Was a Franken-Fish “Created”?

In 2020, Hungarian zoologists described the hybridization of a Russian sturgeon and American paddlefish.1 Some sources have reported the scientists created a “franken-fish”—as indeed it looks quite bizarre.2 Researchers, however, are calling it the sturddlefish—with sharp fins and an elongated nose.3

A hybrid in zoology is an offspring produced from a cross between parents of different genotypes (the precise genetic constitution of a cell or individual).4 For example, a zonkey results from a donkey crossed with a zebra; a liger results from a male lion and female tiger producing. This is not evolution, of course—they belong to the horse and cat kind respectively.

How did this recent hybridization happen? The scientists were attempting a type of asexual reproduction between the two species of fish. Gynogenesis is a unique condition whereby a female must copulate before she can produce eggs that will need no fertilization and can develop normally into an individual. In this case, the fish develops from maternal DNA (the egg or oocyte). But the scientists were shocked to discover that fusion did happen via union of the sturgeon and paddlefish, producing about a hundred “sturddlefish” hybrids.3

The Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii) is a fascinating “prehistoric” fish that can live up to a century and achieve a length of seven feet. Evolutionists call sturgeons “living fossils” that existed alongside dinosaurs supposedly millions of years ago.3 They live in the waterways of Russia, Bulgaria and Romania. Sturgeons are said to appear in the early Silurian period, over 400 million years ago as 100 percent sturgeons.5

American paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) have always been paddlefish, dating back “millions of years”—as secular scientists would say—yet, like sturgeons, showing no evidence of evolution. Commercial and academic laboratories have found carbon-14 in cartilaginous paddlefish fossil samples.6 Any carbon-14 discovered in samples directly challenges evolution’s millions of years.

Not surprisingly, the American paddlefish is closely related to the Russian sturgeon. They both belong to the order Acipenseriformes but to different families—Acipenseridae and Polyodontidae. Evolutionists are surprised these two fish are so similar as they view them as “separated by 184 million years of evolution” and as coming from an unknown “common ancestor.”3 Creationists see them as having been created only thousands of years ago, belonging to the same created kind.

About 100 of the strange sturddlefish hybrids were accidently produced—not created. Only God can create. The aforementioned Hungarian zoologists worked with what was already present: a Russian sturgeon and American paddlefish, both 100 percent fish (and closely-related). Under the right conditions, facilitated by at least 13 advanced-degree scientists, two fish of the same order can hybridize into bizarre forms such as the fearsome franken-fish (sturddlefish).1 It’s not evolution, just hybridization of God’s created creatures.

Stage image: The sturddlefish has a mix of genes from the Russian sturgeon and the American paddlefish.
Stage image credit: Genes 2020, 11(7), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11070753, CC BY 4.0. Copyright © 2020. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holders.


References
1. Jenő Káldy et al., “Hybridization of Russian Sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, Brandt and Ratzeberg, 1833) and American Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula, Walbaum 1792) and Evaluation of Their Progeny,” Genes 11, no. 7 (July 2020): 753.
2. Dino-Franken-Fish Created Accidentally By Scientists in Hungary. The Weather Channel. Posted on msn.com July 23, 2020.
3. Pappas, S. Scientists accidentally create 'impossible' hybrid fish. LiveScience. Posted on livescience.com July 20, 2020.
4. Johnson, J. 2018. Norway's Redchat Defies Evolutionary Speciation. Acts & Facts. 48 (1).
5. Hickman, Cleveland P., Susan L. Keen, David J. Eisenhour, Allan Larson, Helen I'Anson, William C. Ober and Claire W. Ober. Integrated Principles of Zoology. (New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2017), 518.
6. Thomas, B. Carbon-14 Found in Dinosaur Fossils. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org July 6, 2015.

*Mr. Frank Sherwin is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his master’s degree in invertebrate zoology from the University of Northern Colorado.

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