By Shelby Smith
From a purely scientific standpoint, adaptations are features that suit an organism or species for its niche and habitat. However, from a creationist’s viewpoint we see adaptation as the natural God given variation that was designed by him to allow organisms to function effectively in a differing array of environments. This means that the creature was designed with plan and purpose to function within the given environment. Creatures that live in cold environments have fur and blubber because that was part of God’s plan. From the Biblical view, all organisms were created with the genetic variability, to produce all the diversity seen within created kinds. Post-Flood events that isolated these creatures in a given environment caused specific traits to be more prominent due to death of creatures lacking the God given characteristics to live in that environment. This is the very reason why we see creatures all over the world that are similar, but live in different niches of a given habitat.
Evolutionists explain adaptation as the process where organisms become better suited for their environment or in other words if an organism lives in a cold environment they may grow fur or a thick layer of blubber to combat the cooler temperatures. Therefore, from this view the organisms that are better able to survive in a specific environment will have offspring better able to survive in that environment and those that are not as well adapted to that environment will have offspring that will be out competed or selected against leaving less of their genes in the next generation. This view explains that each proceeding generation is bigger and better and will eventually evolve and take the place of the less suitable organisms. Those that did not develop these characteristics would freeze to death.
Darwin did point out the main sources of adaptation that are struggle and death or corruption, due to man’s sin, as creationists would call it. The only problem is that struggle or disease is caused by mutations in a creatures genes and have no ill effects at best as far as the creature is concerned but, the majority of the time do cause disease in the creature. The thing to remember is that any change to God’s perfect creation can only be harmful 100% of the time. Reason being is that even if the mutation had been beneficial to the creature, as they very rarely can be and cause a trait that benefits the creature (i.e. fur or blubber in a cold environment) the rest of its genes would be affected by this change making it less suitable for survival. If the environment oscillates with cold and warm spells as they are known to do a new beneficial adaptation of this sort would no longer benefit the creature in warm weather and because it no longer can select for genes that are not there extinction is a definite possibility because a creature with lots of blubber and fur in a warm environment would over heat. However, we do see observable processes in the structural, functional, behavioral, and social adaptations of organisms.
Structural adaptations, or structures that are suited for a particular niche in the ecosystem, can be exemplified in the pollen collecting eyelets of honey bees and hooks and barbs of flight feathers in birds. Functional adaptations are specific features in the physiology of creatures that allow its body to function optimally within the place God has designed within his creation for these creatures to exist. Examples of these functional features can be seen in the exploding chamber of the Bombardier beetle that mixes hydroquinone and peroxidase to exude boiling hot chemicals out its backside if it is being attacked. Behavioral adaptations involve the response of the whole organism. Certain behaviors can be seen in insects such as honey bees that use a series of waggles or dancing in a figure eight that tells other bees the exact location of a food source. The last adaptation is social adaptation that is seen in the relationships among members of the species with differing social rank. Wolves exhibit this adaptation that helps them when hunting and prevents the harming of other members of the group after food is obtained with each animal feeding in its given order with each animal of lower rank waiting its turn to eat. All of these adaptations are very intricate and a part of the genetic make-up of these organisms. This means that their occurrence by chance due to struggle and death is improbable and is better exemplified in the design of an all knowing Creator who formed them with foreknowledge to have these components within their genetic make-up.