Thursday, 26 September 2013

How Can You Tell A Creationist Is Lying?

Entelognathus (Image: Brian Choo)
Fish fossil suggests our skeleton evolved face first - life - 25 September 2013 - New Scientist

Obviously you can tell when a professional creationist, like those who are paid to lie by the Discovery Institute, are lying because their lips are moving. What I'm talking about are the bog-standard creationist such as those who swarm onto the Internet every day to try to convince people they know more than biologists do about biology, more than geologists do about geology and more than physicists and cosmologists do about physics and cosmology and who can even spell the odd word of more than two syllables.

One sure fire way to tell they are lying is not so much the patently ludicrous claims they implicitly make about their own expertise and qualifications in science but the way the things they claim are not supported by the real-world facts.

One such patently false claim is that there are no transitional fossils as is predicted by Darwin's and Wallace's theory of descent with modification, and so no evidence to support the idea that living species evolved and diversified over time from earlier common ancestors.

Manta rays. More primitive?
As the above article in this week's New Scientist shows, these are in fact common in the fossil record. One such is the recently-found Entelognathus, a fish clearly displaying transitional features showing how bony fish evolved from the extinct primitive common ancestor of the bony and cartilaginous fish known as the placoderms.

To the consternation of creationists, Entelognathus from 419 million years ago, found very well preserved in a quarry near Qujing, Yunnan, China, has a typical placoderm skull and body and the jaw of a typical bony fish almost identical to that found in modern bony fish - features which were later to evolve into the typical amphibian, reptilian, mammalian and avian jaws in the descendants of those bony fish which evolved into the terrestrial vertebrates.

The find also suggests that, contrary to popular opinion which has sharks and rays as the more primitive fish because they lack the bones of bony fish, having cartilage instead, they may be the more highly evolved in they they could have replaced bone with cartilage. As so often with science, an answered question simple poses some more unanswered ones, and so we progress.

Just another transition fossil for creationists to lie to us about as they wait forlornly for a single drop of evidence supporting their infantile notion to be found, whilst trying not to see the tsunami of evidence for Darwinian Evolution engulfing them.

Reference:
Colin Barras, Fish fossil suggests our skeleton evolved face first, New Scientist, 25 September 2013 (subscription required).

Min Zhu, et al; A Silurian placoderm with osteichthyan-like marginal jaw bones, Nature, 2013

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