DOGS AND BEARS

(you may click on these pictures to enlarge)

terrier

Even those who oppose evolution do not deny that the modern breeds of dog were descended from ancestral dogs which in turn descended from wolves. Thus, modern wolves and modern dogs share a common ancestry and gradual evolutionary changes have resulted in the differences we observe today between different breeds of dog and between dogs and wolves. Models of the skulls of two short-faced breeds of dog are compared to wolf skulls in the pictures below (the wolf skull is on the right in each).

dogsdogs

dogs

Given that bears are classified together in the family Ursidae, biologists conclude that they have recently descended from a common ancestor. Many of those who reject evolution would also accept that all bears have descended from a common ancestor. A black bear skull (bottom) and a model of a cave bear skull (top) are depicted below.

Biologists classify dogs and bears together in the same suborder. Those who study dogs and bears conclude that the anatomical, fossil, and genetic evidence indicates that they have descended from a common ancestor, although not as recent as the common ancestor which led to the bear lineage or to the wolf/dog lineage. Many of those who oppose evolution would claim that bears and wolves could not descend from a common ancestor but are rather completely unrelated. In the picture below which depicts a black bear skull and a wolf skull, do you observe a degree of variation which is fundamentally different than the variation that can occur within dogs or within bears?

bear and wolf

Many of those who reject the evolution of humans from chimp-like ancestors would nevertheless accept that all cats are descended from a common ancestor. How significant is the difference between the skulls of a saber-tooth cat and a domestic cat depicted below?

cats