Where Did the Rattlesnake’s Rattle Come From?
How did the rattlesnake get its rattle? A recent article about new research on the rattlesnake’s formidable rattle states, “The evolution of the rattle has baffled scientists because, unlike other complex physical traits like eyes or feathers, it has no obvious precursor or intermediate stage.” According to David Pfennig at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “There is no half-rattle.”
Well, to those who start with the Bible, it’s no surprise that no such thing as a “half-rattle” exists. But for an evolutionist this is a major puzzle. Now evolutionists have suggested perhaps snakes started shaking their tails to warn predators, and eventually the noise-making rattle “evolved . . . as a more effective signal that took advantage of the pre-existing behavior.” But “how exactly the rattlesnakes then got their noisemaker is a more difficult question.”
The article suggests two different ways:
Some snakes were genetically pre-disposed to retain some extra skin on their tails when they shed, which made noise when they shook it and so this trait was selected for until it developed into the rattle.
The other, more controversial idea is that the snakes developed a callus on their tail from shaking it against the rough ground, and if the propensity to develop a callus was affected by genetic variability, it would be selected for until the structure underwent “genetic assimilation,” and the rattle would form without the need for irritating the skin.
But where the snake got its rattle isn’t actually a difficult question needing such an imaginative answer. It’s only a difficult question if you reject the true history recorded in God’s Word in favor of man’s ideas about the past. Observational science demonstrates that nearly 40 rattlesnake species probably belonged to one original created kind. There are no “half-rattles” because God uniquely designed this kind with a rattle.
The rattle would be something we now call a defense structure, but it wouldn’t have been necessary as such before the Fall. Though a rattlesnake’s toxic venom wouldn’t have existed before the Fall, the rattle would become a merciful warning to the fangs behind it in a post-Fall world. (See more about a biblical response to these post-Fall defense/attack structures in the 2009 Answers article, “Designed to Kill in a Fallen World.”)
By the way, where is there “half-anything” in living things today? If molecules-to-man evolution is true, why don’t we see “half-lots-of-things” all over the world? That’s because evolution is simply not trueit’s a fairy tale, an attempt to explain life without God.
When we start with God’s Word, we don’t need to invent fanciful stories about what might have happened in the unobserved past. His Word provides us with the true history of the universe.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.