Monday, 7 April 2008

Pastor caught kissing giraffe shock!

Allegedly a video exists, but sadly Blogger Video didn't like the format and wouldn't accept it. Hence we must make do with the above grainy photo.

Giraffes have very long necks. This means that when they raise and lower those necks, there are dramatic changes in the pressure in their necks and head. That pressure would be fatal for them without special mechanisms in place. Happily, though, they possess a number of special valves to control that pressure - without them they'd die every time they raised or lowered their necks.

The blurb on the wall said that the giraffe's neck was a "classic" case of the results of selective pressure (i.e. natural selection). The idea is that giraffes developed long necks, because it gave them a survival advantage: they could now reach food that other animals couldn't.

The fossil record, though, shows no evidence of giraffes with anything other than lock necks: the gradual elongation of their necks just isn't there. More than that, without the valves they possess, they wouldn't be able to survive with the length of neck that the have. No long necks means no need for valves; no valves means that the longer necks would be fatal.

That's a real chicken-and-egg problem for the idea that giraffes could have evolved by natural selection. The valves could not be selected for without the increased neck-length, because they would give no advantage without it. On the other hand, the increased neck-length without the valves would be fatal - they would be wiped out. The two features are inter-dependent, so the whole system could not have arisen in a piece-by-piece fashion: both have to come at once. The idea of a longer neck being advantageous is a nice story, even a "classic"; but it provides no explanation of how such a mechanism could develop by a natural process. The fact that the essential features had to come at the same time, and the lack of any evidence for a lengthening neck in the fossil record, is a clear testimony to a supernatural creation.

For the record, a giraffe kiss is a rather slobbery affair.

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