Christopher Hitchens, author of the book God is Not Great, wrote an article for Slate.com titled “Losing Sight of Progress: How blind salamanders make nonsense of creationists’ claims”.
I read the article, and frankly, I wasn’t that impressed.
The basic premise is this: There are salamanders in caves who do not need eyes, do not have eyes, yet have indentations where eyes would be. According to Hitchens, the evidence overwhelmingly points to the fact that the cave salamanders used to have eyes there, but through evolution and natural selection, they no longer do. Here’s his own words:
“Whereas the likelihood that the post-ocular blindness of underground salamanders is another aspect of evolution by natural selection seems, when you think about it at all, so overwhelmingly probable as to constitute a near certainty.”
“A near certainty”??? Am I the only one who thinks that is a bit of a stretch? Would you be comfortable saying that anything that may have happened millions of years ago is a “near certainty”? Not me.
Here’s what Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, had to say about Hitchens’ thoughts:
“Vestigial eyes, for example, are clear evidence that these cave salamanders must have had ancestors who were different from them—had eyes, in this case. That is evolution. Why on earth would God create a salamander with vestiges of eyes? If he wanted to create blind salamanders, why not just create blind salamanders? Why give them dummy eyes that don’t work and that look as though they were inherited from sighted ancestors?”
See the words he uses? “clear evidence“? Really, Rich? You mean to tell me you could prove in a court of law that these cave salamanders used to have eyes back in the day? Hm. I’m no lawyer, but I don’t think that would hold up.
The other issue that I have with Dawkins’ argument is that he’s using human logic to try and guess at why God would create things in a certain way. If there is a God capable of creating a salamander (and I know for Dawkins’ that is a huge “if”) , do you think that we, as created humans, would be capable of understanding the reasons why He did and did not do things a certain way? I don’t know, it just doesn’t hold much water with me.
I’m the last person to sit here and preach a 7-day creation to you. You know why? Because I don’t know. The Bible teaches that God created this world, and I believe that. Do I believe it took a literal 7 days? I think so. Am I sure? Not at all. Smarter folks than me have argued about it for decades. To be honest, it’s not something i think about all that often. I know believing in a 7-day Creation and a young earth is a bit of a reach, and I guess I’m okay with that.
And while there’s lots of great points that evolutionists can make to support their theories, if they think that vestigial eyes in cave salamanders “make nonsense of creationists claims”, they have to realize they’re reaching more than I am.