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Fins and Fingers and Fossils and Frauds

SciAm article, How Fins Became Fingers, I wonder if the Tiktaalik fossil (half-fish, half-tetrapod) mentioned at the end of the article would qualify for Ray ‘Banana-man’ Comfort’s $10,000 transitionary fossil prize.
Here’s the $10,000 offer as quoted from the website

The $10,000 Offer

A transitional form (or missing link) is an example of one species “evolving” into another species. Excited scientists thought they had found one when they discovered “Archaeopteryx.” The fossil led to the theory that the dinosaurs did not become extinct, but rather all turned into birds. The Field Museum in Chicago displayed what was believed to be an archaeopteryx fossil on October 4-19, 1997. It was hailed as “Archaeopteryx: The Bird That Rocked the World.” However, Dr. Alan Feduccia (evolutionary biologist at the University of North Carolina), said, “Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of ‘paleo-babble’ is going to change that.” [Science, February 5, 1993]. So here’s my challenge: I will give $10,000 to the first person who can prove to me that they have found a genuine living transitional form (a lizard that produced a bird, or a dog that produced kittens, or a sheep that produced a chicken, or even as Archaeopteryx—a dinosaur that produced a bird). Species do not cross, no matter how long you leave them. The whole of creation is proof that evolution is truly “a fairytale for grownups.”

But I’m going to guess not from his apparent fundamental lack of understanding on evolution. By the way, any reason Dr. Feduccia is being quoted from 1993 (4 years before the Field Museum’s display that it’s implied that Feduccia is commenting on)?

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Filed under: Evolution

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