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The Tao of Physics. Item Added: Peril in Paradise. What is a maladaptation? It is a trait that is more harmful than helpful. Usually maladaptive traits began as traits that were adaptations to their environments but over time became less suitable and even problematic for an organism.

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For example, Moa birds in New Zealand were very large birds. Their lack of flight and increased size were adaptations that improved their survival on an island with no predators. When predators—humans—arrived, the very traits that were at one time beneficial became a liability. They became maladaptations. Nearly every trait has the capacity to become a maladaptation if the environmental conditions change over time. We would expect to have animals with no innate fears of humans or other animals, they would have no need of being very fast, they would need no weapons to defend themselves and they would need to traits we associate with sexual selection because they would not have to compete for mates.

Fitness to this perfect environment would either result from characters adapted to life without fear of death or all characters would simply be non-adaptive or random because they were of no consequence for survival.

New Books - December - Community Bible Chapel, Richardson, Texas

If animals has been created with thick hides, large muscles for fighting and running, and horns, these would have been maladaptations before animals could experience death because these characteristics require energy to maintain and produce whereas an animal not making defense mechanisms would have had more energy for reproduction.

Hmm, that sounds like natural selection going on even in a world with no death but that is a thought exercise for another time. Why do all members of the rabbit family all have eyes on the side of their heads when a better design for finding food and just better eyesight generally, would have their eyes in front so they could have better depth perception?

Big Idea 2: Earth is 4.6 Billion Years Old

Possible ad-hoc solutions to this puzzle that young-earth creationists have, or could, propose. When faced with sharp dinosaur or feline teeth some YECs have claimed that in the original creation these teeth were used to eat plants and only after death was possible did they use their teeth for eating flesh. Here we can see Tyranosaurus-like dinosaurs with small arms and sharp teeth enjoying a diet of flowering plants. Notice that there are two primates that look very much like primate species today. The plants also are easily recognizable.

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  • This is a form of Calvinistic supralapsarianism, as opposed to infralapsarianism, for the creation. We could extend this to other characters such as piercing teeth, large claws, and even an internal digestive tract that works most efficiently when eating flesh rather than plants.

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    These characteristics would not have had any adaptive value in the original creation but God knew that creation would only last a few days Footnote 2 before being radically changed and the adaptations would find a use. But some of the variation could have been on display right away. Maybe there were deer with dozens of different color patterns, leg lengths, and abilities to jump.

    Some may have had eyes on the front or sides of their heads and had invisible, small or big ears. Then after the fall most of these characteristics were quickly found to be maladapted in the new ecology and only the characters that worked ie. All the drawings of Edenic animals that I have seen in YEC literature show animals that look just like species alive today see picture below. Was that genetic variation expressed in many different individuals or was it contained in every member of the original creation? Maybe some individuals had eyes in the front, others on the side and others toward the back or more on top of the head.

    No morphological condition could be measured in any way as better than any other since survival was not a concern. Presumably even competition for mates would not have happened either since that would result in sexual selection of characters. Appearance could only have been measured aesthetically not functionally.

    For rabbits, preserving traits that helps avoid being eaten were the most important and thus they became prey and adapted for surviving in the predator-filled world. Likewise the original rabbit may have had 10 different types of ears and some had legs the same length and some had long tails.

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    But selection of the original variation quickly sorted out the various traits leaving the animal with adaptations best fit for their new role in the environment as prey. But these are the scenarios that YECs are compelled to put forward because they have committed to a particular interpretation of Genesis that requires that the whole earth was a perfect paradise and that sin physically disrupted and radically altered everything that God had made. Should not the fact that they make no biological sense at all should be a sign that something is amiss in their theology?

    The perfect paradise that YECs hold in their minds makes no sense either biologically or theologically. This strange world that YECs imagine has little relationship to the one described throughout the Bible. For a much more thorough critique of the YEC theological problems I would recommend the following books:. By Mark W. By John Walton. By Christopher Southgate. Mark Whorton seeks to give biblically based answers and challenge the modern thinking that to be an evangelical Christian is to believe in a young earth.

    Using evidence as diverse as the bombardier beetle and St. Augustine, Dr. Whorton, a Christian apologist and genuine rocket scientist, provides a compelling answer to one of the most difficult and heated issues for modern Christians.

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    As an internationally recognized expert in the control of space structures and the principal investigator for an International Space Station experiment, Dr. An experienced published author, educator, and speaker in Christian apologetics, he has been active in leading the formation of local chapters for the Reasons to Believe Ministry and has developed and taught Bible study courses in classical and modern apologetics. Whorton's education and experience brings credibility and insight to this unique book addressing the theology and science of creation.

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