Evolution and preservation of endangered animals

  • #1
Recently I saw a video from a Christian creationist who was trying to debunk evolution with an argument that if evolution gives us new species all the time why would we make an effort to preserve those that are going extinct.

So I was thinking a little bit about it and these are my conclusions, and I am interested if someone can tell me how correct am I, if there are some mistakes, etc.

At the first glance, this even seems to make sense—that is if you only know evolution superficially, but if you know a little better — it doesn't make sense. The main thing is, there are several reasons why species go extinct. One way is because they are being replaced by new species of animals (their distant offsprings) because they are better adapted, especially if it is due to a slower climate change and they out hunt them, the prey that they are hunting gets better evolved,

But there are extinctions during (major) disasters when animals suddenly become extinct no matter how they are adapted to the environment. For example, at the end of the Permian period (250 million years ago), 70% of terrestrial vertebrates became extinct due to strong and sudden volcanic activity. Or a more famous catastrophe that occurred in the Late Triassic (60 million years ago) when an asteroid struck and 75% of all animal species became extinct.

Something similar is happening today, that is, we humans are that catastrophe for animals. We simply kill them because we need their territory to build settlements, plant arable land, and similar. For example, if there were no people protecting gorillas, all wild gorillas could be killed off in an instant because they live in oil-rich areas, so it is in the interest of many businessmen for gorillas to "disappear" (see more about this problem in the documentary "Virunga" (2014)). Moreover, it always seemed that way: Europe and America used to be full of animals like the Serengeti in Africa: with elephants, horses, gazelles, lions, rhinos, buffaloes… but whenever people showed up, these animals would just disappear because our ancestors hunted them down — and/or a combination of hunting and climate changes. With the only exception of animals in Africa who survived because they evolved with us, and thus adapted (though not to the modern man with technology).
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,950
1,303
Your conclusions seems missing :wink:

It's hard to think right about evolution on the basis of a presumed few thousand years. The scale on what new (macro) species appears is far-far-far bigger than the age of the whole creation (by their thinking). And compared to that, the speed of the actual extinction event is so fast that it's fast even on their timescale...

Just don't get bogged down with this kind of thing. Does not worth it.
 
  • Like
Likes russ_watters
  • #3
russ_watters
Mentor
20,959
7,575
if evolution gives us new species all the time why would we make an effort to preserve those that are going extinct.
Bald eagles are pretty.

Don't overthink this.
 
  • Like
Likes BillTre and Bystander
  • #4
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
27,394
11,502
if evolution gives us new species all the time why would we make an effort to preserve those that are going extinct.
If the mint keeps printing money, why do I need to save any money?
 
  • #5
atyy
Science Advisor
14,666
3,127
Humans are part of evolution. If humans are going extinct, why would humans make an effort to save themselves?
 
  • Like
Likes russ_watters and Astronuc
  • #6
jim mcnamara
Mentor
4,404
3,094
PF does not debunk evolution claims not supported in scientific literature. It is impossible to debunk because religious opponents of it follow what they believe is an 'Absolute Truth'. This is their right under the US constitution. You may have noticed what this type of "dis-science" has done for the pandemic:
As of 8/2/2021 18:17MDT on Worldometer:

New Zealand Population 5,002,100, Cases 2877, Deaths 26
South Carolina Population 5,148,715, Cases 623,947, Deaths 9915

Can you guess which geographic entity did better? Hint - it is not the one that could not follow scientific and medical guidelines, like vaccinations.

Yes, they are different places, but they both have significant minority populations. Deaths are radically different. Human behavior is the primary driver for this result. Nothing else.
 
  • Like
Likes weirdoguy, pinball1970, berkeman and 1 other person

Related Threads on Evolution and preservation of endangered animals

Replies
32
Views
12K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
10K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
463
Replies
4
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
24
Views
3K
Top