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Evolution Propaganda By The Scientific American Magazine

The Scientific American magazine dedicated its special issue of April 2003 to the evolution propaganda. In this issue, there were reprints of articles which had appeared before, on of which, was on of the foremost propaganda materials: the dino-bird. The claims made in the article titled “The Origins Of Birds And Their Flight” by Kevin Padian and Luis M. Chiappe has been refuted previously on our website at;


Another of the claims made by the Scientific American in its special issue, is on the subject of the origins of whales, which has also been responded to many times on our website. Our response to the article titled “The Mammals That Conquered The Seas” by Kate Wong can be reached from here.

Yet another untrue assertion printed in the special issue of the Scientific American is the article that appeared under the title of “Rulers Of The Jurrassic Seas.” It first appeared in the magazine”s December 2000 issue authored by Ryosuke Motani and deals with the fish-shaped sea dweller Ichthyosaur“s supposed evolution. We will expose the evolution mistakes in this article by the Scientific American.

The Claim That The Ichthyosaur Evolved From Land Animals Is Groundless

The article states that the uncertainties around the origins of the Ichthyosaur continue but that these creatures are understood to have evolved from land animals. No evidence is produced for this supposed evolution. Just because of the Ichthyosaur“s skull and jawbone resembled land animals” and that it had four legs, was considered enough evidence that it evolved from land animals. With this logic though it is possible to claim evolutionary relations, and that “they evolved from one another,” between animals not even the evolutionists themselves do, simply by showing some similarities in evidence. There is no scientific basis to the claims of the Scientific American.

The Ichthyosaur was a sea dweller with unique characteristics and there is no sign to be found of its supposed ancestors. The authors of Evolution of the Vertebrates, Colbert and Morales, say on the origins of this animal in their book:

The Ichthyosaurs, in many respects the most highly specialized of the marine reptiles, appeared in early Triassic times. Their advent into the geologic history of the reptiles was sudden and dramatic; there are no clues in pre-Triassic sediments as to the possible ancestors of the Ichthyosaurs… The basic problem of Ichthyosaur relationships is that no conclusive evidence can be found for linking these reptiles with any other reptilian order. (1)

Especially the Ichthyosaurs living in the deep waters of the open seas had complex and unique characteristics. Evolutionists though claim that a land dwelling reptile coincidentally adapted to living in the wide-open deep waters of the oceans. This is an impossible scenario. The vertebrate history expert Romer states that “No earlier forms [of Ichthyosaurs] are known. The peculiarities of Ichthyosaur structure would seemingly require a long time for their development and hence a very early origin for the group, but there are no known Permian reptiles antecedent to them. ” (2) Romers reality, established in the sixties, is still valid today.

To see some of the characteristics of the Ichthyosaur described by Scientific American will make it clearer why these creatures could not have evolved from land animals.

  • The article says on the adaptation of the Ichthyosaur to the open seas of the oceans:

    Not only were the advanced, fish-shaped Ichthyosaurs made for aquatic life; they were made for life in the open ocean, far from shore. These extreme adaptations to living in water meant that most of them had lost key features-such as particular wrist and anklebones-that would have made it possible to recognize their distant cousins on land.

As the Scientific American admits, for a land animal to evolve into Ichthyosaur requires “extreme adaptations” which consequently creates the necessity of many “transitional forms” to get there. The fossil record has no “records” on these transitional forms.

One of the defining features of the Ichthyosaur separating it from land animals is its paddle like feet. Among land animals, there are no such feet to be found. Contrary to the delicate toes of reptiles, the Ichthyosaur“s toe bones are short and wide. All its foot bones are very much alike. In most of the other four-legged animals, it is fairly easy to distinguish the anklebones from the inner feet bones, but all the Ichthyosaur“s bones are closely packed together, without skin in between, forming thus a strong paddle. All the foot bones being thus contained within the same soft tissue increases its solidity. The same structure can be seen in whales, dolphins, sea lions, and sea turtles. This soft tissue wrapping up the bone structure increases hydrodynamic efficiency by its water resistance reducing shape. If their toes were distinct from one another, this could not be achieved. The question as how the Ichthyosaur“s feet evolved remains unanswered. There are no signs indicating that they evolved from the fins of fish and no evidence to suggest that they gradually evolved from land reptiles. Actually, the Scientific American acknowledges that there was no gradual transition in a certain order to these paddle feet. It says:

Indeed, analyses of Ichthyosaur limbs reveal a complex evolutionary process in which digits were lost, added and divided.

As seen, the history of the Ichthyosaur“s paddle feet does not show the signs of gradual and continuous evolution, as the evolutionists would have liked. But just like all the other evolutionists, the Scientific American ignores this reality and helps its readership to do the same with a classic act of demagogy. It says:

Needless to say, evolution does not always follow a continuous, directional path from one trait to another.

When evolutionists cannot fulfill their expectations, they resort to such explanations with which they try to save their theories, but the data from the fossil records shows clearly that there is no evolution.

Furthermore, the same foot design as the Ichthyosaur“s seen in today”s sea mammals like whales, dolphins and sea lions is also difficult to explain by the theory of evolution. It has not been possible to create any evolutionary links between them despite their common body design. This and many other examples disprove the “homology” claim by the evolutionists. The common body plan of these creatures is because of their common design.

  • Another distinguishing factor between the Ichthyosaur and the reptiles is the number of vertebra in the upper body. In reptiles there are 20 but in the Ichthyosaur, 40. This means that in the supposed process of evolution, besides all the other mutations and changes taking place, another 20 odd vertebra were added and as you would expect, from the standpoint of the vertebra, there is no sign of any being that could have been a transitional form with, for instance, 25, 30 or 35 vertebra.
  • Animals feeding in the open oceans need to have an efficient system of moving through the vast waters for energy reasons. A fin like tail is an ideal tool, increasing the animal”s efficiency in moving through the water. The Ichthyosaur has this type of tail but interestingly; there are no fossil records of any preceding biological structure that could be considered its ancestor.
  • It is necessary for the air breathing Ichthyosaur, which hunted in deep waters, to be able to dive hundreds of meters deep, hunt, and return to the water surface. This requires a design that can maximize the preservation of oxygen in the body. The most efficient way of achieving this is by reducing the energy consumption when swimming and the Ichthyosaur and other deep diving animals have body designs reducing drag. But; whose design is it? According to evolutionists, coincidental mutations are responsible for the perfect design of these animals. That this claim is illogical is obvious.
  • Another body feature that enabled the Ichthyosaur to hunt in deep waters is its eye design. It has been revealed that they possessed a “sclerotic ring,” which, irrespective of the depth of the water, protects the eye from the water pressure. The diameter of the sclerotic ring gives the f-number of the eye, or in other words the amount of light in an optical system. The smaller the number, the brighter the sight or the less exposure required. Where this f-number is 2.1 in the human eye, it is 0.9 with Ophthalmosaurus, a kind of Ichthyosaur. Its eyesight in the depth of the oceans was is superior to the human eye.

As seen, the Ichthyosaur, with its complex characteristics, has been designed specifically for a life in the deep waters of the oceans. For a land animal to acquire these traits it requires countless spot on mutations, but coincidences cannot plan and alter accordingly all the characteristics of an animal to adapt to a certain environment. Coincidences cannot know every trait of a land animal, from its toes to its vertebra, from eye design to swimming technique and how to alter them, or how to design this animal to make it suitable for the deep waters. Coincidences do not possess the intellect or awareness necessary to do this. The fossil records demonstrate that these animals appeared of a sudden, complete with their unique and complex traits and not by gradual and coincidental mutations. The result is evident: The Ichthyosaur did not evolve; it was created.

The Evolutionary Dogmatic Expressions Of The Scientific American

Reading between the lines of that article reveals an often-used style by evolutionists. The author first speaks of a condition requiring adaptation by an animal, then proceeds to assert that the animal “solved the problem by developing an organ x.” For instance, animals living in the depth of the oceans, it is said, require necessarily the ability to resurface quickly. Today”s animals have solved this problem, it is claimed, by “constructing the outer shell of their bones less dense, a bit like Swiss cheese.” In other words, animals diving deep must realize the need for resurfacing quickly, ponder a solution to increase the speed for doing so and find the solution in reducing the weight of their bones. Then they need to reflect on how to reduce bone weight, decide that altering the density of the outer bone is the way to achieve this and then put this decision into practice. This is the written form of a “scientist”s” world of illusions. This is not science and there is no reason, logic, or science in these claims. In reality, neither the needs nor the intentions of an animal can alter its biological design. Change then would be only possible by coincidental mutations, which do not add genetic information to the DNA of the animal and therefore cannot create new beings. This is a proven fact.


Ichthyosaurs are creatures living in the sea with their own unique characteristics. There is no evidence to suggest that these animals evolved from land animals or fish for that matter. This article by Scientific American was authored with evolutionist prejudices. The Ichthyosaur with its body form of fish and all its other characteristics has been designed for a life in deep waters. The designer behind this perfect design is not blind coincidences, but God, the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth.

(1) E. H. Colbert, M. Morales, Evolution of the Vertebrates, New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1991, p. 193
(2) A. S Romer, Vertebrate Paleontology, 3rd ed., Chicago University Press, Chicago, 1966, p. 120.

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