Can you evolve working legs by changing working fins into useless stumps?

Consider this piece of taxpayer-funded “research” that appeared in the prestigious journal Nature (H/T ECM), and you will know everything you need to know about Darwinism, and whether it is science or mythology.


The loss of genes that guide the development of fins may help to explain how fish evolved into four-limbed vertebrates, according to a study.

Marie-Andrée Akimenko of the University of Ottawa in Canada and her colleagues may now be able to explain how our ancestors lost their fins: they have discovered a family of genes that code for the proteins that make up fins’ rigid fibres. The actinodin (and) genes are present in the laboratory model zebrafish and in ancient fish, but not in four-legged vertebrates (tetrapods), the team report today in the journal Nature. What’s more, the researchers found that dampening the expression of and genes in zebrafish also disrupts the expression of genes that regulate the growth of limbs and the number of digits in other animals.

These results hint that the loss of and genes is linked to the change from fins to limbs.

[…]But a causal connection is not certain. “The real question is: did we lose these genes because we lost the use of fins, or did we lose fins because we lost the genes?” says Denis Duboule, an evolutionary developmental biologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). “The problem is that when it’s an evolutionary question, you can’t do the experiment.”

You know what? You can’t do the experiment on the evolution of invisible pink unicorns, either. But you might be able to get your taxpayer-funded speculations about how invisible pink unicorns may have evolved published in Nature, as long as it somehow bashes the idea of intelligent design. To be able to explain evolution, you don’t actually have to test anything in an experiment… you just have to tell a fetching just-so story that may have happened. And then it gets published in the prestigious journal Nature. Because you arrived at the right conclusion, and that’s what matters. That’s science.

The Ottawa Citizen explains more about what the intelligent scientists designed using purposeful, non-random interventions during their lab experiments.


This is a tough one to understand. How could a fish just grow legs? It mystifies us, and so this part of evolutionary theory is a common target for cheap attacks from creationists. Therefore, it’s extremely valuable that a scientist has now found a way in which a genetic tweaking makes a zebrafish embryo stop growing fins, and start growing an appendage that looks like a leg. If she can tweak a gene in the lab, maybe one of the many mutations that pop up in nature could do the same.

[…]To learn what a gene does, one method is to add a chemical that temporarily stops it from working, and see what happens to the animal. Akimenko’s team “knocked down” two of the four actinotrichia genes in a zebrafish embryo, and found that the fish appeared to stop growing fins.

Instead, it began growing features that look like the “buds” (or embryonic beginnings) of legs.

[…]Akimenko was using a chemical which doesn’t destroy the gene, but only stuns it for a short period, leaving the animal’s DNA intact. It’s like a chemical Taser. After three or four days the gene wakes up and does its normal job, and the fish embryo goes back to growing fins.

Got that? Non-functional “buds” are an important discovery for explaining how legs evolved from fins. Experimenter intervention producing an evolutionary dead-end is hailed as a masterful proof of evolution. Don’t even ask about whether non-functional buds convey an evolutionary advantage. Research that confirms Darwinism doesn’t need to be an actual factual account of what really happened. It doesn’t need to be testable or repeatable.

Notice also that no explanation is given about how the bud-enabled fish developed the ability to breathe oxygen, consume and digest food on land, or modify their excretory system to avoid losing water. None of that is necessary – because none of it is testable. It’s not about finding the truth, it’s about telling a story. A story that contradicts the idea that God exists, that there is objective right and wrong, and one day we will be held accountable for our priorities and decisions. And that’s why this is taxpayer-funded research that is published in Nature.

Is this science? Or religion?

15 thoughts on “Can you evolve working legs by changing working fins into useless stumps?”

  1. It’s not that surprising really. Kids are still being taught about Haeckel’s drawing that has been found to be fraudulent for 100 years.


    1. Haeckel’s drawing is only a phenomenon!

      not more than a hypothesis!

      What we need to know is the discipline behind it!


  2. Yes, We Can!

    And I didn’t even have to read the article — if we can cause the oceans to recede, we can turn working fins into useless stumps.


    We Are the (Evolutionary) Change We Have Been Waiting For™


  3. The other bit that evolutionists typically miss out on is the brain-body coordination required. Along with the sudden appearance of stumps, the fish has to wake up one morning with a bright idea: “this swimming thing isn’t working out, I think I’ll head over to the side of the water and see if I can swim on land. Maybe I’ll grow lungs on the way over.

    Point being, there’s a whole lot of coordinated activity that takes place. Limbs without a brain that has some sense of what to do with them are still useless limbs.

    I realized this when reading about the Wright brothers. It was one thing to have a plane that had a flyable design; it was quite another for them to develop the coordinating skill needed to actually fly. And, they were trying. They were intentional. A fish’s brain needs to be re-wired for land-use, and a land-use animal’s brain needs to be re-wired for flight.

    A purpose-driven explanation makes more sense. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the migration from sea to land took place. Since it is unlikely that a fish could form the purposeful intent of e.g., learning to walk on stumps, where does the purpose come from that drives the brain? Doesn’t it all come down to that injection of intelligence again?

    (Unless, of course, the fish was being chased by a porpoise, in which case it’s all clearly porpoise-driven.)


    1. The only ‘evidence’ that evolutionists have really just the fact that there are few species of fish that can use their fins to walk on mud/land.


  4. to anyone who studied evolution its easy to understand how can fins turn to legs. The mechanisms are there, the environment pressure is there, the structures are there. At least we have something – a model that fits the facts! As the Big Bang fits the facts! Please don’t validate or invalidate science theories according to your own religious beliefs! That’s what the inquisition did!
    There’s no proof of creationism.

    And I sure do believe in God! What I don’t believe in is Harry Potter


    1. Can you please tell us where there is. I want to see “there”. And who is talking about creationism? I am an old Earth person and I think that the biological information in DNA is put there by an intelligent cause, much like these comments, functional sequences of letters, are put there by an intelligence. That’s not creationism.

      Evolution is Harry Potter!


      1. Hey! I believe that too. But do you believe that at the Big Bang things were fine tuned to create intelligent life – us? There was no need for further direct intervention – Harry Potter style. From the hydrogen, came the stars that formed the heavier elements, these elements combined to form complex molecules, which in turn combined to form life and ultimately us. God’s intervention is very subtle – evolution is very subtle…

        BTW “there” is here:

        Frankly there are more complex things than fins to legs, like gills to lungs!


          1. you cant rebut a peer reviewed article with an opinion article from a “conservative non-profit public policy think tank based in Seattle, Washington, best known for its advocacy of intelligent design.”
            Science is impartial


          2. “Science is impartial”??!!


            Not as long as it’s being conducted by humans, and not as long as it deals with matters that cut to the heart of human life — like origins, destiny, purpose, moral accountability.


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