However it is important to take note of this; what we think the fossils are can be based on our perceptions. This is true even in the scientific community. For example; the fossil of homoflorensis is perceived differently by Scientists. For some say that it is a homonoid and hence it belongs in the taxa hominid. However others say that it is not a homonoid and hence it does not belong in the taxa hominid. So this is a classic example of experts perceiving one object differently. And hence to some experts the fossil is evidence for a homonoid and to other experts the fossil is not evidence for a homonoid.
We should not be surprised about such a controvery within the scientifc community because palaeontology(as an historical science)is based on perception and interpretation, and consequently it is possible that it falls into the "hermeneutic circle". The hermeneutic ciricle is the idea that every interpretation is influenced by (1.) perception, (2.) values, (3.) feelings, and (4.) expectations.
And consequently there are no objective interpretations of the fossils. Now, i am not saying that that is true or false. On the contrary i am simply showing you the implication of the "Hermeneutic circle). It is worth considering.
So far; the point of the things i have stated above is this:
When proponents of evolution use the fossils as evidence we must evaluate and assess it. For evidence is a construct that is based on an interpretative frame work and perception. Facts exists; but our intepretation of the facts can be based on our subjective perception. Hence theories may not even corrsespond to the facts they describe/explain. So; just because you observed it it does not mean that your interpretation and perception of what you observed corresponds to the facts.
So; let us analyze the evidence for transitionals. By definition; Evidence is a sign, token, or anything that serves as sufficient and adequate ground for belief. So; if the Fossil of Tiktaalik is evidence of a transitional organism, then it follows that it will provide us with adquate and sufficient ground for belief.
To begin i am going to ask the following questions of enquiery.
The questions are as follows:
What can we know about the nature of Tiktaalik? How can we know it? And what is the scope/limitation of what we can know about the nature of Tiktaalik?
We cannot be certain of what Tiktaalik was because of the disintegration of its external phenotype, or the aggregate of traits that constituted its physical appearance. However we can be certain of what it's bones or internal phenotype looked like. This is an important distinction. That is, the distinction between what an organism looked and like and what its bones/fossil looks like. For Tiktaalik was not its fossil/bone. Thus the question about what Tiktaalik looed like is an "abstract" question because only its fossil exist. And consequently we cannot be certain of what Tiktaalik looeked like because what it looked like is connected to its external phenotype/appearance. However its externla phenotype no longer exists by virtue of time and decay. And consequently we cannot know what it looked like.
Often Scientists do a reconstruction of an extinct organism. However such reconstructions are hypothetical and based on their "intuition" or "gut feeling". Nevertheeless the reconstruction of what an organism looked like is not based on anything concrete.
Now, "the fossil" of Tiktaalik "seems" to show us an organism that has the anatomy of a Crocodile and Fish because it seems to have the head of a crocodile and the body of a fish. And consequently some Scientists(or proponents of evolution)claim that the fossil links amphibians to fishs.
However Tiktaalik may simply be an organism that looks like both. Hence it does necessarily mean that the fossil connects the taxa of amphibians to the taxa of the fishes.
For what an organism looked like cannot be known from its bones/fossils. For an organism is not its bones. On the contrary what an organism looks like(in terms of physical appearance)can only be known from its external characteristics. This is why when we seek what a dead man looked like we do not present his bones as evidence. For he is not his bones. And his bones cannot show his body and all its physical characteristics. Or it cannot show us it's expressed genotype or the aggregate of displayed external traits that constitute its physical appearnace or what it looked like.
Furthermore we know that:
(1.) All dead organisms do not look like their bones.
(2.) Tiktaalik is a dead organism.
(3.) Therefore Tiktaalik does not look like its bones.
Hence Tiktalik may simply seem to have the shape of a crocodile's head. However its external features may have had the texture and skin of a fish; or the appearance, structure, and appearance of a fish. For the texture or skin of a crocodile is not the same as that beloning to a fish.
So we see that it is possible that Tiktaalik was not a link between the taxa of reptiles and the taxa of fish. For the fossils do not prove or show that. Hence it could have been a unique and individual organism.
I will conclude with this argument:
it is as follows:
1. The external phenotype of an organism is every trait that constitutes its physical appearance.
2. If the external phenotpe of an organism is every trait that constitutes its physical appearance, then the fossil/bone of Tiktaalik cannot show us every characteristic that constitutes its physical appearance.
3. The fossil/bone of Tiktaalik cannot show us every characteristic that constitutes its physical appearance.
4. If the fossil/bone of Tiktaalik cannot show us every characteristic that constitutes its physical appearance, then we cannot observe what it looked llike from its fossil/bone.
5. We cannot observe what Tiktaalik looked like from its fossil/bones.
6. If we cannot observe what Tiktaalik looked like from its fossil/bone, then we cannot know that it was a transitional organism.
7. We cannot know that Tiktaalik was a transitional organism.
8. If we cannot know that Tiktaalik was a transitional organism, the we cannot know that it connects amphibians with fishes.
9. Therefore we cannot know that Tiktaalik connects amphibians with fishes.
Before i end; it is important to take note of this: Not all the external triats of an organism is expressed or displayed because some genes are recessive and consequently they are masked by dominant genes.