Evolution does not work like that

There is an interesting line of evidence that has emerged that points to the exciting discovery that tetrapods emerged on to land earlier then originally thought. It sure didn’t take long for a creationist to misinterpret this news! Casey Luskin, not one to allow logic or common sense to get in the way of a story, has proclaimed the beautiful fossil Tiktaalik (the half-fish, half-tetrapod discovered in northern Canada a few years ago) has lost its crown as the transitional animal between water and land. It should be noted that Luskin is the only person saying this. No scientist is denying the importance of Tiktaalik. So what has changed?

The new evidence is a 397 million year old fossil footprints found in Poland. The footprints appear to have been made by a small four-footed animal. These were made 10 million years before Tiktaalik lived. Luskin believes that this chain of events invalidates evolution. If you are confused by this, it could be because your understanding of evolution runs deeper then what could be fit on to a T-shirt.

Fits on a T-shirt

Evolution, according to the Discovery Institute

No scientist has ever implied a direct linear relationship between any of the water to land transitional fossils. Luskin, by contrast, is implying that either Tiktaalik must be the first tetrapod, or that the theories of evolution are wrong. Never mind the species that share a common ancestor with Tiktaalik, or the Devonian animals that were contemporaries of Tiktaalik. We will most likely learn that there were multiple emergences on to the land as there were multiple returns to the oceans.

A bit better but not quite there.

Too complicated for the Discovery Institute

The final straw of course is Casey Luskin refers to Tiktaalik as a fish. A fish with a flat head, a neck and wrists in other words completely unlike anything a sensible person would call a fish. It is this attention to detail that characterizes the “researchers” of the Discovery Institute.

I'm not a fish.

Tiktaalik: not a fish

PZ Myers’ take down.

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