Canadian Museum Has Sixty Tiktaalik Fossils

Darwin Fish

This isn’t ground-breaking news, but it’s the sort of thing that drives creationists crazy so it’s worth mentioning. Everyone knows about Tiktaalik, the discovery of which neatly explodes just about every creationist myth — see The Lessons of Tiktaalik.

In the Globe and Mail of Toronto, the most populous city in Canada and the capital of Ontario, we read Fossils of four-legged fish found in Arctic back in Canada and on display. The newspaper has a comments feature. Here are some excerpts from the story, with bold font added by us:

A 375-million-year-old fossil of a primitive fish that also sports features of the first four-limbed creatures is now in the hands of the Canadian Museum of Nature, the museum announced Tuesday. The transitional fossil, known as Tiktaalik, has a flat head and a neck like tetrapods but also has fins, scales and gills like fish. Its discovery is said to have dramatically advanced our understanding of the evolution of finned to limbed animals.

The fossil is 375-million years-old? That’s blasphemy! Let’s read on:

American researchers discovered the fossil in 2004 on southern Ellesmere Island. Their subsequent studies garnered worldwide headlines for what the fossil reveals about the early evolution of vertebrates — when fish first ventured onto land.

Just for laughs, we went to Ol’ Hambo’s website and found a few articles dismissing the discovery. Here’s one from 2007: Tiktaalik and the Fishy Story of Walking Fish, which concludes with this:

Sadly, “unfounded notions” of this kind continue to be uncritically taught and accepted in the popular media and in our schools. Even more sadly, these unfounded notions have been used to undermine the authority of Holy Scripture.

It’s just a “fishy story.” BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We continue with the Globe and Mail:

Tiktaalik is the star of a group of fossils found in the high arctic and now brought home to Canada by the American scientists. “Now that our primary research is completed, the return of these fossils to Canada and their access at the Canadian Museum of Nature makes new discoveries possible by other scientists with questions about the evolution of life,” Edward (Ted) Daeschler, one of the researchers, said in a statement.

That was very thoughtful. Here’s more:

The fossils include about 60 specimens of Tiktaalik roseae, with three or four that show the skull, shoulders, and fins. Another 120 pieces of two other specimens of lobe-finned fossil fish dating from the Late Devonian Period are among them.

Sixty specimens! Adding further to the discomfort of creationists, the Devonian period, according to Wikipedia, is “about 419.2 ± 3.2 Mya (million years ago), to the beginning of the Carboniferous Period, about 358.9 ± 0.4.[5] It is named after Devon, England, where rocks from this period were first studied.” That was a wee tad before the Garden of Eden. One last excerpt:

“The Canadian Museum of Nature is grateful to accept these fossils for future scientific research, where they will be curated as part of the Nunavut collections,” said Mark Graham, museum vice-president. Inuit elders in Nunavut named Tiktaalik, an Inuktitut term for burbot, a type of fish.

That’s it. Canada now has sixty of those fossils. Let’s see what the creationists have to say about this. In all likelihood, they’ll ignore it. They’re very skilled — if that’s the word — at ignoring reality.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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21 responses to “Canadian Museum Has Sixty Tiktaalik Fossils

  1. Christine Janis

    All that many fish, all buried together — prove positive of The Flood, I’d say.

  2. Yes, Christine Janis, everything is proof of the Flood — except for the wild proliferation of species over the next 4,000 years from then to now, all from one boatload of only a few thousand “kinds.”

  3. Diogenes' Lamp

    Before Tiktaalik returned to Canada, it was on a tour of museums, and I saw it a couple weeks ago. I bumped into Ted Daeschler and we had a nice chat.

  4. docbill1351

    I saw Tiktaalik on tour in Denver. They opened for Taylor Swift. Great band, but their music is a bit dated.

  5. docbill1351

    If you haven’t read Shubin’s “Your Inner Fish,” about the discovery of Tiktaalik and our evolutionary similarities with our fish cousins, please pick up a copy. It’s very readable, interesting and understandable.

    One thing worth noting. Shubin didn’t just fly up to Canada and pick up this fossil. Nope, it was the result of 17 years of field work and their fortuitous find came near the last season for which he had funding. If they had zigged instead of zagged during that ultimate prospecting hike then Tiktaalik would still be buried and unknown. Truly an example of preparation meets opportunity.

  6. No, my dear SC, everything is proof of the Flood and so is that wild proliferation. Why you maintain that we creacrappers reject evolution is beyond me. We reject Darwinian evolution, because it’s immoral, denies god and justified Hitler and Stalin and Barack Obama. But we creacrappers are totally OK with evolution within Biblical kinds – the same kinds you mention. Because a fox remains a fox, whether it’s a red fox or an arctic fox and a duck doesn’t become a crocodile. Or have you ever seen a crocoduck? And it it doesn’t compute there is always the Mighty Hand of Our Creator Who For Some Mysterious Reason Has Blinded all the atheist materialist darwinist hitlerist marxist stalinist obamaist evilutionists.

  7. /\ /\ /\ /\
    An excellent example showing why the modern hominid gene pool needs chlorine.
    (Thanks to Seth Andrews for this wonderful saying.)

  8. @mnbo

    The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger. The only difference that can exist within the species must be in the various degrees of structural strength and active power, in the intelligence, efficiency, endurance, etc., with which the individual specimens are endowed.

  9. Diogenes' Lamp

    I assume Sensh will blog about Klinghitler blaming the Charleston murders on Charlie Darwin:

  10. Yes, Diogenes’ Lamp, I’m working on it now. Be patient.

  11. Christine Janis

    I just posted this evolutionnews item on Facebook. I encourage everyone to do the same — people need to know that these people are not only shameless but completely out of their minds.

  12. docbill recommends reading Shubin’s “Your Inner Fish”.

    For those like me who are less literate, I recommend his three-part PBS series by the same name as well. Filmed on location on scenic Ellesmere Island. It truly highlights the rigors of field research.

  13. Derek Freyberg

    @docbill and @retiredsciguy:

    I think both the book and the series are worthwhile – you get different aspects of the story from them. Shubin both writes and presents wonderfully.

  14. I can’t help compare and contrast the state of paleontology today versus 1962, when Morris & Whitcomb published The Genesis Flood and thereby launched the “creation science” movement. Wow. Sixty Tiktaalik in one museum. That’s yet another treasure chest of gold piled on top of the enormous mountain of evidence supporting the theory of evolution. The pile keeps getting bigger, while the denialists keep throwing the same worthless junk into the deep hole they’ve dug for themselves.

    Today, paleontologists study so many more cataloged fossils and so many former gaps in lineages have been explained by new fossil discoveries–many found where and when (in terms of strata) evolution theory predicted scientists would find them. In the past half century there have been so many exciting discoveries, and museum storerooms are overflowing with a veritable wealth of data. Tiktaalik is just one of many spectacular examples of the predictive successes of the theory of evolution. (The mapping of Human chromosome #2 and the explanation of its embedded telomeres ties with Tiktaalik for the top spot in my own personal ranking of favorite evolution theory predictions. I consider them incredibly strong, slam-dunk arguments for evolution.)

    So when I reflect upon the impressive progress of paleontology scholarship, I also can’t help but compare the state of “creation science” and “flood geology” today versus 1962. Imagine: Drs. Morris, Whitcomb, and Gish claimed to have established an entire new** field of science, “creation science”, which somehow managed to produce not a single scientific discovery in over half a century!

    [I’ve challenged creationists in countless forums, both online and off, to list and rank their top three, most significant CS discoveries. The very few who attempted a response at all point to popular Intelligent Design themes, such as “They discovered Specified Complexity” or “Irreducible Complexity.” Yet both concepts are basically declarations of not knowing and ignores the fact that real scientists do understand and continue to learn more details of how “IC” phenomena like flagella, blood clotting, immune systems, intracellular transport, and many other mechanisms of cells most likely evolved. Of course, posting my challenge at the Answers in Genesis Facebook page–even though I tactfully worded it as if I were a young YEC simply wanting to list the most important breakthroughs/discoveries of “creation science”–got my comment deleted within 20 minutes. When I twice reworded and reposted my question, I finally got myself banned.]

    Just as significantly, despite a half century gone by, “creation science theory” made no scientific predictions which were later affirmed and reinforced by new discoveries and new evidence (e.g., Tiktaalik or even genome mapping and comparisons.) OK, I must admit that some YECs nevertheless claim–with a straight face, mind you!– that Tiktaalik reaffirmed “flood geology” because the animal is yet another example of a sea creature found on dry land because Noah’s Flood covered the entire planet. (Yes, that claim fails on so many levels that it makes my brain ache.)

    ** FOOTNOTE: In those early days of the “creation science” movement, the leaders sometimes considered themselves to be pioneers of a new field science which combined the modern day tools of science (e.g., electron microscope, cyclotrons) with “the science of the Bible” (e.g., the chronology found in Genesis 1.) Yet, at other times they viewed themselves as the only truly genuine scientists who were the faithful successors and stewards of the genuine science which Bacon, Newton, Descartes, Lavoisier, Priestly and other Christian pioneers of modern science had given the world. As in so many other contexts, YEC leaders were never hesitant to self-contradict in such a manner–even in front of the same Christian audience in another session of the conference later in the same day.

    (Thus, uniformitarianism would be the devil incarnate at the Saturday morning plenary session–but after lunch the “101 Evidences for a Young Earth” presentations were almost entirely based on extrapolating modern day “rates” of physical processes into the past. Rarely did someone during the audience Q&A segment express their confusion at the obvious contradiction. I got the impression that everybody assumed that they were the only one seeing an apparent contradiction and they usually remained silent so as to not “sound like an atheist” . Few dared to project even the tiniest insinuation that one of the “creation scientist” speakers was wrong and blatantly self-contradictory. Speakers like Gish, Morris, and Whitcomb had nearly prophet-likes status–although I got a lot of flack when I wrote a paper entitled Prophets for Profit? which identified misrepresentation of scientific terms and evidence and listed some deceptive quote-mines, though I don’t recall using the term quote-mine back then.)

  15. Dave Luckett

    I have recently come across a creationist on the net who claimed that Tiktaalik was nothing more than a small crocodile. Of course, Poe’s Law rules, but nevertheless…

  16. “…a creationist on the net who claimed that Tiktaalik was nothing more than a small crocodile.”

    Yeah, them vertebrate paleontologists don’t know nothin’. However, a crocodile from the Devonian would be quite a find.
    for that matter, ANY reptile from the Devonian would be quite a find.

  17. Christine Janis

    @ Dave

    No, it’s no joke — there are websites out there that claim that Tiktaalik is just a Chinese alligator. When I challenged one creationist about this, about how could it have fish-like fins, he said that the fins stuck out of its neck and so it died while choking to death on eating a fish.

    You really couldn’t make this stuff up — it takes a creationist mind set.


  18. @Christine Janis
    There are those fundamentalists who say that carnivory appeared only after the Flood. (That would solve the problem of feeding carnivores on the Ark.)

  19. Christine Janis

    I think it would make the problem worse —- bales of hay, etc., are a lot more bulky than flesh (although they probably wouldn’t go off as quickly).

    Maybe that’s the explanation for many now-extinct animals — -they *were* on the ark but Noah decided to sacrifice them to feed the carnivores.