In case you haven’t heard, one of Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron’s lines of argumentation involves holding up a photoshopped monster (whose origin is very likely the Something Awful, Worth 1000, or Fark photoshop contests), and saying “evolution says this should exist as a transitional form, and it doesn’t, therefore God, QED.” They usually just troll the image boards to find their silly “transitions”, like the bull frog. Bonus points for finding “transitions” between two branches that are nowhere near one another and saying that it must look like some weird hybrid of both present-day forms, rather than a basal form unique unto itself from which both branches stem.
Their favorite and ours has been, since they started trotting out this argument, the crocoduck. This mythical creature is a supposed transitional form between let’s say for simplicity’s sake the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and again for simplicity let’s say the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). Its actual basal form would likely be a Thecodont, the basal form that gave rise to dinosaurs, crocodiles and probably pterodactyls. Archaeopteryx is a likely ancestor within the dinosaur family to all avians, so the tree would look something like:
If you’ve identified, after all this, that Crocoduck is nothing but a ridiculous strawman argument used to, rather than prove God, disprove evolution, then you’re absolutely 100% correct.
So you’ll join me in laughing heartily about the fact that we have, in fact, found a fossil of a creature that resembles a duck/crocodile cross. Granted, it looks more like a duck head stuck on a crocodile body, but it still counts in my book. It is in the Crocodylidae family, and is just an evolutionary dead-end that did not survive to present day, but still — the epic failure that is Comfort’s “novel argumentation” is absolutely delicious. Not that the God-sey Twins would ever admit defeat on the point, or any other.
Coverage is available not just at the Telegraph (the above link), but also at JSTOR (if you have a login, and I don’t), Skeptic Friends, Atheist Nexus, Science Mag, Wikipedia, and notably not at Answers in Genesis.
As an added bonus, please enjoy this music video while you browse the links I’ve provided above.