Fossil fish story reported in ScienceDaily and ScienceShots 25 June 2012. Flatfish, such as sole and flounder, have both eyes on the same side of their head. When they first hatch out they have eyes on either side of the head like any other fish, but as they develop into adults they begin to lie on their side on the bottom of the sea. This should mean that one eye would become useless as it would be buried in the sea floor. However, as they grow and develop into adults the eye on what will become the “down side” of the fish migrates to the other side of its head.
Evolutionists have puzzled how this could evolve from a fish with eyes in their normal place. Several years ago Matt Friedman a graduate student at Department of Geology, Field Museum, Chicago found some adult fossil fish in a museum collection that had one eye in the normal place and the other up near the top of its head. These partially asymmetrical fish, named Amphistium and Heteronectes, were originally found in rocks in Italy and are dated at 50 million years old. Friedman has now published a detailed description of a well-preserved whole specimen of Heteronectes from Bolca in Northern Italy. According to ScienceDaily “Heteronectes, with its flattened form, shows the perfect intermediate stage between most fish with eyes on each side of the head and specialized flatfishes where both eyes are on the same side”. John Long of the Natural History Museum of LA County commented: “This is a profound discovery which clearly shows that intermediate fossil forms, which according to certain creationist theories shouldn’t exist, are regularly turning up as scientists keep looking for them”.
Editorial Comment: When this fish was first reported in 2008 Friedman commented in his report “Amphistium and Heteronectes are contemporaries of the earliest members of many derived pleuronectiform (flatfish) lineages, including the oldest known sole”. This means Heteronectes cannot be the ancestor of flatfish, because fossils of flatfish with fully asymmetrical eyes already existed. The fact that Heteronectes is now extinct whilst soles are still living is not evidence Heteronectes evolved into a flatfish.
Given the fossil data of what fish existed at the same time, if we line up all the coexistent fish fossils according to their similarities and differences in structure, – yes, you could put this one between the fully symmetrical and fully asymmetrical fish, and the result is you definitely can classify this fish as “intermediate”, but only because of your method of organising our knowledge of fish. But the fact that it co-exists with all the other varieties tells you for sure it is not the ancestor or descendant of the fish on either side in your arbitrary arrangement. They all lived at the same time. Using the fossil as evidence of an evolutionary “transition” is purely based on a pre-existing belief in evolution, not an observation of an actual process. (Ref. ichthyology, palaeontology)
Evidence News 18 July 2012