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. 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.
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