Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another Transitional Form to Ignore: the Turtlelike Odontochelys

PZ Myers treats us to a nice writeup of yet another transitional fossil for the creationists to pretend doesn't exist. This one is called Odontochelys, a turtlelike creature that had teeth modern turtles lack, but no shell, and lived 220 million years ago.

I know, I know, it's still just a turtle. And people who say that are still ignoramuses.


Anonymous said...

Does it sometimes happen that a newly-found fossil is called by the experts as a transitional link, but after further review it is recategorized, coming off a different branch of the tree?

ScienceAvenger said...

Fossils are recategorized as new information comes to light all the time. That doesn't make them any less transitional.

Anonymous said...

Huh? If it's discovered that the Odontochelys (or any fossil, actually) is reclassified to a branch that turned into an evolutionary dead end, then that would *indeed* make it non-transitional.

ScienceAvenger said...

Any fossil that shows traits of what were thought to be part of distinct species can be properly considered transitional. Archaeopteryx is a good example. It matters not one whit whether that branch of the bush of life is still in existence.

Nice try at moving the goalposts, and making up self-serving definitions on the fly, but we don't play those creationist games here.