The Classification of Living Things Fossils Reject the "Tree of Life"
The Burgess Shale Fossils Molecular Comparisons Deepen Evolution's Cambrian Impasse
Trilobites vs. Darwin The Origin of Vertebrates The Origin of Tetrapods
Speculations About Cœlacanth Physical Obstacles to Transition from Water to Land
The Origin of Reptiles Snakes and Turtles Flying Reptiles Marine Reptiles












 The Origin of Tetrapods

Quadrupeds (or Tetrapoda) is the general name given to vertebrate animals dwelling on land. Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are included in this class. The assumption of the theory of evolution regarding quadrupeds holds that these living things evolved from fish living in the sea. However, this claim poses contradictions, in terms of both physiology and anatomy. Furthermore, it lacks any basis in the fossil record.

A fish would have to undergo great modifications to adapt to land. Basically, its respiratory, excretory and skeletal systems would all have to change. Gills would have to change into lungs, fins would have to acquire the features of feet so that they could carry the weight of the body, kidneys and the whole excretory system would have to be transformed to work in a terrestrial environment, and the skin would need to acquire a new texture to prevent water loss. Unless all these things happened, a fish could only survive on land for a few minutes.

So, how does the evolutionist view explain the origin of land-dwelling animals? Some shallow comments in evolutionist literature are mainly based on a Lamarckian rationale. For instance, regarding the transformation of fins into feet, they say, "Just when fish started to creep on land, fins gradually became feet." Even Ali Demirsoy, one of the foremost authorities on evolution in Turkey, writes the following: "Maybe the fins of lunged fish changed into amphibian feet as they crept through muddy water."81

As mentioned earlier, these comments are based on a Lamarckian rationale, since the comment is essentially based on the improvement of an organ through use and the passing on of this trait to subsequent generations. It seems that the theory postulated by Lamarck, which collapsed a century ago, still has a strong influence on the subconscious minds of evolutionary biologists today.

If we set aside these Lamarckist, and therefore unscientific, scenarios, we have to turn our attention to scenarios based on mutation and natural selection. However, when these mechanisms are examined, it can be seen that the transition from water to land is at a complete impasse.

Let us imagine how a fish might emerge from the sea and adapt itself to the land: If the fish does not undergo a rapid modification in terms of its respiratory, excretory and skeletal systems, it will inevitably die. The chain of mutations that needs to come about has to provide the fish with a lung and terrestrial kidneys, immediately. Similarly, this mechanism should transform the fins into feet and provide the sort of skin texture that will hold water inside the body. What is more, this chain of mutations has to take place during the lifespan of one single animal.


The "transition from water to land" scenario, often maintained in evolutionist publications in imaginary diagrams like the one above, is often presented with a Lamarckian rationale, which is clearly pseudoscience.

No evolutionary biologist would ever advocate such a chain of mutations. The implausible and nonsensical nature of the very idea is obvious. Despite this fact, evolutionists put forward the concept of "preadaptation," which means that fish acquire the traits they will need while they are still in the water. Put briefly, the theory says that fish acquire the traits of land-dwelling animals before they even feel the need for these traits, while they are still living in the sea.

Nevertheless, such a scenario is illogical even when viewed from the standpoint of the theory of evolution. Surely, acquiring the traits of a land-dwelling living animal would not be advantageous for a marine animal. Consequently, the proposition that these traits occurred by means of natural selection rests on no rational grounds. On the contrary, natural selection should eliminate any creature which underwent "preadaptation," since acquiring traits which would enable it to survive on land would surely place it at a disadvantage in the sea.

In brief, the scenario of "transition from sea to land" is at a complete impasse. It is accepted by evolutionists as a miracle of nature that cannot be re-examined. This is why Henry Gee, the editor of Nature, considers this scenario as an unscientific story:

Conventional stories about evolution, about 'missing links', are not in themselves testable, because there is only one possible course of events - the one implied by the story. If your story is about how a group of fishes crawled onto land and evolved legs, you are forced to see this as a once-only event, because that's the way the story goes. You can either subscribe to the story or not - there are no alternatives.82

There was no "evolutionary" process in the origin of frogs. The oldest known frogs were completely different from fish, and emerged with all their own peculiar features. Frogs in our time possess the same features. There is no difference between the frog found preserved in amber in the Dominican Republic and specimens living today.

The impasse does not only come from the alleged mechanisms of evolution, but also from the fossil record or the study of living tetrapods. Robert Carroll has to admit that "neither the fossil record nor study of development in modern genera yet provides a complete picture of how the paired limbs in tetrapods evolved…"83

The classical candidates for transitional forms in alleged fish-tetrapod evolution have been several fish and amphibian genera.


An Eusthenopteron foordi fossil from the Later Devonian Age found in Canada.

Evolutionist natural historians traditionally refer to coelacanths (and the closely-related, extinct Rhipidistians) as the most probably ancestors of quadrupeds. These fish come under the Crossopterygian subclass. Evolutionists invest all their hopes in them simply because their fins have a relatively "fleshy" structure. Yet these fish are not transitional forms; there are huge anatomical and physiological differences between this class and amphibians.

In fact, the alleged "transitional forms" between fish and amphibians are not transitional in the sense that they have very small differences, but in the sense that they can be the best candidates for an evolutionary scenario. Huge anatomical differences exist between the fish most likely to be taken as amphibian ancestors and the amphibians taken to be their descendants. Two examples are Eusthenopteron (an extinct fish) and Acanthostega (an extinct amphibian), the two favorite subjects for most of the contemporary evolutionary scenarios regarding tetrapod origins. Robert Carroll, in his Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, makes the following comment about these allegedly related forms:

Eusthenopteron and Acanthostega may be taken as the end points in the transition between fish and amphibians. Of 145 anatomical features that could be compared between these two genera, 91 showed changes associated with adaptation to life on land… This is far more than the number of changes that occurred in any one of the transitions involving the origin of the fifteen major groups of Paleozoic tetrapods.84

Ninety-one differences over 145 anatomical features… And evolutionists believe that all these were redesigned through a process of random mutations in about 15 million years.85 To believe in such a scenario may be necessary for the sake of evolutionary theory, but it is not scientifically and rationally sound. This is true for all other versions of the fish-amphibian scenario, which differ according to the candidates that are chosen to be the transitional forms. Henry Gee, the editor of Nature, makes a similar comment on the scenario based on Ichthyostega, another extinct amphibian with very similar characteristics to Acanthostega:

A statement that Ichthyostega is a missing link between fishes and later tetrapods reveals far more about our prejudices than about the creature we are supposed to be studying. It shows how much we are imposing a restricted view on reality based on our own limited experience, when reality may be larger, stranger, and more different than we can imagine.86

Another remarkable feature of amphibian origins is the abrupt appearance of the three basic amphibian categories. Carroll notes that "The earliest fossils of frogs, caecilians, and salamanders all appear in the Early to Middle Jurassic. All show most of the important attributes of their living descendants."87 In other words, these animals appeared abruptly and did not undergo any "evolution" since then.

81 Ali Demirsoy, Kalitim ve Evrim (Inheritance and Evolution), Meteksan Publishing Co., Ankara, 1984, pp. 495-496.
82 Henry Gee, In Search Of Deep Time: Going Beyond The Fossil Record To A Revolutionary Understanding of the History Of Life, The Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schuster Inc., 1999, p. 7.
83 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 230.

84 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 301.
85 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 304.
86 Henry Gee, In Search Of Deep Time: Going Beyond The Fossil Record To A Revolutionary Understanding of the History Of Life, The Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1999, p. 54.
87 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 292-93.