This headline is hardly news, but still noteworthy. A few days ago, Todd Wood (a young earth creationist from Bryan College, in Dayton, TN) noted an article in ICR’s Acts & Facts on trilobite tracks by his predecessor at Bryan, creationist Kurt Wise:

“Why would dozens of feet of rock have tracks but not the animals that made them?” asks Wise. He proposes that the Flood uniquely solves this dilemma.

He quotes Wise:

What if, when the “fountains of the great deep were broken up” (Genesis 7:11), the spreading waters surprised the trilobites living on the ocean bottom? As the water became muddy, trilobites scurried about in terror, leaving their tracks behind them. Then as a layer of mud covered their tracks, they climbed through the mud and left tracks on the next layer – repeating this process until they finally succumbed in exhaustion and were themselves buried and preserved.

Wood then notes a paper in Nature describing tetrapod trackways millions of years older than the earliest known tetrapod fossils, adding “Hmmm…. That sounds familiar!”

Mere hours later, Disco. dancer Casey Luskin wrote an ID version of the same post, referring to Tiktaalik as “an alleged transitional fossil,” arguing that “if this transition ever took place it seems to have occurred millions of years before Tiktaalik” (emphasis added), but offering no suggestion of what he thinks would explain the pattern of morphological and molecular similarity among living and fossil animals if there were never such a transition. In this regard, young earth creationism is far superior to ID creationism. At least they can straightforwardly suggest that tetrapods were magically poofed into existence in a way that leaves no evidence, rather than just insisting – a la IDC – that we don’t know anything because nothing is knowable.

Luskin closes with an endorsement of Doubting Thomas in both a theological and scientific contexts. But remember that Thomas was chastised in that story, told “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” That’s the theology, and it’s exactly opposite to the theology ID would advocate. Scientifically, doubt is essential, but so is the ability to accept evidence conditionally. I’ve held the actual Tiktaalik fossils, I’ve seen the ways their bones relate to those of fish and of tetrapods, and I’m confident that it represents a transitional form.

This doesn’t mean that Tiktaalik is your great-great-great-…-great-grandparent, but it is a close descendant of that ancestor. Even if that ancestor lived 18 million years earlier than Tiktaalik, the transitional state of that ancestor is preserved in its descendants. Casey cites various news articles which mess up this distinction, but never points to the scientific literature where these points are clarified. But as the Disco. blog tagline explains: “The misreporting of the evolution issue is one key reason for this site.”

Comments

  1. #1 Susannah
    January 8, 2010

    Did these guys never step outside of their cozy offices? Never take the kids to the beach? Never even got muddy as kids?

    They don’t seem to notice that fresh footprints don’t stay around in roiling flood waters, not even in a heavy rainstorm or an incoming tide.

    I’d never seen that trilobite quote before. Poor, panicked trilobites!

  2. #2 _Arthur
    January 8, 2010

    And the alleged dancing trilobite utterly fails to explain PYGMEES+DWARVES !

  3. #3 J-Dog
    January 8, 2010

    Fear and greed gave rise to Casey Luskin. I’m not sure WHERE he got that catapillar that sits over his eyes.

  4. #4 A Greenhill
    January 11, 2010

    Young-earth-creationism is still discussed outside the most rural Jehovah’s Witness churches?? Astounding /=(

  5. #5 Dan the Preacher man
    January 12, 2010

    There is no such thing as a transitional fossil.

    Show me the fossilized remains of a human with a tail like a monkey.

    Show me any fossilized remains that has any sort of “transition” to it.

    Your so called “transitional” fossils are just another species of similar animals that existed at that time. Evolution, much like the recently discovered, global warming scandal, is a mere hoax and should be condemned to be taught in school as a mandatory subject.

    Per, the previous post, our church would never hire a pastor who believed in old earth creationism or anything that goes against the teaching of the Bible regardless of his educational background. If they did, many would walk away and form another church. I am SB and do indeed subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message document. I recommend to any church board that pastors should not be hired who do not meet those requirements – especially including creationism since Genesis is the foundation of the Gospel message.

    There are so many pastors that have been led astray by secualr society and Satan’s army. God forgive them.

  6. #6 Dan the preacher man
    January 12, 2010

    I just found a spoon buried in the dirt in my yard. I wonder if it is “millions of years” old? I bet it is.

  7. #7 mark
    January 12, 2010

    Show me the fossilized remains of a human with a tail like a monkey.

    We can do better than that–we can show you children that were born with tails. Chickens born with teeth. Dolphins and whales with hind limbs.
    You know a hominid fossil is a transitional form when some Creationists claim it is human, but other Creationists claim it is an ape.

  8. #8 Dan the preacher man
    January 12, 2010

    It probably is an ape.

    Whakles do not have hind legs. If they did, it was probably the one and it was a defect.

    Children with tails? Probably another ape. OOOOOH I know! It was the lizard man of South Carolina. I hope you google that one.

    Chickens do not have teeth.

    By the way, when you discovered these things, how high was the radiation in that area? Carbon? Any sign of radioactive material in the soil, trees, etc.?

    All defects.

    Besides, if it were “millions of years” old, you wouldn’t be able to tell if it were a chicken or a kangaroo. The remains would be powder in a few thousand years.

    Those who claim donis had feathers are crazy. When a REPTILE starts to decay, its flesh seperates from the body. Being buried, the flesh starts to spead and wrinkle and can give a very good impression of feathers. This can be tried in a lab with any reptile. Give me a break.

    Oh, and that silly little thing you all found over the summer and the media went nuts over it – just another ape species, not a transitional ape to man fossil.

  9. #9 la martina
    April 14, 2010

    I am sure this is wrong.

  10. #10 La Martina
    May 22, 2010

    You can thank the Bible Belt for that. Nothing like the good old US of A.

  11. #11 martingale dog collars
    February 21, 2011

    What are these fossils you speak of…? ^^