Billions of Missing Links: Upright Plants

Note: This is part of a series of posts excerpted from my book, Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain. The upright posture of plants is a striking design that falls short of a clear explanation. The pat answer is that prehistoric flat plants decided to go vertical to compete for more sun. But where did this need to compete arise? And how could a limp ground hugger accidentally develop systems to support excessive weight — maybe tons of wood — root systems to support the weight, transport systems to move the water and nutrients up, and defense mechanisms against weather and pests? Much of it had to be there at the same time. Read More ›

Billions of Missing Links: Barnacles and Mussels

Note: This is part of a series of posts excerpted from my book, Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain. The adhesive used by barnacles is among the strongest in the world. It is reported that a layer merely 3/10,000 of an inch thick can support a weight of 7000 pounds. This relative of the shrimp and crab glues its head down and keeps its feet up to catch the next meal. Its adhesive sets in water at any temperature and will not dissolve in most acids, bases, and solvents. Fossil records suggest it has been used by barnacles unchanged for 400 million years. Nothing seems to be known about its intermediates before that. Read More ›

Billions of Missing Links: Wombat Pouches

Note: This is the third in a series of posts excerpted from my book, Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain. A design must be considered improbable if it is highly functional and durable yet too complex to have come about spontaneously or by intermediate steps. Think of the subway system in any large metropolitan area. Could the combination of tracks, stations, tunnels, signs, vending machines, stairwells, lighting, trains, billboards, ticket booths, turnstiles, benches, platforms, security measures, and restrooms have happened all at once or did it come about by stages? If these commuter systems were to follow the tenets of the theory of evolution, the tracks going off in every direction might be Read More ›

Billions of Missing Links: Hen’s Eggs

Note: This is one of a series of posts excerpted from my book, Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain. When it comes to citing examples of purposeful design, nearly every author likes to point out the hen’s egg. It’s really quite remarkable. Despite having a shell that is a mere 0.35 mm think, they don’t break when a parent sits on them. According to Dr. Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, A bird egg is a mechanical structure strong enough to hold a chick securely during development, yet weak enough to break out of. The shell must let oxygen in and carbon dioxide out, yet be sufficiently impermeable to water to keep the contents from drying out. Read More ›

Billions of Missing Links: Velvet Worms

Note: This is the first of a series of posts excerpted from my book, Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain. Velvet worms are thought to be descended of insects, but the evidence for this is scanty; they look a lot like worms, and they have remained unchanged for millions of years. They live along fallen leaves in tropical forests and have two nozzles, one on each side of their head, which can fire off a very quickly drying glue at their prey. These two sprays crisscross back and forth, as if lassoing the victim. Once the victim is securely ensnared, the worm bites a hole in its body, injects digestive juices, and then Read More ›