How Did the Woodpecker Tongue Evolve?

WoodpeckerUPDATE 8/25/07: I stand corrected on woodpecker tongues. I have been shown that woodpecker tongues pose no problem for microevolution. Thanks to Jet Black and others for showing me this. Link HERE. This is a misconception among some creationists that needs to be corrected. The most prominent creationist I know of who holds this misconception is Dr. Jobe Martin, creator of the “Incredible Creatures Who Defy Evolution” DVD series.

UPDATE 8/24/07: I have read through the Talk Origins article on woodpeckers and, to my shock and amazement, the article seems to be very factual — not laced with evolutionary speculation as many Talk Origins article are. There is some very good information there about bird tongues and I learned something. I would like to study woodpecker tongues more. It seems that there may be some misunderstanding out there about the exact biology of bird tongues, not just on creationist websites, but in popular magazines like this one (Missouri Conservationist). That being said, evolutionist explanations for innovations like this, like so many innovations in nature, read like speculation and “just-so” stories. In other words, they really cannot explain how things evolved.

NOTE 8/23/07: I posted this at IIDB and someone gave me an “argument by link” to Talk Origins. The moderator immediately jumped in and locked the thread. He assumes the question has been answered satisfactorily and wants no further discussion on his board. Interesting. Anyway, if you trust Talk Origins, fine. I don’t because I have found much misleading info there. If you want to comment, you can do it here.

Are there any other extant critters with a tongue like this? Any fossil critters unlike woodpeckers? And critters — fossil or extant — with, perhaps, tongues that go only HALF way around the head? I mean how did this tongue evolve? I am told that evolution occurs when beneficial mutations are selected for in nature. What selective advantage would there be for …

a) a tongue anchored at the base of the skull, then
b) a tongue anchored part way around the skull, then
c) a tongue anchored somewhere near the eyeball, then finally
d) a tongue anchored near the nose holes!


You think creationism has hard things to explain? Not near as hard as “evolutionism.”

But I’d love to hear the attempts.

(Picture credit Missouri Conservationist, March 2007)

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