Recent news about the St. Bernard dog has supposedly taken a bite out of creation science, reported an article on The University of Manchester’s website.
Zoologists at the university measured the skulls of 47 of these dogs, some dating back 120 years, around the time the St. Bernard breed was first described.
Sure enough, the team observed minor changes in the skull structure (e.g., broader skull and more pronounced ridge above the eyes). The findings were published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
Creation scientists ask why all the fanfare and celebration by the secular community for such minor variations? Minor change is no problem for the creation model, and this study on selection hardly casts doubt on creation science.
For example, Darwin discussed at length in his 1859 book the breeding of wild rock pigeons into sub varieties. This is artificial selection done by an intelligent agent—man—to a desired end and has nothing to do with real vertical change (macroevolution). It is not uncommon for breeders to breed dogs accordingly so that desirable breed standards are emphasized, which is an example of microevolution.
The article played on the false notion that creation scientists do not accept natural selection when it stated, “Creationism . . . rejects the scientific theories of natural selection and evolution.” Creationists do accept natural selection in principle, but maintain it has nothing to do with macroevolution. Science has shown repeatedly that this is true: natural selection, yes; macroevolution, no. Additionally, to say we reject the scientific theories of evolution is painting with too broad a brush. The word evolution simply means change—we reject major change (macroevolution) while accepting minor change or variation (e.g., gene segregation).
Creationists have said for decades that there are natural limits to biological change in the living world. Much of this minor change may be seen in artificial selection (“intelligent design”) by breeders and/or gene shuffling and segregation in populations. The result is simply variation within the basic kind.
Whether fruit flies, cattle, dogs or worms, they all remain within their basic created kinds, with breeding producing new variations but not new species. On the other hand, new constructive genetic information has never been seen to evolve in the living world. Secular convictions about macroevolution go beyond scientific observations of artificial or natural selection.
Dogs remain dogs.