More confusion from Luskin
It would take too much time to deal with all of the errors in Luskin’s latest attack on the evidence of evolution. So I’ll just hit on several of the problems. Here’s a paragraph, revealing his typical blithering and ignorance:
Clearly, Darwin’s public relations team has invested much rhetorical capital into this fossil. If past experience is to be our guide, the only event that might cause Darwinists to criticize Tiktaalik would be the publishing of a fossil that was claimed to better document evolution. In the past, I have called such events, evolutionist “retroactive confessions of ignorance.” And with a recently published re-analysis of the fish Panderichthys, Darwinists are now praising Panderichthys for having features that are “much more tetrapod-like than in Tiktaalik,” and are retroactively confessing weaknesses in their precious Tiktaalik, which is now admitted to be a fossil with a “quality” that was “poor.” Luskin
He seems to be deliberately (one is never certain just exactly how the mixture of stupidity and dishonesty of Casey maps out to be) confusing the problem of “poor quality” of the Tiktaalik specimens with the idea that it must be poorly demonstrating evolution. Of course the “poor quality” to which the Nature paper is referring only directly affects the digits of Tiktaalik, which was not exactly the most important issue for which it was being studied.
And as usual, he both treats science like the conformity to dogma that his appalling “science” is, as if “Darwinists” (another problem, but let’s just mark it and go on) are some monolithic group, not a bunch of people who disagree on the details while using essentially the same evolutionary model. He even contradicts this disingenuous insinuation later on where he writes:
In fact, as reported in a National Geographic (NG) news article, not all evolutionary paleontologists are convinced that these bones were the precursors to real tetrapod digits:
Michael Coates, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, called the new findings “intriguing” but is not convinced that the digit-like structures in Panderichthys’s fin are the equivalent of our fingers.
For one thing, they seem unusually flat for radial bones, Coates said. Luskin
So let’s see, the “Darwinists” are retroactively confessing to ignorance, which of course they never did (Luskin’s too ignorant to understand the situation that existed or exists), except that they’re also disagreeing with exactly the fossil, Panderichthys–which they’re also praising. The idiot can’t keep a single idea straight throughout his very short article. Plus, he has no idea of what Tiktaalik is about (since he only reacts against it), which is to fill in a rather large piece of the puzzle of tetrapod radiation. Casey appears never to have learned that we’re not simply looking for “the one and true missing link,” rather we almost certainly never find representatives of the ancestral species (with the likely exception of Homo erectus, but that’s a very recent transitional), and are looking for various representatives of the transition which gave rise to later groups, including ourselves.
Way back when, I made essentially those points, as well as complaining about the very real hype surrounding Tiktaalik:
Tiktaalik is a beauty, a triumph of predictive paleontology which relied on evolutionary factors to pinpoint where a fish-to-amphibian transitional might be found. However, it was not just any old transitional they were looking for, they wanted evidence whcih would show how the shoulder girdle evolved. After all, they already had fish-to-amphibian transitionals, Elpistostege, Ichthyostega and Acanthostega. Some even consider Tiktaalik to be, in effect, a better-preserved version of Elpistostege.
I wish that the reporting in the media, and even in the NOVA program, were more clear about these matters. Sure, it’s great that Tiktaalik (hardly the vision one would have of an intelligently designed machine, merely a fish adapting to quadrupedal locomotion) was found near the height of the circus that is ID, however there has not been any excuse for denying non-teleological evolution on the supposed lack of transitionals, for all vertebrate classes have had transitional forms known for decades. Forum @ Dawkins’ site
Everyone who actually knows enough about science recognizes that hype is common both within and without the scientific community, especially from the people who discovered something new (like Tiktaalik) and wish for it to appear as important as possible. The point is that someone like myself discounts it, while Casely Luskin simply blithers stupidly on, without comprehending, learning, or, seemingly, ever caring whether or not his account is an honest one.
I know that putting another “Casey lies” observation under “News” is questionable, yet it is another permutation of his dishonesty, so it fits well enough.