The Fish That Shoots Down Evolution

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This unusual fish uses a specialized system to blast insects out of the air. How could this evolve slowly over time when there is no survival advantage without the whole system working perfectly?

In Asia, Africa and Australia lives a remarkable creature, the archerfish, that shoots down its prey from the air above it with a burst of water. It uses its tongue and the top of its mouth to form a groove similar to a gun barrel. Then, by compressing its gills, it squirts water up to six feet with deadly accuracy— in spite of the distortion caused by seeing the target from below the surface of water.

What's so amazing about the archerfish's ability to shoot straight? When light passes between air and water, it is refracted, which causes a distortion. If an archerfish simply aimed at the object where it appeared to be from below the water, it could never hit its target! Yet scientists have found that archerfish are able to strike their target when sighting upwards at angles of 40 degrees!

More amazingly, marine researchers have discovered that these fish can hit their prey whether the amount of refraction is large or small. They have also found that the fishes' binocular vision allows them to see clearly at considerable distances above them, an ability other fish do not have.

An experiment

Here is an experiment. In a clear glass of water, hold a pencil at an angle halfway under the water and look at it from different positions. Notice how the pencil appears different below and above the water. That is the refraction of the light changing from the water to the air.

So how can the archerfish compensate for this distortion and know how to shoot at the right place?

Evolutionists don't know

Evolutionists still don't know how the archerfish got its amazing abilities. They can only wonder! Viewed through the distortion of evolution, they cannot explain how the archerfish gradually learned to not aim where its eyes see but to aim instead at a different spot where the target actually is.

Without its binocular vision, it could not see the object with such precision, and without the special shape of the upper mouth and a specialized tongue, it could not make the groove it needs to shoot the concentrated jet of water. Many factors have to appear together— and be perfectly formed—for this shooting mechanism to work. This, of course, goes totally against Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory, which is based on a gradual, step-by-step process.

Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down" (1859, p. 171).

The archerfish offers precisely such an example, since several complex systems must all appear at the same time, perfectly and not gradually formed—binocular vision, a specialized mouth and tongue, specialized gills to compress and expel water and an aiming system based in the brain and not in the eyes. If any of these parts is missing, the mechanism will not hit the target and no survival advantage is created.

Shooting down Darwin's theory

When you get down to the facts, the archerfish with one squirt of its gills shoots down Charles Darwin's entire theory of evolution—and that by Darwin's own admission!

So evolution doesn't have the answer to this mystery. But the Bible does. Genesis:1:20-21 says that God created all the creatures that live in the water. He created a great variety of perfectly formed fish, including the archerfish with all its special features, such as binocular vision, other specialized organs and a built-in ability to compensate for the distortion of the water. VT

Mario Seiglie is a pastor of United Church of God congregations in Garden Grove, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii.

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