Friday, July 14, 2006

Galapogos finches continue to evolve

A neat little story about Darwin's finches.

WASHINGTON - Finches on the Galapagos Islands that inspired Charles Darwin to develop the concept of evolution are now helping confirm it — by evolving.

A medium sized species of Darwin's finch has evolved a smaller beak to take advantage of different seeds just two decades after the arrival of a larger rival for its original food source.

They're a little incorrect in saying that the finches are helping confirm evolution. This kind of evolution has been accepted since Darwin's time, and although I've read plenty about people who denied man's evolution from ape, fewer challenge the idea that forms can change over time. That's only those who think that God created everything in its present (and perfect) form. That's kind of what the "Great Chain of Being" was. The debate with ID is not whether forms change over time, but whether the forces of evolution could lead to the arising of completely new forms, with new and previously unkown biological structures.

Still, it is nice to see that Darwin's assumptions about the finches' development in the past is borne out by their continuing development in the present. I think most people aren't even aware that you can actually witness evolution in effect, and this is as good a starting point as any to teach people about what evolution is and isn't.

1 comment:

adam said...

But how do we know it isn't just the will of God causing these changes? What makes your dogma better than mine??!!