As someone named Matt once said, “Science never deals with certainties and always allows room for more evidence.” It’s interesting that he would make such an absolute statement based on “never”. For instance, NASA engineers would be shocked to realize that there are no certainties when it comes to escape velocities. Imagine if there were such uncertainties when the next shuttle launch occurs. Also nuclear physics—certainly a science—would be catastrophic if not for certainties.
Well, no-one here ever said Matt was an expert.
And as for the other experts in the field of evolution, it seems they’re dealing with some uncertainties of their own. The recent discovery of fossilized footprints in a quarry in Poland has the community rethinking it’s beliefs. The article, poorly written as it is, can be found at the link below.
The footprints are said to have been made by a tetrapod, a four-legged creature that is essentially a fish with limbs instead of fins. The problem comes in when scientists compare what they found to what they knew, or at least what they thought they knew. Here’s what they “knew”:
- The fossilized bodies of tetrapods found so far date to 377 million years ago
- The oldest known elpistostegids date to 385 million years ago (an animal that had retained fins)
And now here is what they have “learned”:
- The fossilized footprints found in Poland date to 395 million years ago
- This is 18 million years earlier than the fossil body record supported
- This is 10 million years earlier than what was expected based on divergence water and land creatures
According to the report about the find, this will “force a radical reassessment of the timing, ecology and environmental setting of the fish-tetrapod transition, as well as the completeness of the body fossil record.”
So aside from being able to so precisely determine the timeframe during which these footprints were made–which according to Matt’s assertion was done without “certainty”, science now has to go back and reassess when these species lived and when they diverged–if they did at all.
This is what is taught as scientific fact. It appear though that all previous “knowledge” on the matter was speculative at best so no doubt that it is now called into question. With this sort of science, there will be no certainties at all with evolution—only the facts as they appear when most recently interpreted. This is the “truth” of the day until as Matt would suggest, there is “more evidence“.