Scientist behind fish-tetrapod find calls out Discovery Institute’s Casey Luskin

Over at A Free Man, there is an interview with

Catherine Boisvert

Catherine Boisvert

. Boisvert was the first author on the recent paper that showed the underlying fingerlike structures of the prehistoric fish, Panderichthys. I wrote about the recent findings and the Discovery Institute’s response here. At that time, Casey Luskin argued that scientists were engaging in “Retroactive Confession of Ignorance.” He claimed that she was attacking the quality and relevance of another prehistoric fish, Tiktaalik (original emphasis):

Confident that her fossil showed evolution better than Tiktaalik, Boisvert and other Darwinists then proceeded to admit striking criticisms of Tiktaalik. The interview with Boisvert at The Scientist states, “Previous data from another ancient fish called Tiktaalik showed distal radials as well — although the quality of that specimen was poor.

During the interview,  they asked Catherine Boisvert about Luskin’s description of her words:

AFM: The creationist Discovery Institute has pounced on some of the statements in your paper regarding sample quality as evidence that scientists are trying to backpedal on previous hypotheses regarding digit development and evolution. Can you clarify your statements regarding sample quality of Tiktaalik and Panderichthys?

CB: As you know, the “Discovery” Institute tactic is not to go to the primary literature in order to understand it but rather to use quotations from secondary, even tertiary sources, reorganise or use them out of context opportunistically to their own convenience. In this case, they used an article where the journalists unfortunately misunderstood me. Tiktaalik’s material is in fact exquisite, it is very well preserved, basically uncrushed and can be prepared out to be examined in three dimensions. I never said the quality was poor. I have simply explained that the morphology of the fin of Panderichthys is more tetrapod-like than that of Tiktaalik, which has nothing to do with the quality of the material.

Of course we already knew that Luskin wasn’t going to be honest with his readers when he is quoting an evolution proponent, but it is nice to hear it directly from the source.  I encourage you to read the rest of the interview. She is a fascinating scientist and is surely someone that we should all keep an eye on.

hat tip: Panda’s Thumb

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2 Responses

  1. Creation on the web now cites Luskin’s post on Tiktaalik as support of their dismissal of Panderichthys as a transitional fossil (here). For some reason I find that really amusing. I’m probably a bad person.

  2. I also find just about anything from “creation on the web” or “answers in genesis” amusing. Sometimes we have to laugh at this type of ridiculousness. Otherwise, I think I would go crazy with rage at these people.

    I thought the list of “related articles” that each point to different missing links was particularly funny. Can’t they see that the existence of even one of these missing links disproves creation?

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