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Another fishy missing link

Posted By Joseph Farah On 04/15/2006 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

It’s been a week since the scientific world went gaga over a fish called “Tiktaalik,” which is being billed as the missing link between water and land animals.

The paleontologists say the fossils they date to 383 million years ago show how land creatures first arose from the sea.

Tiktaalik, they say, lived in shallow swampy waters and had the body of a fish but the jaws, ribs and limb-like fins of so-called “early mammals.”

“Tiktaalik represents a transitory creature between water and land,” explained Farish Jenkins Jr. of Harvard University, one of the discovery team members. “Really, it’s extraordinary. We found a fish with a neck.”

Martin Brazeau of Sweden’s Uppsala University said Tiktaalik is “unquestionably” the most land-animal-like fish known to date.

“Just over 380 million years ago, it seems, our remote ancestors were large, flattish, predatory fishes, with crocodile-like heads and strong limb-like pectoral fins that enabled them to haul themselves out of the water,” explained Per Erik Ahlberg of Uppsala and Jennifer Clark of the University of Cambridge, in a commentary accompanying their report in the journal Nature.

As the New York Times reported the find, the fish has characteristics that “anticipate the emergence of land animals – and is thus a predecessor of amphibians, reptiles and dinosaurs.”

I’m glad these evolutionists are so giddy about finding one of their ancestors, but before we all go off the deep end about this latest discovery, understand what all the excitement is about.

For years, those who disbelieve in macro-evolution – people like me – have been saying to the evolutionists, “Show us evidence of one kind of creature becoming another kind.” They haven’t been able to do it – not with all the fossils they’ve studied and certainly not in their scientific observations of the world in which we live.

Tiktaalik is their best shot.

But let me tell you why it is most definitely not what the evolutionists suggest it is.

There is another fish called the “coelacanth.” Ever hear of it? I’ve included a photo of one with this column – which, when you think about it, is really quite amazing. Because, just a few years ago, the same scientists who were calling the Tiktaalik fossil the missing link between sea life and land life were claiming the coelacanth fossils of the same era represented just that link.


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Coelacanth

But, then, unfortunately for the evolutionists, coelacanths – these “350-million-year-old fossils” – turned out to be very much alive. They turned up regularly in fish markets. Today they live in aquariums – not terrariums – by the way.

The coelacanth has the same kind of lobe fins as the Tiktaalik. The fossil experts told us they enabled the coelacanth to walk on the ocean floor. However, none have yet been observed walking. Instead, they use those lobe fins to swim better, not walk.

Like those of the coelacanth, the bones in the fins of the Tiktaalik are embedded in muscle – not part of the skeleton.

In other words, there is a whole lot of supposing going on about the Tiktaalik that is reminiscent of the kind of supposing that has gone on for as long as evolutionary theory has been around.

The Tiktaalik is no more a missing link between sea life and land life than a Tic Tac is a missing link between a Lifesaver and an Altoid.

Notice not one of the stories you have read about the Tiktaalik has confronted the sensationally uncomfortable issues raised by the coelacanth.

We don’t know that the Tiktaalik lived 383 million years ago. We don’t know that it used its unusual fins to walk. We don’t know that it ever left the water. We don’t even know for sure that it is extinct today. And we sure don’t know that it represents any link between one species and another.

We simply don’t know what we don’t know. And I sure wish those who called themselves scientists would just admit that.



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