One Best Friend, Many Varieties
“ And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
There is a story about a man, who had a dog. A friend asked him what kind of dog it was. The man replied “He is a Heinz dog”. “I have never heard of a Heinz dog”, said the other. “Sure you have”, said the first. “He has 57 varieties”.
Man’s best friend comes in a bewildering number of varieties, or breeds. Imagine if a future paleontologist found the fossil skulls of a bulldog and a greyhound. Such a paleontologist might suppose these to be entirely different animals. Yet they are not. They are not just part of the same dog family, along with wolves and foxes, they are actually part of the same species, Canis familiari. Over the millennia, the domestic dog has been selectively bred into a wide variety of forms, sizes, hair lengths etc. Almost any characteristic that can be thought of has been manipulated through such selective breeding.
Pedigree dogs will have certificates from the American Kennel Club, or similar bodies in other countries. An AKC certificate proves that up to four previous generations were of the same breed. The reason for this is that the different breeds obviously interbreed easily—they are the same species. So, this artificial selection of genes is not evolution. In fact, many breeds suffer from genetic diseases, because they are genetically inferior to mongrel dogs, containing much less genetic variety.
Natural selection is not entirely the same as artificial breeding, but it has sufficient similarities for this point to be made; natural selection is not evolution, as no new genetic information is created.
Prayer: I thank You, Lord, for my dogs, and for the fun they bring into our lives. Thank You that You designed dogs to be as they are. Thank You for Your wisdom in creating all these animals, to reproduce according to their kind. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Encyclopedia Britannica, Image: Wikimedia Commons, license: Creative Commons Attribution, 3.0 Share-Alike Unported.
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