Hyracotherium, placed at the beginning of the so-called horse series, was originally identified by Richard Owen, an anti-Darwinist. But later paleontologists sought to conform this creature to evolution.
Once, There Was the "Horse Series" Scenario
When Darwin was proposing his theory, there were no intermediate forms to support it, but he hoped that some would be discovered in the future. To remedy this vital deficiency, paleontologists who believed in Darwinism put together a set of horse fossils found in North America to form a sequence. Despite the fact that there appeared to be no intermediate forms in the fossil record, the Darwinists thought that they had come up with a great success.
One of the most important pieces of this sequence had already been discovered before Darwinism. In 1841, the English paleontologist Sir Richard Owen found a fossil belonging to a small mammal and, inspired by its similarity to the hyrax, a small fox-like creature found in Africa, he called it Hyracotherium. The hyrax's skeleton was almost identical to Owen's finding, except for its skull and the tail.
As they did with other fossils, paleontologists who adopted Darwinism began to evaluate Hyracotherium from an evolutionist point of view. In 1874, the Russian paleontologist Vladimir Kovalevsky tried to establish a relationship between Hyracotherium and horses. In 1879, two well-known evolutionists of the time carried this enterprise further and compiled the horse series which was to remain on the Darwinist agenda for years to come. The American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, together with Thomas Huxley (known as Darwin's bulldog), devised a chart by arranging some hoofed fossils according to tooth structure and the number of toes in foreleg and hind leg. In the process, to stress the idea of evolution, Owen's Hyracotherium was renamed eohippus which means "dawn horse." Their claims together with their charts were published in the American Journal of Science and laid the foundation of the sequence that would be displayed for years in museums and textbooks as supposed proof of the evolution of today's horse.122 Some of the genera displayed as the stages of this sequence included Eohippus, Orohippus, Miohippus, Hipparion and finally the modern-day horse, Equus.
In the next century, this sequence was taken to be proof for the so-called evolution of the horse. The decrease in the number of toes and the animal's gradual increase in size were enough to convince evolutionists, who for some decades hoped to assemble similar fossil sequences for other creatures. But their hopes were never fulfilled: They were never able to assemble a sequence for other creatures, as they supposedly had for the horse.
Moreover, some contradictions became evident, with the attempt to insert newly-excavated fossils into the horse series. Characteristics of the new finds—where they were discovered, their age, the number of toes—were incompatible with the sequence and began to undo it. They were inconsistent with the horse series and turned it into a meaningless assortment of fossils.
Gordon Rattray Taylor, former chief science advisor to BBC Television described the situation:
He openly admitted that the horse series was based on no proof. Heribert Nilsson, another researcher, made the same statement, writing that the horse series was "very artificial":
Today, even many evolutionists reject the thesis that horses went through a gradual evolution. In November, 1980, a four-day symposium was held at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago attended by 150 evolutionists. It dealt with the problems associated with the theory of a gradual evolution. A speaker, the evolutionist Boyce Rensberger, told that there was no proof in the fossil record for the scenario of the gradual evolution of the horse, and that there never was any such process:
The popularly told example of horse evolution, suggesting a gradual sequence of changes from four-toed, or fox-like creatures, living nearly 50 million years ago, to today's much larger one-toe horse, has long been known to be wrong. Instead of gradual change, fossils of each intermediate species appear fully distinct, persist unchanged, and then become extinct. Transitional forms are unknown.125
From the statements of Taylor, Nilsson and Rensberger, we can understand that there is no scientific support for the supposed evolution of horses, and that the sequence is full of contradictions. So, if there is no proof for the horse series, what is it based on? The answer is evident: As with all other Darwinist scenarios, the horse series is imaginary; evolutionists assembled some fossils according to their own preconceptions and gave the public the impression that the creatures had evolved from one another.
Marsh can be called the architect of the horse series, and there is no doubt that he played a role on creating this impression. Almost a century later, Marsh's "technique" was described by the evolutionist Robert Milner, who said that "Marsh arranged his fossils to 'lead up' to the one surviving species, blithely ignoring many inconsistencies and any contradictory evidence."126
In short, Marsh created a scenario of his own and later assembled the fossils according to it as if arranging screwdrivers in his toolbox according to their size. But contrary to expectations, the new fossils upset Marsh's scenario. The ecologist Garret Hardin says:
The fossils could not be arranged to show a gradual evolution, such as Darwin had envisioned. The evolutionist, Francis Hitching, explains:
Today, the horse series gives evolutionists nothing to hope for. It has been discovered that horses lived at the same time as their supposed ancestors and even side by side with them, and so evidently there is no way to establish an ancestral lineage among them. Besides, many characteristics discovered in the tooth and bone structure of horses invalidate this sequence. All this points to one evident fact: There was never any evolutionary relationship among these sequenced creatures. As with all others, these genera in their fossil layers appeared all at once. Despite all their efforts, evolutionists have not been able to demonstrate transitional characteristics among these genera, and it's worth a closer look at the horse series that Darwinists once defended so intently.
Inconsistency and Admissions by Evolutionists
Contrary to the evolutionist scenario displayed in museums and textbooks, the horse series is inconsistent in terms of various criteria. First of all, evolutionists have not been able to establish any connection between Eohippus (or Hyracotherium), which they claim begins the sequence, and condylarths, supposedly the ancestors of ungulates.129
In addition, there are inconsistencies within the horse series. Some of the creatures included in the sequence are proven to have lived at the same time as one another. In January, 1981, National Geographic published the surprising report that researchers in Nebraska, USA came across thousands of 10-million-year-old fossils that had been preserved after a sudden volcanic eruption. This news dealt a severe blow to the scenario of horse evolution, because the published photographs of these fossils showed both three-toed and one-toed horses,130 refuting the claim that genera in the horse series evolved from one another. These creatures, claimed to have an ancestral connection, actually lived at the same time and in the same place, and demonstrated no transitional characteristics that could prove evolution. This discovery demonstrated that the evolutionist propaganda of the horse series, long disseminated in museums and textbooks, was completely imaginary and assembled on the basis of preconceptions.
A greater inconsistency committed in the name of Darwinism was Mesohippus and its supposed ancestors. Jonathan Wells, noted for his criticism of Darwinism in his Icons of Evolution, writes that although Miohippus actually appeared in the fossil record before Mesohippus, it persists after it.131
Interestingly, O.C. Marsh himself mentioned the existence of three-toed horses living in southwestern America at that time and that in this respect, they resembled the extinct Protohippus.132 The inconsistency of the horse series lies not only in the fact that a genera existed in the same time and place as the so-called "ancestor" from which it claimed linear descent. No isolated area of the world can be taken by itself as evidence that horses came to be through an evolutionary process. Evolutionists have assembled fragments of fossils from different continents according to their preconceptions and used to corroborate their claims. However, this methodology does not accord with objective science.
While assembling the horse series, evolutionists relied on the fossils' number of toes and the size and structure of the teeth—but this procedure turned against them. In arranging their sequence, they claimed that the horse's supposed ancestors went from feeding on bushes to feeding on grass, and that their teeth evolved accordingly. But from studies made on 5-million-year-old teeth belonging to six different species of horses, Bruce MacFadden demonstrated that these creatures' teeth did not really undergo any change.133
On the other hand, an up-and-down variation can be seen in the number of ribs and lumbar vertebrae in the sequence, which is the exact opposite of what evolution would predict. For example, in the supposed evolutionary horse series, the number of ribs increased from 15 to 19, and later decreased to 18. In the so-called ancestors, the number of lumbar vertebrae went from six to eight, then back to six. These structures have a critical influence on these animals' movement and even their lives. Logically, a species whose vital structures undergo random variations clearly cannot perpetuate itself.
A final inconsistency in the horse series is the evolutionist assumption that an observed increase in a creature's size represents evolutionary "progress." Looking at the size of modern-day horses, we can see that this makes no sense. The largest modern-day horse is the Clydesdale, and the smallest is the Fallabella, only 43 centimeters high.134 Despite the large variations in size in today's horses, evolutionists' past attempts to sequence horses according to their size was foolish indeed.
In short, the whole horse series is clearly an evolutionist myth based on prejudice. It has been left to the evolutionist paleontologists—the silent witnesses of Darwinism's collapse—to make this known. Since Darwin's time, they have known that there were no fossil layers of intermediate forms. In 2001, Ernst Mayr said, "Nothing has more impressed the paleontologists than the discontinuous nature of the fossil record," 135 expressing the longstanding disappointment among paleontologists that the countless intermediate forms that Darwin envisioned have never been found.
Perhaps for this reason, paleontologists have been speaking for decades about the invalidity of the horse series, even though other evolutionists continue to defend it avidly. In 1979, for example, David Raup said that the horse series was totally meaningless and invalid:
About 20 years ago, an evolutionist paleontologist Dr. Niles Eldredge from one of the world's most famous museums, the American Museum of Natural History, confessed that evolutionist claims about the horse series diagrams displayed in his own museum were imaginary. Eldredge criticized assertions that this speculative series was valid enough to be included in textbooks.
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 is lamentable, particularly because the people who propose these kinds of stories themselves may be aware of the speculative nature of some of the stuff. 137
Claims of Vestigiality in a Horse's Legs and the Facts
Evolutionists aver that the number of horse's toes decreased over time, basing this claim on splint bones found in modern-day horses' forelegs. In the so-called process of evolution, they say, horses' three toes receded to form the splint bones. However, splint bones are not the useless vestiges that evolutionists claim them to be. They strengthen the leg for running and are known to play a role in reducing the stress caused by galloping. They provide attachment points for various muscles. Also, they form a protective groove housing the suspensory ligament, a vital elastic brace that supports the animal's weight as it moves.138
A horse's leg is evidence of Creation. Pierre-Paul Grassé explains the characteristics of a horse's hoof in technical language, then goes on to show that this continuity could not have been brought about by any random process. The excellence of the structure in the leg joints, its pressure-absorbing cushions, its lubricating liquid to facilitate movement, its ligaments and structure are all amazing:
Grassé's statements clearly show the perfect structure of a horse's leg. Even more is known today about it, as a recent study reveals.
1- A Shetland pony, the smallest British horse breed.
In a 2002 study, researchers from the University of Florida discovered that one particular bone in a horse's leg (the third metacarpus bone) had unique properties. As revealed by this study, there was a hole, the size of a pea through which blood vessels could enter, on one side of the bone. Naturally holes cause weaknessess. In laboratory stress tests, however, contrary to ordinary expectations, the bone didn't break near the hole. Further analysis showed that the bone was arranged in such a way as to push stress into a stronger region, preventing the horse's leg from breaking at that point. This structure attracted so many admirers that NASA financed Andrew Rapoff, an assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, to imitate it in the aircrafts near the holes for wiring.140
The structure of a horse's leg surpasses the inventiveness of engineers trained in the most advanced technology; and is now mimicked by the aircraft industry. As Grassé pointed out, such special structures cannot be explained in terms of random occurrences. Plainly, the horse's leg has superior characteristics that cannot come into being by coincidence; that is, horses came into being with all their characteristics by God's superior Creation. In conclusion, the horse series presented as fact in the 20th-century evolutionist literature has been discredited. Horses show no evidence of evolution, but their complex anatomy is an important example of the fact of Creation.
So, Darwinism's myth of horse evolution, like its other myths, has been discredited.
123- 0. C. Marsh, "Recent Polydactyle Horses", American Journal of Science 43, 1892, ss. 339-354
124- Gordon Rattray Taylor, "The Great Evolution Mystery" New York, Harper & Row, 1983, sf. 230
125- Heribert Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung Lund, Sweden: Vertag CWE Gleenrup, 1954, ss. 551-552
126- Boyce Rensberger, Houston Chronicle, 5 Kasım 1980, Bölüm 4, s. 15.
127- Milner, The Encyclopedia of Evolution, 1993, s. 222
128- Garret Hardin, Nature and Man's Fate, (New York, Mentor, 1961), ss. 225-226.
129- Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe-Where Darwin Went Wrong, NY: Ticknor and Fields, 1982, ss. 16-17, 19, 28-30
130- Kofahl, R.E., Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter, Beta Books, San Diego, California, 1997, s.159
131- Voorhies M.R., "Ancient Ashfall Creates a Pompei of Prehistoric Animals," National Geographic, Vol. 159, No. 1, January 1981, ss.67-68,74 ; "Horse Find Defies Evolution" Creation Ex Nihilo 5(3):15, January 1983, http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/3723.asp
132- Jonathan Wells, "Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why much of what we teach about evolution is wrong", s.199; Royal Truman, "A review of Icons of Evolution" www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/tj/docs/tj_v15n2_icons_review.asp
133- O.C. Marsh, 'Recent polydactyle horses,' American Journal of Science, 43:339–354, 1892.
134- Bruce J. MacFadden et al., Ancient diets, ecology, and extinction of 5-million-year-old horses from Florida, Science 283(5403):824–827, 5 February 1999.
135- Horse and horsemanship,' Encyclopædia Britannica, 20:646655, 15th ed. 1992
136- Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is, New York: Basic Books, s. 163
137- D.M. Raup, 'Conflicts between Darwin and paleontology,' Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin 50:22, 1979
138- Sunderland L.D., Darwin's Enigma, 1988, s.78
139- J. Bergman and G. Howe, 'Vestigial Organs' Are Fully Functional Creation Research Society Books, Kansas City, s.77, 1990;
140- Paul-Pierre Grasse., Evolution of Living Organisms, s. 51-52
141- Florida Üniversitesi: "From the Bone of a Horse, a New Idea for Aircraft Structures, 2 Aralık 2002, http://www.napa.ufl.edu/2002news/horsebone.htm ; "Uzay ve Havacılık Mühendisleri Atın Kemik Tasarımını Taklit Ediyor" http://www.harunyahya.net/V2/Lang/tr/Pg/WorkDetail/Number/969