Panda Eating Bamboo

The giant panda is well known for eating bamboo and having an extra “thumb” to help it hold onto and manipulate the bamboo stems as it eats them.  The “thumb” is not an extra digit, but a protrusion resulting from an enlarged wrist bone called a radial sesamoid. 

A group of scientists from various USA and Chinese institutions have studied some bones from a fossil giant panda and found it had a radial sesamoid, just like living pandas.  The fossil panda bones are dated as six to seven million years old, which matches the oldest panda fossils already known. 

Pandas are believed to have evolved from meat eating bear-like animals and scientists have speculated as to when this happened.  The research team who studied this new fossil concluded: “This crude “thumb” suggests that the origin of the panda’s dedicated bamboo diet goes back to as early as 6–7 Ma.”  (Ma – million years)  Xiaoming Wang of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles commented: “Evolving from a carnivorous ancestor and becoming a pure bamboo-feeder, pandas must overcome many obstacles.  An opposable ‘thumb’ from a wrist bone may be the most amazing development against these hurdles.”

The researchers also speculated as why the sesamoid bone had not developed into a fully functional extra thumb.  Denise Su, one of the researchers explained: “Five to six million years should be enough time for the panda to develop longer false thumbs, but it seems that the evolutionary pressure of needing to travel and bear its weight kept the ‘thumb’ short – strong enough to be useful without being big enough to get in the way.” 

References: Science (AAAS) News and SciTech Daily 30 June 2022; Scientific Reports 30 June 2022 doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-13402-y

Editorial Comment:  When will the evolutionists face up to the fact that time cannot make new structures and functions in living things?  Five to six million years or any amount of time, will not make a new panda thumb.  We would also ask them what made the supposed “carnivorous ancestor” decide to eat bamboo and overcome the obstacles involved?  That would not produce that radial sesamoid bone either. 

To go from no thumb, or a simple bony lump, to a fully formed digit requires new genetic information.  All our observations in the real world confirm that genetic information tends to be lost over time.  New genetic information requires deliberate insertion by an intelligent creator who is outside the genome.

Let’s consider what this fossil actually shows.  If this is the oldest panda fossil it is evidence that pandas have always been pandas and have always been well suited to eat bamboo, i.e. they have reproduced after their kind.  This confirms Genesis, not evolution.  All animals were created as separate kinds in a fully functional state, and they all ate plants in the beginning.  Later some became carnivores, but pandas continued as vegetarians as they were able to find suitable food and were equipped to eat it.

Creation Research News 21 July 2022

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