Fish and Darwin

Some years ago I set for myself the task of reading Darwin's Origin of Species all the way through. Frankly, the book is incredibly verbose and dull. For this reason, I believe, few people have read it. And this accounts, ironically enough, for Darwin's continued position as patron saint of evolutionism. What really has survived have been slogans such as "Survival of the fittest", and "Natural Selection." These, together with the fact that evolution offers the only escape from the necessity of believing in Divine Creation, have managed to keep it alive.

My interest was sustained by the occasional fantastic twists and turns of logic which Darwin took to keep his theory alive. I was at first a bit fearful, frankly speaking, that I would be unable to understand or deal with what I expected to be a formidable attack on Christian faith. To the contrary, I found Darwin his own worst enemy, and a gold mine of evidence against evolutionism.

His explanation of the distribution of fresh water fish, which I include here, is incredible:

"As lakes and river-systems are separated from each other by barriers of land, it might have been thought that fresh-water productions would not have ranged widely within the same country, and as the sea is apparently a still more formidable barrier, that they would never have extended to distant countries. But the case is exactly the reverse. Not only have many fresh-water species, belonging to different classes, an enormous range, but allied species prevail in a remarkable manner throughout the world." ... "But the wide ranging power of fresh-water productions, can, I think, in most cases be explained by their having become fitted, in a manner highly useful to them, for short and frequent migrations from pond to pond, or from stream to stream, within their own countries; and liability to wide dispersal would follow from this capacity as an almost necessary consequence.... (Note: the capability is arbitrarily assigned, and then the conclusion becomes necessary.) This case, however, is rendered in some degree less surprising by the species of this genus having the power of crossing by some unknown means considerable spaces of open ocean...." Darwin - Origin of Species 366.

(Concerning the transportation of fresh water land-shells across oceans.) "There must be some unknown, but occasionally efficient means for their transportal." Darwin - Origin of Species 375.

"Turning to geographical distribution, the difficulties encountered on the theory of descent with modification are serious enough. All the individuals of the same species, and all the species of the same genus, or even higher groups, are descended from common parents; and therefore, in however distant and isolated parts of the world they may now be found, they must in the course of successive generations have travelled from some one point to all the others. We are often wholly unable even to conjecture how this could have been effected." Darwin - Origin of Species 428.


Bill Carrell