A report titled “Fossil fills out water-land leap” recently appeared on the www.bbc.co.uk web site. Dated 25 June, 2008, the report announced the discovery of the latest remains of a fossil described as Ventastega curonica in Nature magazine, the first specimens of which had been unearthed in 1994. The fossil in question is being portrayed as a stage in the supposed evolutionist scenario of the transition from water to land and has been claimed, on no scientific grounds whatsoever, to fill one of the gaps in that imaginary passage. The preconceptions on which this evolutionist claim revealed in the BBC report are set out below, together with an explanation of why it is that this finding fails to overcome the problems inherent in the mythical evolution from water to land.
Like other mosaic life forms, Ventastega also constitutes no evidence for Darwinism
The remains of Ventastega, described as a “four-legged fish” in the BBC report, were discovered in Western Lithuania, one of the Baltic states, and consist of shoulder and pelvic bones and a well-preserved skull. The fossil is some 365 million years old and possesses a number of mosaic characteristics. Mosaic life forms contain physical features belonging to different groups. For example, the platypus that lives in lakes and rivers in Australia and Tasmania belong to the mammal class because it is covered in fur and suckles its young. However, this animal that can use its tail like a rudder also has an avian beak and reptile venom. Like mammals, the platypus is covered in fur and suckles its young, though it also lays eggs and produces venom like a reptile. Like birds, it has a beak, but also spends much of its time in the water, in the same way as amphibians.
Ventastega’s skull anatomy resembles that of land vertebrates, though with its flat tail and fins it is adapted to live in the sea; to put it another way, it is a mosaic life form. Because of these characteristics, evolutionist are trying to use Ventastega as an intermediate form and propaganda tool in the press. The fact is, however, that mosaic life forms constitute no evidence for Darwinism. They possess different, but flawless characteristics, and these work together as a particular physiological whole. Such a prominent evolutionist palaeontologist as Stephen Jay Gould openly states that “mosaic life forms” cannot be regarded as transitional forms. (S. J. Gould & N. Eldredge, Paleobiology, Vol 3, 1977, p. 147)
Darwinism maintains that the organs and systems in a living thing evolve gradually by means of very small changes. However, Darwinism is unable to show any gradual development of the different systems in mosaic life forms. All these characteristics appear fully formed and fully functional. According to the theory of evolution, which makes the claim of chance development, the fossil record should contain a large number of organs and systems that have been deformed by random mutations, though palaeontologists have been unable to discover any trace of these. For that reason, E. R. Leach, author of the book Rethinking Anthropology, has written this in an article in the journal Nature:
Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so. (E.R. Leach; Nature, 293: 19, 1981 )
A.S. Romer, an eminent palaeontologist from an earlier generation, said this on the same subject:
"Links" are missing just where we most fervently desire them [to point to a transition between species] and it is all too probable that many "links" will continue to be missing. (A.S. Romer, chapter in Genetics, Paleontology and Evolution (1963), p. 114.)
The mythical transition from water to land: a fictitious and dogmatic claim
The theory of evolution maintains that change in living things depends on the selection of those differences produced by random mutations that are advantageous. However, it is a very well known fact that mutations have no evolutionary power due to any ability to add new genetic information to a living thing’s DNA. If a fish fails to undergo rapid change in various different directions, such as its respiratory and waste excretion mechanisms and skeletal structure, then it will inevitably die. There needs to be such a chain of mutations that will immediately bestow a lung on the fish, will turn its fins into lungs, will give it a kidney and make its skin capable of retaining water. The systems essential for the creature’s survival must either change instantaneously, or else not at all. Any such change is completely impossible in evolution, which is claimed to be based on chance, a process with no objective. Any rational person can see that the only explanation is that fish and terrestrial life forms were created independently.
For that reason, the “passage from the sea to the land” scenario is at a total dead-end. Evolutionist biologists have no consistent fossil evidence to which they can point. In her book Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution, the evolutionist palaeontologist Barbara J. Stahl writes:
...none of the known fishes is thought to be directly ancestral to the earliest land vertebrates. Most of them lived after the first amphibians appeared, and those that came before show no evidence of developing the stout limbs and ribs that characterized the primitive tetrapods (ancient amphibians)." (Barbara J. Stahl. Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution, Dover, 1985. p. 148)
The claims regarding Ventastega consist of enormous speculation based on very few data
The impression given in the BBC report is that the water to dry land scenario is a reliable theory based on very sound evidence, and that as a supposed intermediate form Ventastega thus fills a significant hole in the theory. The fact is, however, that Ventastega, depicted as an intermediate form in the supposed passage from water to land, and other fossil specimens constitute no evidence for the theory of evolution whatsoever. On the contrary, with their complete and flawless systems, these life forms represent a new and insoluble dilemma for the theory of evolution. Since the scientists working in this field have adopted the theory of evolution as a dogma right from the very outset they invent speculative interpretations regarding these very few fossils and construct imaginary links between fossils. Jennifer A. Clack, an evolutionist and one of the most eminent experts on the origins of terrestrial life forms, admits in a book written in 2003 that the claims made in this sphere are purely conjectural:
In the not-too-distant past, there was almost no fossil material, and ideas were based largely on informed guesswork. Speculation was intense, and as is often the case, in inverse proportion to the amount of data. To be truthful, there is still not much real data, so that speculation is still active, and whatever is concluded today may be overturned by the discovery of a new fossil tomorrow. That in some sense is to be hoped for, because only in that way can guesses be falsified and tested as scientific hypotheses. (Clack, J.A., Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2002, p. 3)
The BBC scientific news service must admit that palaeontology refutes the theory of evolution, and must realise that insisting on telling fairy stories about missing links, which are nothing more than a lie, actually changes nothing.