Snake in Grass

A team of scientists has studied the genomes of 14 species from 12 families of snakes to find out what genetic changes happened for reptiles with four limbs and two lungs to change into snakes with no limbs and one lung. 

The found three parts of a gene called PTCH1 had missing DNA. This gene helps control limb development.  All the snakes had this same mutation.  According to one of the researchers, Jia-Tang Li, this finding “could be one of the important genetic bases underlying snakes’ limb loss.” 

As well as losing limb forming genes, snakes are also missing two genes named DNAH11 and FOXJ1 which are involved in forming symmetrical body structures.  This would explain why the left lung in snakes does not form properly or is completely missing.

Snakes are also known to have poor vision and hearing with loss of eye and ear structures.  The researchers found some genes for eye and ear function have been lost, but others were still there but have been “downregulated”, i.e. they have been turned off. 

The researchers claim their study “provides insights into the evolution and development of snakes and vertebrates.”

References: Science (AAAS) News, 20 June 2023; Cell, 19 June 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2023.05.030

Editorial Comment:  It is interesting that evolutionists now believe four legged reptiles evolved into snakes without legs, but scoff at Christians for believing God turned a walking creature into a legless crawling creature. 

Losing genes or having them turned off is degeneration on a massive scale. It is exactly what you would expect from the Biblical history of the Serpent in Genesis 3 and later seen in all living things.  In the beginning God created complex living things with ‘good’ fully functioning genes, but since the fall, many creatures have lost functions. Change, yes! Evolution, no! We are not surprised snakes, in particular, have such a widespread loss of genes and gene regulation, as they are a specific result of God’s curse very early in the history of the world, just after Adam sinned.  See Genesis 3:14.

Creation Research News 26 July 2023

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