Sunday, April 16, 2006

One more point on Tiktaalik

The two writers mentioned in the previous post were anxious to pooh-pooh the existence of transitional species in the fossil record because such forms provide evidence of evolution. The Intelligent Design promoters at the Discombobultory Institute claimed (according to Newsweek) "Few leading [ID] researchers have argued against the existence of transitional forms." Well, that might be stretching the truth a little, but the point I wish to make here is with regard to the condition of overlapping ribs seen in the fossil. Here we see an important difference between real science and the public-relations machine of the DI: one member of the research team that discovered Tiktaalik had suggested, 35 years earlier, that such overlapping ribs would have been needed for support on land (this nugget was reported by Elizabeth Pennisi in a Science news item (7 April) citing the Nature reports that were published 6 April. Here we have yet another example of a prediction that has proven true--one aspect of real research, real science. Something the gang at the DI prefer not to do.

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