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Horse Evolution
 
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   Horse Evolution

    Horses are popular animals that evolutionists have chosen to use to validate evolutionary theory and indoctrinate others to the idea of macroevolution.  Propaganda for horse evolution and thereby macroevolution is found in scientific journals, textbooks, books, magazines, encyclopedias, museums and television so there is no need to repeat it here.  Instead, this article will discuss the assumptions (guesses) that horse evolution is based on, information that goes against these assumptions and other plausible explanations for the horse like fossils.

Naturalism

    The first assumption of the type of evolution promoted by atheists is that everything in nature came about by natural materialistic means and not by the actions of an intelligent being.   There is no way to prove this assumption because we could not possibly observe all events that have ever occurred or will occur.  However, innumerable things in nature have the mark of intelligent design such as Equus horse’s hooves and their stay apparatus that allows them to sleep while standing up.   

Gradual Progression

   The second assumption, macroevolution, is “the idea that all forms of life developed gradually from very different and often much simpler ancestors, and that all lines of their descent can be traced back to a common ancestral organism.” [2] This assumption was expressed in the horse series and later in the horse family trees popular today.  Evolutionary proponents claim that all transitionary forms have been found from Hyracotherium (Eohippus) to Equus proving that macroevolution has occurred over a period of 55 million years.  But this claim is based on many more assumptions.

    Current evolutionary thought generally places the descent for the modern horse through Hyracotherium (Eohippus), Orohippus, Epihippus, Mesohippus, Miohippus, Parahippus, Merychippus,Pliohippus, Dinohippus to Equus (modern horse).  Another thought held by some creation scientists is that based on their characteristics, these animals fall into three distinct groups of created kinds. [3]  Also, within these groups there appear to be considerable variation like seen today with dogs and perhaps hybridization (cross breeding).

Series

    Often pointed out by creationists is that any three unrelated items can be placed in a supposed series.  So placing animals in a supposed order of descent proves nothing. [4]  

Similarity

    Similarity is most often used in an attempt to prove that one animal descended from the other or they descended from a common ancestor.  Without this assumption, the whole attempt to prove macroevolution by fossils fails.   Another explanation is that they were created by the same designer. 

    Eohippus does not look anything like Equus its supposed descendent.  By putting together a series of animals each very similar to the one preceding it, the gap between Eohippus and Equus is supposedly bridged. However, there is a major problem that similarity cannot solve.  By the evolutionary time scale Eohippus lived about 50 million years before Equus yet “fossils of modern horse species (Equus nevadensis and Equus occidentalis) have been discovered in the same layer as Eohippus.” [5]  Being in the same geologic layer implies that they are of the same age and not 50 million years apart.  

    Fossils do not reveal an animal’s soft organs, with a few exceptions including the shape of the brain, tendon attachment points, and skin impressions.  Although the animals are similar in their bone structure, they may be considerably different in their organs.  For this reason also, similarity of bones as proof of evolution is only an assumption.   

Natural Selection

    Natural selection is an evolutionary assumption that nature selects advantageous hereditary traits in individuals similar to breeding domestic birds, sheep, cows, etc... to enhance certain traits.  By natural selection, those individuals with the advantageous traits are thought to live longer and have more offspring compared to those individuals that do not have these advantages. In the succeeding generations, those individuals that inherited the advantageous traits are thought to survive while those without these traits die off leaving the superior individuals. This had the appearance of being true when the horse supposedly became steadily larger, changed from low-crowned browsers eating leafy foliage to high-crowned grazers eating grasses, acquired faster running ability through evolving from multiple toes with pads and hooflets to a central toe with a hoof, etc..  As more fossils were found and science in other areas has advanced, the reality turned out quite different:  

1.    All animals in the horse evolution scenario did not get larger, Archaeohippus and Nannippus became smaller. [6]

2.    Fossils of the supposed horse family tree’s Parahippus and Hipparion both with low-crowned teeth are found side by side with Merychippus, Protohippus, and Hypohippus having high-crowned teeth. [7]  Chemical analysis indicates that some groups were actually mixed feeders eating both grasses and leafy material.”[8] Horses today usually prefer grasses but often enjoy eating certain fruits and vegetables and when they are hungry will eat leaves but some leaves are toxic to them. [9] [10]

3.    Pads are very different structurally than horse hooves that have the additional function of helping to pump blood. [11] [12]  For this later change and many other changes (e.g. significant changes in the brain) to take place, additional information is required in the genome.  The evolutionary assumption is that the new information is generated naturally by mutations and the shuffling of existing information during reproduction.  This is contrary to a law of Information Science that no information is created without intelligence.  Mutations do not create new information but result in the loss of information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 
 

 

 

 

Horse Hoof         

Left – Top View; Right – Bottom View with Frog

Variability

   Evolutionists usually assume if a fossil varies a certain amount from another fossil for the same body part, they are from different species. The term species is not well defined because of certain complications but in the realm of heterosexual animals, it usually means that a male and female are of the same species if they together can produce fertile offspring.   

    Much of horse evolution is based on fossil teeth.  One conclusion of a recent well documented study “to place E. hydruntinus into the equid phylogenetic tree” concludes that

“Dental morphology may thus be of poor taxonomical value if used alone for establishing equid phylogenetic relationships.”  [13]

     Commenting on the above study, Alan Cooper, Director, Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, University of Adelaide, states

“Overall, the new genetic results suggest that we have underestimated how much a single species can vary over time and space, and mistakenly assumed more diversity among extinct species of megafauna.” [14]

   George Gaylord Simpson states

“In fact, Mesohippus and Miohippus intergrade so perfectly and the differences between them are so slight and variable that even experts find it difficult, at times nearly impossible, to distinguish them clearly.” [15]

Even without the above study, the transition of Mesohippus to Miohippus could be explained by their being possibly variations in the same species and not a transitional proof of macroevolution.  This may be illustrated in the modern horse where there are variations in the spine, except the cervical spine always seems to contains 7 vertebrae. “While 18 is the usual number of thoracic vertebrae, 17 were found in 18 and 19 in 11 of 190 specimens.” [16]   In the supposed fossil series, the thoracic vertebrae for Eohippus with 18 supposedly evolved into Orohippus with 15 to Mesohippus with 17 to Miohippus with 18. [17] Each thoracic vertebra has one rib pair.  Based on its thoracic vertebrae, Orohippus seems to not fit in the assumed horse evolution.

     Selective breeders have found that there is a limit that cannot be passed as to how much change can be induced to a species.  Dogs for instance can be breed for size but they can get only so large or so small, and no more.  Also, selective breeding of dogs can change body proportions, shape of head, affect coloring and length of hair, length of tail, etc. but all breeds still can be crossed to produce fertile offspring.  All dogs are therefore one species. 

    Additional facts about the limitations on variability within a kind and mutations may be found in Myths of Evolution, items 3 and 4.   

Vestigial

   The assumption that the splint bones attached to an Equus’ metapodials are vestigial (i.e. lost ancestral functions) is common in horse evolutionary literature.  The splint bones are said to be functionless reductions from the side toes of three-toed horses. [17]

Horse splint bones are not functionless:

“Splints are two icicle-shaped bones found on the back of each leg.  They support the carpal joints (front knee) on either side of the cannon bone, and the tarsal (or hock) joints on the rear leg. In addition to assisting weight support, splints form a vital groove and protection for ligaments and tendons that enable equine locomotion.” [19]

Conclusion

   Horse macroevolution is based on many assumptions (guesses) from a certain mindset. Guesses prove nothing. Materialistic evolutionists have limited their minds to assumptions that have not been and cannot be proven.   The possibility that everything came about by an intelligent creator cannot be disproved and there is much information for those who care to look pointing that direction.

    Genesis 1 of the Bible states that God created all plants and animals “after their kind.”  This means that one kind did not evolve from another.  

 

 

_________________________

[1] Haflinger by Böhringer Friedrich [CC BY-SA 2.5  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

[2]  Davis and Solomon, The World of Biology, 3rd ed. (Philadelphia, PA: Saunders College Publishing, 1986), 686

[3] Molen, Mats, The evolution of the horse, https://creation.com/the-evolution-of-the-horse

[4] Morris, J, 2008. The Mythical Horse Series. Acts & Facts/37(9): 13. http://www.icr.org/article/mythical-horse-series/

[5] Darwinism Refuted, The Myth of Horse Evolution, (viewed September 13, 2018), http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/natural_history_2_12.html

[6]Simpson, George, Horses, (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1961), 186

[7] Osborn, Henry, The Age of Mammals in Europe, Asia and North America, (New York: The MacMillian Co., 1921), 297

[8] Keen, Cathy, Ideas About Fossil Horses Undergo Evolution In Thinking, August 1, 2005, https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/science/ideas-about-fossil-horses-undergo-evolution-in-thinking/

[9] Equine World UK, Feeding Horses Fruits and Vegetables (viewed 9/20/2018),

http://www.equine-world.co.uk/horses_care/feed-horses-fruits-vegetables.asp

[10] Blocksdorf, Katherine, Safe Trees for Your Horse's Pasture, (viewed September 20, 2018),

https://www.thesprucepets.com/safe-trees-for-your-horses-pasture-1886494

[11]Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution III, DVD, (Reel Productions, LLC, 2004)

[12] Holt, Rebecca, What About Horse Toe Evolution, July 25, 2008, https://creation.com/what-about-horse-evolution

[13] Orlando, L; Mashkour, M; Burke, A; Douady CJ; Eisenmann, V; Hanni C, Geographic distribution of an extinct equid (Equus hydruntinus: Mammalia, Equidae) revealed by morphological and genetical analyses of fossils,  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16780426

[14] Ellis, David, New Study Sheds New Light on Horse Evolution, December 10, 2009,

https://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/news37301.html

[15] Simpson, George, Horses, (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1961), 166

[16] Stecher, Robert, Anatomical Variations of the Spine in the Horse, Oxford Academic, https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/article-abstract/43/2/205/890090?redirectedFrom=fulltext

[17] The problem with rib pairs was first reported by Lou Sunderland in Darwin’s Enigma and also referenced online as follows: Morris, John D., What About The Horse Series? http://www.icr.org/article/what-about-horse-series/   The count here is an independent count from the museum skeletons shown on this website.

[18] Waldrop, John, Fossil Horses of Florida, The Plaster Jacket, No. 9, February 15, 1969 (Gainesville Florida: Florida State Museum, University of Florida), Figure D, and comments on it.

[19] Holt, Ibid.

 

 
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