A Bad Day for Evolutionists

Andrew misleads the flock, suggesting that this is an historic moment for evolutionism:

Even though Ventastega is likely an evolutionary dead-end, the finding sheds new details on the evolutionary transition from fish to tetrapods…. Scientists don’t think four-legged creatures are directly evolved from Ventastega…. One question that scientists are trying to figure out is why fish started to develop what would later become legs.

No natural selection here. No evolutionary process. Nothing to report here.

Andrew, you’re an idiot. An “evolutionary dead-end” does not constitute a transitional fossil. However, if anyone wants to come up with an imaginary explanation, feel free to tell me.

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2 thoughts on “A Bad Day for Evolutionists

  1. Don’t make comments on things you don’t understand Dave.

    A transitional fossil is a speciman morphologically and chronologically basal to two taxonomic groups.

    You were quote-mining Andrew out of context when he was merely pointing the higher certainty of ventastega being a collateral ancestor rather than direct.

    It is still a fish-tetrapod transitional under every criteria.

    Also, transitional fossils are found by the bushelful. This is only a historical moment for evolution in that fishapod specimans are particularly rare due to the antiquity of these phylogenetic convergents

  2. I didn’t “quote-mine” Andrew at all, since Andrew didn’t read the article carefully enough to write more than twelve words of his own, none of which I quoted. Did his sarcasm relate at all to the question of whether this fossil was a collateral or direct ancestor? Yes, because a “bad day for creationists” would be a day in which a “direct” ancestor is found, not an “evolutionary dead-end.”

    I freely admit I am not a biologist. However, it is difficult for me to understand how this is actually a step forward for evolutionary theory.

    Your definition of a transitional fossil is very interesting, in that it does not suggest any necessary connection between the two groups. That is, there need not be any identifiable ancestor or descendant for a particular fossil in order to label it “transitional.”

    This is a very fuzzy use of the word “transitional,” insofar as it does not describe a causal transition, but rather a statistical anomaly. It is only “transitional” in the sense that it contains some unspecified features which it may share with an unidentified fossil that actually represents a causal link in the evolutionary process.

    One problem for me is with Seth Borenstein’s statement (clarified by Per Ahlberg): “Scientists don’t think four-legged creatures are directly evolved from Ventastega.” I may be naive, but I expect a “transitional” fish-tetrapod creature to have descendants that are tetrapods. Is this an unrealistic expectation?

    Earlier in the article, Borenstein wrote, “While an earlier discovery found a slightly older animal that was more fish than tetrapod, Ventastega is more tetrapod than fish.”

    But then we have the remark by Neil Shubin, who is paraphrased [no quotation marks!] by Borenstein as saying, “Ventastega is the most primitive of these transition animals, but there are older ones that are oddly more advanced.”

    Excuse me?! Exactly which direction are you proposing for this particular evolutionary line? Again, perhaps I have unrealistic expectations, but if you are proposing that fish evolved into tetrapods, and you present a “fish-tetrapod” transitional fossil as evidence, should it not be more “advanced” than the older fossils? Instead, this is evidence that the fossil in question is a statistical anomaly.

    Borenstein also provides this illuminating remark: “One question that scientists are trying to figure out is why fish started to develop what would later become legs.” So, they don’t know the process for developing the new structure, and they apparently don’t know why it was selected. This fossil apparently did not help with that problem.

    The only way in which this discovery seems significant is because the fossilized remains included pelvis bones. I thought that in Your Inner Fish Shubin only used shoulder bone structures as examples. As written, however, this article only serves to illustrate the ignorance of Seth Borenstein, and its appearance on The Daily Dish shows the credulity and shallowness of Andrew Sullivan.

Instigate some pointless rambling

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