Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter
|Chapter 7 - Fossils: Created or Evolved?|
1. Do fossils illustrate a gradual change of life, in minute steps, from very simple to more complex creatures, from bacteria to primitive invertebrates to vertebrates to man?
fossil record displays systematic gaps, so that the many sequences of intermediate forms
needed to connect different kinds of creatures are missing. This information from the
fossils fits the idea of special creation rather than evolution. The most thorough general
study of this problem, by Duane Gish to whom we are deeply indebted, is presented in his
book, Evolution -- the Challenge of the Fossil Record.1
The accompanying chart shows a simplified geologic column with the different theoretical geologic eras and periods assumed by paleontologists, with some of the principal types of fossils. The order shown from bottom to top is that in which life supposedly evolved. This is the order in which fossil types normally are expected to be found in the rocks, if evolution really happened. This chart looks neat and comprehensive and agrees with the accepted evolutionary history. When one looks at all of the facts, however, the picture is not really that convincing. The theory demands sequences of intermediate fossil types. But, as we shall see, there are no such fossil sequences to document an actual process of evolutionary change that produced new kinds of plants and animals possessing complex new biological structures. Evolution is supposed to be a process of change, but the process must be assumed.
It is not true that no fossils have been discovered that are plausible intermediate species to fit into any of the numerous gaps in the assumed evolutionary series. Some have been found. However, it takes not just one, but many "missing links" to fill in a gap in the fossil record. What is required for "proof" is a finely graded sequence of intermediate forms to demonstrate that a historical process of evolution converted one kind of organism into another one that possessed new complex biological design features.
2. Does the fossil record show gradual evolution from single cells to simple invertebrates to complex invertebrate animals?
gaps, i.e., missing sequences of presumed intermediate forms are systematic throughout the
fossil record. It has been said that the fossil record is "composed mainly of
gaps."2 The most striking gap is that between
single-celled organisms and the complex invertebrates.
The rocks containing the reportedly oldest assemblage of marine invertebrate species are called Cambrian rocks. The fossils are supposed to represent "simple, primitive" forms. In actuality many of the Cambrian creatures are highly organized and complex, and some are almost indistinguishable from modern forms. Furthermore, in the Cambrian rocks are found 2000 or more fossil species. They represent every major phylum or grouping of animal life, including the vertebrate fish.3 The Ediacaran rock formation in Australia, supposedly a little older than Cambrian rocks, contains an assortment of strange invertebrate fossil forms for the most part unrelated to the Cambrian fossils. However, this does not change the lesson learned from the Cambrian rocks.
The supposedly oldest rocks containing unambiguous fossils of complex creatures composed of many cells include thousands of different complex species. Evolutionists refer to this as "the Cambrian explosion." But according to evolution one would expect a limited number of very simple kinds, if any organism can really be considered simple.
3. What fossils are found in the rocks that are said to be older than the Cambrian rocks?
rocks, grouped under the term, Precambrian, contain only micro-fossils, principally
single-celled bacteria and algae. The Cambrian rocks contain a wealth of complex fossils
as indicated above. Where, then, are the intermediate forms which represent the greater
part of the history of evolution? They are nowhere to be found. This is the most striking
and, to evolutionists, the most perplexing gap in the fossil record.4
Darwin admitted this,5 and for over a century
paleontologists have searched without success for fossils to fill the gap.
One might suspect that the entire fossil record has been misinterpreted because of the materialist assumptions of the geologists. Rather than a gradual evolution from simple to complex, the Cambrian fossils can be interpreted in terms of sudden creation of many complex types of marine creatures that lived together in shallow sea bottom environments. Since they lived together, sudden dumping of sediments trapped and fossilized them together.
4. Are the invertebrate ancestors of the vertebrate animals known?
|Answer: In evolutionary theory some unknown Cambrian invertebrate evolved a backbone and became the first vertebrate fish. However, the fossil gap between the unknown Cambrian invertebrate ancestor and the first vertebrate fish is said to be 100 million years with no fossil evidence.6 Furthermore, the various orders of fish appear from the fossil record to have arrived on the scene completely separate and distinct from the beginning.7|
5. Does fossil evidence exist for gradual evolution of fish into amphibians?
|Answer: The gap
between fish and amphibians is a period of assumed millions of years without necessary
fossil transitional forms.
There should have been a multitude of intermediate forms leading from the fin of the crossopterygian fish to the leg of the ichthyostegid amphibian. No such sequence of intermediate forms has been found.8 Another difficulty stems from the forms of the vertebrae in supposed evolutionary series. Both the crossopterygians and ichtyostegids had arch type vertebrae.9 On the other hand, three allegedly more modern fossil orders of amphibians which are assumed to have evolved from them have supposedly more "primitive" vertebrae of the so-called "husk vertebrae" type. Strangely, the three living orders of amphibians also have the "primitive" type of vertebrae. Finally, none of these groups of fish or amphibians are connected by series of intermediate types.10,11
6. Is the alleged evolution of amphibians into reptiles well documented?
|Answer: The gap between the amphibians and the reptiles is found in the fact that the foremost candidates for the key transitional amphibians, Seymouria and Diadectes, are found in the wrong rocks. They reportedly appeared some twenty million years after the appearance of the original reptiles and also after the appearance of the reptile group from which the mammals are said to have evolved.12 How could the parents appear after the children, so to speak? Another problem is the requirement that the simple gelatinous amphibian egg, designed to develop in water, be transformed by slow, minute changes into the complex amniotic egg of the reptiles, designed to incubate in air. There is no direct fossil evidence for this transformation, and it is difficult indeed to imagine how it could have occurred.13|
7. Is there a fossil gap between reptiles and mammals?
Striking fossil gaps exist between mammals and all proposed reptilian ancestors. Evolution
would have had to resolve numerous fundamental differences in anatomy and physiology in
order to change a reptile into a mammal. There are no intermediate fossils to show that
this happened, and nobody has been able to imagine how a gradual transition could have
occurred.14 The evidence is all circumstantial.
Duane Gish thoroughly examines these problems in his 1985 book, Evolution: The
Challenge of the Fossil Record.15
All reptiles have roughly four bones on both sides of the lower jawbone, whereas all mammals have a single bone, the dentary. The mammalian lower jaw bone or dentary forms a joint with the squamosal bone of the skull, whereas in reptiles the joint is between the articular bone and the quadrate bone of the skull. Several "mammal-like" fossil reptiles, notably Diarthrognathus, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium, are said to have had both types of jaw joints at the same time. Thus, they were supposedly reptiles on the way to becoming mammals. But no skulls have been found that show the dentary actually in contact with the squamosal. Furthermore, all of these fossil reptiles have a powerful reptilian jaw joint.
Two of the reptilian lower jaw bones are supposed to have migrated into the ear to become the malleus and incus, joining the stapes, to make up the three delicate, precisely engineered inner ear bones, or ossicles, of the mammals. However, all fossil and living mammals have three ossicles, but all fossil and living reptiles have a single inner ear bone. And it is difficult to imagine how jaw bones, by chance mutations and natural selection, could have evolved into the marvelous inner ear bones of mammals. Nevertheless, this is glibly asserted by leading scientists to be real history.16
Another problem is the origin of the exceedingly complex micro-electronic organ of Corti in the mammalian ear. No reptile possesses this structure, and there is no fossil evidence to prove that it gradually evolved.
In the presumed evolution from reptiles to mammals other amazing new designs had to be produced by chance, including new modes of reproduction and breathing, mammary glands, temperature regulation and hair. In reptiles the thorax is not expansible as in mammals, nor do reptiles have a diaphragm. There is no fossil evidence for the evolution of any of these features of mammals from the reptiles. The imagination is strained to the breaking point to explain how evolution did it all. To believe that mammals were specially designed and created by God the Creator is not at all "unscientific" and seems to many to be more reasonable.
8. Do the fossils show gradual evolution of reptiles into birds?
|Answer: The gap
between the thecodont reptiles and the birds is said to be a period of about eighty
million years with only the fossil Archaeopteryx to offer as an intermediate.17
This fossil does not display characters partially transformed from the reptilian to the avian(bird) type. Rather, it has been called a "mosaic" or mixture of bird-like and reptile-like characters.18 For example, it was fully feathered, therefore definitely a bird, and the fossil feather imprints indicate feathers identical to modern feathers. Numerous intermediate forms would surely have been required to originate feathers from scales and change reptiles into birds. But fossil evidence for this process of change is missing.19 Some of the allegedly reptilian features of Archaeopteryx are possessed by some modern birds, and others are not found in some modern reptiles.20
Another problem is the fact that reptile lungs contain millions of alveoli, tiny air sacs with in-and-out airflow, as do mammal lungs. But bird lungs have tubes rather than sacs, with air flowing through in one direction only.21 How could a creature with a lung made half of sacs and half of tubes make both function for breathing? In any event, this fossil bird now must be discarded by evolutionists as an ancestor of modern birds. It appears that fossil bones of true birds of more modern type have been found in rocks reportedly as old as or older than those in which Archaeopteryx was found.22
9. Does fossil evidence show the gradual evolution of the power of flight?
|Answer: The evidence is nonexistent also for the origin of the other three types of flying animals. The flying insects were always flying insects,23 the now extinct flying reptiles have no transitional fossils connecting them to non-flying reptiles,24 and the flying mammals (bats) appear always to have been well-engineered flying bats.25 Flying creatures were apparently designed to fly from the very beginning, just as recorded in the biblical record of creation.|
10. Have not many fossil gaps admitted by Darwin now been filled in with new finds of fossil "missing links"?
|Answer: If anything, since Darwin's time the gaps in the fossil record have become more pronounced, accentuated by a century of largely fruitless search.26 In recent years some new fossil finds have supplied fossil forms interpreted as important intermediates. However, large gaps still exist, according to the secular scientists' own geological time scale. Stephen Jay Gould holds that newly discovered intermediate fossils prove the land mammal to whale transition.27 Nevertheless, there are still gaps of millions of years by their own evolutionary chronology. Michael Novacek of the American Museum of Natural History has pointed out that the new fossils "cannot be strung in procession from ancestor to descendant."28 Similarly, there is still a 40 million year gap in the sequence of alleged turtle ancestors.29 Thus, while some scientists are enthusiastic about their limited progress, they are still short of the evolutionary goal of proving that evolution really happened.|
11. Have not scientists traced the evolutionary tree connecting all forms of life, from single-celled forms to the present complex forms?
Examination of a standard book on fossils such as Vertebrate Paleontology by
Romer reveals that the supposed evolutionary tree is actually a bundle of disconnected
twigs.3 The charts in Romer's book are filled with
dotted lines, both between the major groups and within these groups. The charts in The
Fossil Record give the same picture.7 The
intermediate forms are missing, the twigs without connections to the branches, and the
branches disconnected from the roots.30 This
condition is characteristic of both fossil and living kinds of both plants and animals.
And the plant fossil record has been said to be even worse for evolutionary theory than
the animal record.31 Zoologist Bolton Davidheiser
in his book, Evolution and Christian Faith, cites eighty statements in the
technical literature in which evolutionary scientists admit they do not know the origin of
eighty different kinds of animals and plants.32
Prof. Steven M. Stanley of Johns Hopkins University wrote in 1979, "The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution[evolution of a whole species population into a new species] accomplishing a major morphologic[structural form] transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid."33
12. What about the fossil horses? Aren't they proof of evolution?
illustrated fossil horse series in school and college textbooks and in museums are highly
simplified and rather misleading. They make the theory of horse evolution appear very
neat, historical, all cut-and-dried. Actually there are important problems with the theory
and some disagreement, even among evolutionary scientists.34
13. Do fossils of now extinct creatures such as dinosaurs show that evolution has occurred?
fact that dinosaurs once lived and are now extinct is not proof of evolution. Such fossils
merely show us that certain species once living were destroyed and became extinct.
Theorists have been able to reach no general agreement on the cause or causes of
extinction. The theories on this subject are numerous and sometimes very imaginative.41 Since most fossils are found in sedimentary rocks and
show signs of catastrophic burial (See Chapter 9), they seem to
point to a global flood as the principal cause of extinction. The currently most favored
theory is that a large meteorite struck the earth in the Carribean area, the resulting
dust produced drastic weather changes that brought about the extinction of many species,
The great ages which are commonly assigned to dinosaurs are also no proof of evolution. These ages depend upon methods of dating rocks which cannot be proved to be correct. And even if all that time were available, the fossil evidence for an actual historical process of evolutionary change is still lost in the gaps which plague scientists at every crucial point in the fossil record.
14. Does the fossil record show living forms continually changing, with ancient types becoming extinct and replaced by new, different forms?
|Answer: This is
the traditional evolutionary view, but there are quite a few so-called "living
fossils," plants and animals living today, which are almost identical or very similar
to fossils found in rocks supposedly millions of years old. If all populations have
continually been evolving, why are these creatures so constant and unchanging? The
following list of living fossils with their alleged ages in millions of years was
assembled by R.L. Wysong in his book, The Creation-Evolution Controversy:42 bat (50MY),43
tuatara reptile (135MY),44 neopilina shellfish
(500MY),45 cockroach (250MY),46
dragonfly (170MY),47 starfish (500MY),48 metasequoia tree (60MY),49
Ginko tree (200MY),50 cycad tree (225MY),51 coelacanth fish (65MY),52
Port Jackson shark (180MY),53 sea lily (160MY),54 sea urchin (100MY),55
and Vampyroteuthis or squid-octopus (200MY).56
Is it not incredible, if evolution is the central fact of earth history, that these creatures could so long have remained relatively unchanged? One evolutionary explanation is that these creatures have been living in environments which have not changed much. But it is agreed that there really is no such thing as an unchanging environment throughout earth history. Perhaps the millions of years and the theory of evolution are both myths created by materialists to get rid of the Creator.
15. Is there evidence that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time?
it is true that no finds of human fossil remains are associated with dinosaur fossils,
absence of such data proves nothing. There have been many reports of both animal and human
footprints in strata in which, according to evolutionary theory, they do not belong.
Around 1915 human footprints were reported in Cretaceous limestone surfaces near and in
the Paluxy River in Texas. The same rocks are famous for their numerous dinosaur tracks.
In 1970 the Creation-Science Research Center (C-SRC) co-sponsored with Films for Christ an expedition to the Paluxy River. New tracks were exposed to view by lifting off the limestone overburden. Some of them looked very much like human footprints. The work and findings of this first expedition were made available in a color film, "Footprints in Stone."57 In 1971, on a second independent expedition sponsored by the San Diego-based C-SRC, new human tracks were uncovered. Kelly Segraves, now C-SRC director, fit his bare foot into some of the tracks, and he took his own photographs of them. (Soon those pictures will be shown here.)
In the early 1980s secular researchers finally examined the reported human tracks displayed in the Films for Christ film. They found many of them badly eroded. But, more importantly, both they and Christian researchers found that in the interim mysterious stains had developed around some of the tracks. These stains seemed to suggest the toes of dinosaur feet. As a result of these new findings the film, "Footprints in Stone," has been withdrawn, and the true meaning of the observed tracks is now in a state of suspension pending new studies. The first major, detailed report of these new findings questioning the validity of the Paluxy footprints appeared in a creationist quarterly published by Students for Origins Research in Goleta, Calif., near Santa Barbara.58 One group of Christian researchers has now reported new tracks in the area which appear to be human. However, to date, there has been no evidence to question the new tracks discovered by the 1971 expedition, a trail of barefoot tracks (eight of them) in sequence as photographed by Dr. Segraves and discussed in some detail in his book The Great Dinosaur Mistake.
Perhaps in time the validity of the Paluxy man tracks will be established. In any event, in these developments we see Christians involved in scientific research and controversy under the rules of the scientific method. It is important to remember that evolutionary scientists have on numerous occasions made serious blunders and been taken in by outright fraud which took decades to correct.59
16. Is there an evolutionary explanation for the gaps in the fossil record?
|Answer: Since about 1972 a new theory has been promoted. According to the theory of "punctuated equilibrium," evolution took place not slowly, gradually, but rapidly in spurts.60 The fossil record is interpreted to mean that a species existed a long time with little variation. This is the "equilibrium" phase. Then a small group of individuals became isolated from the main population in a new environment and underwent relatively sudden evolutionary change. This is the "punctuation" phase. Supposedly the small, changing isolated group existed such a short time that very few intermediate fossils were preserved. Therefore, none have been found. This theory of rapid change has, however, the same problem as Darwin's idea of slow change. One may choose to believe in slow change ala Darwin, or in rapid change à la punctuated equilibrium. But in either case the historical data -- sequences of intermediate forms -- are not available to document the claim that a process of change actually occurred.|
|Conclusion||It cannot rightly be claimed that no fossil evidence can be adduced in support of the
evolution scenario of earth history. Neither can it rightly be claimed that the fossil
record offers no support for special creation. The systematic absence of intermediate
fossil sequences is just that kind of evidence. Moreover, all of the fossil record can
provide only circumstantial evidence for either creation or evolution. This is to be
expected when we speculate about alleged ancient events that were not observed by humans
and that cannot be repeated experimentally. In the end our differing philosophies tend to
control our conclusions. The Christian philosophy comes from the Scriptures, as does
Moses' account of the special creation of the original kinds of life by God in the
beginning. And the Lord Jesus Christ commanded Christians to believe what Moses wrote.
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