AiG on Tiktaalik roseae: In the Disco Institute "Research" Tradition.

While The Thumb is primarily interested in the Intelligent Design movement in its current manifestation (infestation?) as exemplified by the Disco Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, let it not be thought that the old-time YECs are out of the game. After all, YECs compose the majority of the ID movement’s foot soldiers in the culture wars (not to mention some of its officers). Answers In Genesis is a ubiquitous (iniquitous?) player in the anti-evolution battles, and publishes nonsense that’s right up to (down to?) Disco Institute standards. A recent article on AiG’s site on Tiktaalik roseae was written by creationist anatomist David Menton. Not surprisingly, Menton gets everything wrong. Martin Brazeau (a student of Per Ahlberg at Uppsala) has a lovely takedown on The Lancelet. A sample:

In the article, Menton’s only claims about the anatomy of Tiktaalik relate to the pelvic fins and girdles (i.e. the hips and legs) of Tiktaalik. There is no disucssion of the skull or shoulder girdle, and only tacit reference to the fin skeleton. Menton explains in relation to fishes and tetrapods that:

[t]he hind limbs [of tetrapods] in particular have a robust pelvic girdle securely attached to the vertebral column. This differs radically from that of any fish including Tiktaalik. Essentially all fish (including Tiktaalik) have small pelvic fins relative to their pectoral fins.

Menton is a liar. He cannot possibly know anything about the pelvic fins of Tiktaalik. The two papers describing Tiktaalik offer absolutely no descriptions of the pelvic fin skeletons or girdle. I’ve seen the material first-hand and there are no such details of the pelvic fin.

Menton’s article is in the best Disco Institute tradition of “research” along the lines of, say, Jonathan Wells. I commend Martin’s post to PT readers’ attention.