Reviewing The Basic Fossil Evidence

THE MISSING TREE—The fossil record does not present a "family tree"; for there is no trunk and no branches; only twigs! If you remove the connecting links of a tree—the trunk and the branches,—what will you have left? only twigs lying all over the ground! That is the picture we find in plant and animal species living today. That is the same picture we find in the geologic column. No trunk, no branches—only distinct twigs, each one different than the others.

"So far as we can judge from the geologic record, large changes seem usually to have arisen rather suddenly, in terms of geologic time. Fossil forms intermediate between large subdivisions of classification, such as orders and classes, are seldom seen."—*Paul A. Moody, Introduction to Evolution (1962), p. 503.

WOODMORAPPE'S WORLD RESEARCH PROJECT—Since early childhood, we have all been exposed to these charts of rock strata and fossils, with the impres sive dates alongside. It is called a "Geologic Column" chart.

A correlative scientific analysis. remarkable for its in-depth thoroughness and worldwide coverage. was published in the December 1983 issue of Creation Research Society Quarterly. Authored by John Woodmorappe; the 53-page article contains 807 references, 17 very detailed charts and graphs, 35 world maps, and 2 regional maps.

In this lengthy article, Woodmorappe validates several interesting points, among which are the following:

(1) Fossils do not tend to overlay one another in successive strata; instead they tend to be mixed together in successive strata. One third of them span three or more strata levels.

(2) There is not an orderly progression of strata. from bottom to top. Successively "higher" index fossils are not found in "higher" strata as they are supposed to be. Index fossils do not tend to overlay one another in successive strata; instead they are generally found here and there on what approximates a chance arrangement! Such fossils are often clumped at a great horizontal distance from the index fossils they are supposed to overlay. More than 9500 global occurrences of major index fossils were marked on 34 world maps in order to analyze overlay occurrences. Great care was taken to be sure that the data on these maps would be as accurate as possible. After preparing maps for each type of index fossil, Woodmor-appe overlaid them on a light table in order to compare and tabulate instances in which index fossils were above each other in harmony with classical evolutionary rock strata theory.

Table 3 was then prepared to compare the 34 world maps of index fossils. Using it, you can make xeroxes of these maps and make your own overlay analyses on a light table. Or you can make copies onto overhead projector transparencies—and show them to students and other audiences.

"Table 3 has been drafted to show the results of superposing Maps 1-34 against each other. There are 479 cross-comparisons; every fossil versus every other that belongs to another geologic period. It can be seen that only small percentages of all localities of any given fossil overlie, or are overlain by, any other single fossil of another geologic period. Thus fossils of different geologic periods invariably tend to shun each other geographically, and this in itself may be taken as prima facie evidence that all fossils are ecological and/or biogeographic equivalents of each other—negating all concepts of evolution, geologic periods, and geologic time. To the Di-luviologist, this tendency of any two different-'age' fossils to be geographically incompatible allows an understanding of fossils in light of the Universal Deluge [the Genesis Flood]."—John Woodmorappe, "A Diluviological Treatise on the Stratigraphic Separation of Fossils," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, December 1983, p. 150 [bold type ours].

Table 4 was prepared to show possible multiple fossil overlays rather than just two as with Table 3. The results of this presentation are disastrous for evolutionary theory. "There does not appear to be any trend for individual fossils to be exceptionally commonly juxtaposed or non-juxtaposed with others."—Op. Cit., p. 151.

As we have earlier explained, it is the "index fossils" which are relied on as the proof of the evolutionary theory of fossil strata placement and dating. Here is Woodmorappe's conclusion in regard to these so-called "index fossils":

"A total of over 9500 global occurrences of major index fossils have been plotted on 34 world maps for the purpose of determining superpositional tendencies. 479 juxtapositional determinations have shown that only small percentages of index fossils are juxtaposed one with another. Very rarely are more than one-third (and never more than half) of all 34 index fossils simultaneously present in any 200 mile (320 kilometer) diameter region on earth."—Op. cit., p. 133 [bold type ours].

(3) Beginning on page 151 of his article he considers possible causes and Flood mechanisms, as possible solutions to why these fossils are to be found in such a confused pattern.

(4) Woodmorappe concludes with an extensive discussion, on pages 167-171, of why so few mammal, bird, and human fossils have been found.

You may wish to obtain a copy of his article to read through and make transparency charts to share with others. The Creation Research Society Quarterly is one of the best publications in its field.

ASKING THE EXPERTS—Let us briefly pause in our examination of the strata/fossil evidence and what it reveals. We will now journey to three of the largest _ paleon-tological museum holdings in the world:

We will first go to the British Museum of Natural History. *Dr. Colin Patterson is in charge of its large paleontology (fossil) collection.

After publishing his 1978 book, Evolution, *Dr. Colin Patterson of the British Museum of Natural History was asked why he did not include a single photograph of a transitional fossil. In reply, Dr. Patterson said this: "I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be used to visualise [portray] such transformations, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it.

"[Steven] Gould [of Harvard] and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. As a paleontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. You say that I should at least 'show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organism was derived.' I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument. The reason is that statements about ancestry and descent are not applicable in the fossil record. It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test."— *Dr. Colin Patterson, letter dated April 10, 1979 to Luther Sunderland, quoted in L.D. Sunderland, Darwin's Enigma, p. 89.

Let us now leave *Dr. Colin Patterson in London, and go to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. It is one of the largest and oldest natural history museums in America—and probably in the world, and houses 20 percent of all fossil species known. Having had opportunity to carefully study these materials for years, *Dr. David Raup the leading paleontologist at this Field Museum, is in a position to speak with authority. He begins a key article summarizing what the fossil evidence reveals by saying:

"Most people assume that fossils provide a very important part of the general argument made in favor of Darwinian interpretations of the history of life. Unfortunately, this is not strictly true."—* David Raup, "Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology," in Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, January 1979.

*Dr. Raup then quotes a well-known statement by *Charles Darwin that he (*Darwin) was "embarrassed" by the lack of fossil evidence for origins (the Cambrian problem) and transitions (the gap problem) in his day. Then *Raup declares that the situation today is even worse— for we now have so much more fossil evidence which tells us the same message it told *Darwin! Noting that *Darwin wrote that he hoped that future discoveries would unearth fossils which would fill the gaps and provide the missing links, *Raup then says:

"We are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time! By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information."—*Dr David Raup, in op. cit.

We will now leave Chicago and journey to one of the largest museums in the nation, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where *Dr. Niles Eldredge is in charge of its massive fossil collection.

While attending a science writers' convention in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in November 1978, *Dr. Eldridge was asked by a reporter for evidence from the fossil record of transitional changes from one species to another. A report of his reply was printed shortly afterward in the Los Angeles Times:

"No one has found any such in-between creatures. This was long chalked up to 'gaps' in the fossil records, gaps that proponents of gradualism [gradual evolutionary change from species to species] confidently expected to fill in someday when rock strata of the proper antiquity were eventually located. But all the fossil evidence to date has failed to turn up any such missing links.

"There is a growing conviction among many scientists that these transitional forms never existed."—*Niles Eldredge, quoted in "Alternate Theory of Evolution Considered, " in Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1978.

Drs. *Patterson. *Raup. and *Eldredge spent a lifetime in fossil analysis before giving the above statements. Together. they have been in charge of at least 50 percent of the major fossil collections of the world.

They have the evidence, they know the evidence, they work with it day after day.

Figuratively, they sit on top of the largest pile of fossil bones in the world! They know what they are talking about. Their conclusion: "There are no transitional forms."

But WITHOUT transitional forms there can be NO evolution—for THAT IS what evolution is all about! Evolution is not copper changing into sulphur, it is not air changing into sunlight, nor is it wolves changing into German shepherds. It would be a true species change.

Evolution is one basic type of plant or animal changing into another basic type of plant or animal (apple trees into oak trees or goats into cows). There should be fossil evidence of those changes. The evidence would be "transitional _forms" _filling the "gaps" between the basic types. But such transitions are nowhere to be found.

THE FISH THAT BECAME OUR ANCESTOR— (*#10

From Fish to Amphibian *) According to one of the legends of evolutionary theory, a critical point in our ancestry came one day, when a fish decided to crawl out of the water and start walking. He found it all so exciting that he turned into a land animal. The rest is evolutionary history: Amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and man resulted. So you have a lot to thank that fish for.

In the 1980s, Luther Sunderland interviewed the head paleontologists of five of the largest natural history museums in the United States, overseeing at least 60 percent of the fossil collections in the world. One of the questions he asked them was about that fish that came out on land and began walking around. Another question was about whether they knew of any transitional species. The answer to both questions, by the five men, was either studied silence or an embarrassed sidestepping of the matter. For the story of his interviews, go to (*#10 From Fish to Amphibian*), which means go to our website, evolution-facts.org; then to Appendix 10 at the back of this chapter (Fossils and Strata). For more on this wonderful fairy tale, read chapter 22, Evolutionary Science Fiction.

DARWIN'S GREAT CONCERN—Over a hundred years ago, * Charles Darwin recognized the importance of the problem of fossil gaps (lack of transitional halfway species) in the strata. The gaps were already well-known in his time. Realizing that those gaps immensely weakened his general theory, he wrote this:

"This perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record."—*Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species, 6th edition (1956), pp. 292-293.

But *Darwin expressed hope that the gaps would later, after his death, be filled.

Since his time (*Darwin died in 1882), a major campaign has been underway for over a century to close up those "imperfections." But the hundreds upon thousands of fossils which have been found and examined only reveal, with deeper clarity and distinctness, merely the species we now have today, plus some extinct ones.

WORSE THAN BEFORE—*Charles Darwin speculated that, in our modern world, natural selection is changing species into brand new ones. But we find that *Darwin was wrong (see chapters 9, 10, and 11, Natural Selection, Mutations, and Plant and Animal Species).

*Darwin also said that the fossil record ought to show that natural selection had been doing this in the past, and that later discoveries of additional fossils would show his idea to be true. But the fossils show that *Darwin was wrong. *Raup says that the fossil situation is now even worse than it was in the days of *Darwin. Other experts agree with him.

The desperate straits of the evolutionists are caused by their frenzied search to prove evolution true! It has only brought to view a vast wealth of fossil data able to bury the theory. And it would bury it too, IF we all knew the truth of the situation. But the textbooks and popular magazines continue churning out the statement, "evolution has now been proven to be a fact," and then vindicating those statements by referring to the peppered moth and recapitulation as proofs of evolution! (See chapter 9, Natural Selection, for the peppered moth, and chapter 16, for Recapitulation. Also see chapter 17, Evolutionary Showcase. That chapter is astounding.)

Whether it be the fossil past or the natural world around us today, the only variations are within the true species, never across them. We can breed new varieties of roses, pigeons, or dogs, but they remain roses, pigeons, and dogs. Genetic studies clearly show that mutation and natural selection—working alone or together—cannot produce evolutionary change. Fossil evidence confirms this.

WHAT IT TAKES TO SURVIVE—Speak of "survival of the fittest"! The long survival of evolutionary theory disproves the _phrase! Here we have survival of the weakest, most foolish, and most easily disproved of "scientific" concepts.

Evolution as a theory survives because (1) the public does not know what is going on, (2) most scientists are working in very narrow fields and do not see the overall picture that you are learning in this book, and (3) many conscientious researchers dare not speak up lest they be relieved of their positions and salaries.

Yes, the scientists are working in narrow fields—

• The biologists and geneticists bemoan the lack of evolutionary evidence in their fields (living species and genetic research), but then comfort themselves that, perhaps, the ffossil evidence has established it.

• The paleontologists and stratigraphers bemoan the void of evolutionary evidence in the fossil strata (species which earlier lived on the earth) but conclude that, surely, the startling advances in species discoveries and genetics research upholds it

The scholars and researchers attend their own narrowed scientific meetings and rarely have time to check with those in other fields of study. The experts in each scientific specialty imagine that other experts elsewhere have solidly proven evolution. even though in their field of study it is ready to fall through the floor.

So much is known about so little in the sciences today that few experts can see the BIG picture. And the general public is given the WRONG picture. Evolution is as dead as the Dodo bird of the Mascarene Islands that died nearly two hundred years ago, and most people in the modern world are not aware of it.

SOME OF THE PROBLEMS—Here are a _ few of the key pproblems with the _fossils in the strata. These problems are serious enough that any one of them is enough to overthrow the evolutionary theory in regard to paleontology and stratigraphy:

(1) Life suddenly appears in the bottom fossil-strata level, the Cambrian, with no precursors.

(2) When these lowest life-forms appear (they are small slow-moving, shallow-sea creatures), they are extremely abundant, numbered in the billions of specimens, and quite complex.

(3) No transitional species are to be found at the bottom of the strata, the Cambrian.

(4) Just below the Cambrian, in the Precambrian, there are no fossil specimens.

(5) No transitional species are to be found below the lowest stratum, in the Precambrian.

(6) No transitional species are to be found above the bottom stratum, from the Ordovician on up.

(7) Higher taxa (forms of life) appear just as suddenly in the strata farther up. These higher types (such as beavers, giraffes, etc.) suddenly appear with no hint of transitional life-forms leading up to them.

(8) When they appear, vast numbers of these life-forms are to be found.

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