The Challenge of the Fossil Record

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 28, 2017 0 comments

by Steve Risner

I've spent a few weeks writing about transition fossils and even specific lineages that evolutionists try to suggest are the best evidence for Darwinism — the whale and horse. Today, I'd like to continue with just the absence of evidence in the fossil record of anything resembling Darwin's idea of slow, gradual changes over time. At the time he wrote On the Origin of Species, there was literally no evidence supporting universal common descent from the fossil record. Darwin even claimed this in the book. But his argument was that the fossil record was imperfect—that it didn't show everything from eons past. He blamed the theory's deficiencies on the evidence rather than the theory. If that's not bias, I'm not sure what is. But here and now—over 150 years later—we still have nothing to show for it. This isn't my opinion but the opinion of many very prominent evolutionists who are at least honest enough to mention some of the inadequacies of the theory. Let's take a look at a few of the things they've said.

Stephen Gould, famed evolutionist of the 20th century, said that Darwin's excuse of an imperfect fossil record is the “favored escape of most paleontologists from the embarrassment of a record that seems to show so little of evolution directly.” That's exactly the case—that supporters of evolution will use the excuse of the imperfection of the fossil record when we have literally thousands of tons of fossils and the record still shows nothing of Darwinian evolution (they'll argue otherwise, citing made up stories of walking whales and whatnot, but that's not evidence from the record but imagination at work).

The big trouble is that as far back as fossils have been discovered, they've always shown fully formed, fully intact, fully developed and have “advanced” anatomy and physiology (as much physiology as can be determined from fossils). When something appears in the fossil record, it never seems to have less advanced ancestors. This is a major problem for evolutionists, which is one reason they rarely talk about it. This can no longer be passed off as the fault of an incomplete record of fossils. It is, in reality, evidence that universal common descent is intellectually bankrupt and should be discarded.

Even textbooks, as slow as they are to relinquish some of the staples of evolutionary dogma, are beginning to admit some of the shortcomings of the theory.

“Many species remain virtually unchanged for millions of years, then suddenly disappear to be replaced by a quite different, but related, form. Moreover, most major groups of animals appear abruptly in the fossil record, fully formed, and with no fossils yet discovered that form a transition from their parent group.” -Integrated Principles of Zoology

Many scientists whose life work is based on Darwinism have begun to admit that they cannot explain the rapid appearance of the biodiversity we see in the fossil record or in our world at present. This is especially true where the fossil record initially records a large diversity of life—in the Cambrian rock layers. This is commonly called the “Cambrian Explosion” because we have very little if any evidence of life at all in the pre-Cambrian rocks and then BAM!!! We have numerous groups of organisms showing up fully formed, complex, and with no ancestors to speak of. The more we learn and discover about these rock layers, the more difficult it is to explain the diversity of life with purely materialistic means. In other words, the more we learn about it, the less we know about it from Darwin's stance.

The biology textbook The Invertebrates: A New Synthesis states, “Most of the animal groups that are represented in the fossil record first appear, ‘fully formed’ and identifiable as to their phylum, in the Cambrian, some 550 million years ago. These include such anatomically complex and distinctive types as trilobites, echinoderms, brachiopods, mollusks, and chordates. … The fossil record is therefore of no help with respect to the origin and early diversification of the various animal phyla.”

Most laypersons are completely unaware that such huge problems exist. Most have no idea that there is literally no evidence of any kind for slow, gradual, uncoordinated changes over eons of time in the fossil record. This has forced some evolutionists, like some noted above, to explore the idea of punctuated equilibrium. This is the idea that evolution happens in almost a cycle. The vast majority of the time, there is no evolution. Then, for some reason—a change in environment most generally—a population will undergo extreme amounts of change in a very short period of time. The evidence for such an idea? Well, it obviously doesn't happen slowly, so it must happen quickly. This means it would likely not be recorded in the fossil record. Convenient, right? Much of the reading you'll do will indicate that slow and gradual changes over millions of years is the norm, but since it doesn't fit the evidence even slightly, the idea of punctuated equilibrium is starting to take over. Since this requires no evidence or seemingly explains the lack of any evidence for evolution, it's gaining popularity. Again, how quaint that they've chosen a route that explains why there is NO evidence for their theory. And to suggest that the vast number of extremely specific changes that are required to change an animal group from one thing to another can happen by accidental mutation and natural selection can happen in a very short period of time is asking way too much. A thinking person (who is honest enough) can see through this quite readily. The crusaders of Darwinism are hoping you're either too lazy, too dumb, or too trusting to buy this nonsense.

Please be a free thinker: one who weighs the evidence from both sides and makes informed decisions based on where the evidence leads and not based on where you wish it to lead. If you do this, you'll most likely land on the idea that the God of the Bible and the account of creation as recorded in the Bible is a solid belief system based on faith, but a faith that can stand firmly on the facts. Atheism, Darwinism, the Big Bang, etc. cannot boast this.

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