The Meaning of Variations Confessions About "Microevolution"
The Origin of Species in the Fossil Record The Question of Transitional Forms and Statis
The Adequacy of the Fossil Record The Truth Revealed by the Fossil Record

 The Question of Transitional Forms and Stasis

Believing in Darwin's prophecy, evolutionary paleontologists have been digging up fossils and searching for missing links all over the world since the middle of the nineteenth century. Despite their best efforts, no transitional forms have yet been uncovered. All the fossils unearthed in excavations have shown that, contrary to the beliefs of evolutionists, life appeared on earth all of a sudden and fully-formed.

Robert Carroll, an expert on vertebrate paleontology and a committed evolutionist, comes to admit that the Darwinist hope has not been satisfied with fossil discoveries:

Despite more than a hundred years of intense collecting efforts since the time of Darwin's death, the fossil record still does not yield the picture of infinitely numerous transitional links that he expected.41

Another evolutionary paleontologist, K. S. Thomson, tells us that new groups of organisms appear very abruptly in the fossil record:

When a major group of organisms arises and first appears in the record, it seems to come fully equipped with a suite of new characters not seen in related, putatively ancestral groups. These radical changes in morphology and function appear to arise very quickly…42

Biologist Francis Hitching, in his book The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong, states:

If we find fossils, and if Darwin's theory was right, we can predict what the rock should contain; finely graduated fossils leading from one group of creatures to another group of creatures at a higher level of complexity. The 'minor improvements' in successive generations should be as readily preserved as the species themselves. But this is hardly ever the case. In fact, the opposite holds true, as Darwin himself complained; "innumerable transitional forms must have existed, but why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?" Darwin felt though that the "extreme imperfection" of the fossil record was simply a matter of digging up more fossils. But as more and more fossils were dug up, it was found that almost all of them, without exception, were very close to current living animals.43

There is no gradual development in the fossil record such as Darwin had predicted. Different species emerged all at once, with their own peculiar bodily structures.

The fossil record reveals that species emerged suddenly, and with totally different structures, and remained exactly the same over the longest geological periods. Stephen Jay Gould, a Harvard University paleontologist and well-known evolutionist, admitted this fact first in the late 70s:

The history of most fossil species include two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: 1) Stasis - most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless; 2) Sudden appearance - in any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and 'fully formed'.44

Further research only strengthened the facts of stasis and sudden appearance. Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge write in 1993 that "most species, during their geological history, either do not change in any appreciable way, or else they fluctuate mildly in morphology, with no apparent direction."45 Robert Carroll is forced to agree in 1997 that "Most major groups appear to originate and diversify over geologically very short durations, and to persist for much longer periods without major morphological or trophic change."46

At this point, it is necessary to clarify just what the concept of "transitional form" means. The intermediate forms predicted by the theory of evolution are living things falling between two species, but which possess deficient or semi-developed organs. But sometimes the concept of intermediate form is misunderstood, and living structures which do not possess the features of transitional forms are seen as actually doing so. For instance, if one group of living things possesses features which belong to another, this is not an intermediate form feature. The platypus, a mammal living in Australia, reproduces by laying eggs just like reptiles. In addition, it has a bill similar to that of a duck. Scientists describe such creatures as the platypus as "mosaic creatures." That mosaic creatures do not count as intermediate forms is also accepted by such foremost paleontologists as Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge.47

41 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 25.
42 K. S. Thomson, Morphogenesis and Evolution, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 98.
43 Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong, Tichnor and Fields, New Haven, 1982, p. 40.
44 S.J. Gould, "Evolution's Erratic Pace", Natural History, vol. 86, May 1977. (emphasis added)
45 Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge, "Punctuated Equilibria: The Tempo and Mode of Evolution Reconsidered", Paleobiology, 3 (2), 1977, p. 115.
46 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 146.
47 S. J. Gould & N. Eldredge, Paleobiology, vol. 3, 1977, p. 147.