Disproving Evolution – Part 15 – Living Fossils

Disproving Evolution – Part 15 – Living Fossils June 12, 2015

[Index of series posts]

Continuing the rebuttal of the article,  “9 Scientific Facts Prove that “The Theory of Evolution” is wrong.

In today’s session, we address the notion:

The “Living Fossil” Fish Proves Evolution is Wrong

This again.

The Coelacanth fish was touted to be a transitional form with half-formed legs and primitive lungs, ready to transition onto land. This myth was exploded in December, 1938 when a live Coelacanth was caught in a fisherman’s net off the eastern coast of South Africa. It is now known that the natives of the Comoro Islands had been catching and eating the fish for years.

To phrase it as “ready for transition” implies some kind of intention or destiny. A better way of putting it would be that it has the prerequisites for being land-compatible. A cursory examination of the creature would reveal that this much is true.

If there were scientists who were asserting that this species definitely was in the process of transitioning to being fully terrestrial, the author didn’t cite it. If scientists were saying this, they were wrong, and I’m glad that’s straightened out.

The author hasn’t made the case yet that this demonstrates evolution is false.

It did not have half-formed legs or primitive lungs.

I still don’t know what “half-formed” legs are. It has “strong” fins (as opposed to thin membrane flaps) which are precursors to terrestrial legs – hence being compatible with that transition.

Latimeria chalumnae replica.jpg
Latimeria chalumnae replica” by © Citron / . Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Compare its fins to that of the walleye:

Sander vitreus.jpg
Sander vitreus” by Engbretson, Eric / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – [1]. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Secondly “primitive lungs” aren’t the requirement here – having compatible precursors, such as a “fatty lung”, that can be changed into full-fledged lungs, is. In this example, the author is simply factually incorrect, on top of being confused about what “transitional” means.

So once again, the author has dismissed a species as being “transitional” for no coherent, intelligible reason… but rather just making up the rules as he/she goes.

Even if the author is correct, and this was a false candidate, that doesn’t “disprove” evolution. It means one of the supporting pieces of evidence is invalidated.

It was simply a regular fish that people thought was extinct.

Yes, it is a regular fish. All regular fish are transitional. Some are more bluntly “transitional” than others. Yes, people thought it was extinct. That’s been corrected.

It’s like the author is expecting a “transitional” fish to be some kind of bizarre, warped mutant-fish that shoots eye-lasers, as opposed to being just another “complete” fish species. It’s weird.

Evolutionist claimed the 350 million-year-old Coelacanth evolved into animals with legs, feet, and lungs.

… did we? Citation needed. I spent a few minutes looking, and couldn’t find anything. I could understand, if we didn’t know it hadn’t gone extinct yet, that it could have evolve to be land-dwelling… but that’s a far cry from asserting that it definitely did. But if a person is going to make such a statement, claiming that the scientific community has made an error, he/she should at least have the decency to actually provide references for that error. For all I know, this person is just making it up.

This not the case. We now see that the fish recently caught is exactly like the 350 million-year-old fossil. It did not evolve at all.

Without the fossils between now and then (the 66 million year old fossils), we don’t know that. Its lineage may have considerably changed, and then changed back. It may have had some amount of genetic drift. But for the sake of Occam’s razor, and the consistency of nature, let’s go ahead and say, sure, it didn’t evolve.

And?

The Coelacanth is a star witness against the false theory of evolution. After 350 million years, the fish still doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

How does it demonstrate that evolution is false? The author never even attempted to make this case. Where’s the logical argument? Please connect the dots.

Okay, I’ve ran the input through my CreationoMindReadGuessoTron 9000, and it reads:

CREATIONIST PREMISE IDENTIFIED: EVOLUTION REQUIRES THAT ALL LINEAGES MUST CONSTANTLY EVOLVE AT ALL TIMES

But that’s not true. I challenge the author to cite where in evolutionary theory this is stated. There’s no conflict with Evolution here. If there was an official evolutonary law, it’d be:

The rate of evolutionary change is directly proportional to how poorly adapted the species is to its environment.

Even then, it’d be loaded with caveats and conditions. Given that understanding, it’s not surprising that we’d find an occasional species that’s evolutionarily stagnant… because it’s already well adapted to its environment. This is especially the case when it comes to ocean life, where the environment can be very slow to change. Even year-round, the ocean temperature varies only a little, compared to the atmosphere/land.

But suppose it was an official law of evolutionary theory that all species had to always evolve… if we were to find a species that doesn’t evolve, what conclusion can we draw upon that? To say that this implies that no species has evolved with be illogical. If I were proposing a Theory of Chevy Silverado, stating that these trucks are self propelled…. finding an example where one truck is broken down and nonfunctional doesn’t mean that the examples that are functional… aren’t. That’s what the author would be doing here. Maybe there’s a type of Chevy Silverado that’s pulled as a trailer, that we didn’t previously know about.

If we thought all species had to continually evolve… what we’d do is modify the Theory of Evolution, so that we’re no longer making that error. The theory is the output of scientific investigation, not the initial assertion.

Also, if we lived in a reality where we had two different mechanisms – Evolution, and Mechanism XYZ (currently unknown) – and we finally discover an example of Mechanism XYZ… to conclude that Evolution isn’t real because we discovered the second mechanism would be an error, and our understanding of reality would decrease. To immediately jump to such a conclusion would be amazingly hasty.

If the author wants to disprove evolution, he/she has to systematically go through every piece of supporting evidence in existence (or nearly all), and individually disprove each one, until evolution has insufficient supporting evidence. Showing that a fish hasn’t evolved for a long time (especially when evolution doesn’t imply this as a requirement), doesn’t invalidate other positive evidence, like endogenous retroviruses, that support common ancestry between humans and chimpanzees. Why would it?

There are major vulnerabilities that could disprove evolution. If the author can show that there’s no mechanism for heredity (no DNA), or that this “DNA limit” is real, that could do it too.

For a person who can’t even construct a coherent argument, I’m not holding my breath.


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