Skip to comments.150 Years Later, Fossils Still Don't Help Darwin
Posted on 03/04/2009 7:16:11 PM PST by GodGunsGuts
Creationists claim there are no transitional fossils, aka missing links. Biologists and paleontologists, among others, know this claim is false, according to a recent LiveScience article that then describes what it claims are 12 specific transitional form fossils.1 But do these examples really confirm Darwinism?
Charles Darwin raised a lack of transitional fossils as a possible objection to his own theory: Why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?2 Later in this chapter of his landmark book, he expressed hope that future discoveries would be made of transitional forms, or of creatures that showed some transitional structureperhaps a half-scale/half-feather.
Although some creationists do say that there are no transitional fossils, it would be more accurate to state that there are no undisputed transitional forms. Although the article asserts that the fossil record is full of them, the reality is that it does not contain a single universally accepted transitional form. Every transitional fossil candidate has both proponents and doubters even among evolutionary biologists and paleontologists.
The first supposed transitional form offered in the report is Sahelanthropus. This 2001 discovery was first hailed as a transitional form in the ape-to-human line, but controversy over its transitional status immediately ensued. Brigitte Senut of the Natural History Museum in Paris was skeptical, saying that its skull features, especially the [canine teeth],3 were characteristic of female gorillas, not human-like gorillas. Senut and her colleagues also disputed that Sahelanthropus was even in the ancestry of humans at all: To represent a valid clade, hominids must share unique defining features, and Sahelanthropus does not appear to have been an obligate biped [creature that walked on two feet].4 In other words, Sahelanthropus is at best a highly disputed fossil of an extinct ape, having no clear transitional features.
LiveScience also listed a medium-neck-length fossil giraffe named Bohlinia and the walking manatee as transitional forms. However, Bohlinia is just variation within what is still clearly the giraffe kind and doesnt answer the question, Where did the giraffe kind come from? Such variations within kinds do not refute the creation concept, but rather are predicted by it.5 And the walking manatee walked because it had fully formed, ready-to-walk legs, hips, nerves, and musculature. The article does not mention that this particular fossil is shown elsewhere to be a dead-end species, transitioning to nothing, according to evolutionists.6
The LiveScience article, borrowing from geologist Donald Prothero, also claimed that Moeritherium is the ultimate transitional fossil, the ancestor of elephants. This was an amphibious mammal, shaped like a hippo, with a mobile, muscular lip fused with its nostril. But it had none of the real characteristics of an elephantnot the trunk, size, tusks, nor the specialized weight-bearing knee joint structure.7
The classic fossil of Archaeopteryx is not a transitional form either, but was fully bird. Its reptile-like teeth and wing claws are found in some birds today.8 Many reptiles have no teeth, but nobody claims that they evolved from birds. And the discovery of a frog-amander has yet to be agreed upon as transitional by evolutionists. John Bolt, a curator at the Field Museum in Chicago, told National Geographic that it is difficult to say for sure whether this creature was itself a common ancestor of the two modern groups, given that there is only one known specimen of Gerobatrachus, and an incomplete one at that.9
Other extinct creatures had shared features, physical structures that are found in different kinds of living organisms. However, shared features are not transitional features, which is what Darwin needed. There is no scientific evidence to refute the idea that shared features were designed into creatures by a Creator who wisely formed them with the equipment to live in various shared habitats.
Fossils do reveal some truth about Darwins theorythey reveal that the same inconsistencies he noted between his theory and the fossil data persist, even after 150 years of frantic searches for elusive transitions.10 Not only is there no single, undisputed transition, but real fossils reveal that animals were fully formed from the beginning.
Evolution and Christianity are perfectly compatible.
And by disputing and refusing to accept the transitional forms, the cretionists provide their own evidence to support the assertion.
Transitional forms or not, the case can be made that, wherever matter is organized in some form so as to perform a specific function, intelligent design may be reasonably posited as a factor. One may also reasonably posit that all of the same is merely an illusion; that organized matter is a product of unguided happenstance.
Which of these two points of view should enjoy federal subsidies?
Really, please explain
The acceptance of every transitional fossil requires finding two more.
Only if one doesn’t believe that the Bible tells the real truth.
Wow. And you accept this as fact?
NO, they are not.
What part of the statement requires explanation?
Sure. The bible is allegorical. God gave us brains to figure out how he got us here. He’d be disappointed if we didn’t try.
Good. I’ve been looking for this type of article.
The bible is allegorical. That doesn’t mean that it’s not “true”.
That's not undisputed, ergo it must be false.
Now consider: "The Bible is True"
There does not need to be a demonstrated slow transition from one species to the next. Evolutionary models work with the data available when both minor changes and major mutations occur randomly.
Am I correct in assuming that your post oozes sarcasm?
Allegory is bad. It leads to "thinking"
Oh no, that just wouldn't do, would it?
Dear me, dear me.
I know! I know! let's just call the transition fossil, a whole new species! Then we can whinge on endlessly about the two new gaps on either side!
Just in case they don't know it, we are aching aware of that little intellectually dishonest game. It manages to both be disgusting and boring.
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