TNRTB Archive – Retained for reference information
A new discovery on the origin of the panda’s thumb makes it unlikely that its structure has an evolutionary origin. The panda’s thumb has come to symbolize biological evolution. For evolutionary biologists, the false thumb of the panda—actually an elongated wrist bone—represents biological “imperfection.” Skeptics insist that an all-powerful, all-knowing, and good Creator would never produce the “bad designs” found in biological systems. However, as ongoing scientific advance generates new understanding, practically every imperfection identified by evolutionary biologists (including the panda’s thumb) turns out to be an elegant design. Paleontologists have discovered the remains of an ancient red panda that has a false thumb. This work and previous studies indicate that the red panda is not related to the giant panda. If this is the case, then from an evolutionary perspective, the false thumb must have evolved two separate times independently in the red and giant pandas. However, the contingent nature of the evolutionary process means that evolution should not repeat. Therefore, the repeated, independent origin of the false thumb in the red and giant pandas argues against evolution but makes sense from a creation perspective with a Creator reusing good designs.
- Manuel J. Salesa et al., “Evidence of a False Thumb in a Fossil Carnivore Clarifies the Evolution of Pandas,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 103 (2006): 379-82.
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