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Horse evolution

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The "evolution" of the horse over millions of years.

The horse evolutionary series is claimed by evolutionist to be one of their very best examples of biological evolution recorded in the fossil record over long periods of time.

Evolution View

The evolutionist's view on the horse is one of a perfected organism that took millions of years to evolve all starting with a four-toed, small dog like creature originally named Hyracotherium (or Eohippus, "dawn horse")[1]. From Hyracotherium with 4 toes, it "evolved" into a three-toed Mesohippus. The next evolved form, Merychippus, was a similar creature to the Mesohippus, but the two outside toes were smaller than the middle toe. Merychippus led to Equus, the modern horse, with only a single toe and vestigial parts like splint bones.[2]

Creation View

The horse from a creationist's view is one of perfection from the time of creation. Equus did not evolve from Eohippus, but these two distinct beings lived at the same time with each other. God created each organism for a purpose and made each one specifically and uniquely, none evolving from another.

"Then thundered the horses' hoofs—galloping, galloping go his mighty steeds."-Judges 5:22

When the Flood of Noah was in the process, the horse was considered unclean because it did not chew the cud or had even toes. On the Ark, there would have been two horses of breeding age for this reason. All equines after the Flood have descended from this pair of animals. This is proven in that zebras and donkeys can be breed to horses, however the offspring are sterile.[3]


The series of horse evolution seems to be pretty clear cut, but biologist Heribert-Nilsson said, "the family tree of the horse is beautiful and continuous only in the textbooks."[4] When Richard Owen, creation biologist and strong opposition to Darwin, found the first Hyracotherium fossils, he saw no connection to the horse, but to the modern-day hyrax(rock badger). So he named is as it is, Hyracotherium. Later, when other fossils of Hyracotherium were found, it was renamed Eohippus(dawn horse) by scientists who had a more evolutionary mind set. Fossils are usually dated by where in the rock layers they are found in. Many different fossils in the horse "series" are found in the same rock layer together, showing that the different creatures lived at the same time.[2] Fossils of three-toed horses and singled-toed horses have been found in the same rock formation in Nebraska, USA, confirming that one organism did not evolve from the other.[1]
A comparison of "ancient horse" teeth.


The toe of the horse, called a hoof, is essential to it's lively-hood. The average horse spends all of it's life standing on it's hooves including when they sleep (except when the are feeling secure enough to sleep lying down). The hoof provides traction when in motion, shock absorbers for motion, protection for the sensitive bone inside, and provide major support for the horses body weight. The front hooves of the horse support 60% and the rear hooves support the other 40% of the total body weight.[5] Molecules to man evolution requires new information, whereas the horse hoof evolution from multiple-toed to single-toe shows a loss of information.[2]
The front hooves of a thoroughbred horse.

Splint bones

The splint bone is considered, by evolutionists, a vestigial organ in the horse's leg. Evolutionary scientists say that split bones are useless leftovers from the toes of past ancestors in the horse evolution series.[2] Yet evolutionary biologist, S.R. Scadding states that ‘vestigial organs provide no evidence for evolutionary theory.’[6] The horse splint bones provide strengthening for the horse's leg when galloping, attachment areas for needed muscles, and they make a protective groove for the suspensory ligament, the elastic brace that supports a horse's weight when in motion.[2] In authors experience, if the splint bone is broken, the horse could be laid up for recovery time, since it is not as fatal as a broken or fractured leg.

Differences in Horses

A draft type horse and a pony out in a field.

Horses have been a major part in the development of human lively hood. They helped us plow our fields, get us from point A to point B; helped us win wars and gave a basis to our cars: horsepower. The manure that comes form the horse is an excellent fertilizer and mare's milk was a staple in some ancient cultures. Today, horses are still used as transportation in some countries, therapy for the disabled, and horse back riding is a popular activity.[2] The standard method for distinguishing a horse or a pony is usually how tall it is at the withers(horse shoulders). Anything above 14.2 hands high(a hand is 4 inches) is a horse and 14.2 hh and under is a pony.[7]

There are thousands of varieties in the horse species, ranging in all shapes and sizes. The worlds smallest horse is the Fallabella, which is about 4 hands high. A hand in measuring horses is 4 inches. The Shire is the tallest horse in the world, averaging 18 hands. The Shire did not evolve from the Fallaballa or vice verse. Modern horses also vary in rib number. Some can have 17 ribs, others can have 19 ribs. Three-toed horses are also found in modern America southwest. O.C. Marsh,one of the pre-eminent paleontologists of the 19th century, himself noted that the 3-toed horses of corresponding size, ‘thus corresponding to the feet of the extinct Protohippus.’ [8] This shows that three-toed horses still exist in today's time, and have not evolved into a single-toed horse.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Horse non-sense by Geoff Chapman, Creation 14(1):50. December 1991
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The non-evolution of the horse by Jonathan Sarfati, Creation 21(3):28–31.
  3. How did all the animals fit on Noah's Ark? by Jonathan Sarfati. Creation 19(2):16–19, March 1997
  4. Heribert-Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung, Gleerup, Sweden, Lund University, 1954
  5. What About Horse Toe Evolution?by Rebekah L. Holt
  6. S.R. Scadding, ‘Do vestigial organs provide evidence for evolution?’ Evolutionary Theory 5:173–176, 1981
  7. Horses and Ponies - What's the Difference? February 24, 2008 by Linda Ann Nickerson
  8. O.C. Marsh, ‘Recent polydactyle horses,’ American Journal of Science 43:339–354, 1892.