Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Progressive Creationism
Creation, Creationism, and Empirical Theistic Arguments ^ | 1997 | Dave Armstrong

Posted on 01/08/2002 9:01:56 AM PST by AnalogReigns


Some preliminary remarks: my quotations are almost all from 1983 or earlier, since that is when I did my considerable amount of research on this topic, and I haven't seen fit to take it up since, mainly for reasons of time and other commitments. But since a challenge was issued by a thoughtful evolutionist with whom I enjoy sparring in forum, I had some motivation to revisit this subject.

Progressive Creationism

I am a progressive creationist. By that I mean several things:

1) I wholeheartedly espouse the scientific method, insofar as it is applicable and relevant. But I don't believe that it can explain the whole of reality. Science itself ultimately reduces to philosophy (i.e., "empiricism" is the technical term). The philosophy of science grew up in a Christian (specifically Catholic) context in the Middle Ages, particularly influenced by such thinkers as St. Thomas Aquinas and Roger Bacon (both 13th century). There is no inherent, fundamental conflict between science and faith (e.g. Copernicus and Mendel were Catholic clerics, and Pascal, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Pasteur and many others were very devout Christians), as is commonly claimed by people who are apparently unacquainted with the early (and even later) history of science, save for the Galileo incident and the uproar over Darwin's new theory in the 1860s. In other words, the late Carl Sagan did not by any means speak for all scientists. Unfortunate occurrences have happened, but so what? Such acrimonious controversies have also taken place within science itself and philosophy. I see no reason why religious people who have made silly, antiquated, unsubstantiated arguments against science in the past should be singled out for ridicule. There is plenty of folly in all fields of human endeavor and knowledge to go around!

2) I am not a young earther and believe in the old earth (4.5 billion years was the common age when I was studying evolution - I assume it still is). I accept uniformitarianism, stratigraphic analysis and radiometric techniques (although I would give any of them up if presented compelling evidence to the contrary).

3) I reject flood geology, and a universal flood, not a priori, but based on evidence.

4) I prefer to keep biblical arguments and scientific arguments distinct, for the sake of rational, orderly discussion, especially with those who neither accept (nor, too often, even understand) biblical theology and hermeneutics. Accordingly, I will not cite the Bible here at all, apart from the following clarification of my beliefs.

5) I believe that God created various species in special acts periodically over long, geologic periods of time, not in six days. I basically interpret Genesis 1-11 literally, but this by no means requires a view that the Hebrew yom ("day") must be a 24-hour period.

6) I accept the occurrence of microevolution within species.

7) Progressive creationism is ultimately a philosophical belief (obviously within an ultimate framework of Christian theistic philosophy and theology - evolutionists often conceal their ultimate commitments and biases) concerning the origin of the universe and of life, based on abundant scientific evidence and the inadequacy and irrationality of evolutionary theory. Although admittedly it is not (strictly speaking) a scientifically-testable notion, it is nevertheless a feasible and reasonable philosophical assumption of faith, given the knowledge we have. Evolutionary assumptions often go far beyond the realm of science and into metaphysical (often quasi-religious) speculation, and usually require much more "faith" than belief in creation. Any theory of origin is inherently unscientific in the strict sense of the word.

8) I believe (in agreement with, e.g., Darwin's compatriot T.H. Huxley) that an a priori presupposition of the impossibility of a Creator and acts of creation is absurd and rationally indefensible.

9) Likewise, the question of the nature of the Creator is a matter of theology and religion, not of science, and is left for the individual to determine (but neither is it contrary to science). I contend that the scientific evidence merely points to a Creator. Given my orthodox Catholic beliefs, I believe this Creator to be the God of the Bible - but this is not a scientific conclusion per se. St. Thomas Aquinas and most Christians would place that knowledge within the sphere of revelation. No scientist can chide or ridicule me or anyone else for having such a belief, as it is outside of his purview and expertise to render such an adverse and skeptical judgment.

10) Although I vehemently reject it on scientific and philosophical grounds, I don't believe theistic evolution to be a contradiction in terms, nor indicative of something awry in the spirituality and commitment of those who hold it.

11) I accept (provisionally) the Big Bang Theory of the origin of the universe (of course, us Christians have a belief as to Who initiated the "Bang").

12) I think materialistic, atheistic evolutionism (as opposed to theistic evolution) is harmful insofar as it is used as a "stick" to beat religious people with, as if they are "out of touch" and unsophisticated philistines for not accepting it. It is harmful for the world and the world of ideas simply because it is false, and all untrue ideas are detrimental philosophically and ethically. Of course it is pernicious also when used by many to discredit the idea of God as "unnecessary." I say to such agnostics and atheists: "stick to your own field of inquiry and keep your nose out of the business of my theological beliefs."

Presuppositions and Methodology

I contend that people believe in evolution not because they are trying to usher in a conspiracy to bring down Christianity and Western Civilization, but because they have been unwittingly duped by a materialistic, positivistic philosophy masquerading as "objective" science (which incorporates many elements of true science at the sub-theoretical level) for well over a hundred years. Most of us (including myself, until I was 24 years old, and studied the issue on my own) took in evolution with our mother's milk, never having been presented with any alternative in school. Many other false (and also very widely-held by usually well-meaning scholars) philosophies have been revealed to be mythical in that time period (e.g., Marxism, eugenics, Freudianism, and more and more in our own time, political and theological liberalism). I think evolution will also eventually go the way of the dinosaur - like all these other skeptical 19th century ideologies and "dogmas," but we have our work cut out for us, and we have been doing a miserable job thus far.

Having stated my presuppositions, I now proceed to offer a view of the fossil record (as requested) which supports creationism (hereafter I mean this in the sense in which it was defined above) and strongly mitigates against any form of evolutionism. I welcome all feedback and rebuttals.

My methodology will be as follows: since I am not a scientist, I will simply cite evolutionist scientists in order to establish that the evidence put forth in favor of evolution (in this case, the paleontological data of the fossil record) is grossly inadequate, so much so that any rational person who operates on the basis of reasonable proof for any belief, must reject it (even if they then move to an honestly-arrived-at agnostic position, neither creationist nor evolutionist). I will let these men speak for themselves, and thereby "hang themselves." Generally, in the past, the only recourse against this approach has been the time-worn accusation of "quoting out of context." But the cumulative evidence is simply too compelling for that tack to hold any water. The data fairly cries out to any objective inquirer.

I've often pointed out also that the Christian is at liberty (particularly within Catholicism) to believe in creationism or evolution, whereas the atheist or agnostic (or even eastern, non-theistic religionists) really has only one choice. He is bound up by his own philosophy, having rejected God, to "create" (no pun intended) a schema which explains the universe and all in it without recourse to a God who created it. In other words, an argument from preconceived notions and bias cuts both ways, at least in the case of the non-theist evolutionist (many, however - most? - do believe in some sort of God and believe that evolution was His method of - ongoing - creation).

Furthermore, most creationists I know, or know of, are quite content to let evolutionism and creationism be taught side by side in schools, in order to allow students to exercise their critical faculties and judge for themselves, whereas most evolutionists take a curiously intolerant and dogmatic view (as is the case with most liberal educational philosophy) and insist that only their ideas be exclusively taught (public and parental opinion be damned!). This is typical of the snobbery and patronizing attitudes of the liberal, self-anointed "elite": they know better than us ignorant, "know-nothing" barbarians! But Darwin himself, on the other hand, believed that "a fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question." {ORIGIN OF SPECIES, 6th ed., 1872, Intro.}

The "Inadequate" Fossil Record

Charles Darwin wrote:

If my theory be true, numberless intermediate varieties, linking closely together all the species of the same group, must assuredly have existed . . . The number of intermediate and transitional links between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great . . . An interminable number of intermediate forms must have existed.

{IBID., chapters 6,10,15}

He went on to say, however, that "geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain." Why? Darwin thought that the "extreme imperfection of the geological record" was the explanation of this. This excuse (perhaps permissible for him) has been used ever since, but with some 250,000 fossil species in our museums today, it is clearly ridiculous. Darwin might have plausibly rejected his own theory if he were alive today, since he consoled himself that the "missing links" would certainly turn up with increasing searching and digging (whereas in fact they have not). Some evolutionists have admitted that the "inadequacy" argument ought to be put out to pasture:

Evolutionary biologists can no longer ignore the fossil record on the ground that it is imperfect. {David S. Woodruff, SCIENCE, 5-16-80, p.717}

The usual explanation - the inadequacy of the fossil record- is inadequate to explain the non-change . . . Others, like me, see little evidence of gradual, progressive change in the fossil record. {Niles Eldredge, THE NEW REPUBLIC, 4-4-81, p.20}

The Crucial Importance of the Fossil Record

The fossil record is also of the utmost importance for determining the truth or falsity of evolution:

The study of fossils provides the most irrefutable proofs of biological evolution. {J.P. Lehman, THE PROOFS OF EVOLUTION, 1973, p.126}

The only possible direct evidence for a specific line of descent is a series of fossils leading stepwise from an ancestral to a descended species. Hence the science of paleontology has unique importance for evolution . . . The fossil record . . . is the most impressive evidence of evolution, in spite of its grave deficiencies. {Edward and Peter Dodson, EVOLUTION: PROCESS & PRODUCT, 2nd ed., 1976, pp.71,421}

That evolution actually did occur can only be scientifically established by the discovery of the fossilized remains of representative samples of those intermediate types which have been postulated on the basis of indirect evidence. {Wilfrid Le Gros Clark, DISCOVERY, Jan. 1955, p.7}

The Utter or Near-Absence of Intermediate Forms

The deficiency in the fossils is generally admitted by evolutionists, but they inexplicably refuse to allow for any possibility of this disproving evolution. George Gaylord Simpson, one of the foremost paleontologists, honestly writes:

Transitions between major grades of organization are seldom well recorded by fossils. There is a tendency toward systematic deficiency in the record of the history of life. It is thus possible to claim that such transitions are not recorded because they did not exist. {THE MEANING OF EVOLUTION, rev. ed., 1967, p.231, emphasis added}

The eminent biologist David S. Woodruff states:

Fossil species remain unchanged throughout most of their history and the record fails to contain a single example of a significant transition. {"Evolution: The Paleobiological View," SCIENCE, 5-16-80, p.716, emphasis added}

Other evolutionists concur:

Evolution requires intermediate forms betwen species and paleontology does not provide them.

{Geologist David Kitts, "Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory," EVOLUTION, Sep. 1974, p.467}

The fossil record offered no support for gradual change. New species almost always appeared suddenly in the fossil record with no intermediate links to ancestors in older rocks of the same region . . . The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils . . . The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: 1) STASIS: most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear . . . looking much the same as when they disappear. 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 . . . Gradualism, the idea that all change must be smooth, slow and steady, was never read from the rocks. It represented a common cultural bias.

{Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, THE PANDA'S THUMB, 1980, pp.179-82,226. Gould is perhaps currently the leading evolutionist in the United States, and is always a very informative, interesting, even entertaining writer - all thoughtul creationists ought to read his work}

Many other leading evolutionists concur:

Ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. Some of the classic cases of Darwinian change, such as the evolution of the horse, have had to be discarded. {David Raup, FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY BULLETIN, vol. 50, 1979, p,22}

In most instances, there is no fossil evidence for intermediates linking major groups. {Colin Patterson, NEW SCIENTIST, 4-15-82, p.137}

Although we find fossil remains of many bizarre or unexpected groups, none is entirely novel and all can be fitted into the hierarchy of living species at some level. {Colin Patterson, EVOLUTION, 1978, p.131}

Gradualists have been embarrassed by the fossil record, in which series of intermediate forms leading to major new taxa are most uncommon. {Douglas Futuyma, EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 1979, pp.161-2}

Unfortunately, the origins of most higher categories are shrouded in mystery; commonly new higher categories appear abruptly in the fossil record without evidence of transitional forms. {David Raup and Steven Stanley, PRINCIPLES OF PALEONTOLOGY, 1971, p.306}

The fossil record of many species consists of the sudden appearance of a new morphospecies without a documented ancestor, the persistence of this new form often essentially unchanged, and then its eventual disappearance, sudden or piecemeal. Species phylogenies must usually be reconstructed by inference. {EVOLUTION, T. Dobzhansky, F.J. Ayala, G.L. Stebbins, and J.W. Valentine, 1977, pp.325-6}

Most taxa appear abruptly . . . Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large. {George Gaylord Simpson, in EVOLUTION AFTER DARWIN, ed. Sol Tax, 1960, p.149}

Some evolutionists, however, ignore these facts and stoop to rationalization or pretense:

The gradual change of fossil species has never been part of the evidence for evolution. No real evolutionist uses the fossil record as evidence. {Mark Ridley, an Oxford zoologist, "Who Doubts Evolution?," NEW SCIENTIST, 6-25-81, p.831}

There are an immense number of transitional forms, and museums are overflowing with them. A creationist [ed. - and alas, many prominent evolutionists as well] prefers to look the other way.

{Biochemist Isaac Asimov, "The Genesis War," SCIENCE DIGEST, Oct. 1981, p.84. Asimov, also a prolific science fiction writer, was one of the most doctrinaire and dogmatic evolutionists, always handy for an extreme, quotable comment such as this}

An outsider (even one knowing little about evolution) observing these extraordinarily divergent and contradictory evolutionist interpretations of the fossil record can readily be excused for thinking that something is radically wrong here. The actual fossil evidence leaves no doubt as to whom, in this particular squabble among evolutionists themselves. Pretending that the fossil record is something that it is not, and dogmatically presenting myths such as evolutionary "trees" (as Gould points out) will not lessen the difficulties with which honest evolutionists have to contend.

Gould & Eldredge's Punctuated Equilibrium

In order to alleviate the felt difficulty and cognitive dissonance (my admittedly cynical opinion) of the utterly inadequate fossil record (in terms of what has been found), Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge introduced in 1972 a new theory of macroevolution (over against the standard Neo-Darwinism) called punctuated equilibrium ("PE"), in which new species emerge relatively quickly by means of radical, systemic mutations during the embryonic stage. Thus, they say, the lack of intermediates in the fossils is satisfactorily explained. However, the theory is sheer speculation, with very little empirical support, and is highly questionable in light of the stability of genetic material. Gould himself couldn't describe the mechanism of the changes which his theory postulates, while testifying at the Arkansas creationism trial in December, 1981 (lack of mechanisms or scientific evidence in general has never much troubled evolutionists). There is no compelling, empirically demonstrable genetic evidence that any new species could be formed at all, let alone gradually or rapidly. Nevertheless, PE is gaining followers and causing a minor revolution within evolutionary ranks. This fact by itself proves that many scientists reject the notion of gradual change of species. At least this explanation is much more logically consistent than Neo-Darwinism, in that it attempts to come to grips with the actual fossil evidence in some semblance of a coherent fashion; for this we can be thankful. Both schools can see the absurdities and flaws of the opposing viewpoint clearly, but largely fail to see or admit the difficulties of their own theory. Creationists agree with both schools when they critique the other - both are wrong!

This situation has arisen because, in practice, nothing can disprove evolution, in the minds of many (if not most) evolutionists, since it is absurdly regarded as a "fact" as "certain" as Newton's Theory of Gravitation, regardless of its innumerable flaws. Thus, when it was finally admitted by some evolutionists that the fossils did not support Darwin's original theory, a new theory, dealing primarily with macroevolution & speciation, was rapidly accepted (creationism being unthinkable). It is noteworthy that PE exists at all, after more than 100 years in which Neo-Darwinist gradualism was virtually the unanimous (and quite dogmatic) reigning orthodoxy (even today it is still the majority opinion).

The Fossil Record Examined Categorically

The fossil record is remarkably in accord with the progressive creationist model, as outlined above. Specific evidence quite strikingly and sufficiently illustrates this:

There are unexplained first appearances of billions of highly-developed fossils in the Cambrian strata with no predecessors in the Precambrian strata, although evolutionists say they took 2.5 billion years to develop. These include urchins, sponges, corals, jellyfish and trilobites. Concerning this, Gould admits:

We do not know why the 'Cambrian explosion' occurred . . . The paucity of fossils before the great Cambrian 'explosion' 600 million years ago is, perhaps, the outstanding fact and frustration of my profession. {IBID., pp.139,219}

George Gaylord Simpson writes:

In rocks earlier than the Cambrian representing the great span of upwards of 2.5 billion years, fossils are generally lacking . . . Few traces have been found . . . It is unlikely that the scarcity of Precambrian fossils is entirely due to their greater antiquity. This major mystery of the history of life has naturally excited a great deal of argument and speculation. Some students have supposed that the groups of animals whose remains appear in the Cambrian suddenly came into existence at about that time. (IBID., pp.17-20}

Elsewhere he states that the Precambrian void is "not only the most puzzling feature of the whole fossil record but almost its greatest apparent inadequacy." {in Tax, IBID., p.144}

Others ponder:

Granted an evolutionary origin of the main groups of animals, and not an act of special creation, the absence of any record whatsoever of a single member of any of the phyla in the Precambrian rocks remains as inexplicable on orthodox grounds as it was to Darwin. {T.N. George, SCIENCE PROGRESS, vol.48, 1960, p.1}

Most of the major groups of animals (phyla) appear fully fledged in the early Cambrian rocks and we know of no fossil forms linking them. {Colin Patterson, EVOLUTION, 1978, p.133}

Finally, zoologist A.S. Romer of Harvard dares to utter the unthinkable:

These older beds are almost barren of evidence of life, and the general picture is reasonably consistent with the idea of a special creation at the beginning of Cambrian times. Even today we have not completely solved this greatest of paleontological puzzles. {in A CENTURY OF DARWIN, S.A. Barnett, ed., 1958, chapter 6}

The evidence for invertebrate to vertebrate transition is extremely thin; countless opinions are held - a sign of uncertainty and confusion.

The alleged fish to amphibian transition rests on the "similarity" between the crossopterygian fish and the ichthyostegid amphibian. The fish appears completely "fish-like," with a complete set of fins (it also possesses small bones which are supposedly the beginnings of limbs). The amphibian possesses a large pelvic bone firmly attached to the vertebral column, four fully-formed limbs, and no hint of fins. The alleged relationship between the two exists only in the fanciful imagination of evolutionists, desperate for any transitional forms to bolster their as-yet unproven hypothesis. Certainly it is not scientific method to speculate on alleged "connections" between organisms based on mere outward, relatively superficial likeness.

The supposed reptile to mammal progression represents perhaps the epitome of evolutionists' wildly speculative and unscientific thinking. Duane Gish, a creationist, descibes some of the changes involved in this imaginary "transition":

How [could] two bones precisely shaped to perform in a powerfully effective jaw-joint detach themselves, force their way into the middle ear, reshape themselves into the malleus and incus, which are precisely engineered to function in a vastly different auditory apparatus?, . . . We must believe in a series of thousands and thousands of mistakes in a marvelously coordinated fashion. Furthermore, each intermediate stage had to be fully functional.

{"The Mammal-Like Reptiles," IMPACT, Dec. 1981, (ICR),}

The problem is compounded when we consider that the essential organ of hearing in mammals is the extremely complicated organ of Corti. There is no possible structure in reptiles from which it could have been derived. Many other remarkable chance inventions had to occur also, such as a new mode of reproduction, mammary glands, temperature regulation, hair, a new way of breathing (expansible thorax) and the diaphragm. The hypothetical scenario involved here is virtually anatomically impossible.

Sir Karl Popper, arguably the greatest philosopher of science, has stated:

Neither Darwin, nor any Darwinian has so far given an actual causal explanation of the adaptive evolution of any single organism or any single organ {in "Evolution: Myth, Metaphysics, or Science?," John Little, NEW SCIENTIST, 9-4-80, p.709}

Wouldn't a "hard-nosed" individual require at least a bit of such explanation before placing his allegiance in evolutionism? As for myself, I certainly do, and if someone thinks that demand is "unscientific," then they are living in a fantasy world.

The evolution of whales and dolphins is another classic Darwinian dilemma. A leading evolutionary textbook said this about marine fossils:

Because most marine species have lived in shallow water (about 90% of living species do) and because shallow-water marine sediments are in general better preserved than others, the fossil record of shallow marine communities is far better than for any other major environment. {Dobzhansky et al, IBID., p.323}

Evolutionists believe that about 50 million years ago land mammals resembling cattle, pigs, or buffalo, took to the water and underwent a remarkable transformation in order to becom perfectly adapted to the marine environment in the relatively "short" period of 5 to 10 million years (see SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, March 1979, p.136). Of course, as usual, not a shred of scientific evidence exists to support such an assertion, which is even more amazing considering the above quote. In attempting to visualize the early stages and imaginary forms of the intermediates the idea becomes quite ludicrous to any reasonable mind.

The origin of flight, which has "evolved" four times (insects, birds, bats, and flying reptiles) is another enigma. Not a single specimen of anything even remotely transitional exists (including the discredited Archaeopteryx). The oldest discovered fossils of each type are 100% formed, with fully-functional wings. Geologist E.C. Olson states concerning flying reptiles:

There is absolutely no sign of intermediate stages. {THE EVOLUTION OF LIFE, 1965, p.181}

W.E. Swinton, an expert on birds, reports:

There is no fossil evidence of the stages through which the remarkable change from reptile to bird was achieved. {in BIOLOGY & COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY OF BIRDS, ed. A.J. Marshall, 1960, vol.1, p.1}

And the oldest known fossil of a bat is just that: a bat, as can be readily observed (cover of SCIENCE, 12-9-66).

Rodents exceed all other mammalian orders combined in numbers of species and genera. Yet A.S. Romer writes:

The origin of the rodents is obscure. No transitional forms are known. {VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY, 3rd ed., 1966, p.36}

Nor are there any known fossils between rodent types. Indeed, no evidence whatsoever can be produced to document the evolution of a single mammal.

Human Evolution

The evidence for human evolution and the history of speculation in this area is equally embarrasing. Piltdown Man was accepted by the great majority of scientists as an early human (hominid) from 1913 until 1953. It was defended vigorously by England's three greatest paleontologists: Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, Sir Grafton Elliot Smith and Sir Arthur Keith. But in 1953 two anatomists from Oxford, Joseph Weiner and Sir Wilfred Le Gros Clark, discovered that the specimen was actually an orangutan jaw with a modern human skull, artificially stained (which was obviously apparent) and filed to make it appear old - a hoax! A dentist had first noticed the excessive wear on the teeth in 1916; Le Gros Clark wrote:

The evidences of artificial abrasion immediately sprang to the eye. Indeed so obvious did they seem it may well be asked - how it was that they had escaped notice before. {In Gould, IBID., p.112}

Gould himself offers four reasons for the Piltdown fiasco:

1) Imposition of strong hope upon dubious evidence, 2) Reduction of anomaly by fit with cultural biases; in this case it was the bias for brain evolution as a precedent to other structural evolution in hominids; 3) Reducion of anomaly by matching fact to expectation . . . 4) Prevention of discovery by practice. {IBID., pp.111,116-118}

Amazingly, the "correct explanation had been available from the start, but hope, desire and prejudice prevented its acceptance" {IBID., p.124} This had appeared in NATURE, Nov. 13, 1913, in an article by David Waterston. A few other scientists were also right, but they were ignored, and no one examined the bones with the care that would have immediately disclosed the true nature of the find. Even the geological strata of Piltdown was miscalculated ( a crucial factor in itself). The true elevation appeared in a Geological Survey in 1926, with no repercussions.

Piltdown Man demonstrates conclusively that scientists really can be wrong in great numbers, for long periods of time, in important matters, despite clear, available evidence to the contrary.

Nebraska Man was widely considered to be a hominid from 1922 to 1927, on the basis of a single tooth, which, as it turned out, belonged to an extinct pig! One wonders how long it would have been accepted had the pig remains not been found.

David Pilbeam, a leading paleoanthropologist from Yale, wrote concerning the alleged hominid fossils:

What they tell us is highly ambiguous. Inferences, or conclusions, or speculations, are derived in a complicated way, depending on one's theoretical stance, implicit and explicit assumptions, and on the way in which particular items are selected as "facts." Concepts . . . are built upon or sometimes exist in spite of the fossils. {in MISSING LINKS, John Reader, 1981, p.9}

Reader says:

Seeing how little evidence exists - the entire significant hominid collection would barely cover a billiard table - it is easy to understand why most of these theories are controversial. {IBID., book flap}

The well-known British anatomist Lord Solly Zuckerman believes that there is no science at all in the search for man's ancestry:

. . . where to the faithful, anything is possible - and where the ardent believer is sometimes able to believe in several contradictory things at the same time . . . The record is so astonishing that it is legitimate to ask whether much science is yet to be found in this field at all. The story of Piltdown provides a pretty good answer . . . Relationships which are inferred on the basis of comparative anatomy may not necessarily correspond to true genetic relationships. {BEYOND THE IVORY TOWER, 1970, pp.19,64}

He believes that man has evolved, but "without leaving any fossil traces" in the fossil record (p.64).

Constance Holden remarks:

The primary scientific evidence is a pitifully small array of bones . . . One anthropologist has compared the task to that of reconstructing the plot of War and Peace with thirteen randomly selected pages. {SCIENCE, 8-14-81, p.737}

John Gliedman states:

No fossil or other physical evidence directly connects man to ape. {"Miracle Mutations," SCIENCE DIGEST, Feb. 1982, p.90}

Stephen Jay Gould concurs:

Most hominid fossils, even though they serve as a basis for endles speculation and elaborate storytelling, are fragments of jaws and scraps of skulls. {THE PANDA'S THUMB, 1980, p.126}

Colin Patterson states:

Accounts of human evolution rely heavily on fossils, and the number of different stories is almost as great as the number of fossils. {EVOLUTION, 1978, p.172}

D.J. Futuyma admits:

Scientists are as human as anyone else. Consequently the literature on these topics suffers from a profusion of statements unsupported by evidence and from unspoken and largely untested assumptions. The canons of scientific rigor are often not applied at all to the profoundly important questions of human biology. {EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 1979, p.471, under the subtitle, "The Myth of Scientific Objectivity"}

Thus, present theories of the course of human evolution are very weak and unworthy of allegiance. Even if the accepted line of descent (Australopithecus to Homo habilis to Homo erectus) was granted as a possible model, there would be no way to prove that they were necessarily connected in an evolutionary relationship. This is pure speculation, as Zuckerman repeatedly points out, not based on solid anatomical or genetic facts. The presentation of any particular theory of human evolution as a fact (a tendency especially of textbooks) is mere pretense.

Zuckerman laments:

Scientific knowledge hardly ever grows in even fashion . . . and what may prove to be true does not necessarily drive out what is false but accepted . . . One always encounters obstacles when one searches for objective truth, and the main one is always . . . the prevailing dogma. {IBID., pp.1,95}

Final Word

What is the consequence if evolution is rejected, as the above evidence indicates is the proper course for those, like myself, who demand a rigorous empirical demonstration of scientific theories? The only alternative is some form of creationism, as D. Watson admits in a startling and revealing comment:

Evolution itself is accepted by zoologists, not because it has been observed to occur . . . or can be proved by logical, coherent evidence, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible. {NATURE, vol.123, 1929, p.233}

A more lucid statement of the irrational and unscientific nature of evolutionism, and the closed-minded, dogmatic mindset of many who hold to it, would be difficult to find. Unable to top this, I conclude my survey, and allow the reader to make his own informed judgment, based on the descriptions of evolutionists themselves of the nature and strength of the evidence of the fossil record with regard to the theory of evolution.

Copyright 1997 by Dave Armstrong. All rights reserved.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: crevolist
For all the interest shown this topic in FR, this should be interesting to many. Although I disagree with this guy's Romanism, I think his points are to be well taken... Too often Christians see their choices as being 10,000 year ago literalists or Darwinists--when there are other scenarios which better fit the evidence--both scientific and as revealed in the Bible.
1 posted on 01/08/2002 9:01:56 AM PST by AnalogReigns
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: AnalogReigns
I admire his clarity in communicating his philosophical standing at the beginning of the article. There a few who could do that as openly... and fewer still who would bother. ;^)
2 posted on 01/08/2002 9:10:53 AM PST by Teacher317
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AnalogReigns
Oh goody!

The "Harry Potter will lead you to Hell" thread was mortibund.

NOW we'll chew up some bandwidth!!!!!!
3 posted on 01/08/2002 9:33:19 AM PST by Elsie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Elsie
And the oldest known fossil of a bat is just that: a bat, as can be readily observed (cover of SCIENCE, 12-9-66).

Splifford! Where ARE you?

Hey Moose!

Yeah, Rocky....

Meet my cousin.............

4 posted on 01/08/2002 9:37:29 AM PST by Elsie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: AnalogReigns;*crevo_list
5 posted on 01/08/2002 9:45:48 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson