AIG: Transitional Species Are Really “Mosaics”

Today you’re going to see the practice of apologetics carried to an unprecedented level. We’re referring to a new article at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. That site is the brain-child of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian creationist who also brought you the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

The article we’re discussing is Mystifying Mosaics. The author is Kurt Wise, described at the article’s end as “the professor of science and theology at Southern Theological Seminary. He earned his PhD in geology from Harvard University and has published numerous articles on biblical geology.”

The article begins with a charming introduction, which looks like a throwback to what we imagine was the view of things before Darwin’s theory became known and accepted. Here it is:

The marvelous diversity of life — from pronghorns to pandas — reveals something, but what? Each organism has a unique combination of traits perfectly suited for its needs. It appears that the complex, all-wise, triune Creator left His mark in every thread in the tapestry of creation.

Amazing, right? No one has any idea what it’s all about, therefore Oogity Boogity! Then we’re given some vivid descriptions of creatures that were regarded as quite unusual when they were first described, such as the platypus, the pronghorn deer, and the so-called red panda. The author says that these are “examples of animals that possess a mosaic of traits we wouldn’t expect to find together in one animal.” Jeepers — it’s a mystery!

Now that you’re hooked, let’s get into the article. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

These images don’t evoke design. At least, that was [Stephen Jay] Gould’s argument in a book about the clumsy appearance of the panda’s thumb.

However, a closer look at mosaics suggests otherwise. The panda’s thumb, for example, turns out to allow greater clamping precision than is possible with our thumbs. Similarly, the platypus bill is remarkably designed to detect electric fields of the animals it eats. Likewise the pronghorn, which is in the running for the title of “fastest land animal on the planet,” is hardly an example of poor design.

Hey, they’re well-designed after all. Let’s read on:

I suggest that mosaics are actually a common feature of God’s world, by design. On God’s magnificent easel of creation, He spoke into being one grand, magnificent mosaic that incorporated a diverse array of distinct organisms.

If you could plot all the distinct created “kinds” of organisms on a graph, based on their features, you would see that God filled the graph with a tapestry of distinct kinds. Between these different kinds God scattered mosaics. For instance, between deer and antelope kinds He put pronghorns; between raccoon and bear kinds He put pandas; and so it goes.

They’re not only designed, but they were created as part of a tapestry. Who knew? We continue:

Yet those who reject the Creator can twist the message of these mosaics. If they want to see similarities among organisms as evidence of genetic relationships, rather than God’s design, then they call the mosaics genetic “intermediates.” When mosaics are found between two groups that they believe to be related by evolution, they herald these mosaics as evolutionary “links.”

Egad! What kind of scoundrel could make such a suggestion? Everyone knows there are no transitional links. Here’s more:

There is an altogether different, and biblical, way to interpret mosaics in the fossil record. If God created a tapestry of different ecosystems before Noah’s Flood, we would find different creatures living in ecosystems right next to each other. It’s reasonable to expect that God occasionally created intermediate environments between ecosystems and placed mosaics into that environment. If this is true, and if the rising Flood waters took out one ecosystem at a time, then the Flood might have occasionally buried mosaics in a layer between two other, similar organisms.

Wow! That explains everything! Moving along:

All examples of evolutionary links that have ever been claimed, such as australopithecines (between tree-dwelling apes and earth-dwelling humans), archaeocetes (between quadrupeds and modern whales), mammal-like reptiles (between reptiles and mammals), Archaeopteryx (between reptiles and birds), and Tiktaalik and Acanthostega (between fish and amphibians) are, in fact, mosaics, not links.

Repeat that a few times, dear reader: “Mosaics, not links.” Do it again. Keep doing it until it sinks in.

There’s much more to the AIG article. Go on over there and read it all to get the full picture. Then rejoice in your new creationist understanding. And always remember: They’re mosaics, not links.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “AIG: Transitional Species Are Really “Mosaics”

  1. ed costlow m.d.

    mosaics all the way downnnn…or should i say all the way upppp.—cherubim,seraphim..a new mantra.

  2. Yeah, how do evilutionists explain the Jackalope, the werewolf, centaurs, and dragons? Evolution couldn’t produce chimeras like those are.

    You want to discuss things like birds and platypuses, whose forms do have antecedents in their ancestors. Why don’t you explain Jackalopes, which have parts of completely unrelated animals?

  3. This is an interesting way of addressing the fact that there are numerous links in the fossil record. Up to now I believed that AiG generally denied their existence at all, now they are adopting a strategy of accepting their existence by renaming them mosaics, and even proposing a way for them to be buried in sediments between the fossils they link. It seems to me this is new.

    I wish a AiG would publish a clear classification system showing what they conclude to be the created “kinds”, and what organisms they accept to have “micro-evolved” within the kinds. It would be interesting to see what they believe the gaps to be, that are not bridged by common ancestors or intermediate forms. Oh, sorry, that might be a scientific question….

  4. Wow! I guess I’m out of a job. All this explains everything in biology. What do we need biologists for anymore? Really, I can’t believe the bulls**t that AiG continues to put out. But, why should I be suprised.

  5. I wonder if Ham proofread that article?
    QUOTE: “the platypus bill is remarkably designed to detect electric fields of the animals it eats.”
    According to the imported Ham, all critters were vegetarians including
    such as sabre tooth tigers.

  6. Until the “fall” or “after the flood” or whatever.

  7. The platypus ate vegetarians which makes it OK.

    Just like us eating cows.

    Or pineapples.

  8. Wow, and now what to make of DNA annealing studies? Homologous genes? What to make of the genetics that establishes animal relations *separately* from taxonomy or the fossil record???

  9. @Glen Davidson:

    We know that jackalopes and other non-existent things are intelligently designed. Being intelligently designed is not a guarantee of existence. While intelligent design is not a particularly helpful explanation for things that exist, where it really shines is for explaining things which cannot exist.

  10. krissmith777

    I used to be a creationist. And when I was a creationist, for some reason I was never able to swollow the “it is a mosaic” argument… I only say it as another way as saying “It is a transitional fossil, but we just do not want to admit it.”

  11. Curmudgeon: “There’s much more to the AIG article.”

    Anything about the Discoveroids, most of whom accept common descent or “play dumb” about it? Since they don’t have that prior commitment to (methodological) naturalism that we “Darwinists” have, they should “know better.” And that ought to make them the worst offenders in AiG’s eyes. Please tell me that AiG takes them to task thoroughly, and doesn’t walk on eggs for the sake of the big tent.

  12. LRA: “What to make of the genetics that establishes animal relations *separately* from taxonomy or the fossil record???”

    Simple. When you have 2 or more independent lines of evidence, you have 2 or more independent lines of “weaknesses” that you can trot out to fool the public. That’s the “first commandment” of pseudoscience. Even most people who are capable of knowing better rarely take the time to see that they have been conned.

  13. Wise wrote

    Each organism has a unique combination of traits perfectly suited for its needs.

    How come I have back problems?