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Discovery Magazine 11/1/2006

Snake Evolution Doesn’t Have a Leg To Stand On

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

There I was, lying in a creek enjoying an afternoon of “creek stomping,” when suddenly someone yelled, “Snake!” Before I had time to get up, the snake slithered right across my stomach! I was only seven, but I won’t soon forget that moment. The snake didn’t walk across my stomach, but rather it wiggled back and forth. Even without legs it was extremely effective at moving around. Were snakes designed this way or did they evolve into legless creatures?

Is there any way “natural selection” could be the driving engine for a creature to lose its legs, and in many cases produce deadly venom? Do we find natural selection removing legs from other creatures today? How can “selective pressure” cause an animal to produce deadly venom—and the necessary storage and delivery systems? And why don’t all snakes possess venom if it is so beneficial? The answer to all those questions is that evolution cannot explain the existence of snakes.

Evolutionists themselves have trouble deciding whether snakes lost their legs on land and then journeyed to the water, or whether they lost their legs at sea and then crawled onto land. Many evolutionists believe that because snakes possess scales, lay eggs, and have special features in their skulls that they closely resemble four-legged lizards. However, lizards have only 25 vertebrae, while most snakes typically have over 100! Then there’s the problem with the legs that snakes supposedly had in the past. How did they “disappear”? Evolutionists argue that limbs would get in the way of animals that wiggle around in small holes or crevices. But there are many animals, such as our friend Digger Doug (the underground mole), that have limbs yet live in holes or in tight places.

Some scientists have pointed to a fossil known as Pachyrhachis problematicus as the ancestor to snakes. It appeared to have tiny legs and a pelvic girdle. However, what appear to be tiny legs on some species of snakes are really small claws that snakes use when mating. They are not “tiny legs” at all. Like them or not, snakes show purpose and design by the ultimate Designer—God. 

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