As we’ve seen, nature’s extremes can yield clues about whether evolution, or intelligent design, best explains the design choices we observe in nature. The long neck of the giraffe is no exception, and is used by both creationists and evolutionists to make their case.
Long neck challenges
The long neck of the giraffe presents several physiological challenges that must be overcome in order to ensure the giraffe’s survival. Blood pressure must be strong enough to overcome gravity all the way up that six-foot-long neck, and when the giraffe lowers its head (e.g. to take a drink), the blood must be restrained from flowing too quickly down into the head, possibly causing brain damage or fainting.
There are several ways in which these challenges are overcome, and some creationists claim that these features are evidence of intelligent design.
The “Wonderful” Rete Mirabile
The rete mirabile (Latin for “wonderful net”)…
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