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 Adequacy of the Fossil Record

Some 140 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?

The wealth 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:


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 at all.

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. 1.9-million-year-old 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.
140-million-year-old dragonfly fossil found in Bavaria in Germany. It is identical to living dragonflies. 35-million-year-old flies. They have the same bodily structure as flies today. 170-million-year-old 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 forms.

48 Duane T. Gish, Evolution: Fossils Still Say No, CA, 1995, p. 41
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.