Zebrafish and Evolution

Here’s an article from Phys Org trying to make the case that zebrafish are evolving. However, when we examine the evidence, we learn otherwise.

The article begins by making several points that should draw skepticism from astute readers. First, the author points out that zebrafish and humans share a “high degree of genetic, anatomical and physiological similarities”. Hmmm. What do they mean by that?

An evolutionist might not find such a statement odd because they believe fish are our ancestors. But why should a fish have so much similarity to humans if we’re separated by more than 500 million years? This was no prediction of evolution. This is important to note, because, if evolution were true, then scientists would be able to make successful evolutionary predictions, and those predictions would be subject to refutation.

Consider. We’re told that zebrafish are 82% genetically similar to humans. Okay, so what? Well, things get messy when we learn that cows are only 80% similar to humans. Who would have thought? Dogs are only 84% genetically similar to humans. Yet zebrafish are used in labs to study certain cancers because they share an 84% equivalent in human disease genes.

I’d argue that this is a refutation of evolutionary theory, which claims that chimpanzees are 98.8% similar to humans (other scientists say it’s as low as 70%). More surprisingly, pigs are said to be 98% similar to humans- a higher percentage than orangutans, gibbons, monkeys and lemurs! If scientists can’t reliably demonstrate evolution with genetics and DNA, then maybe evolution should be thoroughly rejected.

While zebrafish and humans do share similarities, such a fact doesn’t imply we’re related, and the comparisons I made should demonstrate that. There are other plausible explanations for these similarities. For instance, I believe God used similar blueprints and materials to create different kinds of organisms. Many organisms have lungs, not because we’re related, but because lungs are useful. Simple.

The second blow to evolution is the fact that, after 150 generations of zebrafish being bred in a lab, the zebrafish are still zebrafish and haven’t evolved into anything else. This is noteworthy because evolutionists, on one hand, say that evolution happens so rapidly, we can observe it over a single generation or two, but on the other hand they say evolution takes millions of years. Which is it? After 150 generations, we should see some evolution, but we don’t.

Interestingly, the article goes on to claim that evolution is taking place, and they point to an experiment where scientists compared zebrafish raised in the lab to wild zebrafish. And what they found is that the wild zebrafish adapted to different temperatures better than the lab zebrafish and outperformed them.

One problem. This was expected. It’s common knowledge that lab organisms become less fit than their wild counterparts. Once adapted to their new environment, lab organisms lose certain traits because it becomes too costly to maintain them. It has nothing to do with evolution. This is the result of a genetic response programmed into the organism’s DNA. If this was really a case of evolution, then it would be impossible to predict such an outcome because evolution doesn’t need to happen.

For example, if we were to place a bunch of snakes near the North Pole, would we predict their scales to evolve into feathers, allowing them to stay warm and survive? Evolving feathers, after all, would certainly benefit them in such an extreme environment, right? Well, I doubt any evolutionist would make such a prediction because they know evolution doesn’t work that way. Evolutionists are not going to expect an organism to develop a novel body plan that was never previously coded for in its DNA.

But in the zebrafish experiment, the fish responded exactly as we’d expect if it had a programmed response. This tells us there was no evolution, despite the author’s assertion that it did.

Lastly, the fact that the organism “lost” certain traits tells us that this is not evolution. The classic idea of evolution suggests organisms gain something that never existed in previous populations- such as feathers in a featherless organism. If, for example, a snake were to evolve feathers (something never coded into its DNA), then that could rightly be called “evolution”. But if a bird loses its feathers, that’s not really evolution. Losing feathers requires a different process than evolving them, so it’s inappropriate to use the same term to describe opposite processes. One is observable and repeatable, while the other is merely speculative and relies on faith.

That’s why I believe the creation model is superior to the evolutionary model. The data collected in this study is consistent with creation, but inconsistent with evolution. Sadly, there are many who believe in evolution because the term is blurred, and few are able to distinguish among them, or even notice.


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