PZ Myers posted Entry 2176 on April 5, 2006 01:25 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2171

Paleontologists have uncovered yet another specimen in the lineage leading to modern tetrapods, creating more gaps that will need to be filled. It's a Sisyphean job, working as an evolutionist.

tiktaalik_sm.jpg

This creature is called Tiktaalik roseae, and it was discovered in a project that was specifically launched to find a predicted intermediate form between a distinctly fish-like organism, Panderichthys, and the distinctly tetrapod-like organisms, Acanthostega and Ichthyostega. From the review article by Ahlberg and Clack, we get this summary of Tiktaalik's importance:

First, it demonstrates the predictive capacity of palaeontology. The Nunavut field project had the express aim of finding an intermediate between Panderichthys and tetrapods, by searching in sediments from the most probable environment (rivers) and time (early Late Devonian). Second, Tiktaalik adds enormously to our understanding of the fish–tetrapod transition because of its position on the tree and the combination of characters it displays.

Continue reading "Tiktaalik makes another gap" (on Pharyngula)

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Comment #94927

Posted by MrDarwin on April 5, 2006 1:40 PM (e)

So much for the claim that evolution isn’t science because (among other things) it “doesn’t make predictions”. It’s just too bad that Ahlberg & Clack didn’t explicitly refer to the “predictive capacity of evolutionary theory”.

Comment #94939

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 5, 2006 1:51 PM (e)

Things brings up a point I’ve been thinking about.

Is there a place on TO that details a history of predictions that have been made and tested/fulfilled within the ToE?

I must have missed it if there is one, if not, it would be a good idea to put one together.

I’d be willing to assist if there is interest.

Comment #94940

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 5, 2006 1:53 PM (e)

er, change “things” to “this”

coffee hasn’t kicked in yet

Comment #94950

Posted by Randy on April 5, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

New Fossil
Oh boy! Two more gaps to fill! Are they celebrating over at Uncommon Dissent yet? When I read about discoveries like this, I sometimes regret the career choices I made…
Randy

Comment #94951

Posted by Russell on April 5, 2006 2:24 PM (e)

Not that ID doesn’t make predictions, too. For instance, ID predicts that any biological system or organism, even those hitherto unsuspected, will look designed. You can take that to the bank!

Comment #94959

Posted by jeannot on April 5, 2006 2:47 PM (e)

Amazing!

Comment #94989

Posted by Karen on April 5, 2006 4:04 PM (e)

Not that ID doesn’t make predictions, too…

Didn’t Michael Behe predict that no transitional forms between land mammals and whales would ever be found? And shortly thereafter, guess what scientists discovered? Also, as I recall, Stephen Jay Gould wrote an excellent column on the discovery of these transitional whales.

Comment #95003

Posted by Peter Henderson on April 5, 2006 5:32 PM (e)

I saw this on the Channel Four news this evening. Fascinating !

However, I look forward to the creationist reaction to this find. It will be interesting to see what “Kind” of animal this was, according to them. If they label it a land animal then presumably it must have been on the ark along with the dinosaurs !

Comment #95018

Posted by The Ghost of Paley on April 5, 2006 6:25 PM (e)

Mr. Darwin wrote:

So much for the claim that evolution isn’t science because (among other things) it “doesn’t make predictions”. It’s just too bad that Ahlberg & Clack didn’t explicitly refer to the “predictive capacity of evolutionary theory”.

But would you have predicted such a derived skull relative to the rest of the morphology? The limb bones look even less like a tetrapod’s than Sauripterus’s, a species that isn’t even proposed as “our” direct ancestor. Structure counts more than functional similarity in establishing propinquity, so the fin’s flexibility counts for little. And the less said about the non homologous parietal, squasomal, and frontal skull sutures, the better.

Karen wrote:

Didn’t Michael Behe predict that no transitional forms between land mammals and whales would ever be found? And shortly thereafter, guess what scientists discovered?

No. That urban legend derived from a misquote by Ken Miller, evolutionist’s resident Christian.

Peter Henderson wrote:

I saw this on the Channel Four news this evening.

Yes, but was it in focus?

Comment #95022

Posted by Steviepinhead on April 5, 2006 6:41 PM (e)

C’mon, Paley, how’d that crow really taste: more like fish or frog legs?

Or just grungy roadkilled bird?

Comment #95024

Posted by steve s on April 5, 2006 7:20 PM (e)

Comment #94951

Posted by Russell on April 5, 2006 02:24 PM (e)

Not that ID doesn’t make predictions, too. For instance, ID predicts that any biological system or organism, even those hitherto unsuspected, will look designed. You can take that to the bank!

LOL. All other scientific theories predict what some future results will be. ID just predicts what it’s followers will say about the results.

Comment #95025

Posted by steve s on April 5, 2006 7:22 PM (e)

The funniest comment I’ve seen about this organism is from kevin drum’s site:

Maybe Santa put it there, to test our faith.
Posted by: craigie on April 5, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Comment #95044

Posted by Anton Mates on April 5, 2006 9:30 PM (e)

Jeez, and here I was all prepared to write “Cue Ghost of Paley in 3…2…1…” and the guy beats me to it.

Seriously, those fossils are beautiful, and the way they described the search in Nature was enough to make you green with envy of palaeontologists. All they had to do was frolic around the tropical beauty of Ellesmere Island for a few measly years, the bastards…

The Ghost of Paley wrote:

But would you have predicted such a derived skull relative to the rest of the morphology?

I’m not seeing how it’s “so derived” in the first place, but why would palaeontologists make a prediction either way? I’m sure they’re familiar with the fact that, say, modern salamanders don’t all have exactly the same skull morphology. Why would morphological diversity be particularly low in the Frasnian?

The limb bones look even less like a tetrapod’s than Sauripterus’s, a species that isn’t even proposed as “our” direct ancestor.

Conveniently, PZ included a limb bone comparison diagram from the paper, so we can see that this is wrong.

Didn’t Michael Behe predict that no transitional forms between land mammals and whales would ever be found? And shortly thereafter, guess what scientists discovered?

No. That urban legend derived from a misquote by Ken Miller, evolutionist’s resident Christian.

Yep. Behe wrote

“…if random evolution is true, there must have been a large number of transitional forms between the Mesonychid and the ancient whale. Where are they? It seems like quite a coincidence that of all the intermediate species that must have existed between Mesonychid and whale, only species that are very similar to the end species have been found.”

which is obviously just an extended haiku, yet Miller interpreted him as actually saying something. How silly of him. He should have known IDers don’t make predictions.

Comment #95049

Posted by XOVER on April 5, 2006 9:53 PM (e)

Thank you for that, Anton Mates.

Look, I know there are alot of Christians that understand the fact of evolution. The following comments are not directed at you.

But for those Christians that don’t accept the fact of evolution, why do they all seem to constantly and blantantly lie? Even on this board?

In truth, these anti-science Christians aren’t Christians at all – they are simply liars. Christians do not run around telling lies.

Comment #95052

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 5, 2006 10:05 PM (e)

Seriously, those fossils are beautiful, and the way they described the search in Nature was enough to make you green with envy of palaeontologists. All they had to do was frolic around the tropical beauty of Ellesmere Island for a few measly years, the bastards…

LoL. Yeah, tropical paradise, Ellesmere.

Freezing temperatures and high winds limited the amount of time the team could work each day, and the near-constant precipitation prevented the plaster used in the fossil-preservation process from drying.

“And we were always looking over our shoulders for polar bears. We saw lots of their tracks,” Shubin said.

break out the bikinis and margaritas!

Comment #95054

Posted by Bramwell Brown on April 5, 2006 10:41 PM (e)

OK, Paley, the evil Darwinists are all wrong about this. Note that the creature’s tail is still to be discovered. Please describe what the scientific theory of ID predicts about this particular structure.

Actually, how about that scientific theory of ID to start off with?

Comment #95058

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 5, 2006 11:25 PM (e)

In truth, these anti-science Christians aren’t Christians at all — they are simply liars. Christians do not run around telling lies.

This is what got me into the creation/evolution stuff in the first place. Somewhere I have one of those little pocket notebooks with the notes I took at that YEC lecture in February, 1986. The antievolution movement’s pervasive reliance on propagating falsehoods is not compatible with Christian principles and does harm to our faith.

Comment #95063

Posted by buddha on April 6, 2006 12:07 AM (e)

XOVER wrote:

In truth, these anti-science Christians aren’t Christians at all — they are simply liars.

No true Scotsman.

Christians do not run around telling lies.

In my experience, middle-of-the-road Evangelicals lie through their teeth. I’ve heard it all: “Isaac Newton was a Christian” (as Evangelicals define the term), “Einstein believed in God” (as Evangelicals define the term), “Magna Carta quotes the Bible”, “Christianity is the philosophical basis of science”, “Christianity is the philosophical basis of democracy”, “the United States of America was founded as a Christian nation”, “George Washington was a Christian”, “Thomas Jefferson was a Christian”, “there is more historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth than for Julius Caesar”, “there were five hundred witnesses to the Resurrection”, “nobody has ever died for a lie”, “there are no errors in the Bible”, “the existence of God has been proved”, “Evolution is religion”, “Intelligent Design is science”, …

And that’s just the Evangelicals! The Catholics have their own stack of lies: “the entire history of the Church has been a history of holiness”, “no pope has ever contradicted another”, “the sun orbits the earth”, “ethanol becomes haemoglobin at the words of consecration”, …

Maybe your experience has been different, but I have met hundreds of Christians in person and I have only ever known them to lie knowingly and willfully about their religion.

Comment #95066

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 6, 2006 12:23 AM (e)

Maybe your experience has been different, but I have met hundreds of Christians in person and I have only ever known them to lie knowingly and willfully about their religion.

*pokes buddha on shoulder*

uh, you might want to spend more time with christians who don’t lie all the time, like the gentleman who posted just before you did.

In well over a year, I’ve never seen Wes lie about anything.

Don’t overgeneneralize.

Comment #95069

Posted by H. Humbert on April 6, 2006 12:37 AM (e)

Sir_Toejam wrote:

uh, you might want to spend more time with christians who don’t lie all the time, like the gentleman who posted just before you did.

In well over a year, I’ve never seen Wes lie about anything.

Don’t overgeneneralize.

Actually, I believe the generalization was “Christians do not run around telling lies,” which Buddha kindly corrected. “Not lying” cannot be said to be a pervasively christian trait, however honest some particular christians may be. As he rightly pointed out, the comment was nothing more than an invocation of the “No true Scotsman” fallacy.

Comment #95076

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 6, 2006 1:10 AM (e)

while he may have been correcting one overgeneralization, he immediately followed it with another, as his last sentence clearly implies.

er, which is why i quoted it.

there, now that all the overgeneralizations have been dealt with…

Comment #95078

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 6, 2006 1:45 AM (e)

I’m porting a comment here that I put up on Pharyngula:

but aren’t you really saying that T has destroyed the A-B gap and created two new but smaller gaps (A-T; T-B) in its place?

Obviously for antievolution purposes each individual fossil’s life span occupies an entirely negligible amount of time, and is therefore best represented as a point. Putting a point between two other points on a line does not change the distance between the original two points. In other words, it is an immutable law of nature that in paleontology, total gap-ness is conserved in the fossil record.

Would you like a smiley with that?

Comment #95091

Posted by Martin Brazeau on April 6, 2006 4:13 AM (e)

Ah, I see my old friend Paley is back offering a world of obfuscation.

But would you have predicted such a derived skull relative to the rest of the morphology?

First, the skull roof and proportions are the most derived aspect of the skull. We haven’t seen the braincase yet, but this animal’s similarity to Panderichthys and what little I can see in the pics suggest it is quite fish-like in that respect.

Moreover, the shoulder girdle is more tetrapod-like than any other known fish, except maybe Panderichthys.

The limb bones look even less like a tetrapod’s than Sauripterus’s,

Then you haven’t looked very carefully at either Tiktaalik, Sauripterus, or a tetrapod. I happen to have examined all three directly. In fact, I was able to hold the three together at the same time in the same room. The individual bones of the fin and girdle skeleton of Sauripterus are not very tetrapod-like when one looks at Tiktaalik. If we start from the shoulder, T. and tetrapods have a large, plate-like scapulocoracoid that forms much of the ventral margin of the shoulder girdle. In Sauripterus and other standard fishes, the scapulocoracoid is a relatively small element that fuses to the inside face of the cleithrum (=”shoulder blade”). Tiktaalik presents an intermediate condition where the dermal shoulder blad extends over more of the lateral face of the scapulocoracoid.

The humerus of Sauripterus is a squat, bulbous element, trimmed by a large, flat flange of the entepicondyle. This flange just out perpendicular to the shaft of the humerus, whereas in tetrapods and Tiktaalik, this flange is shaped quite differently and is co-planar with the flattened, elongate humerus.

The end of the humerus in all these taxa has a surface for the attachment of the radius and unla. In fishes, including Sauripterus, this joint surface on the humerus tends to be a single surface. In Tiktaalik and most tetrapods, these are two separate surfaces.

In terms of pattern, Sauripterus and Tiktaalik are essentially the same. In terms of shape and discrete morphological characters, Tiktaalik is way more tetrapod-like than Saurpiterus.

The media has somewhat overblown the issue about the radials/digits. The information that Tiktaalik gives us is about the issue of novelty. This new material suggests that digits arose as elaborations of radials of the fin. This was unclear because the condition seen in animals such as Eusthenopteron suggested that radials were reduced in number. Similarly, we never had a very complete or reliable picture of the fin of Panderichthys and nothing was known about what lay under the fin rays. So, we were not sure about the status of radial elements at this point in phylogeny. Tiktaalik informs this question, but does not entirely solve it. It’s welcome news nonetheless.

a species that isn’t even proposed as “our” direct ancestor.

Can you name a species that has been proposed as our direct ancestor? Neither Sauripterus nor Tiktaalik are proposed to be our ancestor.

Structure counts more than functional similarity in establishing propinquity, so the fin’s flexibility counts for little.

Right, so you should read the damn papers (including the supplementary files) before writing nonsense like this.

And the less said about the non homologous parietal, squasomal, and frontal skull sutures, the better.

Excuse me? This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Comment #95092

Posted by Martin Brazeau on April 6, 2006 4:42 AM (e)

I just want to add to what I said here, because it’s bound to be obfuscated:

Martin wrote:

In terms of pattern, Sauripterus and Tiktaalik are essentially the same. In terms of shape and discrete morphological characters, Tiktaalik is way more tetrapod-like than Saurpiterus.

Tiktaalik and Sauripterus reflect what is essentially an elaborated version of the general sarcopterygian condition. All sarcopterygians have radial elements. Those of Sauripterus are numerous and elongate. Those of Eusthenopteron are fewer and, in the case of posterior ones, fused to the main elements of the fin skeleton. Tiktaalik reflects what is essentially a “fragmented” version of the Eusthenopteron-type fin.

We know based on other taxa from inside and outside the tetrapod stem-lineage, that the fin skeleton of Eusthenopteron presents a pattern essentially primitive for this part of the tree. That is, it is likely that somewhere in the ancestry of tetrapods was a fin like that of Eusthenopteron. Thus Sauripterus and Tiktaalik are both exhibiting similar variations on essentially the same ancestral “ground plan”.

Comment #95093

Posted by Peter Henderson on April 6, 2006 6:04 AM (e)

Re. anti-evolution Christians and telling lies:I always check the AIG website every day just to see what lies about science they have on it. For example this week there’s a lot on astronomy in their media section. Some of their statements really mystify me ! I have successfully completed the Open University astronomy course S 283 so I reckon I know a bit about the formation of the Solar System and stellar evolution etc. Statements from Mr Ham like: “stars they’re younger than the Earth” are just nonsense. Either Ham doesn’t know anything about astronomy or he is lying. There is no scientific evidence that stars (including the sun) are younger than the Earth. Today’s answers with Ken Ham states “Jupiter’s moons they confirm creation” How ? Or another one I’ve heard in the past “Extra solar planets they confirm creation” While the discovery of the so called “Hot Jupiter’s” came as a surprise to astronomers it certainly did not have any spiritual aspect to it. Rather, it opened up the possibility of planetary migration, something which astronomers had, up until now, not considered. I suppose someone with a limited knowledge of astronomy could be fooled by Ham and co. into thinking there is evidence of creation in astronomy, but this is one scientific field which really confirms an old Earth and a much older Universe.

As for Isaac Newton, he’s down on their website as a scientist who believed in creation. I wonder if AIG realise that for years he dabbled in alchemy and from what I’ve heard denied the trinity ?

In my opinion YEC’s are either liars or else they are seriously deluded. If they are the latter, then they are unfortunately deluding a lot of other very sincere Christians as well.

As I’ve stated in the past , I have no doubt something will appear on the AIG website about this fossil in the next few days. It will be interesting to see what their views are !

Comment #95097

Posted by Anton Mates on April 6, 2006 6:51 AM (e)

Dang, Martin, you didn’t even let GoP get off the ground. Now you’ve forced him to go Googletrawl papers on fossil fish or molecular trees or possibly woodworking and come back with randomly selected quotes that somehow contradict what you said.

Anyway, he never suggested that Tiktaalik’s limb bones weren’t tetrapod-like. That’s just, um, an urban legend. Funny how those things get started.

Comment #95102

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 6, 2006 7:20 AM (e)

Obviously for antievolution purposes each individual fossil’s life span occupies an entirely negligible amount of time, and is therefore best represented as a point. Putting a point between two other points on a line does not change the distance between the original two points. In other words, it is an immutable law of nature that in paleontology, total gap-ness is conserved in the fossil record.

Would you like a smiley with that?

I call this “Gish’s Law” – “The number of missing links is directly proportional to the number of known transitioanl fossils”.

In other words, the more transitions we have, the more Gish will want to see.

Comment #95106

Posted by Keith Douglas on April 6, 2006 7:59 AM (e)

I’m pleased to see this is a Canadian find, if only to atone for that stupidity on the part of SSHRC. Maybe the reviewers there should have talked to the paleontologists on this find …

Comment #95124

Posted by jonboy on April 6, 2006 10:29 AM (e)

Some what of topic but i just had to post this

Biblical parks may get tax deal

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, says the bill really only applies to Holy Land Experience and said it would be difficult for another park to meet the “stiffly-worded” criteria.

Yet, when a Pensacola park dedicated to creationism learned of the Webster bill Tuesday it promptly sent an emissary to Webster’s office to find out how it could qualify for the same tax break.

Dinosaur Adventure Land, devoted to demonstrating that the Bible proves dinosaurs and humans coexisted, displays pages from ancient Bibles and “biblical accounts of dinosaurs,” said Creation Science Evangelism founder Kent Hovind, who also goes by “Dr. Dino.”

Dinosaur Adventure Land is a nonprofit but is organized under a different section of the IRS code than Holy Land Experience. A director with Creation Science Evangelism said the group won’t change its IRS designation, but will see about getting the Webster bill tweaked to include it too.

Comment #95135

Posted by The Ghost of Paley on April 6, 2006 11:06 AM (e)

I see that Martin and Mr. Mates have replied to my critique. They make several good points, but as I will show later, they do not overturn by contention that Tiktaalik can not be seen as an intermediate on structural grounds; instead, it falsifies the very hypothesis that it was meant to support. More later.

Comment #95141

Posted by jonboy on April 6, 2006 11:33 AM (e)

Thought you would all enjoy this inspiring quote from our friends at CR

”This alleged transitional fish will have to be evaluated carefully.”

– Duane T. Gish, a retired official of the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego

Comment #95147

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on April 6, 2006 12:18 PM (e)

Now that we are clear on the Principle of More Gaps (PMG), I’ll flesh out the argument a bit.

Start with an argument that evolution is impossible in principle. [excepting some version of ‘trivial’ evolution which doesn’t count]. For instance, “macroevolution” (any evolution beyond what is admitted, and therefore must be trivial and doesn’t count) is impossible. New discoveries keep messing things up, filling gaps. Now the PMG comes into play, but there is another part to the argument: the “unless everything is known, essentially nothing is known (and so the Designer did it anyway)” rule. Just saying that there are more, but smaller gaps would not be quite satisfying with the other rule (only selectively applied of course). Overall, this is a defense against seeing the obvious pattern in the data. [Actually there are two patterns: the pattern of existing data, and the pattern of incresing data over time]. Just concentrate on small enough details so you don’t have to face the pattern and wonder why it exists.

Get modern! Do it with molecules! Call Behe! Replace macroevolution with irreducible complexity. Then just follow the above method. By the way do not admit to taking the argument (but not the clever name) from previous creationists, and do not admit that scientists had long ago noticed the obvious: co-adapted parts are bound to evolve, and then if you remove a part something won’t work as before.

Comment #95157

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on April 6, 2006 1:19 PM (e)

Re: my Comment #95147 above: I refer to the mental process of focusing on fine details in data and avoiding seeing a larger pattern which is contrary to your views. I should mention that this has been noted by Jim Downard in various contexts, mainly related to creationism.

Comment #95197

Posted by Peter Henderson on April 6, 2006 4:23 PM (e)

Re Jonboy:AIG has something similar:

urlhttp://info.answersingenesis.org/aroundtheworld/?p=696

Comment #95204

Posted by Steviepinhead on April 6, 2006 4:56 PM (e)

Ya gotta love it when Martin Brazeau shows up on these threads which have been besmeared by Ghosty’s ectoplasmic slime-trails:

Paley

The limb bones look even less like a tetrapod’s than Sauripterus’s

Brazeau

Then you haven’t looked very carefully at either Tiktaalik, Sauripterus, or a tetrapod. I happen to have examined all three directly. In fact, I was able to hold the three together at the same time in the same room.

The rest of us can tell that Ghost is blowing smoke.

Mr. Brazeau is able to identify the specific orifice and the means of emission, and then to reliably inform us in which direction to relocate in order to avoid the worst whiff…!

Comment #95207

Posted by Karen on April 6, 2006 5:02 PM (e)

This awesome find will be featured on the (U.S.) Public Broadcasting Station’s Newshour this evening. For the NYC viewing area that’s Channel 13 at 8 pm.

Since the show receives NSF foundation, they might even do a decent job of explaining its significance.

The link is HERE.

Please check your tv schedule to confirm the broadcast date and time.

Comment #95209

Posted by Karen on April 6, 2006 5:05 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #95210

Posted by karen on April 6, 2006 5:07 PM (e)

Correction: The Newshour is on at 7:00 p.m., not 8:00 p.m. (Sorry)

Comment #95216

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on April 6, 2006 5:30 PM (e)

In satire, Peter Dunkelberg suggests to “[j]ust concentrate on small enough details so you don’t have to face the pattern and wonder why it exists.”

Anti-evolutionists believe in a philosophical fractal approach to the problem, sometimes know as the ff approach. Once any small segment of the problem/structure can be shown to be irreducibly complex then that is an accurate representation of the larger picture. No designer would create a small part of a structure without having designed the whole thing. This saves them the trouble of answering questions about data collected by other scientists. It also has the additional advantage that they do not have to be experts in any field of study. The question is, does anyone give a f @#%^&$ f%$#& about their apologetics(1).

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

1. not to give undue credit, but not to leave anybody out, L. Flank has probably said this to some creationist sometime in some thread.

Comment #95219

Posted by Runner on April 6, 2006 5:35 PM (e)

In comment #95093 Peter Henderson said

Statements from Mr Ham like: “stars they’re younger than the Earth” are just nonsense. Either Ham doesn’t know anything about astronomy or he is lying. There is no scientific evidence that stars (including the sun) are younger than the Earth.

I know this isn’t relevant to the main discussion, but aren’t many stars younger than the earth? Astronomers have found gas clouds where stars are being born today (i.e. during the last 5,000 years or so). Our galaxy seems to be a mix of young and old stars. But this has no impact on the strong evidence that our planet and sun are approx. 4.5 billion years old.

Comment #95246

Posted by Peter Henderson on April 6, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

You are of course correct Runner. Ham though was referring to the fact that all stars were a mere couple of days younger than the Earth since they were created a few days after wards.

I know astronomers have found evidence of very young stars (in the order of a few million years) in the Crab nebula for example. Stars that are much larger than the sun live their lives very quickly and become supper novas after millions rather than billions of years. However, most of the stars in the milky way are thought to be Red Dwarfs. These have smaller masses than the sun. Many are a great deal older, and have much longer lifespans because of this. The point I was trying to make was that Ham is lying about the evidence that astronomers can clearly observe.

I wonder what lies they will come up with in relation to this important find.

Comment #95256

Posted by Martin Brazeau on April 6, 2006 8:37 PM (e)

Ghost of Paley wrote:

I see that Martin and Mr. Mates have replied to my critique. They make several good points, but as I will show later, they do not overturn by contention that Tiktaalik can not be seen as an intermediate on structural grounds; instead, it falsifies the very hypothesis that it was meant to support. More later.

Well, if that’s the case, then it was my mistake and not the material’s that’s for sure.

There is absolutely no question that Tiktaalik‘s branch intercalates between Eusthenopteron and earliest tetrapods. I will not even debate that point it is so categorically and obviously ridiculous.

I really want to know what you have to say about this material Paley. Please, if there were flaws in my arguments, let loose. But we here at the Thumb are interested in your dispute with the material, especially your prior claim about sutures.

This really should be fun.

Comment #95403

Posted by Peter Henderson on April 7, 2006 5:07 PM (e)

More from AiIG

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0406fishin.asp

As I suspected, it’s just another “Kind” of fish

Comment #95645

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 8, 2006 8:09 PM (e)

Martin, Ghost is busy playing sycophant to Berlisnki and can’t come back to play with you on this thread today.

maybe next week.

Comment #95702

Posted by Faidhon on April 9, 2006 10:06 AM (e)

Nah, he also got a little distracted over at ATBC, bragging about how he prevailed in the cladistics debate:

Even Mr. Brazeau conceded that several of his earlier criticisms of Arnason et al. were refuted in the literature, although this didn’t prevent him from launching several more. And the fact that Arnason’s work suffers from flaws does not erase the more egregious problems in the research Brazeau cited, which supports my earlier complaint of phylogenetic unreliability. But being such an expert thinker on all things fishy, I’m sure you were already aware of that.

So, it might take another week or so.

Comment #95736

Posted by The Ghost of Paley on April 9, 2006 4:00 PM (e)

Sorry for the continued delays - this weekend has been busier than expected. I will get the rebuttal up as soon as possible. But the more I study the fossil, the more of an outlier it seems to be. More soon.

Comment #95739

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 9, 2006 4:09 PM (e)

LOL.

gotta admit, you are a consistent glutton for punishment.

Comment #95741

Posted by RBH on April 9, 2006 4:41 PM (e)

Ghost wrote

I see that Martin and Mr. Mates have replied to my critique. They make several good points, but as I will show later, they do not overturn by contention that Tiktaalik can not be seen as an intermediate on structural grounds; instead, it falsifies the very hypothesis that it was meant to support. More later.

and

Sorry for the continued delays - this weekend has been busier than expected. I will get the rebuttal up as soon as possible. But the more I study the fossil, the more of an outlier it seems to be. More soon.

A couple of unrelated things about those remarks strike me as interesting.

First, of course, Ghost won’t actually be studying the fossil; he’ll be looking at pictures of it. I strongly doubt that Ghost is in Chicago peering at the fossil itself. I also doubt that Ghost is qualified to pronounce on it knowledgeably.

Second, the phraseology is strangely reminiscent of Paul Nelson here:

Quick note — I’m drafting an omnibus reply (to points raised here and in Shalizi’s commentary), with title and epigraph from a Rolling Stones song. I’ll post it tomorrow.

and here:

I’m lecturing at the University of Maine (Orono) today, but will try to post the reply when I return to Chicago tomorrow. It’s pretty long: I think I’ll put it up at ISCID and link from here.

‘Course, that was only a bit over two years ago. Maybe Ghost and Paul can get together and post an omnibus reply covering both ontogenetic depth and Tiktaalik roseae in one swell foop.

RBH

Comment #95747

Posted by steve s on April 9, 2006 5:12 PM (e)

Is GoP going to try to attack Tiktaalik’s place in common descent? On another thread here at PT, we find this:

The Discovery Institute, which promotes “intelligent design” as an alternative to Darwin, was quick to assert that Tiktaalik “poses no threat to [ID] … Few leading [ID] researchers have argued against the existence of transitional forms.”

So Paley, is the Discovery Institute wrong about this?

Comment #95751

Posted by Peter McGrath on April 9, 2006 5:40 PM (e)

Ah, but such sweet, smaller gaps.

Comment #95821

Posted by Heathen Dan on April 10, 2006 6:27 AM (e)

Has The Ghost of Paley ever replied to Martin’s beatdown? I want to see how Ghost could even begin to make his case.

Comment #96099

Posted by Chris Donihee on April 12, 2006 12:32 AM (e)

Is this fish nicknamed Fishapod??

Comment #96225

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 12, 2006 6:36 PM (e)

the more I study the fossil

And, uh, who the hell are you, and why should anyone give a flying fig about your opinion on the matter, again?

Comment #96232

Posted by Glen Davidson on April 12, 2006 7:48 PM (e)

But the more I study the fossil, the more of an outlier it seems to be. More soon.

Yes, in the fantasy world of static forms existing through time, at least until a redesign (“this year’s model is…”), all intermediates are outliers. Archaeopteryx is just a weird bird, Ichthyostega’s just an amphibian which happens to have fish characteristics.

Of course in evolutionary terms, Tiktaalik (anyone know how it’s pronounced?) is dead on as an intermediate, or rather, as a near relative of the actual intermediate. It hardly bridges a full gap between fish and amphibians, since we had Ichthyostega and other intermediate forms previously (I guess I’ll have to say it: Tiktaalik is being hyped outside of scientific circles as having been more of a “missing link” than it was. For one thing, Elpistostege had already been found, however it didn’t tell us much that we wanted to know, particularly about limb evolution).

Ichthyostega and Acanthothostega are fine, later, intermediate forms, but these don’t reveal much about the evolution of limbs. It wasn’t that we were lacking in telling intermediate forms, then, but there were crucial developments of an “intermediate” nature that we wished to know about.

A fossil like Tiktaalik was specifically targeted by investigators looking at sediments from the right time to have our fish/amphibian ancestor, as well as the closely related Tiktaalik. Tiktaalik is about as far from an outlier as any transitional form can be that we’re ever likely to find. As one of the definitive papers in Nature puts it, it is a taxon “that is remarkably intermediate between Panderichthys and early tetrapods.” Edward Daeschler, Neil H. Shubin & Farish A. Jenkins Jr. A Devonian tetrapod-like fish and the evoluion of the tetrapod body plan 440: 757-763 Nature 6 Apr. 2006. p. 757.

Of course the authors relate how and why they wrote that quote. And of course we know why GoP writes that Tiktaalik is an outlier, the reason simply being because it has to be treated as anything but what it is, a remarkable intermediate form sought and found in exactly the age of strata which would be expected to produce a good intermediate limb forms. It is denied by anti-evolutionists for the same reason that it is accepted by scientists, because it fits into evolution according to entailed (if contingent) evolutionary predictions.

And yes, there is no revolutionary leap in design, of the sort that one might expect from an interventionist designer. It may have been the “most advanced model of its time” (for that lineage, and “advanced” only insofar as we look back with teleological eyes at our own origins), so to speak, but like any uncreative product of a tired company, it has only been tweaked a bit and is appallingly derivative by competent design standards.

Which leads me to where I had not expected to go: How can any proper religious apologist believe in such an uncreative “Creator”? Wouldn’t creativity, rather than derivation, mark the work of any truly intelligent designer? But while any honest design hypothesis predicts creativity in the usual sense meant by humans, evolution predicts what we see, extremely derivative “products” which are “creative” only through the accumulation and integration of changes that do not deviate markedly from what had existed a short time before.

This is why Tiktaalik is a triumph of “predictive paleontology”. For, life on earth has never shown itself to undergo radical breaks from the past, thus we can figure out roughly where the intermediates and their close relatives must be in the sedimentary layers (no doubt we will be surprised in some cases, as we are in all historical sciences). Tiktaalik was found precisely because it is not an outlier to any considerable extent, rather it was much like what had been expected and predicted.

So science shows its worth, and anti-science demonstrates its ability to deny credit to science. But if they could deny the meaning of Ichthyostega, the somewhat more intermediate Tiktaalik is likewise deniable by the same confluence of ignorance and the inability or refusal to understand proper scientific inference.

What did we think, that intelligence would simply win out over ignorance? I don’t doubt that reasons will be found throughout time to disagree with science and its methods, since desires and evidence often fail to match up in the primate brain.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #100100

Posted by mark on May 6, 2006 2:55 PM (e)

wheres the fingers and toes ?
evolution is a morons religion that is constantly evolving Ive yet to see the thousands of transitional forms darwin said would be found just species after its own kind. and no doubt fabrications like a pigs tooth made out to be a missing link like the other LIES of the PEA_BRAINED belivers in evolution.
Even the greatest scientist of our era (Einstien)acknowledged the existance of God.Everybody on this board will die and get the answer they deserve

Comment #100102

Posted by Anton Mates on May 6, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

mark wrote:

Even the greatest scientist of our era (Einstien)acknowledged the existance of God.

“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

–Albert Einstein

Comment #100110

Posted by Glen Davidson on May 6, 2006 3:54 PM (e)

Even the greatest scientist of our era (Einstien)acknowledged the existance of God.Everybody on this board will die and get the answer they deserve

I like the anticipation of God’s violence seen here. Sort of gives it all away, doesn’t it?

Anyway, the misspellings just sort of add the garnish to a post by a stupid person.

Too bad for you that Einstein wasn’t a creationist or IDist, huh mark?

Einstein’s “God”, the Spinozan Deus sive Natura, did not use miracles. Period. It’s time for you to put your money where your mouth is, follow Einstein’s lead, and refuse to believe in miracles.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #100120

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on May 6, 2006 5:53 PM (e)

Even the greatest scientist of our era (Einstien)acknowledged the existance of God

Not true. (shrug)

But even if it WAS true, so what? I thought ID was *science* and didn’t have anything to do with god or religion.

Or were IDers just lying to us, under oath, when they testified to that in court?

Bythe way, you DO understand that most people who accept evolution are not atheists. Right? You DO understand that …?

Comment #100137

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 6, 2006 7:51 PM (e)

wheres the fingers and toes ?

“Where’s the beef!”

I think creos should adopt that slogan as their mantra. then they too could be just as respected as a loudmouthed little old lady, and maybe the more well known among them could do commercials for fast food restaurants.

Comment #100289

Posted by Dan on May 8, 2006 4:06 PM (e)

What Did They Really Find?
The authors summarize their discovery of Tiktaalik in the following manner: “Overall, the skeleton of Tiktaalik is that of a flat-bodied animal with raised and dorsally placed eyes, a mobile neck, imbricate ribs, and a pectoral girdle and forefin capable of complex movements and substrate support” (Daeschler, et al., 2006, 440:762). Simply put, these researchers found some fossilized remains of a unique aquatic fish that we had not yet discovered. Once you get beyond those facts, we find ourselves firmly embedded in the land of speculation. As Ahlberg and Clack admitted: “In some respects, Tiktaalik and Panderichthys are straightforward fishes: they have small pelvic fins, retain fin rays in their paired appendages and have well-developed gill arches, suggesting that both animals remained mostly aquatic” (440:748, emp. added). But what about this fin that Shubin makes such a big deal about? Ahlberg and Clack remarked: “It turns out that the distal part of the skeleton is adapted for flexing gently upwards—just as it would be if the fin were being used to prop the animal up” (440:748). Further: “Although these small distal bones bear some resemblance to tetrapod digits in terms of their function and range of movement, they are still very much components of a fin (440:748, emp. added).

So let me get this straight. It possesses characteristics that are very much like a fish, and yet all of the media outlets act like this creature was out walking on the land?! Before just blindly accepting the headlines presented in the media one should ask just what can we learn from a fossil dug out of the ground. Without a living specimen, can scientists know how a creature lived in the environment? Can we know the diet or the movements of the creature? Without preserved soft-tissue, can we determine what the internal organs looked like? The answer to all of these questions (and more) is a resounding “no.” Fossilized remains can only tell us so much about a creature. Once we go beyond what the physical evidence reveals, we begin seeing phrases such as “it is possible,” “it probably happened this way,” “many have suggested,” “could very well have,” or “we believe.” All of which are subjective speculation on the author’s part.

One interesting point that readers should consider as they contemplate this latest “missing link” is that the team who reported this find specifically set out to find a missing link. Ahlberg and Clack reported: “The Nunavut field project had the express aim of finding an intermediate between Panderichthys and tetrapods, by searching in sediments from the most probable environment (rivers) and time (late Devonian)” (2006, 440:747). Why did these scientists set out to discover a missing link? Maybe it had something to do with the statement from Daeschler’s team that the “origin of major tetrapod features has remained obscure for lack of fossils that document the sequence of evolutionary changes” (440:757). Maybe because there was such a huge gap in the evolutionary fossil record in getting creatures onto the land. Or maybe it was because evolutionists realized just how many holes had been poked into their beloved theory in the past few years—necessitating a major shoring up.

from Apologetics Press

Comment #100295

Posted by vandalhooch on May 8, 2006 5:56 PM (e)

Dan spouted …

Without a living specimen, can scientists know how a creature lived in the environment? Can we know the diet or the movements of the creature? Without preserved soft-tissue, can we determine what the internal organs looked like? The answer to all of these questions (and more) is a resounding “no.”

Take a course in comparative anatomy. Give a key bone to a specialist and see if they can determine mode of movement. Give a mammologist a set of teeth and ask them for the diet of the ‘unknown’ mammal. Your level of ignorance about form and function is astounding.

Why did these scientists set out to discover a missing link? Maybe it had something to do with the statement from Daeschler’s team that the “origin of major tetrapod features has remained obscure for lack of fossils that document the sequence of evolutionary changes” (440:757). Maybe because there was such a huge gap in the evolutionary fossil record in getting creatures onto the land. Or maybe it was because evolutionists realized just how many holes had been poked into their beloved theory in the past few years—necessitating a major shoring up.

So scientists should not be looking for new information? We shouldn’t be attempting to fill in the gaps of our knowledge? What the hell do you think science is? These guys did not spend thousands of research dollars with the goal of finding another fossil to wave in the faces of fundies. They were doing it for the sheer pleasure of being scientists. If you don’t like how its done, feel free to give up all that science has brought you.

PS: I’m going to give a preemptive “Go away troll” statement as a prediction on your future response.

Vandalhooch

Comment #100304

Posted by Anton Mates on May 8, 2006 10:38 PM (e)

Dan wrote:

So let me get this straight. It possesses characteristics that are very much like a fish, and yet all of the media outlets act like this creature was out walking on the land?!

I think I’m about to blow your mind.

Comment #101330

Posted by Henry J on May 18, 2006 10:21 PM (e)

Those mudskippers are cute little guys, aren’t they? :)

Comment #101333

Posted by KiwiInOz on May 18, 2006 10:49 PM (e)

And then there are eels. I’ve seen longfinned eels (Anguilla dieffenbachii) wriggling across the land. They are reputed to move quite a distance between waterbodies, usually over dew-wet grass. They wriggle rather than walk though. Slimy buggers.

Comment #101346

Posted by Anton Mates on May 19, 2006 1:13 AM (e)

Yeah, but apparently they all violate the laws of nature or transgress against the Word of God somehow. Someone should let them know, maybe they’ll stay in the water where they belong.

Comment #101458

Posted by Henry J on May 19, 2006 11:45 PM (e)

Re “They are reputed to move quite a distance between waterbodies, usually over dew-wet grass. “

Without violating the SLoT??? :)