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Apologetics Press :: Sensible Science

Change has Limits
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
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According to the General Theory of Evolution, over multiplied millions of years fish evolved into amphibians, which evolved into reptiles, which evolved into mammals, which evolved into humans. Supposedly, changes took place that knew no boundaries. Invertebrates evolved spines. Fish evolved legs. Reptiles evolved hair. Apes evolved morality. Given enough time, anything is possible. Evolution allegedly has no limits.

Everything we see in nature, however, testifies to the fact that changes do have limits. There are limits as to how much the Galapagos Islands’ finches (which Darwin studied in the 1830s) can change (see Butt, 2006). After more than 100 years of experiments, thousands of lab-induced mutations, and multiplied millions of specimens, scientists have learned that the common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) never changes into anything other than a fruit fly (see Butt, 2008). Though thousands of years of selective breeding have given us a great variety within the dog kind (from the four-inch tall, long-haired Chihuahua to the 42-inch tall, short-haired Great Dane), dogs have always remained dogs.

Recently, the prominent evolutionary science journal, New Scientist, addressed the limits of change in various animals and humans. In an article titled, “Where Dogs Have Led, Humans Follow,” the question was asked, “What do greyhounds, horses and women sprinters have in common?” The answer: “They may all have hit peak performance” (2008, 200[2685]:16). According to Mark Denny of Stanford University in California, “[A]nalysed records from athletics events and greyhound and horse races since the 1920s...revealed limits on the speeds that animals and humans can run” (“Where Dogs...,” p. 16, emp. added).

Winning greyhounds and horses got faster until the 1970s, when they began to plateau. Denny thinks this is because these animals reached a peak speed for their species, perhaps because selective breeding had created an optimum body type.

Women sprinters began to plateau in the 1970s, with rarer and smaller improvements since then.... Using these records, Denny has created a model which predicts that men will eventually achieve a peak time of 9.48 seconds for the 100-metre sprint, 0.21 seconds better than Usain Bolt’s current world record (p. 16).

Although New Scientist openly embraces the General Theory of Evolution, the journal has admitted that limits of change exist. Regardless of how much geneticists selectively breed animals, or how many hormones are introduced into the bodies of animals or humans, change in the biological world has boundaries. Whether one is talking about speed, size, or strength, there are limits as to how much a human or a particular kind of animal can change. Centuries of scientific observation have testified repeatedly to the boundaries of change. Dogs will get only so fast, grow so tall, or become so strong. They have never crossed their inherent (i.e., God-given) genetic barrier to become a cat, bat, or rat. As the Bible has testified for 3,500 years, God created all of the various kinds of animals to reproduce “according to their kind” (Genesis 1:21,24-25).


Butt, Kyle (2006), “What do the Finches Prove?,” [On-line], URL:

Butt, Kyle (2008), “Mutant Fruit Flies Bug Evolution,” [On-line], URL:

“Where Dogs Have Led, Humans Follow” (2008), New Scientist, 200[2685]:16, December 6-12.

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