The evolutionist Sam M believed that electric eels got their electrical stunning abilities through evolution. He said:
The earlier stages of the electric eel would not have paralyzed their prey, but would they have simply confused it? If the eel is hunting prey that is used to using its own electrical field to help navigate, and the eel’s minor charge is enough to throw that off, that could be enough of a benefit the allow the eel to catch prey more often compared to the eels whose charge did not affect the navigation of their prey.
It’s a very small benefit, of course, but small benefits lead to large changes when given millions of years. If their environment is as such that having the ability to give an electrical discharge, regardless of how small, benefits the species, then one would expect that this would carry on for future generations. As this continued, those who were born with gradually stronger voltages, therefore having a somewhat greater effect on prey, would again be more likely to catch prey, defend themselves, and breed.
Remember that there are ways to look at any one species and see rational ways that they could have evolved over time.
Does this “rational way” of speculation hold water? Gavin B replied with:
Sam M says, “the earlier stages of the electric eel would not have paralyzed their prey, but would they have simply confused it?” Yet Dominic [Statham] already argued that they [eels] had to produce protective mechanisms at the same time as they developed their deadly electric generation ability, to protect them from paralyzing themselves.
So if they were only able to confuse their prey, this doesn’t resolve the issue of having to develop a protective mechanism at the same time, or they would have confused themselves. Then you would have a confused eel and a confused fish at the same time.
I doubt whether a confused eel could catch a confused fish.
Statham, D. (2014). Stunning and stealthy: the amazing electric eel [article comments]. Creation Ministries International. Available http://creation.com/electric-eel. Last accessed 13th Sep 2015.