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Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Missing Link" is a fishy story

April 10, 2006 - 'Missing link' claim for fossils debunked by creationist group

Full Story from the Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Not missing a beat, a leading creation science organization responded quickly to the latest well-publicized "missing link" claim by evolutionary researchers.

This time, The New York Times, USA Today and other media outlets trumpeted the discovery of fossils near the North Pole said to belong to a 375-million-year-old fish. The finding by a team of researchers, led by Neil H. Shurbin of the University of Chicago, initially was reported in Nature magazine April 6.

...The fish, known as "Tiktaalik," "is a long-sought missing link in the evolution of some fishes from water to a life walking on four limbs on land," as described by The New York Times. The Times also described the fossils as being "widely seen by scientists as a powerful rebuttal to religious creationists, who hold a literal biblical view on the origins and development of life."

David Menton, an Answers in Genesis lecturer who served as a biomedical research technician at the Mayo Clinic, helped craft the creationist rebuttal.

..."[Tiktaalik] is not an amphibian or a reptile," said Menton, who holds a Ph.D. in cell biology from Brown University. "It belongs to a group of fish called lobe-fin fish."

The lobe-fin fish have bones similar to other vertebrates. Tiktaalik, Menton said, is not unique in having these bones because other lobe-fish, such as "coelacanth" fish, also have them. Evolutionists say the lobe-fin fish became extinct millions of years ago.

Coelacanth, in particular, supposedly vanished 135 million years ago before its hyped 1938 discovery in waters near Madagascar, Menton noted...

...None of the lobe-fin fish, including Tiktaalik, have bones attaching their fins to the axial skeleton, Menton said.

"This means that these limbs would not be weight bearing," he said. "I don't believe the fish walked because the fins that are attached to these bones are delicate."

Full Story from the Baptist Press

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