The subject of the post is a 375-million-year-old fossil that helps reveal the transition of our ancestors from the water to land, known as Tiktaalik. I’ve written about Tiktaalik here, and you can get more details from the book Your Inner Fish, written by Neil Shubin, one of Tiktaalik’s discoverers. (Here’s a review I wrote in Nature.)
Luskin claims that Neil Shubin calls Tiktaalik a fish with a wrist, but “from what I can tell, Tiktaalik doesn’t have one.” The bulk of the post is taken up by Luskin’s fruitless search for a diagram or some other helpful information, either in Shubin’s book or the original papers. He is frustrated not to find a picture showing a wrist on Tiktaalik compared to the wrist of a tetrapod (a land vertebrate). This sort of “evidence” leads Luskin to conclude that Shubin has something to hide. “In the end, it’s no wonder Shubin chose not to provide a diagram comparing Tiktaalik’s fin-bones to the bones of a real tetrapod limb,” he writes.The problem, of course, as Zimmer points out, is that Shubin did exactly that. He does so in the book. I just read the description. That is what led to my post about the ulnar-humeral joint. This reminds me of the DI's response to Laura Beil's NYT article linking creationism to the academic freedom bills in legislation. As I pointed out at the time, the entire response by the DI was based on a misreading of the original article by Ms. Beil. It is as if they are so caught up in the fever that they just aren't paying attention.
It seems as if the DI is employing scientists to do the work but all of the PR work is being done by creationists with no knowledge of the fossil record or of evolution. I used to think there were more than subtle differences between the DI and, say, the ICR. That is becoming less true as time goes on.