Vampire finches evolve, claim scientists and David Attenborough, according to articles in Science Alert 16 January 2021, Smithsonian News 22 January 2021 and The Conversation 15 January 2021 and New Scientist 14 January 2021.
Finches on two of the most northerly islands of the Galapagos Islands have been found to feed on the blood of seabirds that also live on the islands. The two islands, named Wolf and Darwin, are barren rocky islands with limited food sources, so scientists suggest ground finches named Geospiza septentrionalis originally co-existed with the red-footed and Nazca boobies, which also nest on the islands, and picked off parasites from the feathers of the boobies, as well as eating seeds and insects. In barren years the finches progressed to using their sharp beaks to puncture the skin of the boobies and drink blood from resulting wounds.
The researchers wrote in The Conversation: “Natural selection appears to have fine-tuned the vampire finch beak for skin-piercing and blood-sucking, as the birds have evolved particularly long and pointy beaks compared to non-blood-feeding populations on other islands.” They also claimed the finches resort to drinking blood for survival when they can’t find other food sources like seeds and insects.
Vampire finches are featured in David Attenborough’s latest series “A Perfect Planet”, which “examines what made Earth so perfect for life”. According to a review in New Scientist the series “looks at the most influential natural forces, including sunlight and ocean currents, that create the ideal conditions to create and support life.”
Links: Conversation, New Scientist, Science Alert, Smithsonian
Editorial Comment: The reason the earth is perfect for life is, as the prophet Isaiah reminds us, because the Lord God both created it and made it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18-19). Therefore, it has all the right physical and chemical properties needed to sustain life. But natural forces such as sunlight and ocean currents cannot create life which requires genetic information. Molecules randomly bashing into one another under the influence of light and flowing water never make anything including DNA and the coded information it carries.
We would also remind David Attenborough that earth was only perfect when God the Creator had completed it and declared it to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Since then it has degenerated significantly as a result of human sin and God’s judgement, and is now a tragic mixture of good and bad. The vampire finches, along with the other animals and birds struggling to survive in the harsh conditions included in Attenborough’s series, are a classic example of this.
In the beginning, when the world was perfect, all animals were given plants to eat. In that very good world there would have been plenty of nutritious plant food, such as nectar, fruits and seeds for the original created finches to eat. It was only after the world degenerated, especially after the devastation of Noah’s Flood, that finches had to scrape up a living in harsh conditions like the Galapagos Islands. Those that ended up on tiny barren islands used whatever resources they already had to find food, which means those that already had sharp beaks could extract blood from other birds. Those that didn’t have sharp beaks died out when there were no seeds or insects to eat. This is natural selection and the struggle for life at work. These are real process, but they are not creative processes, and they won’t make anything evolve. They are destructive processes that can only eliminate those living things that are ill equipped for the struggle in a particular environment.
Those who want to believe that God used evolution to create need to be reminded that the processes ascribed to evolution, e.g. natural selection, survival of the fittest, only result is death and destruction, and cannot be called “very good”. These processes only came into the world after man sinned and God judged the world. This is one of the most serious problems of the belief of theistic evolution. For more problems with this belief see our report Ten Questions for Theistic Evolutionists here.
Creation Research News 10 February 2021
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