Looks like you are using an old version of Internet Explorer - Please update your browser
ScienceNOW: “Ancient Four-Legged Beasts Leave Their Mark” The supposed earliest evidence of four-legged animals—at 395 million years old—sounds like a boon for evolutionary research. So why is it causing evolutionists problems?
Scientists led by University of Warsaw paleobiologist Grzegorz Niedz'wiedzki uncovered the fossilized footprints of a four-legged animal in southeastern Poland. Important features of the well-preserved prints are the impressions of digits (meaning the creature had feet) and a “diagonal, coordinated gait impossible for finned creatures.”
“We thought we’d pinned down the origin of limbed tetrapods."
Why a finned creature would be thought to have a gait is, of course, a by-faith element of evolutionary thinking, which postulates that fish-like creatures were the first land-walkers. For that reason, evolutionists previously hailed fossils such as Tiktaalik—a fish-like creature—as representative of the water-to-land transition and a key “missing link.” (Read an example of the evolutionary enthusiasm in Meet Your Ancestor—the Fish that Crawled.)
But the discovery presents a major problem for the evolutionary status of Tiktaalik and similar fossils, which supposedly date back to around 370 to, at most, 380 million years ago. If Tiktaalik represents the earliest adaptation of sea life for land walking, then how was Niedz'wiedzki’s finding—which he calls “an animal with four limbs, unique for true tetrapods”—walking across Poland almost ten million years earlier?
Facing up to the find, other paleontologists have been forced to retract previous praise for Tiktaalik as “the” missing link, instead considering it an evolutionary dead end. “We thought we’d pinned down the origin of limbed tetrapods, [but now w]e have to rethink the whole thing,” explained Cambridge’s Jennifer Clack. Young-earth creationists reject the assumptions that underlie the millions-of-years dates given to the fossils mentioned; in our view, both Tiktaalik and the fossil footprints are from the past 4,500 years or so. Nonetheless, this is one such case where even accepting evolutionary assumptions dethrones an iconic “missing link.”
Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.