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Is the Lungfish Our Closest Living Fish Ancestor?

Lungfish Genome

If you ask a secular scientist about lungfish, he may tell you that they’re our closest living fish ancestors. He might also tell you that the lungfish is a perfect example of how animals transitioned from water to land.

After all, this fascinating fish has both gills and a lung, allowing it to breathe in water as well as in dry conditions.

Evolutionists believe this creature to be what they call a “living fossil,” that is, living animals that look nearly identical to their counterparts found deep within the fossil record. Secular geologists assume lungfish lived around 400 million years ago because of where they’re found in the geologic column.

But is the lungfish really proof of evolution?

Not according to the Bible—and not according to observable science either.

Why the Lungfish Isn’t Proof of Evolution

This fascinating creature has dominated science-related news lately because scientists just finished mapping the lungfish genome (their DNA sequence). The new study, published in Nature, reveals that it’s the largest animal genome sequenced to date—43 billion base pairs! To put that into some perspective, you should know that the human genome has 3 billion base pairs.

Scientists were quick to say the newly mapped-out genome showcases the lungfish’s evolution.

Supposedly, the lungfish genome reveals how the fish evolved to go from water to land. Scientists point to genes that allow the lungfish to detect airborne odors. These so-called additions to the genome supposedly helped the lungfish transition to land, according to the new study.

Yet AiG geneticist Dr. Georgia Purdom says this study is rife with assumptions and bias.

“Evolutionists have taken these observable facts and interpreted them according to an evolutionary worldview based on the unobservable past,” she says.

“They believe the lungfish is some kind of ‘strange in-between “living fossil”’ that can give us insights into our fishy ancestor that went from water to land and gave rise to all mammals and birds today.”

The Lungfish Genome Doesn’t Tell Us Its Origins

The scientists who wrote the new report also assume the lungfish genome is as large as it is because multiple sections were copied. This supposedly gave the creature more genetic material to work with so it could create new genes via mutation.

But if you remember our recent discussion about DNA similarities, you’ll know that an animal’s genome can’t tell us about its origins. It can only tell us about the animal as it is now.

“It might be a nice-sounding story, but that’s all it is—story, fictitious story,” says Dr. Purdom. “Mutations simply don’t generate novel genetic information. Instead, they degrade the information that is already present.”

Mutations couldn’t turn a lungfish into a human. Instead, God designed the lungfish during Creation Week according to its kind (the lobe-finned fish kind). He created the lungfish with a vast genome so it could survive in changing conditions.

Let's Look at the Facts

It’s important to look at the scientific facts for what they are when studying God’s creation.

For instance, the lungfish’s fins have bones loosely embedded in the muscle. Evolutionists look at those fins and say the lungfish was evolving legs. But the bone structure is nothing like that of an articulated limb!

When we strip away the evolutionary interpretation, we see the observational science for what it is. And when we do so, we don’t find evidence for evolution. We find facts that are consistent with the Bible’s account of Creation!

The researchers behind this new study admit that this imaginary leap from water to land would have involved “a number of evolutionary innovations, including airbreathing, limbs, posture, prevention of desiccation, nitrogen excretion, reproduction, and olfaction.”

So somehow our fish ancestors “struck the genetic jackpots” to evolve all these things? I don’t think so! This creature is the handiwork of God.

Learn more about mutations and whether or not they can create new genetic material in Can Mutations Create New Information? Join Patricia Engler as she shares an easy-to-understand explanation of mutation from a biblical perspective.