December 3, 2003 | David F. Coppedge

Fossil Fingers Fuddle Phylogeny

Another fossil complicates the evolutionists’ picture of tetrapod origins (see Aug 9 headline).  Chinese paleontologists have reported1 a new marine reptile from Triassic strata (242 million years old, more or less).  Unexpectedly, it has extra digits (a condition called polydactyly) just like the putative ancestors of tetrapods from the earlier Devonian strata (370-354 million years old, more or less).  What does this mean in evolutionary terms?

We have discovered that a preaxial form of polydactyly, in which extra digits are positioned anterior to the first digit, has unexpectedly re-emerged in a marine reptile from the Early Triassic period about 242 million years ago � the overall morphology of both the manus and pes closely resemble those of the earliest tetrapods [sic].  Until now, no post-Devonian tetrapod has been found with a comparative type of polydactyly, so the new amniote provides a striking example of convergent evolution. (Emphasis added.)

Wu, Li, Zhou, and Dong, “Palaeontology: A polydactylous amniote from the Triassic period,” Nature 426, 516 (04 December 2003); doi:10.1038/426516a.

Is there nothing in the world that will shake up a Darwinist enough to get him to question his assumptions?  We are told to believe that millions of years ago, the first four-legged creatures had more toes than we do (an independent, honest observer might suppose that to be an example of devolution, not evolution).  Then 112 million years go by, with all the animals happily swimming and crawling with five digits per foot, and all of a sudden, a marine reptile, by the miraculous process known as “convergent evolution” emerges with extra toes again.  Evolution is so wonderful.  It can explain anything.
    How do they know they didn’t just find the reptile version of the giant of Gath?

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Categories: Fossils

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