Researchers down under were surprised to discover 57 hybrid sharks off Australia’s east coast. These black-tip sharks are crossbreeds of two species and display characteristics of both. Lead researcher Jess Morgan noted that the hybrids are able to range farther south into cooler waters than their parents can tolerate. Researchers speculate that by hybridizing, the sharks may be adapting to climate change. Scientists and journalists alike made claims of “evolution in action.”*
But even if the hybrids turn out to be more robust than the parent species and replace them over time, they are still black-tip sharks. Creationist researchers have long noted that a created kind of creature may contain multiple species (which may be able to interbreed). These sharks were able to interbreed because they were of the same created kind, not because they were evolving into a new kind of creature. They merely combine the genetic material the parent species already possessed.
God designed amazing variability into the genes of His creatures, giving them the tools to adapt to different environments as they filled the world. This remarkable adaptive ability was put to widespread use in the centuries after the Flood, when the mating sharks spread out to fill new niches in a radically changed ocean. Ongoing climate change continues to drive further adaptation.
Hybridization is not “evolution in action,” in the sense of creating new kinds of creatures, but rather evidence of a loving God who supplies His creatures with all that they need to “be fruitful and multiply” and fulfill His purposes in a fallen world.
* Google News, “World-First Hybrid Shark Found off Australia,” January 2, 2012, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jSSrbGuxzcnD2BZ2DBN8k-xmQO5w?docId=CNG.9df9789394ff7fed0db488d27e023895.19
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