The Creation Explanation
|The Primeval World -- Fossils, Geology & Earth History|
What Do the Fossils Say?
The standard books on the fossil record agree with the above information, revealing the systematic absence of sequences of intermediate fossil forms. Romer's classic book, Vertebrate Paleontology, cited earlier, has numerous charts which depict the putative historical sequence of fossils.37 The liberal use of dotted lines to show assumed evolutionary connections between different groups of animals is quite apparent. These dotted lines signify the absence of intermediate fossils and/or the tentative character of the assigned connections. All of the charts contain many such dotted lines. The absence of intermediate forms is also documented at great length in the book, The Fossil Record, published by the Geological Society of London.38 This condition is characteristic of both fossil and living kinds of both plants and animals. The plant fossil record has been said to be even worse for evolutionary theory than the animal record.39 Zoologist Bolton Davidheiser in his book, Evolution and Christian Faith, cites eighty statements in the secular scientific literature in which evolutionary scientists admit they do not know the origin of eighty different kinds of animals and plants.40 Professor Steven M. Stanley of Johns Hopkins University wrote in 1979, "The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution[evolution of an entire species population in a new species] accomplishing a major morphologic[structural form] transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid."41 In his more recent book, The New Evolutionary Timetable, Stanley offers one example to dilute his earlier statement just quoted. The example is a series of fossil shells reputedly leading from straight-shelled nautiloids to coiled ammonoids.42 It can be disputed, however, whether or not these fossil types are really an example of the gradual evolution of new complex biological designs.
Thus with the sequences of intermediate forms demanded by Darwinian theory systematically absent from the fossil record, the hypothetical tree of evolutionary history leading from amoeba to man becomes a bundle of disconnected theoretical twigs. Charles Darwin was well aware of these embarrassing deficiencies of the fossil record and attempted in the Origin of Species to explain away their significance. Let us listen as he rationalizes in Chapter X of his book.43
Today, over 130 years later no informed scientist is willing to follow Darwin in hope that someday the intermediate fossil species will be found. The gaps in the fossil record are today actually worse than in Darwin's time, although the record is conceded in fact to be not deficient but rich.44
We have seen that the fossil evidence does not support the prediction of Darwinian evolutionary theory. Rather, the evidence supports the prediction which flows from the Genesis record of creation. The systematic fossil gaps speak for the separate creation of the "kinds." In recent years the failure of the fossil evidence, classical genetics, and molecular genetics to provide proof of the reality of the evolutionary scenario has brought a new theory into being. It is to a limited degree a modernized version of the "hopeful monster" theory advanced fifty years ago by Richard Goldschmidt of the University of California at Berkeley. Stephen J. Gould at Harvard, Niles Eldridge at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and David M. Raup at the Field Museum in Chicago and others have led in the development of the concept of "punctuated equilibrium."45 They propose that a species remained essentially unchanged for a long period ("stasis" or "equilibrium") and that evolutionary change occurred to produce another modified species relatively rapidly ("punctuated"). This idea is still being debated in the scientific community.46 It must be admitted, however, that whether one opts for slow change a la traditional Darwinism or for rapid change a la Gould et al., one still has a theory of evolutionary process for which the historical evidence for the process itself is unavailable and remains a matter of faith.
The opposed faith in special divine creation of the "kinds" is and will continue to be scientifically viable until such time as some evolutionary process of change can be supported by empirical evidence rather than by faith.
37. Romer, Alfred S., ref. 6.
38. Harland, W.B., et al., ref. 7.
39. Corner, E.J.H., in Evolution in Contemporary Botanical Thought, A.M. MacLeod and L.S. Cobley, Editors (Quadrangle Books, Chicago, 1961), pp. 96-97.
40. Davidheiser, Bolton, Evolution and Christian Faith (Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., Nutley, N.J., 1969), pp. 303-313.
41. Stanley, Stephen M., Macroevolution--Pattern and Process, (W.H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco, 1979), p. 39.
42. __________, The New Evolutionary Timetable (Basic Books, Inc., New York, 1981), pp. 175-176.
43. Darwin, Charles, ref. 5.
44. George, T. Neville, Science Progress, Vol. 48, Jan. 1960, p. 3.
45. Gould, Stephen, J., Natural History, Vol. 86, May 1977, pp. 12-16; ibid., Vol. 86, June-July 1977, pp. 22-30; Stanley, Stephen M., ref. 37.
46. Lewin, Roger, Science, Vol. 216, 4 June 1982, pp. 1091-1092; Gould, Stephen J., Natural History, Vol. 100, Aug. 1991, pp. 12, 14, 16, 18.