ScienceNOW’s Erik Stokstad reports that “While evolutionists previously believed turtles were originally terrestrial and only later spread to the sea, these latest “most primitive” turtle fossils found in China (called Odontochelys) appear to have been marine creatures. The turtle appears to have a bony underbody but no upper shell. The BBC News article claims the find “shows that the turtle’s breast plate developed earlier than the rest of its shell.” But the ScienceNOW report makes it clear that, actually, the fossil has prompted several different interpretations (emph. added—RL) by evolutionists. For example, the Chicago Field Museum’s Olivier Rieppel, one of the scientists describing the fossils, believes Odontochelys is the most primitive of turtles. But University of Toronto–Mississauga scientists Robert Reisz and Jason Head suggest that perhaps Odontochelys did, in fact, descend from land-based turtles, but lost the bones in its armor along the way, much like modern soft-shelled turtles. And Yale’s Walter Joyce wonders if Odontochelys is just an “oddity,” while study coauthor Chun Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences calls Odontochelys “an ideal missing link for turtle evolution.” Exactly! They see what they want to! One scientist sees a freak mutation, perhaps with a developmental disease malforming its shell while another sees the same fossil as “an ideal missing link.” At the end of the day, the findings are just a guess by all involved (including creationists). Even if true, it only verifies what creationists have said all along. That this turtle LOST the genetic information for its upper shell. That is not positive evolution but merely regressive DEvolution. Also, note that the turtles only “evolved” into another kind of turtle. Hardly proof for molecule to monkey to man evolution.
ScienceNOW: “Sea Change for Turtle Origins?” AIG (12/7/08)