googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Coelacanth Evolution – the Greatest Story that Never Happened

Friday, December 14, 2007

Coelacanth Evolution – the Greatest Story that Never Happened

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Coelacanth … is the common name for an order of fish that includes the oldest living lineage of jawed fish known to date. The coelacanths, which are related to lungfishes and tetrapods, were believed to have been extinct since the end of the Cretaceous period.” …. “They first appear in the fossil record in the Middle Devonian, about 410 million years ago.” …. “It is often claimed that the coelacanth has remained unchanged for millions of years but in fact the living species and even genus are unknown from the fossil record. However, some of the extinct species, particularly those of the last known fossil coelacanth, the Cretaceous genus Macropoma, closely resemble the living species.” [bold added for emphasis]

The coelacanth is an interesting creature. It is both loved and hated by evolutionists. It’s loved because they feel it represents a very old creature yet we still have living specimens we can observe. This would be like having a live T-rex only the coelacanth is thought to be much older. But evolutionists also hate it because creationists love to use the coelacanth as evidence against evolution.

The coelacanth has been called a living fossil but others argue that it represents a Lazarus species. There’s a subtle distinction but either way, the fish is damaging to the theory of evolution. Let me explain.

According to the quote above, coelacanth are “related to lungfishes and tetrapods.” Exactly how are they related? Evolutionists believe that the coelacanth is an ancestor of 4-legged creatures – that is, the coelacanth’s lobed fins evolved into what would become legs. It was once thought that those ancient fish used their fins to “walk around” on the ocean floor. However, since we can now observe living coelacanth, we know that they swim head down just above the ocean floor looking for food.

Here then is where evolution becomes story telling. We have a particular animal which they claim is 400 million years old. The living specimens look remarkably similar (not identical but similar) to the supposedly 400 million year old fossils. The ancestors swam with their fins - their descendants swim with their fins. If I were a scientist considering this evidence, I would say this is a kind of animal that has survived for millions of years (it's really only thousands) with relatively little change. Yet evolutionists look at the same evidence and claim the ancient specimens evolved into tetrapods. Where do they get that idea!?

Evolutionists get that idea because they already believe terrestrial animals evolved from marine animals - now they’re just looking for a candidate that fits the bill. Consider this quote: “If you’re going to figure out how limbs evolved, you need to have a good idea about pre-conditions,… You need to know what the ancestral morphology was. With things like this [fossil], we’re beginning to hone in on the primitive conditions of fins that gave rise to limbs later on.” Aha! So, they believe it first and are just looking for the evidence for it. This is another example of the bias I was talking about.

There is no evidence for coelacanth evolution. There is good evidence that coelacanth have always been coelacanth. Science is supposed to be about making observations. We do not observe fins becoming limbs but we do obeserve that fish stay fish. Limb evolution has been seen nowhere except in the minds of biased scientists.

A living fossil fires the imagination. It gives you sort of a Jurassic Park thrill. But coelacanth evolution never happened - it’s just one of the best evolution stories ever told.

2 comments:

The Palaeobabbler said...

Oh my.

Evolutionists love coelacanths. Seriously, every palaeontologist I have met who studies fish love the things. They were once a very diverse group but now there are only handful of species. You've presented many mistakes about them.

The group which we tend to call coelacanths has been around for about 400 million years, but that does not mean that the modern ones look exactly like those from that time (that would not be an issue, but it does more closely resemble the more recent Cretaceous forms).

As coelacanths were very diverse, saying this is a coelacanth is no problem. Nor is it a problem for the claims that they may have used fins for "walking" on the sea floor. After all, they were diverse, so a modern example is not likely to be representative of the whole diverse group, if it is representative of any (behaviour may well have been evolving at a very different rate to morphology).

The coelacanth is not claimed as ancestral to tetrapods, but a sister group.

Coelacanths, during the 300 million years where they are rather common fossils, show evolution, rather a lot of it. I honestly cannot believe that creationists actually still use this argument.

Todd Williams said...

A bit late to the discussion, but Paleo says, "Nor is it a problem for the claims that they may have used fins for "walking" on the sea floor. After all, they were diverse, so a modern example is not likely to be representative of the whole diverse group, if it is representative of any (behaviour may well have been evolving at a very different rate to morphology).

It's as if you're saying that speculated behavior for these fish (walking on the sea floor) is actually more likely than the currently observed behavior of their descendants. Unless I'm misunderstanding, this appears to be another example of how evolutionists attempt to create 'backward compatible' evidence (speculation, in my opinion) that jives with the established theory.