Sunday, March 1, 2009

Evolution and “Where’s the Beef?”

On a blog today an atheist was lamenting the fact that only 28% of Americans believe that evolution is true. "How could this be?" he wailed. Well, I can think of one reason.

While I dislike being taunted and mocked, I just wish, for the sake of integrity and intellectual fulfillment, that someone could explain why evolution stopped happening back when, well, when all of the species that we have now came to be. I mean, if evolution is true, then we should have nothing but transitional stages running around. If evolution is true then the various strata in the earth should also be filled with transitional stages of species. Instead, the best that atheists can come up with are examples of adaptation within a species and this they are forced to call evidence of evolution. This they are forced to say is their evidence for “no God.”

Darwin himself admitted that his theory required the existence of "transitional forms." Darwin wrote: "The number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great. But assuredly, if this theory be true, such have lived upon the earth."

However, Darwin had to further ask the same question that I just asked: "Why then is not every geological formation and every strata full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory."

Darwin thought the lack of transitional links in his time was because "only a small portion of the surface of the earth has been geologically explored and no part with sufficient care...". As Darwin grew older he became increasingly concerned about the lack of evidence for the theory of evolution in terms of the existence of transitional forms. Darwin wrote, "“When we descend to details, we cannot prove that a SINGLE SPECIES has changed; nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory.”

Dr. Michael Denton wrote regarding the fossil record:
"It is still, as it was in Darwin's day, overwhelmingly true that the first representatives of all the major classes of organisms known to biology are already highly characteristic of their class when they make their initial appearance in the fossil record. This phenomenon is particularly obvious in the case of the invertebrate fossil record. At its first appearance in the ancient Paleozoic seas, invertebrate life was already divided into all the major groups with which we are familiar today.”

Evolutionists have had 200 years to find transitional fossils and nothing approaching a conclusive transitional form has EVER been found. Only a handful of adaptations are noticeable and it is these that atheists point to as proof of evolution. Surely they can do better than that. Distinguished anthropologist Sir Edmund R. Leach declared, "Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so."

David B. Kitts of the School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma wrote that "Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them…".

David Raup, who was the curator of geology at the museum holding the world's largest fossil collection, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, observed:
"[Darwin] was embarrassed by the fossil record because it didn't look the way he predicted it would .... Well, we are now about 200 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." - David M. Raup, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin 50 ”

One of the most famous proponents of the theory of evolution was the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. But Gould admitted the following:
“The absence 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, not the evidence of fossils...We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.”

In "The Return of Hopeful Monsters", Gould wrote: "The fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change....All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt."

The senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, Dr. Colin Patterson, put it this way:
“Gradualism is a concept I believe in, not just because of Darwin’s authority, but because my understanding of genetics seems to demand it. Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils....I will lay it on the line — there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument."

Why is that? If evolutionary theory is correct there should be nothing BUT transitional forms running around.

According to Dr. Don Batten, Stephen Gould made some admissions that there was a "lack of evidence for phylogeny in the fossils" and that Gould had also claimed that were no intermediate forms. Dr. Batten states that Gould made these statements when Gould was less concerned about creationists. Dr. Batten also states that "claimed examples of transitional series and intermediate forms received an incisive critique from Gould in the 1970s...." However, Gould's admissions were subsequently widely quoted by creationists. According to Dr. Batton, in 1981 Gould started making intemperate language towards creationists. After having been incessantly quoted by creationist regarding the fossil record, Gould altered his public stance regarding the fossil record and without stating specific examples from the fossil record and using the ambiguous term "larger groups" Gould stated the following:

“Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists - whether through design or stupidity, I do not know - as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."

David Woodruff wrote in the journal Science the following: "But fossil species remain unchanged throughout their history and the record fails to contain a single example of a significant transition.”

The late Ernst Mayr was a prominent Harvard biologist who also served as the director of Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. Mayr was a staunch evolutionist and atheist who maintained that evolution was a fact, yet Mayr was compelled to make the following admission regarding the fossil record in relation to the theory of evolution: "Even the fossil record fails to substantiate any continuity and all novelties appear in the fossil quite suddenly.

Gould was more specific regarding his "evolved" claim that there were intermediate forms and asserted that Archaeopteryx was a intermediate form. Also, according to Dr. Batten, the following occurred in regard to Gould's stance on the fossil record:
"[Gould] abandoned his earlier position that there are no examples of transitional fossil series, either inter-specific or between major designs, and has embraced the ‘walking whale’ story as evidence for transformation of one species into another. The evidence for this transition is scant, but Gould uncritically accepts the fanciful description of how Ambulocetus natans walked and swam, as given by Thewissen et al."

Staunch evolutionist Ernst Mayr wrote the following:
“Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from one ancestral form to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in EVERY phyletic series. New types appear quite suddenly, and their immediate ancestors are absent in the geological strata. The fossil record is one of discontinuities, seemingly documenting jumps (saltations) from one type of organism to a different type. This raises a puzzling question: Why does the fossil record fail to reflect the gradual change one would expect from evolution?

As mentioned earlier, one of the more famous alleged transitional fossils claimed by evolutionists is Archaeopteryx. Dr. Alan Feduccia, a world authority on birds and an evolutionist himself, has stated the following regarding Archaeopteryx:
“Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of ‘paleobabble’ is going to change that.

I had an atheist describe as “dim-witted” any attempt to say that atheists live by faith. I would suggest that dim-witted more correctly describes those who insist that matter is eternal or self-created, that evolution is a theory based upon observable evidence and that everything came into being from nothing and by nothing.


Amrita said...

I am impressed Makarios. You are a deep thinker.Thank you for commenting on my blog.

Kylyssa Shay said...

Please read about evolutionary biology. You will see that life continues to evolve. I don't understand why a logical progression from one species to many suggests to you that thinking evolution happened precludes a belief in God. Most people, worldwide, who think evolution happened are religious.

Why do you believe that your God wouldn't choose an elegant and logical system to diversify life? People who are religious and believe evolution happened and happens believe that their God is rational and logical and followed the logical rules He created to shape life as we know it.

I am puzzled why you keep talking about the origin of life when talking about evolution. Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life, it has to do with the diversification of life. Evolutionary theory says absolutely nothing about the first origin of life.

Also, this talk about something coming from nothing - if you believe God has always existed why is it impossible to believe that other things may have as well?