Wolf-to-Dog and other Recent Myths

The evolution debate focuses on what is required in schools. We now hear from a fifth grader — whose school taught her evolution as early as 3rd grade.

From a child’s perspective, she addresses three popular topics: Wolf-to-dog, coelacanths, and the Ice Mummy. The first has received much attention. The second, also in the news, is taught in 3rd grade is a favorite for early grade school. The third topic is in children’s literature, but not in school.

By Phyllis Schlafly (5th grader):

Wolf-to-Dog.

There are several reasons wolves did NOT evolve to dogs. This theory how dogs evolved from wolves is merely someone mistaking two cousins as an evolutionary process.

Have you ever seen how similar your dog is to a wolf? A book called “Dogs” states, “. . . how genes and environmental signals make your dog very much not a wolf.” Again, this is false. Dogs were formed by breeding docile wolves. For example, both have a gestation period of 63 days. Dogs also howl at an odd noise, such as a burglar alarm or police siren. So do wolves, as I have learned at the Lakota Wolf Preserve. Wolves have 42 teeth. Since I could not find a resource that held the information of how many teeth dogs had, I counted my own dog’s teeth. It was about 42.

Still not satisfied? The most sophisticated genetic sampling techniques have failed to differentiate dogs from wolves. The DNA is almost identical.

If dogs evolved from wolves, then why do dogs (even in the wild) produce dog-wolf hybrids? Even with the techniques of the human brain, nobody can find a way to tell dogs from wolves.

Dogs always think of their owners as a pack (alpha, beta, omega, etc.) Wolves, of course, live in packs, and the rest of the pack is usually the offspring of the alpha male and female. Dogs think of our family as a pack, our children being lower than the parents.

Dogs are also smaller than wolves. In this case, how could wolves evolve to dogs, since dogs are a lower life form?

Wolves are smarter than dogs. A non-rabid, unprovoked wolf has never killed a human in America. If dogs are dumber, why would they evolve from something that is smarter?

Have you ever seen your dog roll on leaves? Or growl when the postman comes? They are showing that territory belongs to them. Wolves will go as far as killing an intruder wolf.

Many ideas have proved evolution wrong. We have a lot of proof. But some people just don’t want to believe us.

Coelacanths

In 3rd grade (in public school), I was taught about coelacanths. Coelacanths are fish that have multiple fins. They are large, spotted fish, and they can grow up to 6 feet or more.

If you want to see a picture of them, go to http://www.diveseychelles.com.sc/images/Coelacanth.jpg. The fins are lobe-shaped, with a flat, extra-large tail. The fins are that of a normal fish; except there are many of them.

My 3rd grade teacher taught us that coelacanths used to be land creatures. They said that they walked at one time and evolved eventually into fish.

But evolution consists of lower life forms evolving into higher life forms. Wouldn’t a coelacanth that walks on land be more advanced than ordinary fish? Wouldn’t limbs that can walk on land be more advanced than fins?

Also, coelacanths are olders than reptiles, birds and mammals. Coelacanths are older than dinosaurs, too.

Coelacanths have remained unchanged for a period longer than most species even existed. Why would the coelacanth evolve — and then stop? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Also, why would all the other species evolve, but coelacanths not evolve during the same period? If all the other species were improving, then coelacanths should have been improving also.

And why did they claim that the coelacanth went extinct 60 million years ago? These fish are all over the place!

Divers have spotted six to seven in Sodwana Bay, off the coast of South Africa. A trawler caught a large coelacanth near the Kenyan coast last year.

This large fish has also been caught off the coasts of Mozambique and Madagascar. There probably are many other populations of this funny fish around.

They say these fish have “unusual markings”. Yet, while down in the ocean according “survival of the fittest” they would probably need markings to camouflage themselves. Would funny markings like these camouflage the coelacanths?

Ice Mummy.

I read a (children’s) book about the “Ice Mummy,” a frozen prehistoric man found high in the Alps where Austria borders Italy.

German tourists Helmut and Erika Simon made the discovery. They found the Ice Mummy’s head sticking out of the snow on a warm summer day. He was found in an ice cold puddle, which preserved him for thousands of years.

Tools were found with him. He was wearing neatly stitched furs to protect him from the cold. He even had a grass shoe on. The tools were a knife with a stone blade, a backpack, a bow and arrows, a net, and an ax made of wood and a blade of copper.

The “Ice Mummy” is estimated to be 5,300 years old. He is the oldest well-preserved man to be found. We even know his eye color (blue) and his diet (milled grains).

Instructor’s Conclusion to Lesson.

The claims about Wolf-to-dog and evolved coelacanths are highly speculative, and vulnerable to many unanswered questions. They are not suitable for teaching in school, unless the (1) contrary evidence, (2) untestable assumptions, and (3) unanswered questions are also taught.

In contrast, the claim about the Ice Mummy is valid, and worth teaching. It adds another data point around 5500 years — the same age as the oldest writings and civilizations, and a bit older than sequoias and spring water. The cluster of data points around that time is worth teaching.

Instructor’s Conclusion to Course.

Juries can be easily misled and reach incorrect decisions if they hear only the evidence for a claim, without also hearing the contrary evidence and asking questions of themselves and the judge during deliberations. Indeed, the wisest judge in the world will reach the wrong verdict if rebuttal of the evidence is concealed. So we have rules, strictly enforced, to ensure that judges and juries hear about flaws in evidence. The same should be true for evolution instruction, but current state science standards exclude anything casting any doubt on evolutionary claims.

Ohio’s most recent draft standard is an example that excludes assumptions, contrary evidence, and unanswered questions. Nowhere does it mention evidence of massive flooding, ages of human skeletons, assumptions underlying radiometry, lack of transitional fossils predicted by Darwin, unexplained migration and homing, numerous species that never evolved, proven cases of evolutionary fraud (and hence flaws in methodology), irreducible complexity, examples of predators befriending prey, importance of testability and falsifiability, and so on. http://webapp1.ode.state.oh.us/content_standards/standards/