Lizards Rapidly Evolve After Introduction to Island

"Italian wall lizards introduced to a tiny island off the coast of Croatia are evolving in ways that would normally take millions of years to play out, new research shows.

In just a few decades the 5-inch-long (13-centimeter-long) lizards have developed a completely new gut structure, larger heads, and a harder bite, researchers say.

In 1971, scientists transplanted five adult pairs of the reptiles from their original island home in Pod Kopiste to the tiny neighboring island of Pod Mrcaru, both in the south Adriatic Sea.

Genetic testing on the Pod Mrcaru lizards confirmed that the modern population of more than 5,000 Italian wall lizards are all descendants of the original ten lizards left behind in the 1970s."

“evolve” is probably not the right word that should have been used, I think “adapt” was more proper

But regardless this brought up a question in my mind: Suppose sometime in the future that undeniable proof was found that species can evolve from one to another. Now as Catholics this would not in any way disprove our faith. But what of the Evangelical/Fundamentalist groups? They are so determined to link their idea creationism with Christianity that if this proof were to come up I can only think of several responses, none that look good:

  1. A huge denial, perhaps wide circulation of info to each other that the evolution proof was a conspiracy to silence them, they then develop a “martyr” syndrome and start to become paranoid that some non-existent Anti-Christ was coming to destroy them

  2. Mass panic and hysteria, realizing that evolution is true (and having put their faith in creationism=Christianity) They then feel that their faith was false, that all is now hopeless, and we see either mass suicide, or perhaps they become nihilistic and start murderous rampages.

And if anyone thinks that I am blowing the 2 above situations out of proportion, see and articles linked to that page. As you can see, to the Evangelical/Fundamentalist crowd, it is either all or nothing with creationism, in fact, creationism has become THE religion to them, and Christianity almost takes a backseat.

I think the first option is probably the one:

Evolution is close to being settled science now and yet it is totally rejected by the Intelligent Design - Evangelical - Fundamentalist people. People who base their entire life on beliefs have no concept of critical thinking. I worked at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama for five years and the place was full of people who had been taught what to think but not how to think from the day they were born. So much time was wasted trying to get them to see other points of view on scientific matters totally unrelated to religion. They saw the world a collection of beliefs; they did not open their minds to evidence, scientific measurements, until they were beaten over the head for months. And even then often they did not change. After the Challenger and Columbia Shuttle crashes, the investigations determined the likely physical causes. The reports also pointed out a cultural problem at NASA where things were not questioned. Sadly, the culture didn’t change after the Challenger explosion and didn’t change after the Columbia wreck. People who questioned things were not listened to and eventually would leave the center.

The leadership of the Catholic Church does not fall into this group. Although a Cardinal here or a Bishop there may say Intelligent Design looks like the truth, the Pope does not take such positions. Look at the contributions over the ages to science from the Church.

In short, biological evolution will never be proven to the Intelligent Design - Evangelical - Fundamentalist people because they do not accept proof.

  • kathie :bowdown:

Thanks for posting this. I had heard about it, but not in detail.

This pretty much validates founder’s flush and punctuated equilibrium. Steve would have been very pleased to see direct confirmation of his theory which was based on fossil data.

It is the classic situation; a small, geographically isolated population, in a new environment.

Kathie, evolution is not settled as a science by any stretch of the imagination and the Intelligent Design people are right. There is no evolution. It is a complete atheistic hoax. During my days in college I believed in evolution since the priests told us that it was OK to believe with the theological stipulations of the Church. I argued the issue with my Dad and all he could come up with was “it’s atheistic.” He didn’t know a lot of science and so I didn’t accept what he had to say, but I have always had an open mind.

Years after college I read the book THE EVOLUTION HOAX EXPOSED by A.N. Field. It completely changed my mind on the issue. I left it alone though for years. About 2 years ago I began debating it with the evolutionists and I began studying the particulars. At first I declared myself not to be a creationist and that I didn’t take Genesis literally. The more I study the science the more I become a literalist. I find it sad that so many Catholics have # 1 been tricked into believing in evolution and # 2 rejecting the literal interpretation of the Bible. No, I am not a literalist in the sense of Protestant literalists who are unable to see the literary differences. I accept the Teaching Magisterium of the Church in all matters.

If you want the best source for Catholic viewpoints I have found on the issue I suggest The Kolbe Center for Creation Research.

I have discovered that evolution theory is atheistic on three counts. 1. It denies design. Design does not conflict with evolution as I saw the design when I believed in evolution and no one was around to tell me that evolution forbid it. Design conflicts with atheism and that is why the atheists deny design. 2. Evolution requires a random process. Again, why random if not the problem of atheism. 3. They insist on a completely natural process. Again denying God’s hand in any of it. My father was right after all.

The Protestants are way ahead of us on this issue.

No, it doesn’t. Evolution, as with any scientific theory, is agnostic on matters of theology.

Well, not exactly random. Patterns are very much noted.

Such is the nature of all science, not just of evolution theory.

I wonder how much more the lizards evolved since this 2.5 year old thread was resurrected?:slight_smile:

But what about Theistic Evolution, meaning that evolution is a process that God set in place to create everything, with Him intervening at certain points in the history of life on earth to guide it more towards His designs? :slight_smile:

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