Evolutionary biologist thought they had the transition from marine to terrestrial environments completely figured out. Descendants of bony lobe-finned fish, such as Eusthenopteron (385 million years ago), evolved into the first tetrapods (four-legged animals), such as Panderichthys, and Tiktaalik (375 million years ago), which had limb-like fins that could be used to venture onto land, eventually culminating in Ichthyostega, which had actual limbs (365 million years ago). These creatures, along with numerous other tetrapod "intermediates" formed one of the best examples of Darwinian evolution in action. Everything fit together until...
A recent discovery of fossilized tracks in Poland, reliably dated at 395 million years ago,1 have turned tetrapod evolution on its head. All the previously discovered so-called "transitional" forms and intermediates occurred at least 10 million years after the new tetrapod was already walking on land. What makes matters worse for evolutionists is that this was a true tetrapod, with completely developed feet, toes, and claws. In addition, this animal was large - at least 8 feet long. Other, smaller tracks were also found at the same location, suggesting the existence of a complete ecosystem of animals. In contrast to the poorly developed "intermediates," which dragged themselves over land, this animal had a modern amphibian-like gate, not even dragging its tail in the mud. What is even more puzzling to evolutionists is the fact that it was hunting on land. So, the discovery suggests the possible existence of a complete ecosystem, before evolutionists thought tetrapods even existed. Previous trackway footprints had suggested that tetrapods were walking on land 385 million years ago,2 although the tracks were not as clear as those in the current study.
The existence of a fully land-adapted tetrapod 395 million years ago has completely destroyed the reigning evolutionary paradigm of the fish to land dwelling animal evolutionary hypothesis. Not only did this creature exist before its "transitional" ancestors, but it was already fully adapted to living on land, with feet, toes and claws. Evolutionary biologists are stuck with trying to find the ancestor of this creature, perhaps existing at least 420 million years ago. Their excuse is the classic one - "ghost lineages," according to the authors of the new study. The alternative, but not "scientific" explanation is that God created tetrapods in fully formed ecological communities as part of His preparation of earth for habitation by human beings.
Reasons To Believe's third in a series of books proposing a testable creation model takes on the origin and design of the universe. Previous books, Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off and Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man, examined the origin of life on earth and the origin of mankind, respectively. Creation As Science develops a biblical creation model and compares the predictions of this model compared to a naturalistic model, young earth creationism, and theistic evolution. This biblical creation model is divided into four main areas, the origin of the universe, the origin of the Solar System, the history of life on earth, and the origin and history of mankind.
The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael Behe
Darwin's Black Box author Michael Behe takes on the limits of evolution through an examination of specific genetic examples. Behe finds that mutation and natural selection is capable of generating trivial examples of evolutionary change. Although he concludes that descent with modification has occurred throughout biological history, the molecular devices found throughout nature cannot be accounted for through natural selection and mutation. Behe's book claims to develop a framework for testing intelligent design by defining the principles by which Darwinian evolution can be distinguished from design.
- Niedźwiedzki, G., P. Szrek, K. Narkiewicz, M. Narkiewicz, and P.E. Ahlberg. 2010. Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland. Nature 463:43-48.
- Stössel, I. 1995. The discovery of a new Devonian tetrapod trackway in SW Ireland. J. Geol. Soc. 152, 407-413.
Last Modified January 19, 2010