April 2014:​ Tiktaalik - Did Humans Evolve from a Primitive Fish?

Most biology textbooks claim we evolved from fish, and they routinely present the fossil species which is called Tiktaalik as conclusive proof of this. They do not generally show the actual fossil evidence – instead they usually just show a cartoon version of the imagined “living creature”, as envisioned by an illustrator. These cartoons invariably show a creature emerging out of the water, crawling on enlarged front fins. Students are given the impression that Tiktaalik fossils provide a virtual snapshot of fish becoming land animals. This is extremely deceptive, and is not what the actual fossil evidence shows. The actual fossil evidence shows a flat-headed fish, as is typical of many types of bottom-dwelling fish alive today. The rear fins are not significantly enlarged, and are typical of various lobe-finned fish living today. Even the actual discoverer of Tiktaalik was cautious to suggest Tiktaalik was anatomically capable of dragging itself out of the water onto dry land. Instead, he emphasized that the fish might have been able to prop itself up on its front fins while partially submerged under water. This is not an impressive claim, and does not reflect any meaningful adaptation to land. This type of fish grows up to 9 feet long – perhaps weighing 600 pounds. Examination of the fossil makes it obvious that its small fins are much too short to lift a 600 pound fish off the ground on dry land. The primary evidence claimed to show that Tiktaalik is not an ordinary bottom dwelling lobe-finned fish involves those bones to which the rear fin bones are attached. Using prejudicial terminology to convey a series of assumptions, these bones are called “shoulder” and “pelvic bones.” Similarly, bones within the fin are designated “elbows”, “wrists”, and “fingers”. But Tiktaalik has no genuine and operational hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, or fingers. It is all a forced fit. Tiktaalik is indeed a strange fish – one of the countless strange creatures that once lived on earth and are now extinct. Although a few fossil details are helpful in telling a water-to- land story, Tiktaalik is clearly just another example of a large bottom-dwelling fish.   MORE...

 

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