The PBS documentary series Your Inner Fish featuring noted paleontologist Neil Shubin premiered this week to much acclaim in the scientific community, but considerably less so in creationist circles.
Prominent creationist Elizabeth Mitchell reviewed the show for Answers In Genesis, and she was unimpressed by the manner in which Shubin allegedly “juxtaposes factual human anatomy with tiresome tales that misleadingly suggest [his] evolutionary interpretations superimposed on the fossils, genetics, embryology, and anatomy in the episode are as trustworthy as the observational science.”
She acknowledged the power of the show’s format — “a suspenseful detective saga [in which] Shubin shows viewers how he recovered this vital missing link, how he unearthed our long-lost ‘family member’ from the Canadian Arctic, how he found the piece of the evolutionary puzzle that supposedly completes our story” — before attacking the evidence that Tiktaalik, the supposed “transitional” fish, could have walked on land, or that its fins pre-figure human hands.
The common design of of Tiktaalik limbs and human hands “is consistent with the biblical account,” she wrote. “It only makes sense that a wise Creator, the Common Designer of all living things, would use this versatile, stable skeletal pattern in countless different kinds of creatures.”
Mitchell then tackled Shubin’s claim that the location of the male reproductive organ on the outside in humans is evidence is another indication that “flaws in the human body, like our susceptibility to hernias, remind us that we’re all adapted from ancient ancestors; we are, every one of us, just a jury-rigged fish.”
She found “several problems with that statement,” foremost among them — that it contradicted the Bible. “God designed a perfect human body along with a perfect world in the beginning,” she wrote.
“How do we know? He told us so in Genesis 1:31. And God warned Adam that rebellion would have consequences (Genesis 2:16–17). Adam did rebel and ever since that day the entire world has groaned (Romans 8:22) under sin’s curse. People’s bodies have worn down, gotten ill, and died. The problem is neither bad design nor evolutionary bondage, but the perversion of God’s good original designs as a consequence of man’s rebellion against the Creator.”
Watch the entire episode of Your Inner Fish via PBS below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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