NatGeo Tweaks ID ‘Just For The Halibut’

| 241 Comments

Anne Minard of National Geographic News writes on July 9th

The discovery of a missing link in the evolution of bizarre flatfishes—each of which has both eyes on the same side of its head—could give intelligent design advocates a sinking feeling.

CT scans of 50-million-year-old fossils have revealed an intermediate species between primitive flatfishes (with eyes on both sides of their heads) and the modern, lopsided versions, which include sole, flounder, and halibut.

So the change happened gradually, in a way consistent with evolution via natural selection—not suddenly, as researchers once had little choice but to believe, the authors of the new study say. … Though known for their odd eye arrangement, no flatfish start life that way. Each is born symmetrical, with one eye on each side of its skull.

As a flatfish develops from a larva to a juvenile, one eye migrates up and over the top of the head, coming to rest in its adult position on the opposite side of the skull. … Palmer added that the new work is “a fantastic paper” that helps resolve a mystery “that’s bedeviled evolutionary biologists for more than a century.

“It’s really been a major, major puzzle to evolutionary biologists.”

As expected, the Magisterium of Intelligent Design was quick to condemn the finding as simply floundering around, while the Institute of Creation Research has a turbot-charged attack on the finding, pointing out that flatfish are sole-ly members of the flatfish ‘kind,’ and putting National Geographic in it’s plaice.

241 Comments

Oh it is EARLY for puns like this! Twenty lashes with a wet flounder!

Sigh, I traced back the DI link: “We are shocked, SHOCKED! that anyone could confuse ID with creationism!”

I tried to read through the whole thing but a few paragraphs down I had to say: “Who WROTE this?” Checked the byline; silly me, Casey Luskin of course. I liked the flow chart. It could almost go on OBJECTIVE: MINISTRIES unchanged.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

You have to appreciate Casey Luskin’s “spin” that this is just so much media bias propaganda:

In the past, I have observed that the newsmedia and scientific establishment commonly promote the Darwinist bias against intelligent design (ID), where the media “carefully selects the sources of information it will broadcast to the public on this issue.” (To see how various groups in the establishment serve as checkpoints to prevent scientific information that challenges neo-Darwinism from reaching the public, observe the diagram at left.) National Geographic (NG) is doing its job as a media checkpoint, promoting biased information to the public on ID.

Alas, Mr Luskin, but your accusations are unfounded. The reason the media doesn’t report on scientific information that challenges neo-Darwinism Evolutionary Theory is that there isn’t any, at least none from the ID crowd. Feel free to actually post some sometime though.

As for Sherwyn’s challenge to National Geographic news writer Anne Minard over at ICR:

Before the publication of her article, Minard spoke to zoologist and ICR science lecturer Frank Sherwin, who called Friedman’s findings “underwhelming.”

“We have no problem with the variation within flatfish. What we’re asking is, Show me how a fish came from a nonfish ancestor,” Sherwin said.

Minard failed to answer Sherwin’s challenge,

Perhaps the problem, Mr. Sherwin, is that you asked a news writer instead of an actual paleontological ichthyologist? But of course, the real problem is that you weren’t really looking for an answer.

Robin said:

… Alas, Mr Luskin, but your accusations are unfounded. …

Shouldn’t that be unflounded?

chuck said:

Robin said:

… Alas, Mr Luskin, but your accusations are unfounded. …

Shouldn’t that be unflounded?

:)

As Greg noted, it’s just too early for that kind of punning.

But where are all the craniorectal intermediate forms?

Oh, I see they’ve found Luskin. Obviously, the intermediate forms with their heads up their backsides got jobs working for the Discovery Institute and, due to their oddly positioned eyes, are unable to find wristbone homologies in tetrapods. Forget I asked.

>it’s just too early for that kind of punning.

Someone better call the cods.

OK, I’ll clam up now.

:D

Dr. Bryan Grieg Fry said:

>it’s just too early for that kind of punning.

Someone better call the cods.

OK, I’ll clam up now.

:D

Ooo… someone’s a little pun gent this morning.

Robin Wrote:

As Greg noted, it’s just too early for that kind of punning.

Call me a cynic (everyone does anyway) but I think he timed it so that it’s overnight in Australia. Anyway, sorry John Wilkins, but Dave wins the prize this time. A Wendy’s hamburger of course.

Interesting the Casey is quoting Dembski in such a way as to make it seem that ID isn’t opposed to evolution. Of course, what Casey isn’t saying is that they’re adamently opposed to natural selection, which is what most people mean by “evolution”, but twisting it that way makes them seem like the most reasonable of folks. And in the same breath he claims they’re equally compatible with creationism. So it seems they’re not contradicting anyone. The perfect political compromise! Of course, that’s what the DI propaganda is focusing on these days: packaging their lies to make them irresistable to politicians and political appointees. They must be getting plenty of practice at this in front of legislators and school boards.

Sherwin’s ‘challenge’ smells a little fishy to me. I mean, seriously, what’s his alternative explanation?

Coddidit?

>someone’s a little pun gent this morning.

Lets get a sturgeon in to remove the muscles :) Defintely something fishy about this thread!

Stop the puns! You’re giving me a haddock! As it happens, when I saw this on NatGeographic, I was a bit annoyed that they were making it a specifically anti-IDiocy report. Yes, the new study of fossil flatfish eyes makes the cdesignproponetsists look pretty stupid, but so does every other bit of biological data. Even mentioning ID in the same article in such a huge circulation magazine is giving them some degree of credibility. Also, to a casual reader, it might look almost as if the research was done specifically to refute creo claims, which I’m guessing was not the case. I realise that I have the luxury of writing this from a country where there isn’t such a danger of creationism being taken seriously,(and I think that the very fact that I post this on PT will show that I do find the proposed Anti-Enlightenment dangerous) but in an article with educational aims, why even mention people who are not even vaguely palaeontologists? Let them write letters to the editor in green ink if they think they have anything to contribute.

Casey Luskin Wrote:

… Forgive me if I’m not highly impressed with the degree of “evolution” documented by these fossils. Do they explain how halibut and sole evolved to have eyes on the top? Not really. The eyes on these fossils weren’t in an “intermediate” location, halfway from the sides to the top. Their eyes are on the sides on the side of the head, like normal fish. The only interesting thing about these fossils, as far as evolution is concerned, is that they share some other skull features–the asymmetrical eye sockets–that are unique to “eyes on top” flatfish.

Some other questions must be asked.

How do we know that these represent the evolutionary intermediate ancestors of flatfish? …

Yawn!

In fact, nothing in Luskin’s complaint is new. He just cycles through the same crap; ID is not Creationism (cdesign proponentsist is not an intermediate fossil?), ID doesn’t address religious questions about the identity of the designer, blah, blah, blah.

He no longer has anything to say, so he just keeps repeating crap. He knows the rubes are still out there.

Holy mackerel, Luskin can’t possibly think his crappie arguments are anything but another red herring. It’s true as others have said above, he’s just writing for the groupers.

When presented with facts from the sharks of PT they just turn yellowtail and run.

NatGeo just smelt an easy opportunity to poke them with a pike. In the end, I really don’t give a cod dam what the creotards do, as long as they keep their religon out of the public schools.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Has Stephen Furst commented yet?

dpr

If evolution is true, why are there still symmetrical fishes?

Oh, I give up, these folks can’t be parodied.

Does this “Kind” include those flat creatures I see everyday along the highway?

All the puns have been awarded the unhappy flounder smiley OF DOOM

“(

Cedric Katesby said:

Sherwin’s ‘challenge’ smells a little fishy to me. I mean, seriously, what’s his alternative explanation?

Coddidit?

He did with fins on

Which fossil flatfishes did they examine?

Eobothus of Monte Bolca?

Luskin yammers… The eyes on these fossils weren’t in an “intermediate” location, halfway from the sides to the top. Their eyes are on the sides on the side of the head, like normal fish.…

Yeah! you tell em’ Casey!

Those eyes aren’t in the middle of the head like a true “intermediate” would be - they’re what - only 35% over - maybe 40% tops!

Gotta watch these evolutionists, always exaggerating, they are!

mark said:

Does this “Kind” include those flat creatures I see everyday along the highway?

Yes, if Darwin was right, then why haven’t possums evolved to figure out how to get across the road?

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

Yes, if Darwin was right, then why haven’t possums evolved to figure out how to get across the road?

Yeah! they should have two eyes on the “up-traffic” side of their head!

Obviously evolution is therefore false, and I didn’t even have to invoke Nazi’s to prove it this time.

Does this “Kind” include those flat creatures I see everyday along the highway?

ROFL! I dunno nuthin’ ‘bout whutcha call ‘em once’t they git run over, but some folks say them critters is goooooooood eatin’!

Ahhhhhhh, adventures in taxoNOMNOMNOMy.….…

Are there any pictures of the fossil flatfish intermediaries examined?

stevaroni said:

Those eyes aren’t in the middle of the head like a true “intermediate” would be - they’re what - only 35% over - maybe 40% tops!

Gotta watch these evolutionists, always exaggerating, they are!

What scales are they using? ;-)

Sorry about that - but I’m hooked on this thread.

Stanton said:

Are there any pictures of the fossil flatfish intermediaries examined?

Specimens of Amphistium and a new species, Heteronectes, were examined. Carl Zimmer has some nice illustrations here.

I’m just curious, but do the creationists and/or (well…and) IDers have any thoughts on why the “Great Designer” saw fit to have an eye rotate around the skull of these particular fish during development, but left the mouth skewed sideways?

themadlolscientist said:

ROFL! I dunno nuthin’ ‘bout whutcha call ‘em once’t they git run over, but some folks say them critters is goooooooood eatin’!

And an armadillo makes a DANDY frisbee … after appropriate processing, of course.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

It’s time. The thread, she’s going belly up.

Dave

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This page contains a single entry by Dave Thomas published on July 15, 2008 9:18 AM.

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