THE DISCOVERY of Tiktaalik in 2004 was justifiably heralded as one of the great moments in evolutionary biology. Tiktaalik is an intermediate form between fish and four-legged land-dwelling animals like amphibians.
Because creationists are forever lying about the alleged absence of transitional fossils, they were both horrified and furious at the discovery of Tiktaalik, and they’re not done venting about it. Casey Luskin, the most entertaining of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids), has just posted this Discoveroid blog article: The Rise and Fall of Tiktaalik? Darwinists Admit “Quality” of Evolutionary Icon is “Poor” in Retroactive Confession of Ignorance.
After a few links to events that annoy him (like a TV show about the Dover trial), Casey begins with this (bold added for emphasis):
Clearly, Darwin’s public relations team has invested much rhetorical capital into this fossil. If past experience is to be our guide, the only event that might cause Darwinists to criticize Tiktaalik would be the publishing of a fossil that was claimed to better document evolution.
What’s he saying — “Darwin’s public relations team has invested much rhetorical capital into this fossil …”? We have become familiar with Discoveroid blather, so we’ll guide you through some of Casey’s errors. First, unlike the Discoveroids, Darwin doesn’t need a public relations team. Evolutionary biology has science on its side, and that is sufficient. It’s Casey and his colleagues who are engaged in public relations. Second, news stories about Tiktaalik wen’t an example of rhetoric. Tiktaalik is a fact. It’s one of those transitional forms that creationists hate, because even one transitional form blows away their magical “theory” of special creation. And as we all know, there are far more than one, e.g.: List of transitional fossils.
What about that expression in Casey’s title, “Retroactive Confession of Ignorance”? Here’s what his cutting-edge intellect says about it:
In the past, I have called such events [the publishing of a fossil that was claimed to better document evolution], evolutionist “retroactive confessions of ignorance.”
Observe what Casey is saying — if we find a really striking transitional fossil, and later we find one that is even more striking, then the later finding “proves” that our enthusiasm over the earlier fossil was — according to Casey — ignorance, retroactively exposed by the later find. Fortunately for Casey and his Discoveroid colleagues, nothing like that will ever happen to them, because they never discover anything. They are supremely confident that what they know (creationism) will never be enhanced by any better form of creationism. It’s perfect as it is.
Casey then mentions a fossil named Panderichthys, which is currently said to be an even better transitional example than Tiktaalik, and he refers to an article about an interview with the scientist who found it. Now we have two transitionals going from fish to land animals. Even more support for evolution, right? Not in Casey’s mind.
First, Casey jumps on that scientist’s statement that: “The disposition of distal radials in Panderichthys are much more tetrapod-like than in Tiktaalik.” He then becomes elated at a statement that the specimen of Panderichthys is better quality than Tiktaalik, and he declares:
The “quality” of Tiktaalik as a fossil specimen was “poor”? When did we see Darwinists admit this previously? Never. They wouldn’t dare make such admissions until they thought they had something better.
See? Casey has figured it out — each new discovery disproves an earlier discovery. Egad! We’ve been caught! Casey then goes on to apply his own keen analysis to these fossils. We’ll spare you a description of his “findings.” Finally, he wraps it up with this brilliant conclusion:
My main observation is this: if Panderichthys is dethroning Tiktaalik as the icon of the fish-to-tetrapod transition, what does that say about all the hype we’ve seen surrounding Tiktaalik? It says that “poor” and “primitive” Tiktaalik was never all it was hyped up to be.
Right, Casey. Those “Darwinists” don’t know what they’re talking about. Only you guys — in your Seattle “think tank” — have the answers. The Discoveroid answer to every scientific question is — The magic Designer did it! Oogity Boogity!