It would appear that the ICR’s That’s a Fact video series also chose to take the last few weeks off, with only one video being posted in my absence – the next one is due next weekend. The now month-old latest video is called Missing in Action and it’s subject – so-called “missing links” – ties in nicely with the catchup post that will appear next.
The term “missing link” is a misleading descriptor, which is unfortunately commonly used in the media when discussing fossils. It invokes the image of a broken chain, now mended, and that’s not how evolution works. The creationist (mis)conception is even worse – the picture above, of what is supposed to be a literal half-dog, half-bear creature, is not some parody of how they misunderstand the idea but instead the main image for this very video. If it comes down to it they probably do know better than that, but they’re not about to give it away in their two-minute “science” videos.
Here’s a transcript if you can’t bear to watch:
The missing link: commonly thought of as a hypothetical ape-like creature.
Is it “commonly though of” as being “hypothetical”? I think they went overboard in pointing out that they don’t like the idea. Meanwhile the image being displayed at around this point is of an honest-to-goodness “ascent of man” progression like the one to the right, so they must know what they’re talking about.
This evolutionary rock-star is supposed to bridge the gap between man and ape.
The phrase “missing link” may be suspect, but if it’s a “bridge between man and ape” you’re after you can’t go far wrong with Australopithecus. A pity they’re not mentioned then.
But there are missing links all over Darwin’s evolutionary tree.
If nothing else, it’s a bit of a mixed metaphor, no?
And guess what – they’re still missing. For instance, dogs and bears are thought to be cousins, related to each other through a missing link.
This is the point when the dog-bear appears. This is unfortunate, because they were doing so well when they used the term “cousins.” Pick a (first) cousin. You’re related to them via a set of shared grandparents, and while you could call them “missing links” I don’t know why you’d do that as the analogy makes no more sense here than it does in an evolutionary context. Suppose you’d never seen either of your grandparents, but you’ve seen yourself in a mirror and met said cousin: would it be reasonable to conclude that your grandparents look like an even split between both of you? I don’t think so. Similarly, the true common ancestor of bears and dogs probably looked more like the Miacis above than the ICR’s nonsensical depiction.
The same could be said for every other gap in evolution. And some of these gaps are huge, like the gap between sea-creatures with and without bones. While scientists have found fish fossils with bones and ones without, they have yet to find what goes in between.
The comparison they hold up is of a bony fish and a squid, which are fairly distantly related groups anyway. The picture they show combining them (0:42) has to be seen to be believed.
All types of animals are thought by evolutionists to have arisen by the transformation of some other animal type. And as each part of the evolutionary tree branches from one type to another there appears to be another missing link. And that’s the big problem with evolution. Evolution depends on countless missing links, each of which lived in a past we can never know, and they all have supposedly gone extinct, replaced by their evolved descendants.
The video oscillates between a more accurate “tree” view of with the linear progression misunderstanding. Interestingly, they make a kind of reverse “why are there still monkeys” claim here, being incredulous that the “missing links” would have gone extinct and been “replaced by their evolved descendants.”
For example, if some types of fish evolved into some types of amphibians, then there should have been a few changed along the way, from 90% fish, then 80% fish, and so on until 100% amphibian emerged. But the evidence, and the fish, is still missing.
This segment really does show 10%, and then 20%, of a fish being replaced by an amphibian. This is not how evolution works, people!
Creation says that all life was created after it’s kind. We can easily see that creation has upheld that process to this day.
Amusingly the examples shown here are all of domesticated animals. We should also consider how broad the “baramins,” or “kinds,” that creationists categorise life into really are. For example, one of the pictures shown is of some cats. Where are the tigers and panthers that they are prepared to admit are related? Would their inclusion not make it a little harder to see that “creation has upheld” their divisions? The same goes for the dogs – where are the foxes?
Evolution says that we have to trust that there are many unseen missing links out there. So it’s plain to see that the theory of evolution is a theory full of gaps. What do you find more believable?
The depiction of evolution given in this video is a highly inaccurate straw man – of course you would conclude that it’s less believable, that’s what you’re supposed to think. But that doesn’t mean that the real process isn’t true, just that the ICR is out to mislead you on the issue. If you want science, this isn’t the place to get it.