Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Darwin and the Growing Gaps in the Fossil Record

If marijuana use leads to harder drugs, then we should be able to document this progression in the case histories of hard core drug users. If we can’t do this, then we should abandon this theory. If polyps lead to cancer, we should be able to demonstrate this lethal progression. If we can’t, then it is time to reconsider our theory. If natural selection leads to macro-evolution – the appearance of higher life forms from lower – we should also be able to document this as well. However, the overwhelming consensus of leading paleontologists is that this cannot be done.
I will merely present a very partial list of quotations from these paleontologists:

  • "The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find' over and over again' not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another." (Paleontologist, Derek V. Ager)

  • "A major problem in proving the theory has been the fossil record; the imprints of vanished species preserved in the Earth's geological formations. This record has never revealed traces of Darwin's hypothetical intermediate variants - instead species appear and disappear abruptly, and this anomaly has fueled the creationist argument that each species was created by God." (Paleontologist, Mark Czarnecki)

  • "There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways, it has become almost unmanageably rich and discovery is outpacing integration. The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mainly of gaps." (Professor of paleontology - Glasgow University, T. Neville George)

  • "Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them." (David Kitts – Paleontologist)

  • "The long-term stasis, following a geologically abrupt origin, of most fossil morphospecies, has always been recognized by professional paleontologists" – (Stephen Jay Gould – Harvard)

  • "The sweep of anatomical diversity reached a maximum right after the initial diversification of multicellular animals. The later history of life proceeded by elimination not expansion." (Stephen J. Gould, Harvard, Wonderful Life, 1989, p.46)

  • "Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series." – (Ernst Mayr-Professor Emeritus, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University)

  • "What is missing are the many intermediate forms hypothesized by Darwin, and the continual divergence of major lineages into the morphospace between distinct adaptive types." (Robert L Carroll – Paleontologist)

  • "Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track. What is the picture which the fossils have given us? ... The gaps between major groups of organisms have been growing even wider and more undeniable. They can no longer be ignored or rationalized away with appeals to imperfection of the fossil record." (Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin's Enigma 1988, Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, Master Books, p. 9)

  • "The evidence we find in the geological record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be .... We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than in Darwin's time ... so Darwin's problem has not been alleviated". (David Raup, Curator of Geology at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History)

The fossil record provides us with no more reason to suppose Darwinian evolution took place, than to suppose that placing teeth under pillows brings the good tooth fairy. Perhaps it is due time to question the theory of evolution!

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