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Fossils – Facts and Fantasies

14 November 2012, 08:27

Six Impossible Things Before Brakfast

In 1981, Ronald Regan said on national television that the theory of evolution is not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it was once believed. A spokesman for the American Association for the Advancement for Science responded angrily that a 100 million fossils, identified and dated, ‘constitute  100 million facts that prove evolution beyond any doubt whatsoever.’ – Darwin on Trial page 175.

This outburst reflects modern evolutionary thinking. Evolutionists state that the most important evidence for the theory of evolution is that from the study of palaeontology and that it is the discovery of various fossils and their correct placing in the relevant strata and age that is the main factual basis for the modern view of evolution.

However this was not the case in Darwin’s day. Writing in Origin about the need for intermediate links between species he had this to say, ‘why then is not every geological formation full of such intermediate links? Geology does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain, and this is perhaps the most serious objection which can be urged against this theory. The explanation, I believe, is in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.’ Origin of Species page 292/3.

Many suggest that we have a near perfect record these days, with a lot more fossils to work with. What is the result? According to David Raup, Curator of Geology at Chicago Field Museum of Natural History had this to say concerning the fossil record, ‘ the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we now have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s Time... Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated.’ Field Museum of Natural History – vol 50 p 25. This from a scientist who believes in evolution.

This is hardly what the man on  the street hears. We are bombarded with family trees, graphs, charts, columns, models littered with polysyllabic names and mass indoctrination through modern education claiming to prove wholesale evolution.

Many claim that the fossil record presents proof of evolution, so let’s examine this claim. The framework for palaeontology is provided by geology. Now Charles Lyell popularised the idea of uniformitarianism , which claims that the processes now operating to modify the earth’s surface have always done so in the same way and at the same rate over an immense period of time. When Lyells assumption was applied, it produced the geologic column in which the rock layers were neatly stacked with the oldest at the bottom and the newest at the top.

However it is important to note that these strata were arranged on the basis of another critical assumption, namely that organic evolution was an established fact, with complex chemicals leading to primitive living material in the oldest layers to simple organisms in the layers above, and eventually to increasingly complex creatures. This of course led to the view that the earth was about 4,6 billion years old. This record suggested that for 80% of this time virtually no living matter existed.

What this tells us is that when evolutionists tell us that all the life we see around us evolved over billions of years they really mean hundreds of millions of years, a vast difference in time scale.
the commonly accepted ages of the geologic scale are as follows:
The pre-Cambrian:  4,600 – 600 million years ago. The so called primordial soup.
The Palaeozoic ( Ancient Life) period: 600 – 225 million years ago, containing the simplest life forms.
The Mesozoic ( Intermediate Life): 225 – 65 million years ago, containing more advanced life forms.
The Caenozoic Era (Recent Life): 65 million years ago – present, containing the most highly developed life forms.

Now the Palaeozoic rocks generally contain marine life and amphibians, Mesozoic contain reptiles and dinosaurs and the Caenozoic by birds and mammals. This evolutionary package does seem initially to be impressive, but closer examination reveals some serious flaws.

The first is this
The geologic column as mentioned previously was put together on the assumption of evolutionary biology. It is simply an idea based on presumption and circular reasoning as the only basis for placing rock formations in chronological order is their fossil content based on the assumed evolutionary progress of life. In turn the only basis for biological evolution is the fossil record so constructed, hence the primary evidence for evolution is the assumption of evolution. The Encyclopaedia Britannica has this to say about it, ‘ It cannot be denied that from a strictly philosophical standpoint geologists are here arguing in a circle. The succession of organisms has been determined by a study of their remains embedded in rocks, and the relative ages of rocks determined by the remains of organisms they contain.’ Vol 10 p 168.

Another serious flaw is the that there is no gradual development from simple to complex organisms anywhere in the fossil record. Rock strata said to 600 million years old reveals nearly all the animal phyla suddenly appearing in the rocks of this period, with no evolutionary ancestors to back up the theory. This so called Cambrian explosion of fossils represents nearly every major group of organisms alive today. Simple life forms are virtually absent, more complex creatures are found in their hundreds.

What’s more fossils fail to produce what evolution so desperately needs, and what it has successfully diverted attention away from, that is the complete absence of concrete evidence for one species evolving into another.  In the 100 million years of developmental time allocated to the evolution of vertebrates from invertebrates, not one transitional fossil has been found. Furthermore in the course of 30 million years when fish were supposed to have evolved into amphibians, nobody has found a ‘fishibian’. A group of fish called the Rhipidistia were once touted as a possible candidate, however evolutionist Barbara J Stahl writes in her book Vertebrate History that most of them lived after the first amphibians appeared, and that those that came before show no evidence of developing stout limbs.

Again there is a disconcerting blank between amphibians and reptiles. The amphibian was offered as evidence, however it appears way to late in the geological record. So to with the transition between reptiles and mammals,  one would expect a virtual zoo of transitional fossils, yet still another blank.

Another lack of examples is between reptiles and birds. Archaeopteryx is the prize exhibit of the evolutionist, which certainly had reptilian features and fully developed flight feathers, yet there are several question marks over its credentials as a missing link.

The following excerpt is from the New York Times published in August 2011
“It may seem heretical to say that Archaeopteryx isn’t a bird, but this idea has surfaced occasionally since as far back as the 1940s,” Lawrence M. Witmer, a paleontologist at Ohio University,
wrote in a commentary accompanying the journal article. “Moreover, there has been growing unease about the avian status of Archaeopteryx as, one by one, its ‘avian’ attributes (feathers, wishbone, three-fingered hand) started showing up in non-avian dinosaurs.” And ended with this
Since “virtually all our notions about early avian evolution have previously been viewed through the lens of Archaeopteryx,” Dr. Witmer said, “the impact of losing Archaeopteryx from the avian clan is likely to rock the paleontological community for years to come.”

Also no creature whether fossil or living has scales that are halfway to developing feathers. Any such creature would not have escaped elimination through natural selction.

As for Archaeopteryx, which comes from the Greek Archaios – ancient and pterux – wing as evidence for the transition from reptile to bird is turning out to be something of a koutsi papia – dead duck.

These yawning gaps in the fossil record, together with the sudden appearance of life forms are hugely embarrassing to the dyed-in-the-wool evolutionist, or they should be. Here what some of the leading lights have to say:

Stephen J Gould, Professor of Geology and Palaeontology at Harvard University and President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the time of the quote:

‘All palaeontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.
Natural History, vol. LXXXVI p 24, July 1977
He goes on to say elsewhere that this ‘persists as a trade secret of Palaeontology”
The Panda’s Thumb p184

Evolutionist Jeremy Rifkin:
‘What the “record” shows is nearly a century of fudging and finagling by scientists to conform with Darwin’s notions, all to no avail. Today the millions of fossils stand as a very visible, ever-present reminders of the paltriness of the arguments and the overall shabbiness of the theory that marches under the banner of evolution.’
Algeny p188

To wriggle out of this problem of a lack of evidence for Gradualism, Gould put forward the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium. Evolutionists know that there is no actual mechanism that would explain large rapid jumps from one species to another, they are left on the horns of a dilemma, because the fossil record does not support Gradualism. Indeed this theory was invented to explain why there are no transitional fossils, however it needs to be emphasized that this does not eliminate the need for transitional fossils. This must be the only theory put forth and recognised by the scientific community, which claims to be scientific, but then explains why the evidence for it cannot be found. Quite ingenious.

So what do some other of our leading scientists say about this lack of evidence:

Biologist DMS Watson:
‘The theory of evolution itself is universally accepted, not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative is special creation, which is clearly incredible.’
Nature vol. 124 p.233

British Anthropolgist Sir Arthur Kieth:
Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable.’
BG Ranganathan. Origins, Banner of Trust. P.22

Professor Louis Bounoure, President of of the Biological Society of Strasbourg and Director of the Strasbourg Zoological Museum before becoming Director of Research at the French National Centre of Scientific Research came to this withering conclusion:
‘Evolutionism is a fairy-tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is utterly useless.’
Cited in The Advocate, 8 March 1984, p.17

All this reminds me of the incident in Alice Through the Looking Glass, when Alice tells the White Queen, ‘one can’t believe in impossible things,’ the queen replies, ‘I daresay you havn’t had much practice. Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’

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