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Frightened fawns, another nightmare for evolutionists
E. Norbert Smith, Ph.D.



A young white-tailed deer fawn at the Welder Wildlife
Refuge in South Texas. Photo by Dr. Smith.


Although I was the first to specifically investigate the heart rates of wild animals to fear (See Meet Dr. Smith, Essay section), many other studies made similar discoveries by accident. I found for every wild animal I studied if they had a safe hiding place they would hide when frightened and reduce their heart rates. Without a safe hiding place they ran. In other words, sometimes frightened animals run; sometimes they hide. What if they need to do both?

An interesting maturational change in the behavioral and heart rate response to fear of deer fawn was reported by Jacobsen (see reference below). Young fawns are incapable of out running common predators such as coyotes. When frightened by the approach of a predator or man they drop and hide showing a reduction in both heart rate and breathing depth. Hiding saves their lives.

After the age of two weeks profound behavioral and physiologic changes occur. At this age and older they flee when approached by a predator. In doing so they have the typical flight or fight response with increased heart and respiration rates. The adaptive value is obvious, for they can now elude a predator by sheer speed, but a problem remains for the evolutionist. How could such a profoundly different response in both behavior and physiology evolve by small steps? The problem once again is how could such a profound change evolve slowly in small steps? Remember each change must be small yet adaptive or it will be eliminated. It is difficult remaining an evolutionist when one looks objectively at the facts of science. It takes far less faith to believe the response of deer fawns was designed by an all wise Creator...a Creator you can know personally.

Reference: Jacobsen, N. K. 1979. Alarm bradycardia in white-tailed deer fawns, Odocoileus virginianus. J. of Mammal. 60:343-349.


Investigate evolution. The
facts just donít support it.