Rapid Adaptation of Finches not Evidence For Evolution
by Patrick Young, Ph.D.

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The January 11th, 2002 issue of Science magazine reports on research confirming rapid adaptation of house finches in Montana and Alabama1,2 . The documents’ recount, (1) male and female finches grow differently both within and between populations, (2) males grow faster than females and have wider bills and longer tails in Alabama, and (3) females grow faster and are bigger overall in Montana3 . Both writings are proclaiming these finch adaptations are evidence for evolution.

It appears the definitions used for evolution have undergone more mutations than the theory as a whole. Even the Columbus Dispatch and our proposed new Ohio Science Standards report the definition of evolution is "a change in gene frequency in a population over time". Evolutionists justify this by asserting a definition can be altered as more information is acquired about the theory. However, the definition is now too general and surreptitiously conceals fundamental flaws in the theory itself. Furthermore, the delineation incorporates observations unrelated to the concepts of Darwinian evolution and effectively results in a classic "bait and switch".

A more appropriate definition for evolution is, a continuous naturalistic, mechanistic process by which all living things have arisen from a single living source which itself arose by a similar process from a non-living, inanimate world. This definition requires evolutionists to justify their claims of simplicity to complexity, life from nonlife, and common ancestry.

The other definition seeks to include observed adaptations within species without a corresponding increase in genetic information. For an evolutionist to accomplish this, he must scientifically describe and observe the mechanism by which genetic information is increased via mutation. Since this has never been observed, and there is no viable mechanism, evolution is nothing more than philosophical ramblings. Biophysicist, Dr. Lee Spetner stated, "The neo-Darwinians would like us to believe that large evolutionary changes can result from a series of small events if there are enough of them. But if these events all lose information they can’t be the steps in the kind of evolution the neo-Darwin theory is supposed to explain, no matter how many mutations there are. Whoever thinks macroevolution can be made by mutations that lose information is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but thought he could make it up on volume.4

Reporting finch adaptation as evidence for evolution is not unique. Finch evolution gained momentum when the research team of Peter and Rosemary Grant went to the Galapagos Islands in 1973. While observing the wide diversity of finches, they discovered that during an ordinary drought, the average beak length of some birds slightly increased. This preliminary data was then extrapolated to conclude after a certain number of droughts; a new species of finch could be created with a longer beak5. What they did not realize at the time, was during rainy seasons the beaks did not stay the same, they returned to normal. This type of intrinsic oscillation is an eloquent illustration of natural selection via adaptation but not evolution.

The subject papers presented in Science magazine are excellent research examples demonstrating rapid adaptations within a species of bird. However, these adaptations utilize information previously existing in the genetic code of these creatures. The fact remains, they are still finches and they are still birds.


  1. Pennisi, E., "Finches Adapt Rapidly to New Homes", Science, (2002), 295, pp. 249-250.

  2. Badyaev, A.V., Hill, G.E., Beck, M.L., Dervan, A.A., Duckworth, R.A., McGraw, K.J., Nolan, P.M., Whittingham, L.A., "Sex-Biased Hatching Order and Adaptive Population Divergence in a Passerine Bird", Science, (2002), 295, pp. 316-318.

  3. Ref. 1.

  4. Spetner L., "Not By Chance", 1998, The Judaica Press, Inc, Brooklyn, NY, p. 160.

  5. Grant, P.R., "Natural Selection and Darwin’s Finches", Scientific American, (Oct. 1991), 265, pp. 82-87.

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