Where Fish Became Amphibians (?) --
A New Hypothesis

Scientist says fish grew legs in woodlands,
not deserts.

Summary: The leading hypothesis for how fish “evolved” into
amphibians is being questioned by a U. of Oregon scientist. The
prevailing picture for fish-to-amphibian evolution portrays small fish
some “360 million years ago” crawling on stumpy limbs out of shrinking
desert ponds in response to changing environmental conditions.
Paleontologist Alfred Romer, who died in 1973, had popularized the
idea. However, Gregory J. Retallack, Oregon professor of geological
sciences, disagrees with that scenario.

Retallack doesn’t believe such a hypothetical ancestor of ours could
have survived the overwhelming odds of perishing in traveling from one
shrinking pond to another. Writing in the May, 2011
Journal of Geology,
Retallack, who is also a co-director of paleontological collections at an
U. of Oregon museum, said he examined numerous buried soils in rocks
yielding footprints and bones of “early transitional fossils” between fish
and amphibians, and what he found raises a major challenge to Romer’s

"These transitional fossils were not associated with drying ponds or
deserts, but consistently were found with humid woodland soils," he said.
"Remains of drying ponds and desert soils also are known and are
littered with fossil fish, but none of our distant ancestors. Judging from
where their fossils were found, transitional forms between fish and
amphibians lived in wooded floodplains.”

Limbs would have proven handy in getting around woody obstacles, and
flexible necks would have allowed for obtaining food in shallow water.
Limbs and necks, which distinguish salamanders from fish, would not
have arisen from desert experiences. Retallack’s discoveries not only
cast doubt on Romer’s hypothesis but also a newer inter-tidal theory
which came into being when
tetrapods were found in lagoonal mud in

To read the entire article, click on

Comment: Transitional fossils? Here we go again. I did a web search of
“transitional fossils” to see if I could find any clear photographs of these
hypothetical creatures. You can do the same. What I found were mostly
drawings and paintings - in other words, artist conceptions. (Don’t be
confused by the illustration above of a fish-amphibian which is my own
artist conception.) There were a few photos of fossils of ancient
creatures such as archaeopteryx, which once was considered a link
between reptiles and birds. I believe most paleontologists now think this
creature was a true bird because true bird fossils have been dated as
older than this fossil.

For transitional fossils to be proven to really be transitional fossils and
not just the remains of some ancient, now-extinct animal, a series of
fossils showing a gradual change of one animal into another would be
extremely helpful. Unfortunately for evolutionists, such series of fossils
are extremely difficult to find now that the famed horse evolution series
has been discounted by DNA testing.

An alleged transitional fossil that is quite relevant to this story is
something called
Tiktaalik, supposedly a walking fish. But, rocks have
been found containing walking animals which have been dated as older
than Tiktaalik, meaning that secularists can’t consider it to be a
transition between fish and tetrapods. Moreover, there are fish such as
mudskippers alive today which can move around on their fins, in the
water or sometimes even over land, and then there is a salamander
called an
axoloti which looks like a walking fish. But they can’t be
transitional animals either because there is no evidence they were
anything else than what they are today.

I would suggest that the biggest transition that ever happened to life on
this planet was when sin entered the world. All creatures started
experiencing imperfections (Romans 8:22). Human beings began doing
ungodly things. However, another big transition is in the future for us,
as  long as we have come to faith in Jesus as our Savior. We currently
are transitional species between what humans once were in the Garden
of Eden and what we will once again be in the heavenly gardens. We
will inherit perfect, glorified bodies and sinless souls on the last day,
thanks entirely to the life and death of our Savior.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be
changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For
the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will
be changed
” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).  

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How many Americans are hurt each year by medication mistakes
made by doctors or in hospitals?


Gerhold L. Lemke wrote: Warren - Please note the original reference
to "buried soils."  See Google on "paleosols," that is, "fossil" soils
worldwide, and the bones and traces of ancient life that they contain.
This is another area of geologic reality that "Flood geology" can never
explain away with any alternative scenario.  Why not, rather, suppose
that our God who knows all and loves all would want to correct today's
True Belief and so would have created paleosols as such just to give
us something to argue against an unChristian attempt to "walk by
sight" in "proving" the Flood?  GLL

Mark Bergemann wrote: It is amazing how very few transitional
fossils evolutionists have to talk about.  There should be transitional
fossils between most known types of animals (many thousands of
types), yet there are only a handful of debated transitional fossils, like

If the Bible is true (as I firmly believe) then there would be no
transitional forms, only a few debatable candidates, and that is exactly
what we have.

Nutcracker wrote: 12-01-04 = Excellent point, Gerhold. Just how do
soils form in the middle of a flood? Soil horizons take thousands of
years to develop, and there are many, many, many, MANY fossil soil
horizons in the rock record. Given the journal article in question, this
might be a more pertinent conundrum for YECs to consider.

The Editor wrote: "Paleosols are a favourite objection used against
the global Flood and the 6,000-year biblical age of the earth.
Uniformitarians believe that paleosols (ancient soil horizons) are
common throughout the stratigraphic record. Soils are believed to take
hundreds to thousands of years or more to form and represent
periods of earth history when the area was not covered with water.
Thus, it is argued, paleosols could not have formed in the midst of a
global flood. However, when two examples of alleged paleosols are
examined, one in Missouri, USA and the other in Queensland,
Australia, they do not stand up to scrutiny. The loose, friable horizons
do not have the diagnostic characteristics of soils and the
interpretation of a paleosol is inconsistent with the sequence of
geological events required. Instead, the field evidence fits the biblical
framework much better than the uniformitarian one. The soils examined
did not form by subaerial weathering over a long time but by in situ
‘weathering’ during and after the global Flood." Dr. Tas Walker

And Nutcracker, do you really want to be seen lining up with Gerhold
considering he doesn't believe there ever has been any major change
in the geology of the earth since creation (no earth-changing meteorite
impacts; no continental drift or plate tectonics; no fossil formation since
creation, etc.)?

Nutcracker wrote: Editor, I'm siding with Gerhold here because, even
though he may subscribe to the untenable Omphalos hypothesis, at least
he's honest about the data. Pointing to two examples of ambiguous
paleosols and then concluding that no paleosols exist in the geologic
record is NOT an honest way of dealing with the data.

Gerhold L. Lemke wrote: Warren - Thanks for the "digging-deeper"
link, where a creationist argues for his instant-everything take on a
world geology created by the Flood about 4,500 years ago.  More
good questions relating to other issues were raised.  But on the soil
issue, it was admitted that better examples of paleosols have been
reported, such as I had in mind when I mentioned "traces of ancient

What sticks in my mind at the moment is a science report from 10 or
15 years ago showing the small stumps of a glossopteris grove
perched on level strata 600 feet up on an Antarctic ridge.  They
(obviously) had to be rooted in a paleosol, given also the preservation
of their leaves at that level.  Another obvious paleosol would have to
be the Deep Time living surface of all the more "modern" creatures
whose bones are preserved in the famous ashfall fossil beds of NE
Nebraska.  The Net once had a discussion by two SDA men whose
talking ended in agreement that this museum site demonstrated no
connection at all with Bible History time.  This answers your LSI.  

One of the related issues (above) was paleokarst.  Sorry to burst your
bubble, but we have it right here in the crushed rock catching the
rainfall that runs off our Cedar Rapids WELS church parking lot.  ("He
who has eyes to see, let him see.")  The limestone comes from a local
quarry where a significant Deep Time erosion profile was obvious on
the quarry wall.  So maybe 95% of the rock hauled out of there is
normal Devonian/Silurian in "age" and flat layering.  That leaves 5%
of the rock looking like broken highway concrete, that is, sharp
fragments of the "older" rock cemented into the higher limestone that
filled in the erosion profile.  NOT what the Flood could have done,
supposedly dumping one layer on top of the next as a universal
limestone mud.  Will your LSI readers want to ignore this, or get real?  

A real corker for your people should be a perfect primitive sea urchin
fossil that I found where heavy blasted limestone was used in a city
park.  By "primitive" I mean that the urchin's hard, thin points (5" across
from point to point) were NOT flexible, as you would expect in an urchin.
The rock matrix cracked right through the base of the creature, so that
you could see the small pentagonal body opening and the first set of
five points equally spaced.  The next set above was also equally
spaced, pointing exactly between the first set below.  My point here is
that if such a fragile creature had been tumbled along for even half a
mile in your violent Flood, it wouldn't have survived to by preserved so

Your reply, Warren, simply did the usual thing of flawed apologetic,
expecting the single sweep of a broom to "answer" a landslide of
evidence. Your aside to Nutcracker - this isn't about what I "believe."  I
believe all Bible revelation.  What isn't in the Bible I have to THINK.
And thinking puts me (and every other thinking person) in agreement
with Deep Time people, that Everything Looks Old!  That's the only
honest reality that a Christian can allow.  Cairo, Egypt, for instance, sits
on top of a mile-deep river canyon from a "time" when the
Mediterranean was once a deep salt-production basin.  Explain that
away, if you can, in terms of your instant-everything Flood.  

In your posted "library," your article claims flat out that a created
geology would make God a Liar.  Whose permission do you have to say
that?  WELS clergy & professors over the years have said and written
the opposite (that it's OK to think what I think).  Any Christian can aim at
"thinking God's thoughts after him," but PLEASE respect reality, and
don't just beat the drum for fundamentalism!  

The Bible says not to cast stumbling-blocks in front of anybody.  Your
mention of major Earth impacts does exactly this.  Imagine!  One-a-day
multiple strikes every day for the first 150 days of the Flood year (a
scenario that John Morris wanted me to accept when he was here in
town in A.D. 2000).  The issue here is TRUST.  Should a lost soul trust
you for a silly scenario?  Should our church members maintain an
attitude of total TRUST in their own teachers & pastors (and the gospel
message that they share), when they raise no objections to the most
silly things that your LSI publishes?  This is no idle concern.  Without
such trust, there can be no Family of God, and no happy comradeship
in the Church Militant.  GLL

The Editor wrote: This is the beauty of the American way. We have
the freedom to choose whatever experts we wish to believe (or not        
believe) depending upon our worldview.

Nutcracker wrote: That there are thousands of examples of fossil
soils found throughout the geologic record is not dependent on one's
worldview. It's a fact.

Gerhold L. Lemke wrote: Editor - Weltanschauung (worldview) is no
excuse for poor workmanship or a willingness to be misled by others.
Before I'm an American, God has made me a member of his Kingdom of
Grace &Glory.  That cancels any "freedom"to push pseudoscience, and
ought to motivate your need to "Test everything." Even as an American
(also wanting to "love your neighbor") you shouldn't be happy pushing a
flawed worldview that has managed only to create a deep divide
between Americans.  You don't even know if Nutcracker has Christian
relatives wishing that he would believe what God says in Genesis, as
they do.  How is your blog assisting their concern, if you keep trashing
his reality, that Everything Looks Old?  

I know, he calls the Omphalos idea “untenable." Why?  Because of his
chosen worldview, that if something looks old it has to be old.  That's
it, and all science depends on it.  But if everything in your life starts with
God, who did everything, then a created geology isn't untenable, not
with God's reminder that his thoughts &ways aren't ours.  My secular
friends agree with Nutcracker - the Omphalos answer doesn't trash the

So how does this apply to the top question, “What about the
dinosaurs?" Christian apologetic has come up with three answers (all
represented when you Google for: WELS dinosaurs).  1) The Flood
drowned them.  2) They went extinct before the Flood, after sin brought
death into the world.  Or 3) Their total geology was created as such.
The first two are totally silly.  But who wants to “bell the cat," and say so?  
You don't even dare point out how the second, as impossible as
it is, totally trashes your LSI agreement with the first.  Only the third
earns any (grudging) respect.  I call it the Gosse Gambit.  You might
post a link here [ ] to where I gave you some good ideas for why God
would have chosen to create Earth's geology as such.  Thanks.  

P.S.  Gosse is, in fact, untenable when arguing (1857) that the creation
of fossils could have happened at any time in human history after
Adam &Eve sinned.  This would, in fact, make God guilty of creating a
Deep Time that would only fool evolutionists into unbelief.  A created
“death"before human sin, however, leaves open God's possible intent
that fossils, found worldwide by a holy humanity, should be a universal
warning: “You don't want your bones here, do you?"

Thanks for your blog work, Warren.  Evolution never happened.
Likewise, instant evolution (from fewer “;kinds"on the Ark) didn't happen
either.  “Blessed are the peacemakers." GLL

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Nearly two million Americans are hurt each year
when they are given the wrong drug or the wrong
dose. This figure doesn’t include the mistakes
many people make on their own such as
forgetting to take a pill or accidentally double
dosing.  Thankfully, most of these mistakes are
not fatal.

Bottom Line Personal
(December 15, 2011)
The opinions expressed
here are those of The
Editor and do not
necessarily represent
the views of the Lutheran
Science Institute. Please
note that links in older
posts may be broken

About Me - Warren Krug
The Editor

Decades ago I attended a
so-called Lutheran
university where I could
have lost my faith. The
science professors promoted
the theory of evolution and
made fun of anybody who
believed in the account of
creation as presented in
the book of Genesis.
Thanks be to God, some
creationist literature and
the Bible soon helped get
me back on the right track.
Ever since then I have
taken an active interest in
the creation/evolution

Background image from NASA