Crocoduck

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"♫ TA-DAA! ♫"
The divine comedy

Creationism

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Running gags
Jokes aside
Blooper reel
Take pity on the lonely crocoduck
Whom none do love not bird nor reptile
Across the fields he runs amok
Proving evolution all the while

The crocoduck is a hypothetical animal intelligently designed by creationists intended to demonstrate that there is "no" transitional form between crocodiles and ducks.

Contents

[edit] Original description

The crocoduck's non-existence was first brought to light by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, during a televised debate wherein they explained the devastating lack of said animals needed to validate evolution:

We imagined would be genuine species-to-species transitional forms. We called one a 'crocoduck' and another was called a 'birddog.' This was to show exactly what evolutionists believe, but can't back up through the fossil record."[1]

[edit] Why it's bullshit

The crocoduck is a perfect example of the straw man fallacy of over-simplifying the opponent's argument (here, the existence of transitional forms) to make it easier to "refute". Crocodiles and ducks have not had a common ancestor for 245 million years; their closest fossil common ancestor, ArchosaurusWikipedia's W.svg, was far more like a crocodile than a duck, but both crocs and ducks have a mix of primitive and advanced features from their common ancestor, the basal ruling reptileWikipedia's W.svg. Transitional forms need not be chimaeras of two of their descendants.

The crocoduck and other chimaeras actually hold an interesting place when considered as possible evidence. Creationists purport that chimaeras would be evidence of evolution, yet if such a chimaera were actually found to exist, then it would actually serve as evidence against evolution as it is understood by modern biologists. Hence, the crocoduck argument demonstrates that creationists do not understand the actual claims made by the theory of evolution.

[edit] "Real crocoducks"

Anatosuchus. This is the real deal!

Various fossil species can be argued to be "crocoducks", often due to Convergent evolution:

  • DromaeosaursWikipedia's W.svg like Velociraptor had feathers, which would kind of make them crocoducks by any reasonable definition of the term. As dromaeosaurs were close cousins to birds[2] and were distantly related to crocodiles by virtue of both being archosaurs ancestrally... yeah, but, you know, whatever, it's not like creationists know how taxonomy actually works.
  • In 2009, fossils of duck-billed alligators were found. The genus has been named AnatosuchusWikipedia's W.svg (literally, "duck crocodile"). Although it would be more accurately be called a "duckodile" as the positions of duck and crocodile are reversed between this and the original theory; we are anxiously waiting to see what chimaera creationists will howl about next.
  • False-toothed birds (PelagornithidaeWikipedia's W.svg) were a family of seabirds with a superficially crocodile-like beak and teeth.
  • SpinosaurusWikipedia's W.svg was an aquatic-adapted dinosaur with a long jaw, described by one paleontologist as "a chimera — half duck, half crocodile."[3]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics. p. 30
  2. http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/handle/2246/2870
  3. http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/11/6136443/the-largest-predatory-dinosaur-ever-was-half-duck-half-crocodile


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