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Lagomorphs (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article

This article (Lagomorphs (Talk.Origins)) is a rebuttal regarding a supposed transitional form published by the Talk.Origins Archive under the title Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ.

Response to Lagomorphs

CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

  • Barunlestes (see above) The possible Asian rodent/lagomorph ancestor.

Barunlestes are classified as mid-late Paleocene and seems to closely resemble a mouse. Given Barunlestes similarity to mice it is reasonable to consider it a variety of mouse.

  • Mimotoma (Paleocene) -- A rabbit-like animal, similar to Barunlestes, but with a rabbit dental formula, changes in the facial bones, and only one layer of enamel on the incisors (unlike the rodents). Like rabbits, it had two upper incisors, but the second incisor is still large and functional, while in modern rabbits it is tiny. Chuankuei-Li et al. think this is the actual ancestor of Mimolagus, next.

The "earliest" Mimotoma seem to be older than Barunlestes by evolutionary dating methods or at best they would be contemporaries; as such Mimotoma could not have evolved from Barunlestes.

The only remains that are mentioned for Mimotoma are teeth and some facial bones. The teeth seem to be the only thing evolutionists are comparing. The fact that no other body parts are described makes one wonder if teeth facial bones are all that has been found of Mimotoma.

Mimotoma is considered by Chuankuei-Li et al. to be ancestral to Mimolagus despite that by their own dating methods there would be an almost 10 million year gap with no apparent evidence of a connection.

Unfortunately the once available references to Mimotoma seem to be at Talk Origins and it clones. As such, there is no information upon which to base an independent analysis.

  • Mimolagus (late Eocene) -- Possesses several more lagomorph-like characters, such as a special enamel layer, possible double upper incisors, and large premolars.

Note, that by their own dating methods there would be an almost 10 million year gap with no apparent evidence of a connection between Mimolagus and it alleged ancestor Mimotoma.

Since all that seems to be mentioned about Mimolagus are teeth, that seems to be the only thing evolutionists are comparing. The fact that no other body parts are described makes one wonder if teeth are all that has been found of Mimolagus.

  • Lushilagus (mid-late Eocene) -- First true lagomorph. Teeth very similar to Mimotoma, and modern rabbit & hare teeth could easily have been derived from these teeth.
  • After this, the first modern rabbits appeared in the Oligocene.

Lushilagus seems to be just be a variety of rabbit. Further more the "earliest" Lushilagus would be older than Mimolagus by evolutionary dating methods as such Lushilagus could not have evolved from Mimolagus.

While there is hardly any information on the two types listed between Barunlestes and Lushilagus, it would take more than that to go from the mouse Barunlestes to a rabbit like Lushilagus. There is insufficient information on which to base an independent analysis these types. Evolutionary dating methods them selves show that this list can not represent an ancestor descendant relationship, they at best show two sets of contemporaries with a 10 million year gap between them. This is not objective evidence for Evolution.

Known species-to-species transitions in lagomorphs:

  • The mid-Tertiary lagomorph Prolagus shows a very nice "chronocline" (gradual change over time), grading from one species to the next. Gingerich (1977) says: "In Prolagus a very complete fossil record shows a remarkable but continuous and gradual reorganization of the premolar crown morphology in a single lineage."

These observed differences in genus Prolagus are just variations in the same kind of animal and remarkable in that regard. The claim of a "gradual change over time" is based on Evolutionary dating. There are two other possible interpretations, based on different time models.

  1. They were contemporaries, found in a manner evolutionist interpret as different times.
  2. The change is real but over a much shorter period of time.
  • Lundelius et al. (1987) mention transitions in Pleistocene rabbits, particularly from Nekrolagus to Sylvilagus, and from Pratilepus to Aluralagus. Note that both these transitions cross genus lines. Also see the lagomorph paper in Chaline (1983). Some of these transitions were considered to be "sudden appearances" until the intervening fossils were studied, revealing numerous transitional individuals.

First of all the created kinds of animals are some time entire families not just a single genus, as such evidence of a transition across genus lines is not a problem for creation.

See Also