Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The ICR takes on Tiktaalik

In what is an amazing piece of positive spin and vacuity, the ICR's Frank Sherwin has penned an article about Tiktaalik. It starts:

With the continued invalidation of the corrupt theory of neo-Darwinism in the eyes of many, and school boards nation-wide taking a favorable look at intelligent design, it is not surprising that evolutionists are scrambling to enact damage control. Enter an alleged “missing link” that some are saying reveals one of the greatest changes in the field of zoology.

A bit down, he writes:

But before evolutionists start celebrating, they should keep in mind that Tiktaalik roseae is incomplete. Scientists as of yet unable to determine what the hind fins and tail might have looked like. Paleontologist Neil Shubin states, “We’ve really only begun to sort of crack that spot [the small rocky outcropping 600 miles from the North Pole where Tiktaalik was found]” (AP 2006).
Also noteworthy, is the use of diffident language by the secular reporters and scientists when discussing Tiktaalik. For example, NGN says this creature “may” be a missing link. While the NYT states that changes in this creature “anticipate” the emergence of land animals. One may anticipate leaving the house, but he is still in the house.

Okay...of course its incomplete. There are very few fossils that are complete. Nonetheless, what is present is a wealth of intermediate characteristics. This does not in the least have any effect on the language that is used to describe it. A transitional fossil is a transitional fossil. Some damage control.

About the date of Tiktaalik, Sherwin writes:

We are reminded of the history of a lobed-finned fish called the coelacanth considered by evolutionists to be an index fossil that would date sedimentary strata to millions of years (the Devonian, a period in the Paleozoic Era). However, in 1938 a coelacanth was discovered alive off the coast of South Africa. Since then, others have been filmed and coelacanths have recently appeared in the South Pacific. Tiktaalik had lobed fins like the coelacanth and it “would have breathed like a lungfish”, says senior assistant curator Jennifer Clack of Cambridge's University Museum of Zoology (Owen 2006).

Guess what! That doesn't mean Tiktaalik isn't 375 million years old. Furthermore, the coelacanth is not a transitional animal. Tiktaalik clearly is.

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