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Apologetics Press :: Sensible Science

Water Lily Does Not Prove Evolution
by Kyle Butt, M.A.
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Will Tremain, writing for The Winnipeg Free Press, recently wrote an article titled “New Water Lily Species Called Proof of Evolution.” He opened the article with this bold statement: “A new species of water lily discovered this year helps prove the theory of evolution, a Manitoba scientist says” (2008). Anyone who pays attention to the news media recognizes that such a statement is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, it seems that the global news media delights in detailing information that “proves,” “verifies,” “establishes,” or “sheds new light on” evolutionary theory. It is interesting to note that, even though evolution is supposed to be an verified, documented phenomenon that is accepted “as fact” by all legitimate scientists, the scientific establishment feels constantly compelled to offer new “proof” that the theory is true. Why is such incessant reassurance of the theory’s truth needed? The simple answer is that none of the “proofs” really prove anything except that evolution is far from proven. With each new “evidentiary” installment comes the realization that the scientific community is grasping at straws.

As with other headlines and articles that assert proof of evolution, Tremain’s recent water lily “evidence” does absolutely nothing to further the evolutionary cause. In the article, Tremain quotes Diana Robson, curator of botany at the Manitoba Museum, as saying: “This species isn’t just new to Manitoba, it is a new species of plant that has evolved fairly recently.... Evolution isn’t something that occurred in the past; it’s happening right now” (2008, emp. added).

How, then, did this new lily “evolve”? What amazing mechanism brought this new species into existence? The new water lily is simply a hybrid of “two fairly common species of water lily.” Even though many hybrids are sterile, this one is fertile and thus is “considered a brand-new species” (2008). There you have it—evolution in action right before your eyes. There are a couple of important elements of this “amazing” proof of evolution, however, that must be considered. First, hybridization in the animal and plant world is a very common occurrence. Since when was the blending of two species of a similar kind viewed as “evolution”? That would be comparable to taking an Angus cow and breeding it with a Brahma bull and getting a Brangus calf and claiming that you had proved evolution. Or it would be on a par with crossing a Pekinese dog with a Poodle, getting a Peek-a-poo, and claiming the new dog verified that humans evolved from primordial slime over millions of years. In truth, the new water lily is still the same “kind” of plant. It is still a lily. It did not change into a cactus, a tree, or a mushroom.

Second, in order to “prove” evolution, the scientific community must show a mechanism by which more complex genetic information can be produced from less complex genetic information. In the case of the new water lily, it is appropriate to ask what new genetic information was produced. The two common forms of water lily each contributed a certain part of their genetic information. Thus, we can see that the genetic information of the new water lily did not originate from less complex organisms, but was available in the water lily population from the beginning.

Bold headlines boasting proof of evolution are a dime a dozen. Yet to this day, not a single “proof” of organic evolution has been documented. The reason for this is simple—life did not evolve, either in plant or animal form. On day three of the Creation week, God created plants and commanded them to multiply after their own kind (Genesis 1:11-13). Every legitimate shred of botanical evidence verifies that plants have been doing that faithfully since the Creation.


Tremain, Will (2008), “New Water Lily Species Called Proof of Evolution,” Winnipeg Free Press, [On-line], URL: -4804623c.html.

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