A Horse Is a Horse, of Course
(by Bob Pulliam)
This article is particularly aimed toward our young people who are in the public school system. They receive a constant barrage of information designed to "prove" evolution, which discredits any possibility of God's existence. One of the most prominent tools is a horse series chart which supposedly shows (from the fossil record) how the horse evolved from a dog-like creature to the tower of strength it is today. Many of us who are older have seen these things presented. Read the following for your own information; but especially see to it that any young people in your charge also read it.
The Truth About the "Series"...
We all understand that "series" refers to one thing coming after another. Third in line cannot come before the second and still be a series. There is no real certainty to this series, and a great deal of disagreement exists on the classical "series". Below I have listed all of the alleged ancestors in their proposed series for the horse's evolution (see chart below). In red italics are the specimens most commonly cited. With artist's reditions, these seem to make nice transition in form and anatomy over a progression of time (i.e. get bigger and better as time passes).
Something never noted in school textbooks is the presence of contradictions in the horse series (a good reason to leave out some of these fancy names). For example, Archaeohippus (9th in series) came before Megahippus (8th in series). How did the ninth evolve before the eighth? Calippus (sixteenth) came before Hipparion (twelfth), which should really raise an eyebrow. Can you imagine being around before your great-great grandfather (so to speak)? In fact 15 through 18 actually date older than 8, 13 & 14 according to many authorities!
Now some would say, "I know we're not certain about some of these details, and there is disagreement, but that does not mean the horse did not evolve." You've missed my point! These charts are printed in school textbooks as fact. Fact is an established truth! You admit the chart is not fact, but still want it placed before my children as if fact.
The first in this series (Eohippus) had 18 rib pairs. The next generation (Orohippus) had 15 rib pairs. The seventeenth (Pliohippus) in series had 19 rib pairs. And the horse today has 18 rib pairs. That's some "progression"!
Dr. Duane Gish points out a series that could be produced from South American fossils (Macrauchenia; Diadiaphorus; and Thoatherium). It would result in a one-toed horse evolving into a three toed horse. The opposite of what is proposed for the North American horse! Why isn't such found prominently in books and charts? Dr. Gish says, "Perhaps it is because the three-toed to one-toed sequence for North American horses became so popularized in evolutionary circles that no one dare suggest the reverse transition." (Gish, Dr. Duane, "Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record", (Master Books, 1985), p84)
There is little, if any, reason to go on supposing that the horse series is valid evidence of any kind. Yet, it still appears in our children's textbooks as if it were incontrovertible fact.
The Typical Horse Chart
(adapted from an article by Dr. John Morris
which appeared in Acts & Facts, March, 1994)
||1 Hyracotherium (Eohippus)
(Several of these are known only by their teeth)