email - February 2002

Reptile Eggs

How did the various methods of reproduction evolve?

Subject: What kind of eggs do reptiles lay?
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 15:31:53 +0100
From: Trevor
To: <comments@ScienceAgainstEvolution.org>

Hello Do-While Jones,

on your index, http://www.ridgenet.net/~do_while/sage/index.htm, appears the following:

"It is claimed that the reptile-to-mammal evolution is well documented. But for reptiles to evolve into mammals...

3. hard-shelled externally laid eggs had to evolve into soft-shelled eggs that were nourished by an umbilical cord and placenta in a womb.”

Congratulations. This is almost completely wrong, though it does apply to a few kinds of reptile, eg. crocodiles. Most produce externally laid soft-shelled eggs. Others, especially amongst lizards and snakes, give birth to live young. There are even a couple of species which lay eggs or give live birth, probably according to temperature.

Birds are the only widespread group of vertebrates which only reproduce by laying eggs. Viviparous procreation, (live-birthing), is also known among sharks, boned fish and amphibians.

Then there are the mammals who lay eggs; the monotremes. These are similar to most reptile eggs, in that they're soft-shelled. Unlike other mammals, but very like reptiles and birds, monotremes only have one body opening for the disposal of waste and procreation.

I don't mind people having views which differ to mine, and I also realize we all make mistakes. I do think though, as you claim to be in some way scientific in your approach, you really should take basic research seriously. Mistakes such as the one above can give people the impression, that you might not actually know what you're writing about.

Please don't accept my word for the correctness of any of the above. You can easily check it yourself per internet.

Trevor

We are surprised he characterized our statement as “almost completely wrong” because we agree with practically everything he said. Some of what he said (especially regarding the monotremes) we wrote in our September, 2000, essay, “Stone Age Mutant Mammal Turtles”, which he must not have read. (There are more than 60 old newsletters on our web site, so we really can’t fault him for not reading every article in every newsletter before writing to us.)

His only valid criticism is that the brief summary on our home page implies that all evolutionists believe that hard-shelled reptilian eggs evolved into soft-shelled reptilian eggs before they evolved into mammals. We suspect that most evolutionists really do believe that, based on popular evolutionary TV programs like “Walking With Dinosaurs”, which portray dinosaurs as having hard-shelled eggs. Since dinosaurs are generally considered to be some of the first reptiles, it is reasonable to assume that evolutionists would believe that the other extinct reptiles of that age (which eventually evolved into mammals) would also have hard-shelled eggs.

However, we will admit that it is certainly possible that some evolutionists believe that the first reptiles had soft shells. They might believe that reptilian evolution followed two branches. One branch led to later reptiles which evolved hard-shelled eggs, which evolved into birds, and the other branch of soft-shelled egg reptiles eventually evolved into mammals.

The evolutionary literature never states exactly which reptile evolved into mammals, or what kind of egg shell it had, or any such detail. The evolutionary literature just makes the bold assertion that reptiles evolved into mammals, which forces us to make assumptions about the details they must think happened.

This whole business of reproduction brings up some very difficult questions for evolutionists. As Trevor pointed out, there are some fish that bear live young, too. What kind of fish evolved into amphibians? Did an egg-laying fish evolve into an egg-laying amphibian, and then both fish and amphibians evolve into live-bearing forms? As far as we know, no evolutionists believe that live-bearing fish evolved into live-bearing amphibians and egg-laying fish evolved into egg-laying amphibians. The evolution of fish to amphibians is so miraculous that even evolutionists believe it only happened once. But the alternative is to believe that evolution of live-bearing to egg-laying (or vice versa) evolved independently in fish, amphibians, and reptiles. That seems a little bit far-fetched. (Oh, all right, it seems a lot far-fetched. smiley face)

When faced with the question of how the various reproductive systems evolved, and in what order they evolved, we expect to get the standard evolutionary response, “We don’t know how it happened, but just because we don’t know how it happened doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.” Evolutionists typically don’t like to think about details because that’s where the scientific problems are.

We stand by our main point, which is that there is no plausible explanation for how mammalian reproduction could have evolved from reptilian reproduction. There is no evidence. There are only bold assertions that sweat glands evolved into mammary glands. If you have faith in groundless assertions, you can believe in evolution. But when it comes to hard evidence, science is against evolution.

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