Did the speciation of sparrows in the New World take place too quickly for Darwinism to explain?

Yesterday Scott C. informed us that sparrows are not native to North America but were brought here by English immigrants in the mid nineteenth century, and that twenty new species of sparrows have appeared in this continent since then. This astonishingly rapid rate of speciation, he argued, backs up his theory that useful genetic mutations occur, not by the glacially slow process of random accidents which are then naturally selected because, by pure chance, they help the organism survive better, as Darwinism or “evolutionary biology” teaches us, but as a result of the genome responding intelligently and non-randomly to changes in the environment.

I was intrigued by Scott’s information but also skeptical. However, I did a little research last night and found that Wikipedia’s article on sparrows backs him up, and then some. European settlers brought sparrows to South and North America, though perhaps to South America first, and a new family of sparrows, the Emberizidae, consisting of 79 species of sparrows and brush finches, have appeared in the Americas since then. Perhaps Wikipedia’s information is incorrect or in need of further refinement. But on the face of it, this information seems like a powerful disproof of Darwinian evolution.

Update: A reader argues that not only is Scott’s information wrong, but the information at Wikipedia on which I relied is wrong, or at least that misread it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 03, 2010 07:42 AM | Send

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