The normal explanation is that genetic variation resulting from mutations means that some skin forms small webs between arm and side, and this slight difference allows a squirrel to jump a little further, leading to increased access to food and increased ability to evade some predators.
This is one of the kinds of explanations that evolutionists make about how complex features could have formed, that is the most unsatisfying to me.
In your scenario the creature obtained a small mutation (I assume it must be quite small, because we don't see many of these gross mutations forming in all of our observations of animal populations).
Now the amount of illogical assumptions just continue to grow and grow in this scenario:
-- The animals that preceded this mutation apparently were finding food just fine, so were they really that handicapped compared to this new mutant?
--The mutation would have had to have been exactly symmetrical on this mutants body to be of any use at all.
--How much further could a squirrel with a little flap of skin jump compared to one with none, a few inches?
--Were there other mutations also going on within the population that were giving other individuals advantages, that the one with the flap of skin didn't have? Or did every other individual stop gaining any beneficial mutations during this time that helped them in another way? In other words, that one mutant individual had one kind of benefit, but perhaps others had bigger stomachs, or bigger jaws, or any of thousands of other advantages that this guy didn't have. Or are we to believe all of these other mutations and selections are happening consecutively but not concurrently?
--This zero point mutant (the original) gives birth to a second with a similar mutation. Once again, this small advantage is trumping all other advantages within the population, even though there could be some things this mutant has that are not good at all, like the wrong color fur?
--How many generations do you want to continue down the line of this squirrels ancestry before the next mutation that improves upon this one occurs? Ten generations, 20, 100? How long before this next one pops up which does exactly what the previous one did, only better? Not a flap of skin elsewhere, or one that makes the skin mutate smaller again, or what have you, but one that once again directly benefits this previous one?
--Could the descendant of this squirrel get a different mutation, like say better camouflage which could help it to survive, but not for the reason of jumping better, but because it hid better? Now are we selecting for both at the same time, or for one or the other, or does he get a slight advantage this generation for his camouflage, and the next generation for better jaws, and the next generation, for better hearing, etc,etc..
--While we are sifting through these generations upon generations of selecting, are the needs for survival staying constant? Is one generation struggling for more food, while another generation is struggling to hide from predators, while another is struggling for water, while during another generation the food source has changed from being in the trees to being on the ground?
--Did the guy who got the first beneficial mutation (beneficial mutations don't happen very often right, much less often then detrimental ones, correct?) also happen to be born with a parasite in his intestine which caused him to die before he could reproduce?
--Or was he at the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to have gotten picked off by an eagle when he was only 6 months old? Whoops one good mutation that could have really gotten our team off to a good start, and now we have to wait ANOTHER 500 generations for the next beneficial mutation.
--If the first zero mutant of such good fortune didn't happen to get picked off by the eagle, but his son did, we are right back to the same problem again right?
--Can we list ANY examples of beneficial mutations that we have observed in nature as a starting point, that has the potential to give one individual a bio mechanical advantage which could lead to the creation of a new trait? ONE? Ever?
Now I honestly believe I could go on and on with the logical difficulties your theory faces, but the problem is that your side wants to brush EVERYONE of these difficulties aside, and claim it is the ID's or creationists who are living in a faiy land void of empirical evidence.
You will say to the ID side, well how do you account for this, and for that, and so on...and yet you can't account for any of these issues, let alone all of them. But you STILL claim to have science on your side.
Re: Evolution through natural selection is a very satisfying explanation
Here we go with using Richard Dawkins again:
Many animals leap from bough to bough, and sometimes fall to the ground. ...There must be some height, call it h, such that an animal would just break its neck if it fell from that height. In this critical zone, any improvement in the body surface's ability to catch the air and break the fall, however slight that improvement, can make the difference between life and death. Natural selection will then favour slight, prototype wingflaps. When these small wingflaps become the norm, the critical height h will become slightly greater. Now a slight further increase in the wingflaps will make the difference between life and death. And so on, until we have proper wings. There are animals alive today that beautifully illustrate every stage in the continuum.
First off, Richard Dawkins is a carnival shiller, who makes no effort to use real science to make his points. His whole existence is motivated towards trying to prove there is no God (which is of course an impossible feat-but that doesn't stop him from claiming that he has done so repeatedly). In fact I can't think of a non-fiction author today who is more full of shit than him.
As for this fairy tale, this is just more of his crap feed to people who never stop to think abut anything.
First off, excessive flaps of skin aren't going to make anyone jump further. Do you think you would jump further if you had flabby skin? Plenty of people do, how is their jumping falling ability you reckon?
A wing has to be perfect before it is any use at all. Before it is a perfect wing, it would be an un-aerdynamic blob. If anything, you would likely have more weight from this flabby skin, and you would be less aerodynamic than a creature with tight, smooth skin. Besides which would any creature that was suddenly born with this extra skin, where none had ever existed even know how to utilize this "advantage"? What they would suddenly be able to splay their arms out at precisely the right angles to create the perfect Bernoulli effect? And would this flabby skin be confined to only right under their arms, or would it also be on their belly, or the top of their head?
I swear, if the scientific community had any integrity at all, they would roast Dawkin's for insulting everyone's intelligence just so he can make more money selling his atheist propaganda to unthinking minds.
This topic absolutely must deal with how well the ToE is able to prove its own points, before they should have the right to be making any criticism about what ID can and can not prove.
I specifically asked for your proof in my first thread, and you gave me finches with varying beak sizes, peppered moths that are sometime abundant and sometimes not, and a tribe in New Guinea that appeared to develop a drug resistance with a few short decades. if that is what your side calls proof, then you don't have much moral authority to criticize ID.
And I agree, there is no conflict in using science to pursue ID, but most evolutionists refuse to even grant this, to such an extent that even the mention of it would (and does) get even one of the most qualified scientists of their profession disallowed their tenure because of it.