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The woodpecker tongue couldn't have evolved

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Claim

The unique arrangement of the woodpecker's tongue could not have evolved. If the tongue started anchored to the back of the beak, it would require a large sudden change to get to its present configuration.

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Responses

  1. A possible stepwise evolution, as well as full dissertation, can be found here. Many of the proposed steps in that evolution appear in living avians, demonstrating their viability.
  2. The inability to find a detailed explanation for the evolution of the woodpecker tongue does not demonstrate how the structure is actually a divine miracle or that the mechanisms of evolution are incapable of generating the complexity of the structure.
  3. Creationists who use this claim fail to notice that:
    • Not all woodpeckers have long tongues, such as the sapsuckers, who feed by lapping up sap that ooze out of the holes they bore, rather than licking out wood-boring insects that live inside trees.
    • The tongues of juvenile long-tongued woodpeckers are short, given as how they must rely on their parents to lick insects out of wood for them, and their tongues grow longer as they mature.
  4. The inability to find a detailed explanation for the evolution of the woodpecker tongue does not invalidate the detailed explanations of the evolution of other animal lineages, including dogs, cats, lizards, and horses.
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