Even though Charles Darwin never observed the giraffe in nature, his comments on the giraffe have served as one of the longest lasting examples of evolution, until recently.
In The Origin of Species, Darwin argued “So under nature with the nascent giraffe, the individuals which were the highest browsers and were able during dearths [scarcity] to reach even an inch or two above the others, will often have been preserved.”
The process of preservation is a fundamental tenet of Darwin’s theory of biological evolution. The complete title of The Origin of Species is “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races.” The giraffe, according to Darwin’s reasoning, was preserved during times of food scarcity due to evolution of the elongated neck.
Even though evolutionary scientists have since distanced themselves from Darwin’s high “browsers” argument because we now know that’s not what giraffes do, and there is no fossil record evidence for giraffe transitional links, staunch Darwin fundamentalists, like Richard Dawkins, in an attempt to save Darwin’s dying theory, have resorted to deceptive fabrications.
In the book Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), with the illustration of a giraffe and an okapi (see illustration above) Dawkins defiantly declared –
Giraffes have evolved from an ancestor rather like a modern okapi.
Dawkins reminds us that natural selection produces such creatures through a series of incremental steps that “smear out” their improbability over long periods of time.
But, Horgan was hoodwinked; Dawkins’ illustration was a pure fabrication. Geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig of the Max-Planck Institute in Germany in the book entitled “The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe” (2011) points out the problems with Dawkins illustration –
From Dawkins’ portrayal one gets the impression that the step form okapi to long-necked giraffe is slight, and the text reinforces this impression. The placement of the okapi above the giraffe in Dawkins’ books also makes it appear larger.
Dawkins’ illustration convincingly makes the okapi look like a probable transitional missing link. But, the okapi is proportionally significantly smaller in height and weight than Dawkins illustration. While the giraffe stands 16 to 20 feet with an average weight of 3,500 pounds, the okapi i typically only 6 to 8 feet tall weighing in at only400 to 700 pounds – less than half the size of the giraffes. Dawkins’ illustration is purposely and blatantly deceptive.
Lönnig points out that “If an intelligent design proponent used such methods – what objections would be raised.”
Dawkins’ giraffe example, like Darwin’s horse story, Lee Berger’s Karabo, Bernard Kettlewell’s peppered moths, and the National Geographic Archaeoraptor disaster, highlight the debased and disparate measures the evolution industry have embraced to promote evolution as a scientific fact.
Stephen Jay Gould, one of the most respected evolutionary biologists, in the essay entitled “The Tallest of Tales” published in the journal Natural History (1996) chided the continued use of the long necked giraffe as an illustration of evolution:
In the realms of ideas, current use of the giraffes neck as the classic case of Darwinian evolution… is both fatuous and unsupported.”
The theory of biological evolution only exists as a philosophy, not as a scientific fact.