An “Ulnare” and an “Intermedium” a Wrist Do Not Make: A Response to Carl Zimmer

Over the past couple years, Tiktaalik, a fossil allegedly documenting parts of the transition from fish to tetrapods, has become a new celebrated icon of evolution. PBS’s “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” documentary featured Tiktaalik as their premier transitional fossil, an anachronism since it wasn’t even reported until months AFTER the Dover trial concluded. The NAS’s recent “Science, Evolution, and Creationism” booklet also prominently pushes Tiktaalik, calling it “a notable transitional form.” Darwinists have a lot of rhetorical capital invested in this fossil, and it thus comes as no surprise that they are quick to defend it with the “zero-concession policy” vehemence we’ve come to expect from internet Darwinists. As William Dembski writes regarding this policy: Our critics have, Read More ›

Tiktaalik roseae: Where’s the Wrist? (Updated)

[UPDATE: I have responded to Carl Zimmer’s critiques with updates and corrections, here.] I recently picked up Your Inner Fish, a highly simplified science book written for a popular audience by paleontologist Neil Shubin that promotes the alleged intermediate fossil between fish and tetrapods, Tiktaalik roseae. On page 83, Shubin’s book contains a nice diagram comparing the skull-components of a human head to the skull of a primitive craniate fish. It’s a vague comparison that does little to convince that fish-heads formed the template for mammal heads. But that’s not the focus of Shubin’s book. The primary feature that excites Shubin and other evolutionary paleontologists about Tiktaalik isn’t found in its head: it’s that this fossil is allegedly “a fish Read More ›

Darwinists’ Obsession with Tiktaalik Linked to Lack of Transitions in the Fossil Record

Media see, media do. And when it comes to the fossil record, the elite Darwinists of late seem unable to see evidence that challenges evolution. With the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and PBS forcefully promoting Tiktaalik to the public as proof of an evolutionary transition from fish to land-walking animals, the media is following closely in their footsteps (no pun intended). A recent article on pushes a pro-evolution book titled “Your Inner Fish,” which tries to use Canadian- found fossil Tiktaalik to promote evolution and influence American presidential politics. It’s the Canadian Darwinist’s dream. But this is strange behavior: why are the scientific elite so forcefully pushing this one fossil, especially when it so poorly documents the evolution Read More ›

Media Overblows Claims of “Human Evolution”: Examining the Newest “Missing Link”

Recently I highlighted how the coverage of Tiktaalik revealed the fascinating phenomenon that only after discovering a new “missing link” will evolutionists acknowledge the previously paltry state of fossil evidence for evolution. This behavior is again witnessed in coverage of the discovery of Australopithecus anamensis fossils in Ethiopia. The media has also exaggerated and overblown claims that this evidence supports “human evolution.” The latest “missing link” is actually comprised of a few tooth and bone fragments of Au. anamensis, an ape-like species that lived a little over 4 million years ago. Incredibly, claims of “intermediacy” are based upon 2-3 fragmented canines of “intermediate” size and shape. This has now led to grand claims in the media of finding a “missing Read More ›

For Darwinian Evolution, It’s One Step Forward, Acknowledging Two Steps Back: Taking A Look at Tiktaalik

I love it when new “missing links” are discovered, because it’s then–and only then–that Darwinists admit how precious little evidence had previously existed for the evolutionary transition in question. When reports came out this week of an alleged example of a fossil representative of the stock that might have led from fish to tetrapods — Tiktaalik roseae — evolutionists finally came clean about the previous lack of fossil evidence for such a transition: “The relationship of limbed vertebrates (tetrapods) to lobe-finned fish (sarcopterygians) is well established, but the origin of major tetrapod features has remained obscure for lack of fossils that document the sequence of evolutionary changes.” (Edward B. Daeschler, Neil H. Shubin, and Farish A. Jenkins, “A Devonian tetrapod-like Read More ›