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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CB610:

The first individual of the new species would be very unlikely to find a mate. Hybrids are infertile, so a newly evolved individual would not be able to breed successfully with the original species. The mutation that caused that individual to be a new species would also have to occur in an individual of the opposite sex.


TCCOP. 1998. Evolutionism vs. creationism: Evidence, extinction, and the evolutionarian "spin doctors"


  1. This objection falsely assumes that speciation must happen suddenly when one individual gives rise to an individual of another species. In fact, populations, not individuals, evolve, and most speciation occurs gradually. In one common mode of speciation ("allopatric" speciation), two populations of the same species are split apart geographically. Small changes accumulate in both populations, causing them to be more and more different from each other. Eventually, the differences are great enough that the two populations cannot interbreed when they do get together (Otte and Endler 1989).

    It is also possible for speciation to occur without the geographical separation (sympatric speciation; see Diekmann and Doebeli 1999; Kondrashov and Kondrashov 1999; Otte and Endler 1989), but the process is still gradual.

  2. Sometimes new species can form suddenly, but this occurs with species that are asexual or hermaphroditic and do not need to find mates.


  1. Dieckmann, Ulf and Michael Doebeli. 1999. On the origin of species by sympatric speciation. Nature 400: 354-357.
  2. Kondrashov, Alexey S. and Fyodor A. Kondrashov. 1999. Interactions among quantitative traits in the course of sympatric speciation. Nature 400: 351-354.
  3. Otte, D. and J. A. Endler, eds. 1989. Speciation and Its Consequences. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Assoc.

Further Reading:

Schilthuizen, Menno. 2001. Frogs, Flies, and Dandelions: the making of species, Oxford Univ. Press.
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created 2001-2-17, modified 2004-2-24