Proof of the evolution of the horse? What change is possible?


Major update: 1st February 2022

Trilobite fossil.
Trilobite fossil [i]

Table of Contents for: Proof of the evolution of the horse…

Insect fossils look very much the same as modern living insects. Why is that?

Insect fossils appear not to have changed over millions of years, or have only changed a little bit.
How come, for example the cockroach, has not evolved in supposedly 300 million years? It is unchanged.

Whereas other things have supposedly evolved at a tremendous rate.

Proof of Evolution with the horse?

The encyclopaedia Britannica gives the example of the evolution of the horse:

One example is the evolution of the horse.
The horse can be traced to an animal the size of a dog having several toes on each foot and teeth appropriate for browsing;
this animal, called the dawn horse (genus Hyracotherium), lived more than 50 million years ago.
The most recent form, the modern horse (Equus), is much larger in size, is one-toed, and has teeth appropriate for grazing.
The transitional forms are well preserved as fossils, as are many other kinds of extinct horses that evolved in different directions and left no living descendants.”

Then Britannica provide an image showing:

Numbered bones in the forefoot illustrations trace the gradual transition from a four-toed to a one-toed animal.”

Image showing ‘Evolution of the horse’ Britannica [v]

The image shows the horses evolution from Hyracotherium/Eohippus to Orohippus to Epihippus to Mesohippus to Miohippus to Parahippus to Merychippus and then branching to 12 different ones of which many are extinct.
One of the 12 is Equus, from which comes the horses we know today. [v]

All this sounds very convincing and this is how it came about:

In 1841, the earliest so-called ‘horse’ fossil was discovered in clay around London.
The scientist who unearthed it, Richard Owen, found a complete skull that looked like a fox’s head with multiple back-teeth as in hoofed animals. He called it Hyracotherium.
He saw no connection between it and the modern-day horse.
In 1874, another scientist, Kovalevsky, attempted to establish a link between this small fox-like creature, which he thought was 70 million years old, and the modern horse.
In 1879, an American fossil expert, O. C. Marsh, and famous evolutionist Thomas Huxley, collaborated for a public lecture which Huxley gave in New York.
Marsh produced a schematic diagram which attempted to show the so-called development of the front and back feet, the legs, and the teeth of the various stages of the horse.
He published his evolutionary diagram in the American Journal of Science in 1879, and it found its way into many other publications and textbooks.
The scheme hasn’t changed.
It shows a beautiful gradational sequence in ‘the evolution’ of the horse, unbroken by any abrupt changes.
This is what we see in school textbooks.”

‘What’s Happened to the Horse?’ by Peter Hastie [ix]

There has been no gradual change from one form to another.
Dr Niles Eldredge, curator of the American Museum of Natural History, said:

I admit that an awful lot of that* has gotten into the textbooks as though it were true.
For instance, the most famous example still on exhibit downstairs** is the exhibit on horse evolution prepared perhaps 50 years ago.
That has been presented as literal truth in textbook after textbook.
Now I think that that is lamentable …”

Dr Niles Eldredge, curator of the American Museum of Natural History

* = imaginary stories. ** =in the American Museum of Natural History.

Hyracotherium/Eohippus and Orohippus do for instance appear in the fossil record at the same time as Epihippus.
Mesohippus and Miohippus appear together with Merychippus and Parahippus.
Almost all other horses (with a possible exception of one or two)—Parahippus, Merychippus, Pliohippus, Equus and possibly also Miohippus—are represented at the same time during much of the period when they have been found as fossils.
(But especially in the newer evolutionary schemes, different names have been given to very similar animals, giving the appearance of evolution as well as providing fame to their discoverers; see examples in Froehlich 20029 and MacFadden 20054).
Fossils of Hyracotherium (sic) have also been found very high up in the strata (Pliocene), but these findings have been rejected as reworked (i.e. eroded and deposited at a later strata) in spite of the fact that the geological observations do not show any signs of disturbance.
Thus, the fact that most of the horses lived almost at the same time undermines their proposed evolution.”

‘The evolution of the horse’ by Mats Molén [vi]

Here is a visualisation of this so called direct line of evolution with the horses shown in group ‘A’ being the oldest in history [vii] :

Diagram showing that the presumed line of evolution had those horses living at the same time.

I started detailed research on horse-like animals but I’ve discovered that the experts can’t agree on the ancestral tree and it keeps changing and new types are being added and existing ones changed.
It’s a mess!
Kyle Butt has reported that the Natural History Museum now admits that the ‘evidence’ once used to teach horse evolution has been proven to be inaccurate in a new horse ‘evolution’ exhibit:

they admitted that ‘evidence’ for horse evolution that was used in the past was wrong, but then they just presented more wrong information.
The placard at the exhibit says,
‘Scientists concluded that there was no single line of evolution.’ That means the material that showed horse evolution as a ‘single line’ is all false.
Then they stated,
‘This doesn’t mean that the original story was entirely wrong.’ Actually, the story of horse evolution that is presented in the old textbooks as well as the new exhibit is all wrong.
Horses never evolved from a different kind of animal.”

‘Horse Evolution: Wrong Again!’ by Kyle Butt, M.Div. [xii]
Natural History Museum now admits that the 'evidence' once used to teach horse evolution has been proven to be inaccurate.
Natural History Museum now admits that the ‘evidence’ once used to teach horse evolution has been proven to be inaccurate, but says that the original story was not entirely wrong. [xii]

It would probably be possible to classify the different parts of Parahippus as belonging to two different animals—Miohippus (figure 4) and Merychippus.
This latter result can also be inferred by the work of Cavanaugh et al., as Parahippus showed similarities to 14 of 18 species of horses.
Therefore, the “Parahippus” step in the horse series appears to be a mixed up group of unrelated fossils.”

‘The evolution of the horse’ by Mats Molén [viii]

Mats Molén concludes:

that the horse series probably comprise three different created kinds, not including all animals that have been labelled Hyracotherium.
Hyracotherium itself appears to contain several different created kinds such as animals similar to tapirs.”

‘The evolution of the horse’ by Mats Molén [viii]

Creationists believe that within ‘kinds’ there can be changes – just think how varied dogs are in their looks, but they are still all dogs.

Proof of Evolution in bone structure?

The encyclopaedia Britannica shows us more fossil ‘evidence’ proving changes in evolution:

The skeletons of turtles, horses, humans, birds, and bats are strikingly similar, in spite of the different ways of life of these animals and the diversity of their environments.
The correspondence, bone by bone, can easily be seen not only in the limbs but also in every other part of the body.
From a purely practical point of view, it is incomprehensible that a turtle should swim, a horse run, a person write, and a bird or a bat fly with forelimb structures built of the same bones.
An engineer could design better limbs in each case.
But if it is accepted that all of these skeletons inherited their structures from a common ancestor and became modified only as they adapted to different ways of life, the similarity of their structures makes sense.”

‘The fossil record’ Britannica [iii]
homologies of vertebrate forelimbs min
Homologies of vertebrate forelimbs. Britannica [iv]
To explain the image Britannica states: “Homologies of the forelimb among vertebrates, giving evidence for evolution.
The bones correspond, although they are adapted to the specific mode of life of the animal.
(Some anatomists interpret the digits in the bird’s wing as being 1, 2, and 3 rather than 2, 3, and 4.)”

Personally I cannot accept that all of these skeletons inherit their structures from a common ancestor and that they were able to change by being modified by their environment.

There appears to be no gradual changes between fossils

Yes, bone structure can have similar parts, but I would say that is because the Designer has decided to use similar ‘building blocks’.

The image of the different bone structures above shows similarities but it does not show evolution, no gradual changes from an arm gradually evolving into a wing.

Creationists believe that changes happen, but within their ‘kinds’, so a mouse cannot grow wings, etc.

The fossil record can show change, but not macroevolution – from the simplest cell to complex creatures.

But the changes are within their ‘kind’.

The Bible tells us:

And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.’
So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.” 

Genesis 1:20-21

I would suggest that all these kinds were created to be unique and only within these kinds can things change and evolve.

Before the time of Charles Darwin, a false idea had crept into the church—the belief in the ‘fixity’ or ‘immutability’ of species.
According to this view, each species was created in precisely the same form that we find it today.
The Bible nowhere teaches that species are fixed and unchanging…
While biologists debate what constitutes a species, the Bible alludes to a much broader category, called a ‘kind.’
The biblical kind often includes many different species, but they still belong to the same family….
Evolutionists seek to explain the origin of species from a single, hypothetical, primordial life-form by means of progressive change and natural selection.
When God created the kinds, He frontloaded them with genetic differences—with the potential to form all sorts of new species and varieties.”

‘Speciation’ Answers in Genesis [ii]

Reference:
[i] Macroscopic Solutions. Trilobite fossil. Retrieved from Artstor
[ii] Natural selection/speciation Answers in Genesis
[iii] ‘The fossil record’ Britannica
[iv] ‘Homologies of vertebrate forelimbs’ Britannica
[v] Image showing ‘Evolution of the horse’ Britannica
[vi] ‘The evolution of the horse’ by Mats Molén
[vii] Paleobiology Database
[viii] ‘The evolution of the horse’ by Mats Molén
[ix] ‘What’s Happened to the Horse?’ by Peter Hastie
[x] Niles Eldredge, as quoted in: Luther D. Sunderland, ‘Darwin’s Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems’, fourth edition (revised and expanded), Master Book Publishers, Santee (California), 1988, p. 78.
[xi] “How to Abbreviate Millions of Years Old.” by Andrew Alden. ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021.
[xii] ‘Horse Evolution: Wrong Again!’ by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

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