Intelligent design proponent (and young earth creationist) David Tyler has a post on the ARN blog about a fossil pelican’s beak. The short version is that it seems that there was a pelican with a beak similar to that of a modern pelican flying around 30 million years ago.
The gist of David’s argument is this:
What we are seeing here is a particular type of stasis, and it concerns complexity. Much diversification has little or no effect on complexity and examples of diversification therefore have little or no bearing on the origin of complexity. The pelican beak, however, is not just a big beak! There are numerous coordinated elements that have to be present for the beak to function at all. The fossil find is important because the earliest fossil of a pelican exhibits the full functionality of the modern birds. As far as the known fossil record is concerned, complexity was present – before the radiation of the Pelecanidae.
Over 65 millions ago there were dinosaurs. Many of them were fairly complex. It’s hardly surprising that there were complex things a mere 30 million years ago. Unless he’s basing the argument off Lord Kelvin’s estimate of the age of the Earth, there’s really nothing more there.
Evidently, the pelican beak in much its current form at least 30 million years ago. This fossil puts pelican beak evolution back at least that far, and there is certainly an interesting question as to why it hasn’t changed in that time. But it is not evidence that the pelican beak did not evolve.
Yes, this makes stasis in the pelican beak intriguing and it means that Darwinism has nothing to offer by way of an explanation. New explanations should include the options opened up by intelligent design.
I can only wonder what those options might be.