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The Panda’s Thumb

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

If evolution is true, why doesn’t the panda have a real thumb?

We all know why the panda has a thumb. Remember? You named your seventh-grade evolution club The Panda’s Thumb. You were so clever.

According to evolution, generations of pre-panda’s somehow lived for eons with no good way to hold onto their bamboo shoots—virtually their entire diet! But that changed when lucky, random mistakes in copying the pre-panda, thumbless DNA code slowly re-wrote—reprogrammed—the old code to include new code to build a thumb. Lucky, those pandas!

That’s what you learned, right?

But, did you know that the panda’s thumb evolved twice?

Yes, nature’s creative mastermind of evolution had fun with the panda. This fuzzy model for stuffed bears (yes, it’s a bear!) and evolution clubs everywhere comes in two varieties: the giant panda and the red panda. And not surprisingly, because they both have so-called thumbs, nature’s uncreative masterminds of evolution concluded . . . wait for it . . . evolution is responsible for both!

It is no wonder that the panda’s thumb alone practically proves evolution as a scientific law. Name all the seventh grade evolution clubs The Panda’s Thumb!

But, seriously, why is this news? If evolution is a fact, then there should be no question and no surprise that the two different varieties of pandas each evolved similar “thumbs,” whether in the same line of descent or completely independently. What other explanation can there be? Evolution is always the answer, never the question!

Shame on us for acting surprised by the two evolutionarily distant pandas having remarkably similar features.

For the curious among us, here is the article from Nature in which to read the news that should not be news.

Now, about that thumb. That amazing thumb holds more than bamboo shoots; it holds a sacred place in the minds of natural creationists (i.e., evolutionists; they believe natural causes are their creator). Because that thumb supposedly showcases nature’s cleverness. Even if it really does not.

According to the Nature article:

The pandas’ ‘thumbs’ — which are actually abnormally enlarged wrist bones — allow both species to grip and handle bamboo with remarkable dexterity. But “exactly how such evolutionarily distant animals evolved such a similar lifestyle and body form has long been a mystery,” says Steve Phelps, a geneticist at the University of Texas at Austin.

Why is “how” still a question? Isn’t evolution settled fact? Does anyone ever ask questions like this about gravity? Imagine a scientist saying of an apple and an orange on the ground, “But, exactly how the two evolutionarily distant fruits both hit the ground in similar fashion has long been a mystery.”

But here is the real mystery for panda’s thumb aficionados everywhere: how did nature re-program the software of an animal without a thumb to seamlessly include executable code to build that little enlarged wristbone that gets you so excited?

That’s the question behind the “how” of the “mystery” above. Because natural selection played no role at all.

Think about it.


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