A recent article in Science magazine revealed the discovery of a new tetrapod species, which were supposedly the first creatures to climb out of the water. While this would be an interesting find of itself, what made it such a big deal was where the fossils were found. The fossils were found in the Antartic Circle, an area where tetrapod fossils had never previously been found. The scientists described two new species of tetrapod found in shale unearthed in construction on the ice continent. This article will look at what was found and how it plays into the origins debate.
Before going any further, we should define what tetrapod means. Dictionary.com defines it as “a four-footed animal, especially a member of a group that includes all vertebrates higher than fishes.” Essentially, a tetrapod is any creature with four legs, though some creatures, like snakes, are also considered tetrapods because they are descended from the same common purported common ancestor. More on that in a moment. In the sense this article is discussing, the term basically means something similar to a salamander or newt. Generally, evolutionists picture it something like an axolotl, with external gills, a fish like tail, and four legs.
Tetrapods have been found before. They are not a new development. In fact, they are common enough that evolutionists use them as a common ancestor for most land life and even some sea life. However, previous to this discovery, tetrapods had only ever been discovered in tropical and subtropical environments. This had led many scientists to assume that the first tetrapods developed in the tropics. This seemed reasonable considering that the scientists believe these first tetrapods were likely cold blooded and thus would have needed the heat of sunlight. This heat would have been necessary to warm the tetrapods enough to function. This new discovery changes all that line of thinking. Dr. Robert Gess, a paleontologist and the man who discovered the new fossils, had this to say about the discovery. “It strongly suggests that Devonian tetrapods, at least by the Late Famennian, actually lived all over the world, from the tropics to the arctic, from one end of Gondwana to the other. In other words, they could equally well have originated in any climatic zone on any landmass.” Ignoring for the moment the massive evolutionary assumptions he is making in that statement, Dr. Gess is claiming that the tetrapod common ancestor could have originated in the frigid wastes of the Antartic. While evolutionary assumptions will claim rightly that the Antarctic was not always this cold, it is still not ideal weather for a cold-blooded salamander.
Dr. Gess’s statement about the tetrapods makes an incredible amount of evolutionary assumptions. The first assumption is that of the accuracy of the evolutionary geologic column. I debunked the geologic column previously in a different article found here. The second assumption is that the continents were once all connected in a supercontinent called Pangea, which I debunked here. The third assumption he makes is that life could somehow come from non-life. That assumption is core to evolutionary and cannot be debunked in a single article, but check out the rest of this blog for more. The fourth assumption is that one creature could evolve into another. I’ve debunked that repeatedly here, here, and here.
The further issue with this fossil find is the location itself. Antartica is not suitable for cold-blooded animals. Even in the evolutionary theory, Antartica is very cold for a salamander or similar creature. How would they have survived in that climate? As if this was issue enough, the fossils used are suspect at best. The two separate fossils are based on, in one case, a single bone, and in the other, on a few bones. I find it hard to believe that one bone can be automatically indicative of a new species. While it is a neat find, it isn’t enough to declare a new species. The issue largely comes from having a salamander in a cold environment. The species are merely tangential. Yet the fossils are there. How did they get there?
The problem with fossils is a fifth assumption I ignored earlier. That assumption is that the fossil lived where it was buried. This is a very risky assumption. It assumes there never was a global flood, which would have sprayed species throughout the world as the flood waters swirled. This would explain how tetrapods ended up on a continent they are ill-fitted to survive on.
The massive assumptions made by the discovering scientists are completely wrong, as debunked in the links above. Because these assumptions are wrong, the conclusion he draws is also wrong. The tetrapods did not evolve at all, much less in Antartica where they would have been unable to get enough heat to survive. A global flood is a much better explanation than evolution.