The Agony of de Feet

Just a couple of short years ago, evolutionists lauded Tiktaalik, an extinct sarcopterygian, as a prime and expected example of transitional fossil showing the evolution of vertebrates from water creatures to land animals. To quote the Nature review article by Ahlberg and Clack, “it demonstrates the predictive capacity of paleontology.” Not only that, but it fit nicely into their picture of how it all transpired:

Water to land transitional forms

The Previous Depiction of Tiktaalik in the presumed transition from water to land.

And like most finds of the sort, it was widely reported and lauded as proof of evolution.

Now comes the news that vertebrates were walking around some 18 million years before Tiktaalik was supposed to be making his first tentative steps onto land. Not only walking, but apparently they had the foot and leg structures to walk with their bodies clear of the ground, meaning that an actual transitional would have had to have existed significantly earlier. In addition to that, it seems to have been walking around on five or six toes, which represents quite a leap from the lobe fins found during the same time period.

Of course, as is typical with such finds, the news isn’t being reported with nearly the zest as the supposed transitional find. And evolutionists are already dissembling, acting as if this is  ultimately no big deal.

But the question has to be asked, if Tiktallik was, as they claimed, a demonstration of the predictive capability of paleontology, then what does this new find represent if not a complete failure of paleontology to predict how organisms developed in the past?

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12 Responses to The Agony of de Feet

  1. Bettawrekonize says:

    “then what does this new find represent if not a complete failure of paleontology to predict how organisms developed in the past?”

    Well, I doubt this new find will do anything to falsify UCD so I suppose it represents the unfalsifiable nature of UCD.

  2. jackhudson says:

    Well, I doubt this new find will do anything to falsify UCD so I suppose it represents the unfalsifiable nature of UCD.

    By the wagon-circling I have seen from evolutionists on this, it would seem so.

  3. Are you numb? I’ve already pointed out to you, both in my original post and in the comment section, that Tiktaalik is likely a freshwater transition while these new footprints belonged to marine life.

  4. jackhudson says:

    Are you numb? I’ve already pointed out to you, both in my original post and in the comment section, that Tiktaalik is likely a freshwater transition while these new footprints belonged to marine life.

    It was walking around on land Micheal, millions of years before any vertebrate was supposed to be. That is why paleontologists expressed ‘suprise’ at the find – because it wasn’t supposed to exist. Deal with it.

  5. If you’re going to refuse to actually discuss any science, instead opting to revel in your creationist hostility for the entire field, then I don’t see why you respond.

  6. jackhudson says:

    If you’re going to refuse to actually discuss any science, instead opting to revel in your creationist hostility for the entire field, then I don’t see why you respond.

    Why is it science when evolutionists claim something is transitional, and not science when critics point out the error of that claim?

  7. jackhudson says:

    You haven’t pointed out any error. I said Tiktaalik represents a freshwater transition while these footprints are marine. You noted the dates at which these fossils have been placed.

    Again Michael, the footprints which were apparently made near a marine environment (itself not predicted) were of an animal that was fully capable of walking with its body supported off the ground on feet with toes. Whatever Tiktaalik was, we now know, contrary to evolutionary prediction that animals were walking around long before Tiktallik was living in fresh water stream and ponds. There is no indication that animals evolved from water to land in separately in marine and freshwater environments.

    The scientists themselves admitted this was both a surprise, and contrary to the evolutionary understanding such a transition; you are free to deny and spin all you want.

    Of course, whether freshwater or marine doesn’t rule in or out which path ultimately led to all four-legged animals, but it does show that Tiktaalik held a different transitional niche, one Neil Shubin found quite successfully based, in part, on the notion that the transition would be in freshwater.

    There is no reason now to think it was transitional at all; vertebrates were walking around long before it existed.

  8. jackhudson says:

    I was actually very careful with my language, so the fact that you think you’re contradicting anything I said (namely in your final sentence) is perplexing. One exception, of course, being that Tiktaalik is “contrary” to anything. It isn’t. Evolution doesn’t predict a linear chain of events. In fact, if you read either Shubin’s description or the description of any competent biologist on that fossil, it’s clear that no one has ever claimed it as a direct ancestor. It was among a number of other animals that were gradually making a transition over a period of time. That’s precisely what the evidence says.

    It was the scientist discussing Tiktaalik who made the claim it demonstrated the predictive power of paleontology because they understood Tiktaalik to be a representative of intermediate between Panderichthys and tetrapods. Considering that something was walking around long before Tiktaalik, the claims of it being an intermediate form between the two are cast into doubt.

    I’m not sure what you mean as that isn’t a complete sentence. I’ll assume you’re repeating the canard that this is contrary to evolution. It isn’t. It changes some dates. The shift isn’t one that changed any sort of relations.
    One wonders if it hasn’t changed any sort of relations why the scientist who found the prints would say, “These results force us to reconsider our whole picture of the transition from fish to land animals”?

    They co-existed. Do you really think that because one species shows up that it means the automatic death of all other, more primitive species? Look at these two images.
    Clad 1
    Clad 2
    The relationships have all remained the same. They now go back deeper into time. It’s really that simple. Tiktaalik still represents a transition. That transition just now extends over a longer period than once thought.

    I am not sure it is that simple, as this find would seemingly push the origin of land walking vertebrates virtually to the bottom of your chart, if not before it even starts. That is a radical change in the way we understand the occurrence of this transition.

  9. jackhudson says:

    Shubin also pointed out, quite willingly, that Tiktaalik likely represents a cousin of our ancestors. Does that mean that right then and there he cast doubt on its status?

    He is an evolutionist; it’s a given to evolutionists that we are all cousins.

    It’s a quantitative, not qualitative picture being referenced.

    And how exactly are you measuring that ‘quantity’?

    Wrong. Again. Take a look at any random evolutionary tree, such as this one. Notice it looks nothing like this:
    Mesonychia
    ^
    Perissodactyla
    ^
    Gujaratia pakistanensis
    ^
    Etc, down the line.

    Nice bait and switch Michael. The latter diagram says nothing about the two you offered earlier.

    The appearance of a walking vertebrate (particularly one that had fully developed legs and feet) 18 million years before Tiktaalik would put the origin of such vertebrates around 400 million years ago – that is before the presumed origin of almost every organism on that earlier diagrams. That blows the picture apart.

  10. Bettawrekonize says:

    Jackhudson, don’t you get tired of attacking such an indefensible hypothesis? Over the years I have learned that UCD is such an indefensible position that I am starting to consider it pathetic to attack it, as if we’re not intelligent enough to find and attack a more defensible position.

  11. Bettawrekonize says:

    Jhud, what the heck is up with this post deleting? I understand you probably deleted him off your blog because he used some unacceptable language, but when the side effect is to delete all of his comments in the process it destroys existing discussions and any references back to them. It would be appreciated if you were more careful about what you delete, but it is your blog and you may do as you please.

  12. jackhudson says:

    It’s the unfortunate side-effect of dealing with someone who was using discussions for personal attacks and threatening posts.

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