A "Missing Link" Is Found - And Lost

On April 6, the New York Times published an article on the latest "Missing Link": a half-fish/half-reptile that they say "bridges the gap" between ancient fish and early reptiles. The article was very positive about the strength of the study:
"With the discovery of fossils of the Tiktaalik, or 'large shallow water fish,' scientists have found a missing connection between fishes and walking land creatures."
The Cincinnati Enquirer boldly proclaimed on April 7 that "Those who argue against evolution often say there is no fossil record of one kind of creature evolving into another. Tiktaalik bridges just such a gap." Many scientists were quick to trumpet the defeat of Biblical creationism, as evidenced by this quote from the Times article:
"Other scientists said that in addition to confirming elements of a major transition in evolution, the fossils were a powerful rebuttal to religious creationists,"
Or so they say. Times also had a very encouraging image (click to enlarge below) on their website which showed Tiktaalik prominently displayed as "The Missing Link" heaving itself up onto land between an Eusthenopteron fish and a Icthyostega reptile, reinforced by dates from who-knows-where. Below this it showed a diagram of the variegated "limb" bones in the three creatures. click to enlarge The first obvious fallacy comes out in the artistic license used to depict the soft tissue around the three "limbs". The first is smooth, but the second, labeled "Transitional footlike structure" is almost serrated at the end    perhaps depicting the assumed "grip" that this creature was "developing"? At close examination, the "Link" status of this creature totally falls apart. The supposed "footlike" structure is not directly attached to the skeletal system of Tiktaalik    which means that it couldn't possibly have used these bones on land. The bones were embedded in the muscle, not in joints attached to the backbone. Imagine trying to walk around if your femur was six inches away from your hip. The scientists at the University of Chicago who discovered this posit that perhaps Tiktaalik "used its fin/feet to paw along the bottoms of shallow streams." Perhaps. But the Coelacanth, which until recent times was also considered a similar missing link, was found in a fish market in Japan just a few years ago. By observing it in its natural habitat, scientists have discovered that it can't "paw along the bottoms of shallow streams" because it has no weight-bearing ability. Even if Tiktaalik had real limbs attached to its torso, it still would be unable to breathe above water. The lungs operate on an entirely different principle than gills    which are not as primitive as we are lead to believe. In the Enquirer article, Tiktaalik was called "the" missing link in the line between land and sea. But if evolution was true, we should find an unbroken path between all "transitions". And we have no transitional form "between land and sea" now, so how can this be "the" missing link? Shouldn't we find hundreds? Unfortunately for the evolutionists, all the missing links are still missing. In Him, David S. MacMillan III


Anonymous said...

Geeeeeeeee, I wonder who I should believe, teams of scientists who have access to the evidence, and expertise in their field of study OR a 17 year old non-scientists (who seems to have a limited understanding of statistics) whose only access to the evidence is through non-technical newspaper articles.

David S. MacMillan III said...

I got this from AiG.

Gee. I wonder what we should do: believe scientists who arbitrarily consider every fossil is a transitional form, or

Wait until both sides have had a chance to examine the evidence.

This is the preliminary outlook that AiG came up with because no scientist with creation leanings has had a chance to examine the fossil.

How about waiting to see how it pans out?

"who seems to have a limited understanding of statistics"


paradoxically correct said...

Excellent point, David S. MacMillan the Third! ;) BTW, I'm linking you on my blog. :)

My rebuttal: Geeeeeeeee, I wonder what I should accept as helpful critism - someone who decides to insult on the basis that David is a 'non-scientist', or someone who is openminded to all sides, including Creation, and won't have to stoop to insults to get his or her point across?

Anonymous said...

an excellent rebuttal to this post was made by Martin Brazeau at this link (several posts down).

David S. MacMillan III said...

I am aware that Martin dissected this post. I will be posting a disclaimer as soon as I get a chance.

In Him,

David S. MacMillan III

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow. The scientific acument is astounding here. The 17 year old doesn't need science, facts, or any of that. Faith comes first and if reality contradicts faith then reality be damned. But that is a recipe for disaster.