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Transition from from primitive jawless fish to bony fish (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article

This article (Transition from from primitive jawless fish to bony fish (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 Transition from from primitive jawless fish to bony fish

CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

Finding the identity of the fish to which the scales found in "Upper Silurian" rock belong would be necessary to make a case for a transition here.

GAP: Once again, the first traces are so fragmentary that the actual ancestor can't be identified.

The fossils found here are too fragmented even by evolutionists standards. They must be in really bad shape indeed.

  • Acanthodians(?) (Silurian) -- A puzzling group of spiny fish with similarities to early bony fish.

Acanthodians consist of more than one kind of fish. They seem to have had fully functional jaws, so where is the transition from jawless fish?

  • Palaeoniscoids (e.g. Cheirolepis, Mimia; early Devonian) -- Primitive bony ray-finned fishes that gave rise to the vast majority of living fish. Heavy acanthodian-type scales, acanthodian-like skull, and big notochord.

Palaeoniscoid is actually an order, consisting of numerous kinds of fish, but there are also significant differences from Acanthodians. There is no real evidence of a transition between Acanthodians and Palaeoniscoids, just difference in shape.

  • Canobius, Aeduella (Carboniferous) -- Later paleoniscoids with smaller, more advanced jaws.

There is a curious lack of any reference to mid and late Devonian fossils.

Where is the evidence of a transition? Canobius, and Aeduella are clearly distinct kinds of fish. No transition is indicated from palaeoniscoids; just different features emphasized.

  • Parasemionotus ( early Triassic) -- "Holostean" fish with modified cheeks but still many primitive features. Almost exactly intermediate between the late paleoniscoids & first teleosts. Note: most of these fish lived in seasonal rivers and had lungs. Repeat: lungs first evolved in fish.

There is no reference at all to the Permian, so they skipped an entire period here without even mentioning it.

Talk.Origins reports that parasemionotus had lungs, but that is irrelevant, as there are modern fish with lungs. Parasemionotus cannot even be considered ancestral to amphibians or any other land animal, since by evolutionary dating methods both amphibians and reptiles predated parasemionotus. This totally falsifies their claim that, "lungs first evolved in fish." Also this lung seems to be fully functional with no evidence of it evolving from a non-lung, so it is no real help to evolution.

  • Oreochima & similar pholidophorids (late Triassic) -- The most primitive teleosts, with lighter scales (almost cycloid), partially ossified vertebrae, more advanced cheeks & jaws.

The only references on the Internet to oreochima are on Talk.Origins and clones thereof. Where is the evidence? In addition, there is no reference to the "lung" from parasemionotus. It seems to have disappeared.

  • Leptolepis & similar leptolepids (Jurassic) -- More advanced with fully ossified vertebrae & cycloid scales. The Jurassic leptolepids radiated into the modern teleosts (the massive, successful group of fishes that are almost totally dominant today). Lung transformed into swim bladder.

Talk.Origins' description of leptolepis seems to be based mostly on evolutionary assumptions. Interestingly, the parasemionotus "lung" is back as a swim bladder. Talk.Origins just states it as fact without giving evidence to support the claim. It is not even mentioned in oreochima, so what is the basis for this claim?

Eels & sardines date from the late Jurassic, salmonids from the Paleocene & Eocene, carp from the Cretaceous, and the great group of spiny teleosts from the Eocene. The first members of many of these families are known and are in the leptolepid family (note the inherent classification problem!).

This claim is quite vague, and yet it is stated as fact with no basis given for the claim. There is not even a reference. It is most likely that this "classification problem" results more from evolutionary assumptions than reality. It is also possible that this "classification problem" results from fragmented remains.

All that is here is just what the Bible says: different kinds of animals. No transitions at all.

See Also