years ago Darwin put forward the following argument: "Right
now there are no transitional forms, yet further research
will uncover them." Is this argument still valid today? In
other words, considering the conclusions from the entire fossil
record, should we accept that transitional forms never existed,
or should we wait for the results of new research?
of the existing fossil record will surely answer this question.
When we look at the paleontological findings, we come across
an abundance of fossils. Billions of fossils have been uncovered
all around the world.48 Based on these fossils,
250,000 distinct species have been identified, and these bear
striking similarities to the 1.5 million identified species
currently living on earth.49 (Of these 1.5
million species, 1 million are insects.) Despite the abundance
of fossil sources, not a single transitional form has been
uncovered, and it is unlikely that any transitional forms
will be found as a result of new excavations.
A professor of paleontology from Glasgow University,
T. Neville George, admitted this fact years ago:
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 integrationÖ The fossil record nevertheless
continues to be composed mainly of gaps.50
And Niles Eldredge, the well-known paleontologist
and curator of the American Museum of Natural History, expresses
as follows the invalidity of Darwin's claim that the insufficiency
of the fossil record is the reason why no transitional forms
have been found:
The record jumps, and
all the evidence shows that the record is real: the
gaps we see reflect real events in life's history
- not the artifact of a poor fossil record.51
Another American scholar, Robert Wesson, states
in his 1991 book Beyond Natural Selection, that "the
gaps in the fossil record are real and meaningful."
He elaborates this claim in this way:
STASIS IN THE FOSSIL
If evolution had really happened, then
living things should have emerged by gradual changes, and
have continued to change over time, whereas the fossil record
shows the exact opposite. Different groups of living things
suddenly emerged with no similar ancestors behind them, and
remained static for millions of years, undergoing no changes
|Horseshoe crab" fossil from the Ordovician
Age. This 450-million-year-old fossil is no different
from specimens living today.
||100-150 million-year-old starfish fossil
||Oyster fossils from the
Ordovician Age, no different from modern oysters.
|Ammonites emerged some
350 million years ago, and became extinct 65 million years
ago. The structure seen in the fossil above never changed
during the intervening 300 million years.
fossil bacteria from Western Ontario in Canada. They have
the same structures as bacteria living today.
|The oldest known fossil
scorpion, found in East Kirkton in Scotland. This species,
known as Pulmonoscorpius kirktoniensis, is 320 million
years old, and no different from today's scorpions.
||An insect fossil in amber,
some 170 million years old, found on the Baltic Sea coast.
It is no different from its modern counterparts.
dragonfly fossil found in Bavaria in Germany. It is identical
to living dragonflies.
They have the same bodily structure as flies today.
fossil shrimp from the Jurassic Age. It is no different
from living shrimps.
The gaps in the record
are real, however. The absence of a record of any important
branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually static,
or nearly so, for long periods, species seldom and genera
never show evolution into new species or genera but replacement
of one by another, and change is more or less abrupt.52
This situation invalidates the above argument,
which has been stated by Darwinism for 140 years. The fossil
record is rich enough for us to understand the origins of
life, and explicitly reveals that distinct species came into
existence on earth all of a sudden, with all their distinct
48 Duane T.
Gish, Evolution: Fossils Still Say No, CA, 1995,
49 David Day, Vanished Species,
Gallery Books, New York, 1989.
50 T. Neville George, "Fossils in
Evolutionary Perspective," Science Progress, vol.
48, January 1960, pp. 1, 3. (emphasis added)
51 N. Eldredge and I. Tattersall,
The Myths of Human Evolution, Columbia University
Press, 1982, p. 59. (emphasis added)
52 R. Wesson, Beyond Natural Selection,
MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1991, p. 45.