A specious and Grimm tail by Lobes Humanist Darwinson
(apologies to Hans Christian Andersen).
Once upon a time, long, long ago.....
We apologize for the beginning of what is meant to be a serious comment on a widely reported news story, but the fact is that neither this writer, nor anyone he knows, has been able to stop chuckling for the past couple of weeks. With the extra penitential rigors of Lent behind us now, perhaps we should thank our neo-Darwinist friends for providing some much needed light relief with their special brand of modern mirth.
The very name Tiktaalik raises an immediate smile (just say it over and over again a few times). So humorous in fact, it managed front page headlines in much of the major press. Perhaps war, social instability and political shenanigans had conveniently stopped for a while, allowing the secular media to attend to those matters that really matter, such as the incontrovertible fact that great-grandfather was a creature somewhere between a fish and a reptile.
The New York Times pontificated that the fossilized creature named Tiktaalik roseae, recently discovered in the Canadian arctic, was "a predecessor of amphibians, reptiles and dinosaurs, mammals and eventually humans". The poor creature has obviously been through a lot then! National Geographic and the Science Museum in London described it as a fish, whilst Nature and the BBC referred to it as a crocodile like creature. These vastly different descriptions by major scientific journals and media outlets certainly indicate the actual truth of the matter. Because very little scientific fact is known about Tiktaalik roseae we are, as always when it comes to evolutionism, presented with an enormous deluge of philosophical speculation and assumption.
Evolutionists are relying here on their favorite conjuring trick - homology. The modern day conventional idea of homology teaches that if creatures share a similar feature or structure then they must have shared a common ancestry. This is pure speculation of course, but to the shame of modern science the empirical objectivity that it likes to claim has been replaced by such nonsense when it comes to the subject of evolution and origins. Evolutionary assertions, at the macro-level, have never been observed of course, nor tested, so they are not empirically falsifiable. So by modern science's own definition, such assertions are not scientific. Homology is merely an interpretation, of what can be seen in biological structure, based upon a particular set of religious or philosophical beliefs. The use of the tool of homology by evolutionists has led to some interesting historical lessons about its lack of practical value to science. www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i2/fraud.asp
It is also claimed that the fossils are 375 million years old, being placed in the so-called Devonian period. Attributing time-scales to the geologic column is another favorite unscientific ruse of evolutionism. This is because inconceivably long ages are absolutely critical for its conceptual framework. From cradle to grave we are led to believe that sediments are laid down slowly, that they take a long time to harden into rock, and that sedimentary layers are deposited in a horizontal fashion. We are told that at any point in the undisturbed rock record the apparent layers of sediment, and strata, will be younger than those that they rest upon and that what appear, to our eyes, to be horizontal layers will have been laid in a particular chronological order of time. We are constantly taught that bedding planes - fissures between hardened deposits - indicate a pause, perhaps for thousands of years, in the laying down of sediments. But science has observed and demonstrated empirically that this is not necessarily so, nor even likely. The hypothesis of being able to use sedimentary deposits as chronological markers has been tested and invalidated by science, due in no small part to Kolbe Center advisor, Guy Berthault. It can no longer be claimed with confidence that rocks can be dated by the fossils contained within them, nor fossils by the rocks that they are discovered in. geology.ref.ac/berthault/
So what do we actually know about "cousin" Tiktaalik? Three specimens were discovered in late 2004, on Ellesmere Island. Reports say that they measure up to 9 ft long, but as none of the specimens are complete - they are missing the hind portion of their bodies, including possible hind fins and tails - it is not clear from media reports if this is the actual measurement of the remains or a projected measurement. The creature is variously described as having: ribs; lungs; neck; scaly trunk; a wide, flat crocodile shaped head and snout; sharp teeth; gills and lobe-fins. This appears to be everything that is known with certainty. Anything else is merely interpretation according to one's philosophical or religious beliefs. Science can not say any more about it at the present time.
It is certainly an interesting mixture of features, but no more strange than if someone found a creature that was mammalian, but clumsy on land with a reptile-like gait, spent much of its time under water although it had lungs, had strong sharp claws on webbed feet with a venomous spur on its hind limbs, had a rubbery flat bill like a duck and a beaver-like tail, a furry body, laid eggs in a nest and used electro-receptors to hunt its prey. Suffer'n snakes and fossilized fish! There is such a creature - the platypus. Cousin Tiktaalik is not so strange after all!
Most of Tiktaalik's features appear to be crocodile-like, and virtually all the reports have assumed that it lived in shallow water, perhaps hauling itself on to land. Evolutionists posit that its rib cage would be superfluous for life in deeper water and that its lobe-finned appendages were somehow transitional organs between fins and feet. Possessing gills and lungs is also claimed to be part of a transitional process between water and land. All of these claims are pure guesswork, of course, but let's look at each of them to see if there is really anything extraordinary about this newly discovered species.
Kronosauras was a monster of a creature, crocodile-like in shape, with four big paddle-like flippers. It breathed air but appears to have lived in the open ocean because at least one fossil has been found with the remains of turtles and plesiosaurs fossilized in its stomach cavity (no doubt he was slowly buried and fossilized, over long ages of course!). Whales are also deep ocean creatures that breathe air and possess rib cages. It just doesn't follow that our little ol' cousin necessarily lived near the shore. www.zoomdinosaurs.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinos/Kronosauras.shtml
Lobe-finned fish have a bony structure in their fins, just like whales do. They have five bony digits that evolutionists associate with fingers or toes. But I can't for the life of me remember when anyone last saw a whale holding a mug of beer or playing a banjo! More interestingly, no lobe-finned critters, like the lungfish or the extinct panderichthys, had or have these bony appendages attached to their axial skeleton. They are completely separate. Attachment would be absolutely necessary if such a creature were to use these organs to attempt to raise its body off the land. If it tried it would just flop, pretty much like evolutionary speculation - or facts, as they like to call them. Lungfish also breathe air, have gills and live near the shore. Does this "evidence" help cousin Tiktaalik in his quest to lose his fishy status and become a tetrapod? Well, not really. Their fossils can be traced back to the same Devonian strata as Tiktaalik roseae and they have point blankly refused to grow feet or permanently switch from one breathing apparatus to another. Very sensible of them! The coelacanth is also a lobe-finned fish, and a "four hundred million" year old "living fossil" no less. For all the birthdays that they've celebrated, and it's claimed they're older than little ol' cousin, they sure don't seem to have changed very much! The coelacanth lives in the deep ocean and appears to be very happy staying just where he is. www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/vertebrates/coelacanth/coelacanths.html
It's going to take a lot more than a few fishy tales (except our favorite cousin "Tikky" is missing his of course!) to convince the American public of the wonders of evolution. If so-called transitional forms really did exist then the record of the rocks would be overflowing with millions of them at every conceivable developmental stage. We would have many fish species that are one hundred percent fish (and we do). We would have many fish species that appear to be ninety nine point nine percent fish, then ninety nine point eight percent, and so on, until we get to tetrapods, the same process to amphibians and so on, and eventually arrive at one hundred percent human (or are monkeys more evolved than us? - an interesting chromosomal question for evolutionists to ponder). The missing links are still missing and no amount of wishful thinking will change the fact that there is absolutely nothing that can be considered, scientifically, as a transitional form for macro evolution. Indeed, we are still waiting for evolutionary biologists to present just one scientifically viable evolutionary pathway, even at the conceptual level. In the meantime, the fossil record continues to demonstrate stasis and even more embarrassingly, more and more "living fossils" are deciding to introduce themselves and join in the fun! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4884052.stm