Have a look at this brief account of a recently unearthed fossil dinosaur. As reported by the International Herald Tribune, it provides yet another example of those transitional forms creationists say do not exist:

Ryan named the new dinosaur Albertaceratops nesmoi, after the region and Cecil Nesmo, a rancher near Manyberries, Alberta, who has helped fossil hunters.

The creature was about 20 feet (6 meters) long and lived 78 million years ago.

The oldest known horned dinosaur in North America is called Zuniceratops. It lived 12 million years before Ryan’s find, and also had large horns.

That makes the newly found creature an intermediate between older forms with large horns and later small-horned relatives, said State of Utah paleontologist Jim Kirkland, who with Douglas Wolfe identified Zuniceratops in New Mexico in 1998. He predicted then that something like Ryan’s find would turn up.

“Lo and behold, evolutionary theory actually works,” he said.

Indeed it does.

Comments

  1. #1 MartinC
    March 7, 2007

    Two more gaps !

  2. #2 shiva
    March 7, 2007

    Two more gaps – not the only problem.

    So what if it’s got shorter horns. It’s still got horns!

  3. #3 joe fran
    March 7, 2007

    What makes you believe it isn’t a birth-defect or just another extinct species?

  4. #4 Kevin
    March 7, 2007

    ha ha …

    err.. It has large horns because of …. all the traffic there was at that time. Later on there were fewer dinosaurs and so the dinos didn’t need to buy such big ones…

  5. #5 MarkP
    March 8, 2007

    The article says he predicted they would find an intermediate like this. It would be interesting to see how specific that prediction was, a la Tiktaalik with location as well as time frame. Is there some reason to think it is a birth defect? Why would the birth defect found just happen to be in the correct time for such a transition? A verified prediction is much more powerful evidence than an after-the-fact rationalization.

    As for it being “just another extinct species”, what else would you have it be? Were it not extinct, we would no doubt hear a canard along the lines of “if men evolved from monkeys why do we have monkeys?”.

  6. #6 Jeff
    March 9, 2007

    Isn’t the concept of “transitional form” a fallacy? Since all life forms are constantly changing ever so slightly, aren’t all fossils and current species “transitional forms” to wherever they may evolve to next?

  7. #7 MarkP
    March 10, 2007

    Excellent point Jeff, and it goes to the heart of creationist misunderstandings of the issue. They act as if species are fixed, discrete, concepts, when they are in fact merely rough categorizations of creatures with sufficiently similar genetics. It is the exact same flawed logic lying at the heart of racial supremicist arguments, and as such it should come as no surprise that there is so much overlap in the membership of the two groups.

  8. #8 Kevin
    March 10, 2007

    I thought my point was better.

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