Speciation: Any Examples Documented?

February, 2003
Joe Spears MS

  It was interesting to find, while perusing a book on evolution, the rather candid admission of an evolutionist that there is no documented evidence of even a single species which arose from another species! Here is the quote:

"...I once asked the eloquent and personable Niles Eldredge whether he knew of any case in which the formation of a new species had been documented. I told him I'd be satisfied if his example were drawn from the laboratory, from the field, or from observations from the fossil record. He could muster only one good example: Theodosius Dobzhansky's experiments with Drosophila, the fruit fly. In this fascinating experiment, populations of fruit flies, bred at progressively hotter temperatures, became genetically separated. After two years or so the hot-bred ones could no longer produce fertile offspring with their cold-breeding brethren. "But," Eldredge quickly added, "That turned out to have something to do with a parasite!" Indeed, it was later discovered that the hot-breeding flies lacked an intracellular symbiotic bacterium found in the cold breeders. Eldredge dismissed this case as an observation of speciation because it entailed a microbial symbiosis! He had been taught, as we all have, that microbes are germs, and when you have germs, you have a disease, not a new species. And he had been taught that evolution through natural selection occurs by the gradual accumulation, over eons, of single gene mutations."

"...Among the only other organisms besides fruit flies in which species have been seen to originate in the laboratory are members of the genus Amoeba, and symbiosis was involved."

[Source: Lynn Margulis, Symbiotic Planet (NY, NY: Basic Books, 1998) pp. 7-8.]

   The amazing thing about the above pronouncements is—well, there are several amazing things. First, they are made by an evolutionist. The author, who is quoting another evolutionist, has worked on Gaia theory and the bacterial origins of cell organelles. Secondly, her reference to statements made by Niles Eldredge is interesting in that Eldredge is also an evolutionist—the co-author, along with Stephen Jay Gould, of the theory of punctuated equilibrium. Thirdly, there is an admission, apparently accepted as a matter-of-fact thing, that examples of species' appearing through evolutionary means which can be documented, are few and far between—so few, in fact, that Eldredge's only example was a new species, which was different from the old species in having a bacterium residing in it that the other species did not. Fourthly, infestation by a bacterium is taken to be a different species than the same species without the bacterium. This is somewhat like saying your spouse, who has an infection, is a different species than you who do not have the infection! And that was the best example he could think of.

 Where are the documented examples of species which arise from other species, which are different physically more than merely differing in the type of symbiotic organisms they carry? Apparently, they do not exist. What are the implications of this rather candid in-passing admission? One is that none of the facts, the data, the evidence, the fossil record, the laboratory experiments involving induced mutations supports the evolution of species as has been claimed.

 How many of us have heard that the "evidence" proves evolution beyond the shadow of a doubt? Yet when we actually look at the evidence, or perhaps, more accurately, look for the evidence (since it seems to be hiding quite well!), we find that the data do not support the conclusion as well as seems to be implied in the claims! It can be argued that the data do not support the conclusion of evolution at all.