Discovery Institute: Tiktaalik — a “Fraudulent” Transitional Fossil

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!

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12 responses to “Discovery Institute: Tiktaalik — a “Fraudulent” Transitional Fossil

  1. How did Luskin ever complete law school? That was some of the worst logic I have ever heard outside of CrIDer loons.

    Since when does saying one fossil is better than another the same as saying the latter was useless? These guys over simplify everything and have no understanding of subtlety.

    For crying out loud, the discovery of another fossil showing transitional features does not invalidate all the rest, it augments them.

    I wish those IDiots weren’t so gutless and allowed comments. The crap they spew frustrates the hell out me.

  2. Their thinking is truly awful. I find it increasingly painful to read through their blog articles in order to compose rebuttals. I’d gladly stop if I thought they had no audience. But I’m afraid they have a cadre of useful idiots all over the country who gobble up their nonsense.

  3. Curmudgeon wrote:
    “Their thinking is truly awful.”

    You are using the word “thinking” rather loosely, no? I’m afraid that there is NO evidence, no matter how compelling, no matter how undeniable, that will ever be accepted by creationists as showing that evolution has occurred.

  4. retiredsciguy says:

    I’m afraid that there is NO evidence, no matter how compelling, no matter how undeniable, that will ever be accepted by creationists as showing that evolution has occurred.

    One hears of the occasional creationist who came to his senses, but such cases are so rare as to make any kind of rational “mission” to the creationist world a hopelessly worthless endeavor. Feelgood stuff, maybe, but unproductive.

    I’ve argued before that debates with creationists never have any affect on the creationist. It’s all about reaching young minds in the audience.

  5. Over the years, Talk Origins has had several people admit the information there convinced them of the validity of evolution, but from what I can see, they were already doubting what they had been told.

    What you do, and what places like TO do, is give information to fence sitters to help them make the right decision.

    If I had the time, I would be doing exactly what you do.

  6. mightyfrijoles

    I think Curmy is more in the “prevention” mode – preventing Creationism from spreading, rather than the evangelical conversion mode, which, as stated above ain’t got a chance in Hell of working.

    I think he is also looking for his very own Miss Piggy.

  7. Can anyone show me a transitional creationist coming to his senses? I didn’t think so, they don’t exist.

  8. Very few since Darwin’s generation.

  9. I am a creationist. It is going to take more than a few bones and a theory to convince me that there are any fossil links. Evolution just can not be possible, it is not reasonable, nor logical. It is silly science.

  10. Ray, how about several million bones along with other fossils and a theory that has held us to 150 years of testing and challenges, including the discovery of genetics which gave abundant evidence for common descent. Of course all this probably means nothing to you, particularly if you think creationism is possible, reasonable, and logical. I’ll stop now before Curdge gets mad at me feeding the trolls.

  11. Albanaeon says: “I’ll stop now before Curdge gets mad at me feeding the trolls.”

    Relax. He won’t be back, but we’ll let his comment stay. It’s a good example of creationist thinking.

  12. Thanks. I just have an involuntary reaction towards stupidity. Like a cockroach, it must be squished.