T O A D S
Darwin's suggestion that evolution came about through small successive
modifications or changes cannot be applied to every observed creature. Darwin
admitted, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which
could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight
modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." (1)
We will provide some difficult-to-explain examples. The Surinam toad is
mentioned by Wells, Huxley and Wells as an example of how a land-based
amphibian solves the problem of no water. (2) The female toad lays her eggs
on her back by means of a long oviduct. After the eggs are laid, the skin on
her back grows around the eggs and forms a nursery for the young.
One would have great difficulty explaining how such a toad evolved. Perhaps a
Darwinian would say that this behavior, and the physiologic structures
associated with it, evolved at a time when water was scarce and the need for
such behavior was necessary. However, three different phenomena must have
evolved or the Surinam toad would have become extinct. First, the long
oviduct must have evolved; secondly, the skin of the back must have become
capable of surrounding the eggs or they would have dried out raidly on the
toad's back. Finally, the two physiological structures would have been
useles, unless the toad used them properly.
There is absolutely no reason for either of these structures to have evolved by
themselves. A toad with no water to lay its eggs in and possessing only a
long oviduct is just as doomed as a toad lacking an oviduct whose back can
form a nursery but who is unable to get the eggs onto the back. The offspring
of a toad posessing only two of the three needed facilities would die. This
is an example of a structure which can't be evolved by small modifications.
It all must appear at once or it is useless.
Another toad which also lives in a waterless environment, solves the problem
differently. The female lays her eggs in themouth of the male whose vocal
sacs become a nursery. (3) Once again, there are several items which must
have evolved simultaneously or the whole thing would have been useless. The
female must have learned to lay her eggs in the mouth. The male had to evolve
behavior which prevented him from eating the eggs, as well as acquiring the
ability to change his vocal sacs into a nursery. The lack of any individual
item would have doomed the species.
In both of the above cases, the only conceivable impetus to develop these
structures would be the drying up of the water in the area in which the toad
lived. The toad would not need the structures and behavior millions of years
after the water was gone; it would need it immediately, before the waterwas
dried up since the tadpole must develop in a watery environment. The changes
must come rapidly or it would be too late.
(1) Charles Darwin. The Origin of Species, New York: New American
Library, 1958 p. 171
(2) H. G. Wells, Julian Huxley, and G. P. Wells, The Science of Life,
New York; The Literary Guild, 1934, p.728
Josh McDowell, & Don Stewart. Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity,
Campus Crusade for Christ, Inc., 1981, p. 160-161