PRECAMBRIAN—In contrast, there is next to nothing answering to life forms beneath the Cambrian!
The Cambrian rocks contain literally billions of the little trilobites, plus many, many other complex species. Yet below the Cambrian—called the "Precambrian,"—we find almost nothing in the way of life forms. The message of the rock strata is "SUDDENLY abundant life; below that, NO LIFE!" Where this terrific explosion of abundance of life begins—in the Cambrian,—we find complexity, not simplicity of life forms.
Multicellular animals appear suddenly and in rich profusion in the Cambrian, and none are ever found beneath it in the Precambrian (*Preston Cloud, "Pseudofossils: A Plea for Caution," in Geology, November 1973, pp. 123-127).
It is true that, in a very few disputed instances, there may be a few items in the Precambrian, which some suggest to be life forms. But a majority of scientists recognize that, at best, these are only algae. Blue-green algae, although small plants, are biochemically quite complex; for they utilize an elaborate solar-to-chemical energy transformation, or photosynthesis. Such organisms could have been growing on the ground when the waters of the Flood first inundated it.
STROMATOLITES—The only macrofossils that are of widespread occurrence in the Precambrian are stromatolites. These are reef-like remnants usually thought to have been formed from precipitated mineral matter on microbial communities, primarily blue-green algae, growing by photosynthesis. So stromatolites are remnants of chemical formations—and never were alive!
The "3.8 billion-year-old" Isua outcrop in Greenland was previously believed to contain the oldest evidence of life. Then in 1981 it was discovered that the evidence was nothing more than weathered crystals of calcium magnesium carbonates:
"Further analysis of the world’s oldest rocks has confirmed that microscopic inclusions are not the fossilized remains of living cells; instead they are crystals of dolomite-type carbonates, rusted by water that has seeped into the rock."—*Nigel Henbest, "‘Oldest Cells’ are Only Weathered Crystals," in New Scientist, October 15, 1981, p. 164.
Two years later, an update report in New Scientist on "the world’s oldest (Precambrian) rocks" in Greenland said this:
"Geologists have found no conclusive evidence of life in these Greenland rocks."—*Chris Peat and *Will Diver, "First Signs of Life on Earth," in New Scientist, September 16, 1983, pp. 776-781.
Scientists have remarked on how there seems to be a sudden vast quantity of living creatures as soon as the Cambrian begins. All this favors the concept of Creation and a Genesis Flood, not that of slowly occurring evolution over millions of years.
THE GAP PROBLEM—(*#8/55 No Transitions, Only Gaps*) In this section we will deal with four specific problems, but we will frequently intermingle them in the discussion:
(1) There are no transitional species preceding or leading up to the first multi-celled creatures that appear in the Cambrian, the lowest stratum level.
(2) There are no transitional species elsewhere in the fossil record.
(3) The species that appear in the fossils are frequently found in many different strata.
(4) The great majority of the species found in the fossils are alive today.
NO TRANSITIONS—The Cambrian explosion is the first major problem with the fossil record. The lack of transitions is the second. But of all the problems, this lack of transitional creatures—halfway between different species—is, for the evolutionist, probably the biggest single crisis in the geologic column. Indeed, it is one of the biggest of the many crises in evolutionary theory!
"Evolution requires intermediate forms between species, and paleontology does not provide them."—*D.B. Kitts, Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory (1974), p. 467.
Throughout the fossils, we find no transitions from one kind of creature to another. Instead, only individual, distinctive plant or animal kinds.
"It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptible changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution."—*G.G. Simpson, in The Evolution of Life, p. 149.
To make matters worse, in the fossil record we find the very same creatures that we have today, plus a few extinct types which died out before our time! Neither now nor earlier are there transitional forms, halfway between true species.
"When we examine a series of fossils of any age we may pick out one and say with confidence, ‘This is a crustacean’—or starfish, or a brachiopod, or annelid, or any other type of creature as the case may be."—*A.H. Clark, The New Evolution: Zoogenesis, p. 100.
In the rock strata, we find horses, tigers, fish, insects, but no transitional forms. For example, we find large horses and small horses, but nothing that is part horse and part something else.
After giving years to a careful examination of the fossil record, comparing it with that of species alive today, a famous biologist on the staff of the Smithsonian Institute wrote these words:
"All the major groups of animals have maintained the same relationship to each other from the very first [from the very lowest level of the geologic column]. Crustaceans have always been crustaceans, echinoderms have always been echinoderms, and mollusks have always been mollusks. There is not the slightest evidence which supports any other viewpoint."—*A.H. Clark, The New Evolution: Zoogenesis (1930), p. 114.
"From the tangible evidence that we now have been able to discover, we are forced to the conclusion that all the major groups of animals at the very first held just about the same relation to each other that they do today."—*Op. cit., p. 211.
FOSSIL GAPS—This glaring fact is a repudiation of evolutionary theory. Evolutionists even have a name for the problem: They call it "fossil gaps." No creatures that are half fish and half bird, or half pig and half cow are to be found—only distinct animal and plant types such as we know today.
A related problem is the fact that great numbers of fossils span across many strata, supposedly covering millions of years. This means that, throughout the fossil record, those species made no changes during those "millions of years."
THE OCTOPUS—Here is an excellent example of what we are talking about: The squid and octopus are the most complex of the invertebrates (animals without backbones). The eye of the octopus is extremely complicated, and equal to the human eye! Checking carefully through the fossil record, you will find only squid and octopi, nothing else. There was nothing evolved or evolving about them; they were always just squid and octopi. (You will also find an extinct species, called the nautiloids. But they seem to have been even more complex!)
Checking into this more carefully, you will find that octopi first appear quite early in the fossil strata. The reason for that would be simple enough: When an octopus is frightened, it may curl up in a cave or corner someplace, or it may shoot out quickly using jets of water. For this reason, some octopi would be buried early while others would be buried in higher strata.
Checking still further, you will find that the octopus is found in nearly every stratum, from bottom to top! Many octopi continued to jet their way to the top of the waters as they rose.
(Later, after the Flood was finished, the balance of nature worked against the nautiloid and they were devoured by their enemies. Today there are none. Darwin’s "survival of the fittest" [the fittest will survive better than the others] apparently did not apply to the nautiloids, which were distinctly different from the octopi and squid, but apparently more capable than either.)
Checking still further, you will find that octopi and squid in all strata are identical to octopi and squid today.
MISSING LINKS—(*#11/133 Searching for Transitions [over a hundred quotations!]*) [It should be mentioned here that Appendix 11, at the back of our Fossils and Strata chapter on our website (evolution-facts.org), is the largest quotation appendix of all. It has 25 categories and 133 quotations. There are enough quotations here to form the basis for a major thesis.]
The links are missing. Nearly all the fossils are just our present animals; and the links between them are just not there. Few scientists today are still looking for fossil links between the major vertebrate or invertebrate groups. They have given up! The links just do not exist and have never existed.
Evolutionists know exactly what those transitional forms should look like, but they cannot find them in the fossil record! They are not to be found, even though thousands of men have searched for them since the beginning of the 19th century! Everywhere they turn, the paleontologists (the fossil hunters) find the same regular, distinct species that exist today, plus some that are extinct. The extinct ones are obviously not transitional forms between the regular species. For example, the large dinosaurs are not transitional forms, but are just definite species which became extinct in ancient times—probably by the waters of the Flood.
(Contrary to the lurid paintings of dinosaurs which evolutionists like to display as proof of their theory—extinction of a distinct species is not evolution, and provides no evidence of it.)
The search to find the missing links and fill the gaps between the distinct kinds has resulted in enormous collections of fossils. Recall to mind the earlier statements by Sunderland and *Kier, that 100 million fossils have been examined by paleontologists around the world.
"There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways it has become almost unmanageably rich, and discovery is outpacing integration . . The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mainly of gaps."—*T. Neville George, "Fossils in Evolutionary Perspective," in Science Progress, January 1960, pp. 1, 3.
If there are no transitional forms in the fossil record, there has been no evolution!
ABRUPT APPEARANCE OF THE HIGHER TAXA—(*#9/22 Abrupt Appearance*) The smaller, slower-moving creatures appear suddenly in the Cambrian. Above the Cambrian, the larger, faster creatures appear just as suddenly! And when these life forms do appear—they appear by the millions! Tigers, salmon, lions, pine trees, gophers, hawks, squirrels, horses, and on and on!
Evolution cannot explain this sudden emergence, and competent scientists acknowledge the fact:
"The abrupt appearance of higher taxa in the fossil record has been a perennial puzzle. Not only do characteristic and distinctive remains of phyla appear suddenly, without known ancestors, but several classes of a phylum, orders of a class, and so on, commonly appear at approximately the same time, without known intermediates."—*James W. Valentine and *Cathryn A. Campbell, "Genetic Regulation and the Fossil Record," in American Scientist, November-December, 1975.
"In spite of these examples, it remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories about the level of families, appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences."—*G.G. Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution (1953), p. 360.
"The sudden emergence of major adaptive types as seen in the abrupt appearance in the fossil record of families and orders, continued to give trouble. The phenomenon lay in the genetic no-man’s land beyond the limits of experimentation. A few paleontologists even today cling to the idea that these gaps will be closed by further collecting . . but most regard the observed discontinuities as real and have sought an explanation."—*D. Dwight Davis, "Comparative Anatomy and the Evolution of Vertebrates," in Genetics, Paleontology, and Evolution (1949), p. 74.
UNCHANGING SPECIES—(*#13/17 Stasis*) An important principle noted by every paleontologist who works with fossils is known as stasis. Stasis means to retain a certain form, to remain unchanged; in other words, not to change from one species to another! The problem for the evolutionists is the fact that the animals in the fossil record did not change. Each creature first appears in the record with a certain shape and structure. It then continues on unchanged for "millions of years"; and it is either identical to creatures existing now or becomes extinct and disappears. But all the while that it lived, there was no change in it; no evolution. There were no evidences of what paleontologists call gradualism, that is, gradual changes from one species to another. There was only stasis. The gap problem (no transitional forms between species) and the stasis problem (species do not change) ruin evolutionary theories.
"The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism:
"Stasis: Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless.
"Sudden appearance: In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed.’ "—*Steven Jay Gould, "Evolution’s Eratic Pace," in Natural History, May 1977, p. 14.
FOSSILS SAME AS THOSE NOW ALIVE—All of the fossils can be categorized into one of two groups: (1) plants and animals which became extinct and (2) plants and animals which are the same as those living today. Neither category provides any evidence of evolution; for there are no transitional forms leading up to or away from any of them. All are only distinct species.
Some creatures became extinct at the time of the Flood or shortly afterward. But all creatures which did not become extinct are essentially identical—both in fossil form and in their living counterparts today! This is a major point. No species evolution has occurred! The fossils provide no evidence of species evolution!
SHOULD BE MORE SPECIES—According to evolutionary theory, a massive number of species changes had to occur in ancient times, but we do not find evidence of this in the rocks. In order for one species to change into another, we should find large numbers of transitional species, partway between one species and another. But this is not found. A leading paleontologist explains:
"There are about 250,000 different species of fossil plants and animals known . . In spite of this large quantity of information, it is but a tiny fraction of the diversity that [according to the theory] actually lived in the past. There are well over a million species living today and . . [it is] possible to predict how many species ought to be in our fossil record. That number is at least 100 times the number we have found."—*David M. Raup, "Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology," in the Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, January 1979, p. 22.
(1) The fossil evidence does not have enough different species, and (2) it reveals no successively evolving species in ancient times.
But, in addition, the fossil experts admit that far too many "new species" names have been applied to fossils which have been found. Consider this:
CONFUSION IN NAMES—Just now we shall mention a technical point that only adds to the confusion as paleontologists try to search for the truth about the fossils. It also gives the impression of far more extinct species in the fossil record than there actually are.
Fossil hunters have the practice of giving different names to the same species if it is found in rocks of different periods! *Dr. Raup, head paleontologist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, says that as much as 70 percent of all the "new" fossil species found, are misnamed.
"Dr. Eldredge [American Museum of Natural History, New York City] was asked, ‘Do paleontologists name the same creatures differently when they are found in different geological periods?’ He replied that this happens, but they are mistakes. When asked the same question, Dr. Patterson [British Museum, London] replied, ‘Oh, yes, that’s very widely done.’ Next he was asked, ‘That doesn’t seem quite honest. You wouldn’t do that, would you?’ He said that he hoped he wouldn’t . .
"Would not this practice make a lot more species? Dr. Raup [Chicago Museum] said it would; perhaps 70 percent of the species described [in the fossil rocks] are later found to be the same as existing species. So 70 percent of the new species named should not have been [given new names but were], either through ignorance or because of the ground rules used by the taxonomists."—L.D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma (1988), pp. 130-131.
Obviously, such a practice deepens the problem for the experts. In this chapter our concern will be with underlying facts and principles, yet the doubling and tripling of names for the same fossil species only makes it harder for the experts to extract themselves from their Darwinian muddle.
"An assistant of Dr. Eldredge, who was studying trilobite fossils at the American Museum, explained to the author how he made the decision on naming a new species: ‘I look at a fossil for about two weeks and then if I think it looks different enough, I give it a new name.’ So it is simply a mailer of judgment with no firm ground rules."—Op. cit., p. 131.
The experts tell us there are "millions of species," when there are not that many. Taxonomists are the men who classify and give names to plants and animals. Among them, the "splitters" are the ones who find it easier to make up new names than to go to the trouble of properly identifying a specimen in hand.
"We all know that many apparent evolutionary bursts are nothing more than brainstorms on the part of particular paleontologists. One splitter in a library can do far more than millions of years of genetic mutation."—*V. Ager, "The Nature of the Fossil Record," Proceedings of the Geological Association, Vol. 87, No. 2, 1976, p. 132 [Chairman of the Geology Department, Swansea University].
(See chapter 11, Animal and Plant Species, for more on this.) It is well-known among the experts that there are far more splitters out there than lumpers,—simply because applying a new name for a fossil is easier and brings more fame than going through all the drudgery of researching into who had earlier named it.
*Edward Cope and *Othniel Marsh were two major museum fossil collectors in Western U.S. They fiercely hated one another, and for decades consistently double-named specimens—which had already been named earlier. (See chapter 11, Animal and Plant Species, for more.)
"Sadly, in the later bitter rivalry between Cope and Marsh, Leidy [an earlier fossil collector] was all but forgotten. Paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, director of the American Museum of Natural History, recalled that many of the Eocene and Oligocene animals had been given three names in the scientific literature: the original Leidy name and the Cope and Marsh names."—*Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), pp. 272-273.
LARGER FOSSILS ANCIENTLY—It is an intriguing fact that, if the fossil evidence supported any species modification, it would be devolution—not evolution! Ancient plants and animals were frequently much larger than any now living. Not only do we find no crossing over the species line among fossils, but we also discover that species are not evolving, but degenerating with the passing of time.
A cardinal principle of evolutionary theory is that creatures must evolve into more complexity as well as bigger size. But the fossil record bears out neither theory. There is clear evidence of the complexity to be found in invertebrates, the supposedly "lowest" form of life. But there is a size differential as well:
"[Edward Drinker] Cope is known to many students only for ‘Cope’s Law,’ which asserts, roughly speaking, that everything goes on getting bigger . . Alas, it is not generally true. The modern tiger is smaller than the sabre-toothed tiger of the last ice age . . The horsetails of our ditches are tiny compared with the sixty-foot [18 m] horsetails of the Carboniferous. And where are the giant snails of the early Cambrian or the giant oysters of the Tertiary?"—*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p 122.
The Bible indicates that in ancient times, people lived longer and were much larger. So it should not be surprising that extinct creatures were frequently larger than those alive today. They probably lived longer too. Among the fossils we find the following:
Plants: (1) Enormous plants once existed, far exceeding anything alive today. (2) Fifty-foot [152 dm] high ferns with 5-6 foot [15-18 dm] fronds. (3) Scouring rushes grew to a width of 12 inches [30.48 cm] in diameter. (4) One-hundred-foot [30.4 dm] high scale trees, with trunks 4-6 feet [12-18 dm] in diameter are found only in fossil form. None are alive today.
Small sea life: (5) Giant trilobites up to 18 inches [45.72 cm] long, with none alive today, and the creatures now living and most similar to them are quite small. (6) Fifteen-foot [457 cm] long straight-shelled cephalopods (Enckiceras proteiforme) and 9-foot [1274 cm] sea scorpions (Euryprids) once lived. Nothing of such immense sizes is found among them today. Those fossil Euryprids were the largest arthropods that ever lived.
Insects: (7) Some insects were 4 to 8 inches [10.16-20.32 cm] in length. Dragonflies had a wingspread of 29 inches [73.66 cm], and some centipedes were 12 inches [30.48 cm] in length.
Amphibians: (8) Today’s amphibians are small salamanders or frogs. But in the past, there were the giants of Stegocephalia, of which Onychopus gigas alone weighed 500 pounds [226.8 kg].
Larger marine life: (9) How would you like to meet a shark with jaws 6 feet [183 cm] across? That is what sharks were like in ancient times. (10) Basilosaurus was a marine mammal with a 4-foot [12 dm] head, 10-foot [30 dm] long body, and 40-foot [12.2 m] tail.
Birds: (11) Diatiyma looked somewhat like an ostrich, but was 7 feet [21 dm] tall and had a head as big as a horse. (12) The Phororhacos was nearly 8 feet [24 dm] tall with a skull 23 inches [58.42 cm] across. (13) Dinornis was 10-feet [30.5 dm] tall, and was the largest bird that ever lived.
Larger mammals: (14) The Mongolian Andresarchus had a skull 2½ feet [76 dm] long, and was one of the largest carnivores ever to live. (15) Imagine meeting a long-horned rhinoceros 14 feet [4.3 m] tall. Another rhinoceros, Baluchiterium, was 13 feet [40 dm] high and 25 feet [76 dm] long. (16) There were huge woolly mammoths, gigantic hairy mastodons, and 14-foot [43 dm] tall imperial mammoths. (17) Giant armadillos once lived, and ground sloths as big as elephants. (18) Pigs (Entelodonts) were 6 feet [18dm] high. (19) One bison (Bison latifrons) had a 6-foot [18 dm] horn spread.
Reptiles: (20) Crocodile-like phytosaurs were 25 feet [76 dm] long, and dolphin-like ichthyosaurs were 30 feet [91 dm] in length. (21) There were 35-foot [171 dm] long marine reptiles (Mosasaurs) and 11-foot [34 dm] marine turtles (Archelon). (22) The Pteranodon had a 25-foot [76 dm] wingspread. (23) And then there were gigantic land reptiles, including the 45-foot [137 dm] Tyrannosaurus Rex, the 65-foot [189 dm] long Brontosaurus, the 10-ton [9,072 kg] Stegosaurus, and the 80-foot [244 dm] long Diplodocus. The Brachiosaurus was 50 feet [152 dm] tall, 100 feet [305 dm] in length, and weighed 80 [72.5 mt] tons. That would make it approximately three times as large as the largest dinosaur now known, and place it in the range of size of the blue whale—called the largest creature on earth.
In 1971, three specimens of the largest bird were found in Texas by *Douglas Lawson. The Pterosaur had an estimate wingspan of 51 feet [155 dm], twice as large as any flying reptile previously discovered. By way of contrast, the bird with the largest wingspan, the wandering albatross, measures 11 feet [33.5 dm]; and the McDonnell Douglas F-15A jet fighter has a wingspan of 43 feet [131 dm].
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 from 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 impressive 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, Woodmorappe 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 Diluviologist, 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 paleontological 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 the 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 fossil 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 birds 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 problems 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.