Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The NYT picks a side

(update below)

Today, the New York Times reports on a true transitional fossil (named Tiktaalik roseae) between fish and land tetrapods (or "fishapods"), stating unequivocally that "the fossils are widely seen by scientists as a powerful rebuttal to religious creationists, who hold a literal biblical view on the origins and development of life."

In last year's Intelligent Design flash-in-the-pan, the NYT attempted to give both sides "equal time," to the point of giving a deeply disproportionate amount of time to IDers.

In contrast, this article cites a creationist website, but only rhetorically to show how the "there are no transitional forms" argument becomes falser by the day.

This is a huge improvement. "Equal time" only gave the false impression that there was a true controversy. Thank you, John Noble Wilford.


An anonymous comment brought this University of Chicago video relating the story of the discovery of Tiktaalik roseae to my attention.

(photo credit Ted Daeschler, Nature Magazine)


Anonymous said...

very cool video, too, from the U Chicago

Anonymous said...

Very cool video, too from U Chicago

Matt said...

Thanks for the tip.

Daniel said...

I'm not saying I believe in the whole "ID" thing because that seems more like a political agenda, but I have talked/debated with a few scientists/evolutionists and no one has convinced me yet that God has not played a part in our creation and evolution. I’m not talking about a literal reading of Genesis, just a firm belief in God and that He plays a part in every aspect of our lives.

The videos are pretty cool, but if that is a true transitional fossil (whatever that means) I still think God guided the transition.

Matt said...


You're talking metaphysics -- scientists are talking materialism. I'm willing to allow the two to sit side by side, but ID is not. ID wants to inject an unprovable metaphyscial force into events that don't scientifically require one.

God may have had a hand in the transition in a very broad sense, but no one has shown that the evolution of any species would necessarily require God. To prove that assertion (that is, to support ID) would require an unbelievable amount of negative evidence. ID is in a very logically weak position for exactly that reason.

Science operates by advancing ideas positively -- ID must operate by advancing ideas negatively by elimination.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

The World is Watching in Bemusement...