The Fossil Record and GTE
(GTE) General Theory of Evolution — “The theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.” — Gerald Kerkut — ”Implications of Evolution” (Oxford: Pergamon)
Is this the portrait the hundreds of millions of fossils paints for us when observed as a whole?
After all, were there to be a host of fossils composing a spectrum where, for instance, on one end, each one is slightly less Platypus than the next until it’s no longer a Platypus and, on the other end, each one is a little more Platypus than the next until you ended up with something that was not a Platypus we’d all have no choice but to accept this progressive gradation as conclusive evidence for the first contention of GTE.
But that’s not what we see at all. Despite disinterring hundreds of millions of fossils the world over there is no smooth, subtle gradation of one body plan to the next. Instead, as many mainstream scientists and paleontologists have confirmed, the fossil record is markedly jerky with major kinds of plants and animals appearing abruptly, evincing little or no change (even after eons) and then disappearing just as suddenly. Never mind the insurmountable chasms that exist between major plant and animal kinds.
“Instead of finding the gradual unfolding of life,” say evolutionary paleontologists like David M. Raup, “what geologists of Darwin’s time, and geologists of the present day actually find is a highly uneven or jerky record; that is, species appear in the sequence very suddenly, show little or no change during their existence in the record, then abruptly go out of the record.”
“The fossil record — in defiance of Darwin’s whole idea of gradual change — often makes great leaps from one form to the next. Far from the display of intermediates to be expected from slow advance through natural selection many species appear without warning, persist in fixed form and disappear, leaving no descendants. Geology assuredly does not reveal any finely graduated organic chain, and this is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against the theory of evolution.” (Almost Like a Whale, p. 252)”
“If life had evolved into its wondrous profusion of creatures little by little, Dr. Eldredge argues, then one would expect to find fossils of transitional creatures which were a bit like what went before them and a bit like what came after. But no one has yet found any evidence of such transitional creatures. This oddity has been attributed to gaps in the fossil record which gradualists expected to fill when rock strata of the proper age had been found. In the last decade, however, geologists have found rock layers of all divisions of the last 500 million years and no transitional forms were contained in them. If it is not the fossil record which is incomplete then it must be the theory.” (The Guardian Weekly) (Emphasis mine.)
Evolutionist Loren Eiseley acknowledged:
“After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past.” — The Immense Journey
After reviewing the evidence in the fossil record, biologist Jonathan Wells writes:
“At the level of kingdoms, phyla, and classes, descent with modification from common ancestors is obviously not an observed fact. To judge from the fossil and molecular evidence, it’s not even a well-supported theory.”
Regarding the time spans that separate many of these fossils, zoologist Henry Gee says:
“The intervals of time that separate the fossils are so huge that we cannot say anything definite about their possible connection through ancestry and descent.”
“Gradualism” when implied to mean a constant rate of evolutionary change, is indeed false.” — Dr. Andy Schueler, Molecular Evolutionary Biologist.
In fact, more than half of all the major divisions of animal life seem to have appeared in a relatively short period. Because many new and distinct life forms appear so suddenly in the fossil record, paleontologists refer to this time as “the Cambrian explosion.” When was the Cambrian period?
Let us assume that the estimates of researchers are accurate. In that case, we can represent the history of the earth by a time line that stretches the length of a soccer field. At that scale, you would have to walk about seven-eighths of the way down the field before you would come to what paleontologists call the Cambrian period. During a small segment of that time, the major divisions of animal life show up in the fossil record. How suddenly do they appear? As you walk down the soccer field, all those different creatures pop up in the space of less than one step! (Genesis 1:21, thus, is manifestly affirmed.)
Now, instead of accepting what this evidence is roaring and renouncing their patently fallacious line of reasoning, these same researchers — with their prior commitment to Philosophical Materialism hanging over them like a Sword of Damocles — instead double down and conjure up the notion of punctuated equilibrium. An evolution that starts stops for eons then starts up again. Is it any wonder why so many view it as just a bad euphemism for divine creation?
So, nobody’s ever going to win the Nobel prize for debunking evolution because when a theory becomes so supple that it quickly contorts and dislocates itself to sweep its problems under the carpet, it’s utterly unfalsifiable.