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Did The Evolution Of Horses Really Take Place?

By Jeffrey Rolo

Note: This is the conclusion to our series about the evolution of horses. If you haven't already, I would first recommend reading up on the theory of horse evolution. Then check out Could The Evolution Of The Horse Be A Fraud to see if there are any holes in that theory before continuing on here.

With that said, let's continue to see if we can find any other ways to disprove the evolution of the horse.

The Argument: Geography Disproves The Evolution Of Horses

According to the conventional belief surrounding the evolution of the horse, the first Equidae existed in North America, yet archaeological studies point to Eurasia as being the origins for horse domestication and the modern horse. In fact horses didn't actually exist within North America until they were introduced by Christopher Columbus in the late 1400's.

If the horse wasn't introduced into North America until 1493, clearly all the "Equidae" fossils uncovered in North America cannot be related to the horse. They were separate species, and it's dishonest to attempt to combine fossils uncovered in North America with fossils located on another continent separated by vast oceans simply because they share certain similarities. They are not members of the same evolutionary family; they are separate animals entirely.

The Counterargument:

While much of what was stated above is true, it misses a few critical facts. Equidae did indeed originate in North America, but at the end of the Pliocene period (about 2.5 million years ago) they migrated into Eurasia via a land bridge that once existed in the Bering Strait. This is how Equidae became introduced to Eurasia (and eventually Europe).

The extinction of the Equidae in North America is also factual. While it is not known exactly why Equidae became extinct, for about 10,000 years they no longer existed in America. But they did exist, evolve, and eventually become domesticated in Eurasia by those that crossed the land bridge, and eventually Columbus and other travelers the modern Equus Caballus to North America.

Those that believe geography disproves horse evolution forget that the geography of the planet itself evolves over time, and vast oceans didn't completely separate the Asian and North American continents in our distant past. Migration to and from North America was easily achieved.

The Argument: Horse Sizes Vary, Thus Disproving Horse Evolution

Evolutionists would have you believe that the modern horse evolved from a dog-like creature that was once the size of a fox. Over time that creature dubbed a Hyracotherium is said to have grown consistently larger during the various evolutionary stages until it developed into what is today the modern horse.

There's just one problem: today's horses vary drastically in size. A Clydesdale horse averages a whopping 17 hands tall, for example, while the miniature Falabella horse is lucky to reach 8 hands in height. If horses grew as they reached each evolutionary stage, we wouldn't see such variances today since a Falabella would be inferior to the more advanced Clydesdale, and thus would have became an evolutionary relic of the past.

The Counterargument:

This doesn't really disprove anything. As Equidae evolved, they did indeed grow taller since the additional height enhanced their mobility as the Equidae transitioned from a forest animal to a grasslands animal. When exposed to predators on open fields, and when expected to migrate long distances for ideal pastures, growth becomes a natural evolutionary extension since enhanced mobility equated to enhanced survivability.

Size differences within the modern Equus Caballus are perfectly natural, and in fact they may not be quite as drastic as we see now had mankind not domesticated the horse. Horse breeders engage in selective breeding, often with the goal of promoting specific genetic traits within the offspring (such as gait or size). Due to this selective breeding, we see a wide variety of breeds and sizes, just as we do among dogs.

In nature, horses wouldn't be so selective in who they mate with, and as a result you would see less specialized breeds and more, for lack of better word, "mutts." Since these "mutts" wouldn't be breeding for size or other characteristics, these traits would "average out" over time.

Horse domestication is largely responsible for maintaining such drastic size differences among breeds.

The Argument: If The Earth Hasn't Existed For A Million Years, How Could The Horse?

The Earth was created by God somewhere between 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, so obviously the horse couldn't have evolved over a period of millions of years. The planet didn't even exist back then.

The Counterargument:

Regardless of whether one believes in God or not, science has conclusively proven that the Earth is over 4 billion years old. The Young Earth argument is not supported by the scientific community.

In Conclusion:

Although I have studied the evolution of horses due to my passion for equines, I'm not a scientist or expert; I'm just your average everyday "horse guy." I did my best to present the arguments and counterarguments without infusing personal bias or the topic of religion, but unfortunately the debate about horse evolution often does come down to strict or misguided interpretations of Creationism versus Evolution. Without getting into my religious beliefs (since this is a site dedicated to horses and horsemanship rather than theology), I will simply state that I don't believe religion and certain evolutionary principles are mutually exclusive. The planet itself has undergone slight evolutions over time, so it's not unreasonable to think evolution has also affected the course of various life forms.

Advancements in science will forever clarify existing theories, discover answers to questions and mysteries, and connect some of the gaps that exist within current theory. Have horses evolved over time? I personally believe so. Is the current horse evolutionary line perfectly accurate? That would be impossible for me to say, since all theory builds upon speculation until such speculation can be comfortably recognized as fact. It's entirely possible that some of the creatures believed to be Equidae were actually similar but separate species, particularly due to how many variations existed at some points and times during the evolution of horses.

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