor and Remembrance
At the end of a long day, a boss I had early in my career would often tell me, “No more today, Henry. My brain is full.” I found his comments...

APOLOGETICS
Guided by Lynx to Appreciate Christ
Not all tour guides in Alaska are human. Amazing animals of Alaska can guide us into learning creation truth. In fact, such animals should direct us—like...

ACTS & FACTS
Zion National Park: Evidence of Deep Water Sand Waves
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* It was like driving into another world when we emerged from Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel right at dawn....

ACTS & FACTS
Is the Bible Evidence for Creation?
Have you ever had a skeptic tell you to keep the Bible out of it when discussing origins? Skeptics claim we Christians argue in a circle, that we are...

ACTS & FACTS
Vertebrate Origins on the Ropes…Again
In 1859, the Western world was turned upside down by the publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or...