In evolutionary biology, the great transitions from one habitat to a totally different way of life have long proved to be the stuff of good storytelling.
“If only Tiktaalik had inherited three pairs of stubby little old fins we’d be centaurs now.”
Discovery, wonder, learning, exploration: That’s what we want young people to experience in science class.
Links to our 9-Part Series Responding to Nature‘s Evolution Evangelism Packet: • Part 1: Evaluating Nature’s 2009 “15 Evolutionary Gems” Darwin-Evangelism Kit • Part 2: Microevolutionary Gems: Lizards, Fish, Snakes, and Clams • Part 3: Microevolutionary Gems: Bird-Sized Evolutionary Change • Part 4: Microevolutionary Gems: Flea and Guppy-Sized Evolutionary Change • Part 5: Microevolution Meets Microevolution • Part 6: Evolutionary “Gems” or “Narrative Gloss”? • Part 7: Muscling Past Homology Problems in Nature’s Vertebrate Skeleton “Evolutionary Gem” • Part 8: Of Whale and Feather Evolution: Two Macroevolutionary Lumps of Coal • Part 9 (This Article): Evolutionary Biologists Are Unaware of Their Own Arguments: Reappraising Nature‘s Prized “Gem,” Tiktaalik Download Our Full Response to the Packet as a PDF. The final Read More ›
[Editor’s Note: Further commentary on this fossil discovery, including responses to criticisms, can be found here.] When Tiktaalik was reported in 2006, the media went Darwin-happy over the discovery of an alleged transitional fossil. BBC News announced, “Fossil animals found in Arctic Canada provide a snapshot of fish evolving into land animals.” At MSNBC, Tiktaalik co-discoverer Ted Daeschler was quoted boasting that, “If one considers adaptation as a process of collecting tools to live in a new environment, the new finding offers ‘a snapshot of the toolkit at this particular point in this evolutionary transition.” The article even postured Tiktaalik as an actual ancestor of tetrapods, stating: “Scientists have caught a fossil fish in the act of adapting toward a Read More ›