One of the most common objections to the theory of evolution that we see repeated by creationists is that there are no transitional species, and therefore creationism must be true. This is rather laughable.
When they claim that there are no transitional fossils, we just link to Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils. But sometimes they babble about the lack of living transitionals — and they always demand to be shown impossible creatures, like the Crocoduck.
A crocoduck, however, is an evolutionary impossibility. We touched on that in Where Are The Anachronistic Fossils?, where we said to the creationists:
Show us a creature that is impossible, considering what should have been its evolutionary ancestry. For example, the precursors of mammals and birds had already diverged from their common reptilian ancestor before the evolution of what we would recognize as mammals and birds. Because mammals and birds emerged from such well-separated lines of descent, there should be no mammals with feathered wings, at least not according to the theory of evolution. We want to see something that had to be specially created — perhaps a Pegasus — a species that can’t fit into the tree of life. In other words, if evolution theory is wrong and species exist that couldn’t possibly have evolved, then show us the evidence!
Got that? An impossible creature like a crocoduck isn’t something that evolutionists need to produce in order to validate their theory. Rather, it’s something that contradicts the theory, and it’s the creationists who should be looking for such things.
But what about genuine living transitionals? We’ve discussed this before. Every living species is probably a transitional species, unless it will go extinct. Its distant descendants, millions of generations from now, won’t be the same. The gene pool changes with every generation. But can obvious transitionals be identified? That’s difficult, looking at things from the viewpoint of just one generation. But sometimes we can see species that seem to be in transition.
Some obvious examples would be those that live (or at least have bodies that function) in two very different environments — like seals, flying squirrels, and walking catfish. They seem like good candidates, but we won’t know what their descendants will be like for a very long time.
Today we have another living transitional for you, which we found in an article from PhysOrg: Secrets of the legless, leaping land fish (w/ Video). They say, with some bold font added by us:
One of the world’s strangest animals – a legless, leaping fish that lives on land – uses camouflage to avoid attacks by predators such as birds, lizards and crabs, new research shows.
UNSW [University of New South Wales] researchers, Dr Terry Ord and Courtney Morgans, of the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, studied the unique fish – Pacific leaping blennies – in their natural habitat on the tropical island of Guam.
Wikipedia has a brief article on them — Leaping blenny (a/k/a jumping blenny) — but we’ll stay with PhysOrg. Let’s read a bit more:
“This terrestrial fish spends all of its adult life living on the rocks in the splash zone, hopping around defending its territory, feeding and courting mates. They offer a unique opportunity to discover in a living animal how the transition from water to the land has taken place,” says Dr Ord, of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences.
“These species provide an evolutionary snapshot of each stage of the land invasion by fish,” says Dr Ord.
That’s enough. You can click over there to read it all, if you like. We think it’s a good example of a living transitional species. To be sure, it’s no crocoduck, but no evolutionist expects to see one of those. We’ll leave their discovery to the creationists. If they ever find such a thing, we’ll be the first to admit that the theory of evolution can’t account for it.
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