Transitional Form Archaeopteryx won’t fly”
Using the information from the article, “As a Transitional Form Archaeopteryx Won’t Fly,” by Duane Gish, I want you to critically evaluate Dr. Gish’s argument.
The article by Duane T. Gish, “As a Transitional Form Archaeopteryx won’t Fly,” provides a provocative insight into the world of creationist science that makes a genuine stab at being a scientific form of inquiry, rather than merely reasserting the truths of the Bible. Gish states specifically that the notion of the Archaeopteryx as a transitional form of a between the evolving birds and reptile species groups during the early evolution of the planet earth is in doubt. He argues that recent fossil discoveries and recent research on Archaeopteryx argue strongly against the idea that Archaeopteryx ever had reptilian features.
Do you agree, or disagree with Dr. Gish? You must support you answer with any factual evidence you can find.
It may be agreed that Gish’s theories raise into question certain assumptions of the evolutionary standpoint, and that the animal in question was never as reptilian as first thought. One must critically examine Gish’s argument holistically, however, rather than just in regards to the scaly, bird-like Archaeopteryx
Gish argues that the “appearance, fully formed, of all the complex invertebrates without a trace of ancestors, and the sudden appearance, fully formed, of every major kind of vertebrate fish proves beyond reasonable doubt that evolution” as envisioned by Darwin, “has not occurred,” and thus “quarrels about disputable cases such as Archaeopteryx are really pointless.” Although this categorical assumption is somewhat dubious, Gish’s statement that there are “three other basically different types of flying creatures” that, when compared with Archaeopteryx, show that the alleged reptilian ancestor “had an impressive array of features that immediately identify it as a bird,” long before it was called so by Darwinian scientists, “whatever else may be said about it.” For instance, Archaeopteryx “had perching feet. Several of its fossils bear the impression of feathers. These feathers were identical to those of modern birds in every respect. The primary feathers of non-flying birds are distinctly different from those of flying birds.”
What does Dr. Gish mean by a “transitional form”? Why does he use the supposed lack of transitional forms to support his argument?
Transitional forms are species that are essentially bridges between current species along the evolutionary chain, as in from birds to fish. However, the fully formed nature of certain species coexisting with other supposedly more primitive forms, Gish argues, demonstrates the false nature of the transitional form species hypothesis. The notion of transitional forms reflects the Darwinian concept of “gradualism,” or “the view that changes do not occur all at once, and that there are intermediate steps from an earlier stage to the next. (“How to be anti-Darwin, 1998)
Based on the information that I have posted on the external links section, what is Romer’s Gap? What would Dr. Gish think of Romer’s Gap (could it support or refute his beliefs)?
Originally, Romer’s Gap was thought to support anti-Darwinian or creationist science. Romer’s Gap was the gap or missing links between the seamless chain of evolution proposed, but not entirely supported, with fossil evidence, by Darwin. Today, it is noted, “there are folks today who still pretend that the fossil record reveals no links, no transitional fossils that demonstrate when and how evolution occurred. But before birds and whales could evolve (we have a fine series of fossils for them) tetra pods had to come into being. Their fossils are now coming to roost in museums too. Now, the “tetra pod’s story,” has essentially closed Romer’s Gap, the website asserts, although Gish rests his argument not so much on a series of evolutionary gaps, but also of the co-existence of many species that were alleged to have evolved in a linear fashion, such as birds and reptiles.
What is the importance of the discovery of Acanthostega, and Ichthyostega?
Both of these discovered species of fossil close the ‘gaps’ in the tracing of the evolution of early fossil records, thus even if Gish’s allegations about the bird-like creature he discusses may be true, the discovery of these tetra pods indicates that some of the other noteworthy gaps in the fossil chain are being closed through archeology.
Gish, Duane T. (2004) “As a Transitional Form Archaeopteryx won’t fly.” IMPACT No. 195. September 1989, 2004. Institute for Creation Research. http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-195.htm
How to be anti-Darwin.” (December 21, 1998) (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part1a.html)
“The Evolution of Tetrapods and the Closing of Romer’s Gap.” (2004) (http://members.aol.com/darwinpage/tetrapods.htm#Tetrapods)
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