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Looking For Change
The Nature Of Change
By Jordan P. Niednagel
© - 11/02

Sometimes it's good to just sit back and observe life as it is. Life is happening. I think we can all agree on this. Now is as good as any time for us to behold our surroundings, to comprehend the natural events that take place all around us, and to, inevitably, study it. Why? Well, for the purpose of knowing. After all, this is essentially what science means ... TO KNOW. Science is a knowledge of natural phenomena that occurs each and everyday and is what makes the universe such a mystifying place. To study science is to engage in one of the greatest activities one could ever pursue . . . a study that, as one learns more and more about it, seemingly brings more questions than it does answers. The scientist may know more, but, unsurprisingly, he is often haunted with more questions than when he first began.

Scientific discoveries are being made every single day. Recent headlines have revealed alarming things that, as they have for so many years, baffle the majority of scientists . . . in particular, it must be said, evolutionary scientists.

Take, for instance, the discovery of the Wollemi Pines, found in an secluded canyon near Sydney, Australia. Scientists had only known them previously from fossils dated around 150 million years, and because of this, they nicknamed them the "Dinosaur Trees." In essence, the discovery was akin to the discovery of an actual dinosaur. Astonishingly, after six years of research since the discovery, they have not been able to find any differences in DNA between the 40 known adult Wollemi Pine trees in two stands that are roughly 1 and a quarter miles (2 kilometers) apart. This has them perplexed, because genetic variation is what keeps evolution going, and such low genetic variability would surely have lead them to extinction.

The trees defy this so-called rule, because they are remarkably strong. Geneticists have been left stunned because both stands share the same genetic code and yet are likely to have been completely separated from each other since, in their terms, the end of the last ice age. Where's the evolution? These trees existed 150 million years ago, and yet nothing about them has changed.

We are, indeed, looking for change.

Recent headlines have once again brought the famed Coelacanth to the public limelight. In October of 2001, Pieter Venter went on a recreational deep dive off South Africa's northeast coast, when he accidentally stumbled upon this "living fossil." The Coelacanth was thought to be extinct until, in 1938, one was caught by a fisherman. Up until that time, it had only been known from the fossil record, and was said to have become extinct 65 million years ago. Now, especially with this most recent sighting (Venter took video footage), scientists are beginning to think the Coelacanth is much more wide-spread than previously imagined.

The significance? The living specimens of today show little to no difference from their million-year-old ancestors.

We are, indeed, looking for change.

Lo and behold, another previously unknown (except from the fossil record) Australian tree has been discovered, this time further north. As of now, it has not been given a botanical name, though the finder has dubbed it the "Nightcap Oak." It is reportedly segregated to a single stand of 23 adult trees, and as with the the Wollemi Pines, the location is being carefully kept under wraps. Plans of multiplying them from cuttings are under way.

The significance? There has been virtually no evolutionary change. The fossil "Nightcap Oaks" are identical to their "modern" prodigy. According to evolutionary theory, 20 million years have passed for these unique trees, but nothing has changed between the old and the new.

We are, indeed, looking for change.

Shall we go so far as to say, however, that change does not occur in the natural world? Do animals not adapt? Do variations not take place? To say that they don't would be both unscientific and illogical. The limits of these variations, however, and the length of time it takes for them to occur is a completely different matter.

Take, for instance, anole lizards of the Bahamas. Not long ago, a small number of these reptiles were relocated from an island with tall trees to nearby islands with only small, bushy flora. Within only a few generations, their hindlimbs grew relatively shorter. The reason is obvious. Longer legs are better suited to life on the trunks of larger trees, while shorter legs more easily enable an anole to jump from bush to bush and branch to branch. It's a clear adaptation for life amongst smaller, scrubby vegetation. Is it, however, macro evolution? No. Simply, adaptation, or micro evolution (see Micro vs. Macro).

But what is most significant is the speed of adaptation, an adaptation that occurred so quickly, in fact, that it surprised evolutionists. If animals are forced to change, evidence shows that they can change quickly, but there are built-in limits to these changes. The lizards grew shorter legs. They did not sprout wings.

We are, indeed, looking for change.


The living world as we know it possesses a marvelous, God-given genetic ability to adapt to varying environments, and that of itself is an incredible thing to observe. We do not observe, however, anything changing beyond these genetic limitations, and science sharply turns into speculation when evolutionists assert the contrary.



1. David Catchpoole and Carl Wieland, Speedy Species Surprise, Creation, p. 13, March, May 2001 - Focus, Another 'living fossil' tree, p. 6. Originally from: The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 December 2000, p. 7.
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