Posted by: FLPatriot | February 21, 2009

Tiktaalik – big catch for evolutionists?

Admittedly I have not had the chance to do much research on this topic at this time. I would like to give a quick over view and then ask a couple of questions. I think this will allow that know to share and those that have to questions to ask.

This is one of the favorite fossils of modern evolutionists as a transitional fossil. Discovered in 2004 with the first published report appearing in a 2006 issue of Nature. Wikipedia Link for a more detailed back ground.

From what I have read this fossil shows the transition from fish to tetrapod (or four-legged animal). Here is a chart of where in time Tiktaalik fits the popular evolutionary ladder.

There is a good analysis on Tiktaalik here. Yes, this links to the Discovery Institute but they did some homework and linked to several articles in science web sites and journals. The question that arises is about Catherine A. Boisvert’s statement “”The disposition of distal radials in Panderichthys are much more tetrapod-like than in Tiktaalik.” (full story found here). Wouldn’t that make Tiktaalik a devolution not an evolution?

The other question that I would like to here your thought on is this, if a living creature was found with the same bone structure as Tiktaalik would that remove it from the “evolutionary ladder”?

I know this article lacks a lot of depth, but I know there are some people eager to discuss this topic and I wanted to get the discourse started. So feel free to fill in any important details I may have left out or missed and lets see what we can learn. Thank you for taking the time to read this.



  1. “Wouldn’t that make Tiktaalik a devolution not an evolution?”

    There’s no such thing as ‘devolution’. Just change.

    For example, look at cetacean evolution. Whales began as land animals and then eventually evolved into aquatic mammals. Before they were on land, however, they had evolved from other aquatic creatures. Does that make whales a ‘devolution’ of their earlier form? No.

    The word ‘devolution’ implies there is some kind of goal for evolution to reach. But that isn’t so.

    “The other question that I would like to here your thought on is this, if a living creature was found with the same bone structure as Tiktaalik would that remove it from the “evolutionary ladder”?”

    Not at all.

    What we can’t do is think of evolution as a line, or a tree. It isn’t. It’s more like a bush.

    Think of tiktaalik, and then imagine a bunch of lines escaping from it in every direction. Some of those lines lead to creatures that would die off. Others lead to amphibians and reptiles. And some could lead to ancestors that found a niche in a similar form to tiktaalik, and thus evolved no huge changes.

    Additionally, the distal radials were not what makes tiktaalik particularly noteworthy. Instead it is their front fins featuring arm-like skeletal structures closer to a crocodile, including a shoulder, elbow, and wrist.

    The distal radials may be a bit of a red herring.

  2. I second morsec0de’s analysis of the concept of “devolution”. There is no ultimate goal to evolution. That which survives passes along its genetic material. That which does not survive does not.

    One of the silliest arguments against evolution is “if monkeys and humans have the same ancestors, why aren’t monkeys building computers?” Because intelligence isn’t the goal of evolution. Monkeys are well-suited to their environments, as evidenced by the fact that there are lots of monkeys. If their environment changes, they will need to change, or there will be no more monkeys.

    I think the mistake creationists make is the idea that humanity is special. We’re not. We’re animals. Get over it.

  3. If the tree branch containing Tiktaalik looses features from the previous fossil how can that lead to a more developed feature in order to continuing the climb up the branch?

    I understand that evolutionists consider themselves stupid animals, I am not claiming other wise, but what I am asking is how can Tiktaalik be considered an ancestor of land animals if it looses the land animal features from the step before it?

  4. mcoville,

    Two things: it’s not just a straight line and they’re isn’t really a ‘more developed’.

    If the tiktaalik is a direct descendant of panderichthys, it can have the genes for distal radials without actually having displayed them in its own physiology. And that’s taking a big leap, to assume that tiktaalik is a direct descendant. It may not be. There can be several different lines that lead to similarly evolved traits.

    There is no perfect line, one step after the other. Evolution is, in part, random.

  5. What makes Tiktaalik, in your opinion, an ancestor of land animals? and, What do you believe makes Tiktaalik special?

  6. The simple fact that it shows both traits of the fish and traits of a tetrapod.

    Tiktaalik is ‘special’ because it was discovered using evolution to predict it. The theory predicted that, if what knowledge we had was true, we would find a transitional form between tetrapods and fish around a certain time in our past. So scientists went to where we knew there were rocks that were dated from that time period and, ta-da!, they found the tiktaalik.

    Plus, the name is cool and it just looks interesting. How is a fish that can do push-ups not special? 🙂

  7. could Tiktaalik just be a large Mudskipper? Nothing special about that, we have those today.

    “Tiktaalik is ’special’ because it was discovered using evolution to predict it.”, but creationism predicts that fossils of extinct creatures would be found. So it looks like Tiktaalik is proof of creation science.

    Creation also predicts that evolutionists will find ways to cover up a creator by saying that millions of years and random chance created everything…”There is no perfect line, one step after the other. Evolution is, in part, random.”, wow, this is uncanny.

    Yes, I will admit that the drawing you use of Tiktaalik looks cool. Kudos to the artist who designed it.

  8. “will find ways to cover up a creator by saying that millions of years and random chance created everything”

    Scientists don’t just say this. They back it up with evidence.

  9. Last December, Nature had an interesting article that shed light, that this was no missing link.

    “It is difficult to say whether this character distribution implies that Tiktaalik is autapomorphic,2 that Panderichthys and tetrapods are convergent, or that Panderichthys is closer to tetrapods than Tiktaalik. At any rate, it demonstrates that the fish-tetrapod transition was accompanied by significant character incongruence in functionally important structures.”

    Jargon translation: Tiktaalik’s important structures are not only way out of sequence according to the research, but they are also pretty mixed up! Missing link? No way!

  10. What I think it funny about fossils is that if a evolutionist scientist came across a mud skipper fossilized they would call it a ‘transitional fossil’.

    Fossils only prove that something lived. Nothing more, nothing less.

  11. i really must thank you. i have found the point of your stupidity. there is no such thing as devolution. this proves you know nothing about evolution. the basis of evolution is founded on adaption to changing conditions not as you assume based on your comment of increasing set patterns of complexity.

  12. mcoville by your resoning foorensic sxcientists would be out of a job. corpses only prove that somebody was alive and is no longer. please remove that picture of the thinkier you shame it with every word you write.

  13. But forensic scientists can look at how a person died by the other evidence left on the body. I have no trouble with an anthropologist given their opinion on how a fossilized creature dies based on the evidence they find. I do not see how they can say that a creature was becoming a different kind of creature through small changes over a billion years. If they stick to the facts of what they find, like a forensic scientist would, they would only be able to determine that it lived and maybe how it died.

    I would also like to say that personal attacks are best left on the grade school playground. If you can’t discuss a topic like an adult please don’t comment here, thats what pharyngula is for.

  14. You mean the pharyngula with “peer-reviewed science”? or the pharyngula headed by a professor of Biology? or the Pharyngula where this kind of worthless trash is disposed of continuously?

    You can’t handle the word billion; therefore you are an idiot. It’s not personal. It’s academic

  15. I mean the site pharyngula with evolutionist reviewed science and headed by a narrow minded Darwinist. The same site where any free thought that does not agree with the author is attacked by children.

  16. Twin-skies is welcome coming to Pharyngula. I myself have had lovely discoures with John Morse, Nancy from Women in the Word, and also Zacharias back in Suddelbly atheist. I know for a fact that Pharygulites are open-minded to all Logical (a very key word) positions. Why else would so many comment?

    Heh, i know Negentropyeater has a large collection of “creshes”- those christmas village thingys (the nativity scene et al). No one attacked him for that. In fact, we argue against each other all the time. BobC, Randy Stimpson, and others are there and we argue with thme constantly.

    It’s absurd to say that people there are children. After all, you are just an eloquent child. sopmeone else’s maturity has NOTHING TO DO with thier validity in scientific discourse.

    your sweeping genralities are retarded. It’s just that simple. so are all people in the world Un-american simply becaseu they don;’t live here? there is a 95/5 percent p[opulation porportion but all of everyone else is “wrong” just as de facto statement, a priori?

    YOU KNOW NOTHING. You have NOTHING whatsoever to stand on but perhaps your own pretentious hubris.

    but then again, why trust evolution, it’s only one of THE MOST WELL-CONFIRMED theories in all of science? Quantum mechanical theory has MUCH less backing than evolution, why don’t you argue that? Or the Atomic theory. Why don’t you support the Phlogiston theory?

    Argument from incredulity, beggining to end. you never bothered to look at the facts of the mater and when a comfy set of beliefs came along, you took hold. Why else would you believe JEWISH CREATIONISM, as opposed to Zoroastrianist creation, Egyption, Bhuddist (if they have one), et all? Oh that;’s right, you are arguing EXCLUSIVELY on your own suppositions. All your arguments are circular, all your facts are wrong. There is 0 evidence that the universe is 1 DAY Younger than 10 Billion Years. Absolute 0

  17. Thank you Rickr0ll, for being a perfect example of a Darwinist and an evolutionist, and congratulations on going a post that size without using words I needed to edit out (theres hope for you yet).

    Sorry for not addressing your questions, I am assuming they where rhetorical. If you have a serious question that you really want to hear the answer to, ask one at a time and I will do my best to answer.

  18. Why no other creation myths? That’s a simple, direct question. From my base level of understanding, the Eastern religious traditions are far closer to a proper perspective on the nature of the universe, so i wshould believe them instead. I don’t Disbelieve them, certainly. Why reject something that posseses the characteristics of truth?

  19. Tiktaalik Rosaea, on the other hand, is a perfect mosaic form. It possesses not a single intermediate characteristic, and all the fossils characteristics show that is a perfect, but extinct life form. Mosaic life forms, however, are very far from being the intermediate forms required by the theory of evolution. The present-day Platypus that lives in Australia, for instance, is a mosaic creature that possesses mammalian, reptilian and avian features at one and the same time.

    But nothing about it constitutes any evidence for the theory of evolution. Mosaic life forms are not what evolutionists need to find in order to back up their claims; they need to find intermediate forms, which would have to be with deficient, only half-formed and not fully functional organs. Yet every one of the organs possessed by mosaic creatures is complete and flawless.

    The theory of evolution hypothesizes that a process based on random mutations, in other words on chance, took place. According to this claim, the millions of living species on Earth must have evolved from a vast number of intermediate forms, all subjected to chance mutations, and as a result had deformed, abnormal structures, and the fossils of these so-called intermediate forms should have been found. To put it another way, the fossil record should be overflowing with the remains of life forms that can only be described as freaks of nature. However, this is known not to be the case. When species emerge, they do so suddenly, with all their distinguishing features fully developed, and with no series of freaks among them.

    Tom Kemp, curator of Zoological Collections at the Oxford University Museum, describes the position as follows:

    In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms. (Tom Kemp, Fossils and Evolution, Oxford University, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 246)

    When the bodies of vertebrates are fossilized, they generally leave no remains behind apart from bones. However, bones leave traces of only a very limited part of vertebrate biology, about 1%. When evolutionists begin interpreting the fossil remains of an organism, most of the information about its biology has been lost. Evolutionists, with almost no information concerning the organism’s soft tissue biology “fill” the gap in their knowledge according to the demands of the theory of evolution, which they have adopted as a dogma long beforehand.

    As with the latest fossil Tiktaalik roseae, the Coelacanth is a fish that evolutionists once fondly imagined to be a missing link in the transition from water to land. Evolutionists examined 400-million-year-old fossil Coelacanths, which was once believed to be extinct, and drew a number of evolutionary conclusions from the remains. For example, they maintained that the bony structures in its fins were feet that helped the animal walk across the sea floor, and they also claimed that it possessed primitive lungs. The important point here is this: All these assumptions were made in the absence of any information about the Coelacanth’s soft tissue biology.

    The erroneous nature of producing evolutionary fantasies in the absence of any information about the animal’s soft tissues emerged following an important discovery in 1938. A living Coelacanth was caught, showing that it was not, as had previously been thought, an extinct life form at all. Furthermore, many more living specimens were caught in subsequent years. Evolutionists immediately set about examining the fish’s anatomy and way of moving in its natural environment, and saw that the missing link assumptions they had ascribed to it were completely incorrect. The fish, which they had assumed to live in shallow waters and to move by crawling over the seabed, actually lived at depths of around 180 meters, and they also observed that its fins never made contact with the seabed at all. The structure they imagined to be an evolving lung turned out to be a fat-filled swim bladder that had nothing to do with respiration whatsoever.

    Best Regards

  20. i doubt anyone will ever read this but i wanted to thank Ibn Sina for asisting with another debate on a different site regarding the same issue..and also to point out how funny it is that most of the pro evolution people that posted also included some kind of “your an idiot” type attack in their response..and then claimed that no evidence has been presented that the earth is less than 10 billion years old..which of course that statement alone speaks volumes about the respective authors inteligence (he basically SHOUTED his own ignorance and apparent lack of research into the subject)..which made me smile..thanks mike and guys sure gave me a good laugh, cheers

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