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A Tall Tale of Evolution: The Neck of the Giraffe

Casey Luskin

German geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig Tackles Giraffe Evolution

Last year, German geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig critiqued evolutionary accounts of the infamously complex long neck of the giraffe. He recounts how various Darwinists had claimed things like “the evolution of the long-necked giraffe can be reconstructed through fossils,” but Lönnig concluded that “the fossil evidence for the gradual evolution of the long-necked giraffe is — as expected — completely lacking.” Lönnig has now written part 2 of his refutation of this evolutionary tall tale, where he now shifts the focus away from paleontology and on to giraffe anatomy, diet, behavior, and zoology, tackling evolutionary hypotheses about giraffe origins. Part 2 can be read at “The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe: What Do We Really Know? (Part 2)” (and see here for Part I). In this second part, Lönnig asks scientific questions that few Darwinists are willing to seriously ask, including:

  • “What are the limits of accidental genetic alterations in giraffes (microevolution), where the construction of genetic information requires intelligent programming because undirected mutations (‘chance mutations’) no longer have explanatory value?”
  • “The question of new irreducibly complex systems (in comparison to the short-necked giraffes) should be investigated thoroughly on the anatomical, physiological and genetic level.”
  • “Likewise the question of specified complexity should be thoroughly researched on both levels (probabilistic complexity, conditionally independent pattern for gene functions, gene cascades, organs and organ systems).”
  • “Population size and Haldane’s Dilemma for long and short-necked giraffes.”
  • ” The question of similar or identical systems in the long-necked giraffe compared to other known (or as yet unknown) bionic and cybernetic structures and functions in engineering (it is very probable that we can still learn a lot from the giraffe’s anatomical and physiological constructions).”

Lönnig suggests that ID provides fruitful hints for those investigating giraffe research, and these questions demonstrate he is right. Regarding fossils, he further recommends that “[p]aleontological research should be boosted under the ID-viewpoint: paleontological research in Europe and Asia of extinct giraffe species should move forward, considering, among other things, the issue of the postulated morphological-anatomical appearance without transitions, of the basic types and subtypes of the 26 family Giraffidae.” Of course Darwinists would retort that one should never give up on finding fossil transitions, because absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence. To such a mindset, Lönnig has a sharp reply:

[B]iologists committed to a materialistic world view will simply not consider an alternative. For them, even the most stringent objections against the synthetic evolutionary theory are nothing but open problems that will be solved entirely within the boundaries of their theory. This is still true even when the trend is clearly running against them, that is, when the problems for the theory become greater and greater with new scientific data. This essential unfalsifiability, by the way, places today’s evolutionary theory outside of science, one of whose defining characteristics is that theories can only be considered to be scientific if they are falsifiable, and when they set forth criteria by which they can potentially be falsified.

(Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, “The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe, Part 2“)

To read the full articles, see:

Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



GiraffeWolf-Ekkehard Lönnig