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The Search for Evolutional Fossils
by Jack Wellman
2008-10-15 08:42:21
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Author and writer Luther Sunderland was struck with the same problem that I have with evolution. That is there is insufficient transitional fossil evidence to support evolution. The technology is available to dig deep into the earth, and you don’t need a theory to see what’s in the ground. Darwin was deeply trouble with the lack of fossil evidence in the earth (literature.org, Darwin, Origins…, Chapters 8,10,11,13...). I am deeply mystified as well…that searching for missing links, they don’t even realize the whole chain is missing!
 
When Mr. Sunderland asked to see the transition fossils, and was so he determined to get the definitive answer from the top museums themselves, that they were sometimes belligerent to him. Sunderland started his search with interviews with the five most respected museum officials, who are recognized authorities in their individual fields of study. These included representatives from the American Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and the British Museum of Natural History. Not one of the five officials were able to offer a single example of a transitional series of fossilized organisms that document the transformation of one kind of animal or plants into another.
1
 
Isn’t this where you would them to be located? It’s natural to assume to any transitional fossils would on public display and at the world’s most prestigious museums, right? Where are they? Could it be that they cannot find what does not exist?
 
Here’s an Example:
 
The fact is that metabolic processes do not even leave fossils, places severe limitations on its research. They are reduced to comparisons of existing organisms. Those that are living today!? And since there are no fossil records at this stage, called the “chemical evolution theory” by some, we are left with yet another theory with no fossils to show for it.
 
The King of Fossils happens to be The British Museum of Natural History. This museum holds the largest collection of fossils in the world. Mr. Sunderland managed to interview the five most respected museum officials, perhaps in the word. First and foremost, Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist at the British Museum and editor of a prestigious scientific journal. Patterson is a well known expert having an intimate knowledge of the fossil record. Regardless, he was unable to give a one, single example of Macro-Evolutionary transition.
Mr. Patterson wrote a book for the British Museum of Natural History called “Evolution”
2 . After examining the book, Mr. Sunderland wondered why there was not even a single photograph of a transitional fossil in it. Mr. Patterson flatly said:
 
“...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 visualize such transformations, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it, and if I were to leave it to artistic license, would that not mislead the reader? I wrote the text of my book four years ago. If I were to write it now, I think the book would be rather different. 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. 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.”
1
 
Sunderland is not the only one, based upon Darwin's own words, his original theory of macro-evolutionary progression didn't happen. During Darwin’s day Paleontology was in it’s infancy as a scientific discipline (mid-1800s), but now, after about 150 years, Darwin would still lack evidence in the fossil record. A record that Darwin himself required for his theory to be true!

David B. Kitts. PhD (Zoology) is Head Curator of the Department of Geology at the Stoval Museum. In an evolutionary trade journal, he wrote:

“Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of "seeing" evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of "gaps" in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them…” 2

N. Heribert Nilsson, a famous botanist, evolutionist and professor at Lund University in Sweden, continues: “My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed… The fossil material is now so complete that it has been possible to construct new classes, and the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as being due to scarcity of material. The deficiencies are real, they will never be filled." 3

The missing link between man and apes, remains missing. The more scientists, paleontologists and archeologists have searched for the transitional forms that lie between species, the more they must rely on theory. And there are theories within the theory, like Chemical Evolution Theory [with fossilization impossible], hypothetically required for life’s origin. And evolution does not even address the biggest and most important question of all: What of the origin of matter, which made life possible to begin with? Evolution is helplessly outside of its category, relevance and philosophy here. Evolution, if anything, is chapter two. What about the first chapter and the origins of the universe and all matter and, by extension, life!? You don’t start a book in chapter two. Besides, that chapter doesn’t even have any real pictures.

* * * * * * *
 
1. Colin Patterson, personal communication. Luther Sunderland, Darwin's Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, 1988, 88-90.
2. Evolution, vol. 28, 467.
3 . Nilsson quoted in The Earth Before Man, p. 51.


  
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Sand2008-10-15 08:50:48
Fossilization is an extremely rare process and the conditions have to be precisely right to produce fossils. It is amazing that there is the abundance of fossils we now have discovered. But research in DNA has clearly indicated the relationships of various forms of life and can even indicate when and what kind of common ancestor different species had. Beyond that evolution is visibly taking place all around us with new life forms arising and being discovered on a regular basis. To doubt evolution is blatant idiocy.


Emanuel Paparella2008-10-15 09:58:37
Evolution may be in vogue and the "politically correct" belief and it may be true or it may be not true; we will know for sure when it is no longer a theory but a proven fact. Meanwhile I'll take De Chardin's argument that there is also an evolution of the mind and the spirit which we ignore at the risk of our humanity which is not exactly of the nature of animals. What all materialists and positivists miss is that man is much more than mere changing and evolving matter; he is also mind and spirit which can be discerned by simply reflecting on the cosmos. The Greeks knew that; we, the children of the Enlightenment, no longer know it.


Sand2008-10-15 10:28:35
Paparella, for someone who claims to be a philosopher your ignorance about what comprises an accepted scientific fact and an accepted scientific theory is abysmal. I suggest a bit of earnest research in the matter would be most helpful.


Jack2008-10-15 21:48:42
Darwin had serious doubts about his theory and in “The Origin of Species” writes "The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory."

I actually agree with Darwin here in that geology, even to this day, “does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain“. There are many others who also agree with Darwin that the lack of geological evidence is (as he puts it so well), “…the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against [Darwin's] theory”. And the great misconception continues to grow; that Christians do not accept scientific fact. Oh the contrary, they use the facts against evolutional theory. And to great advantage with the very words of the father of the theory himself.


Jack2008-10-15 21:56:08
Science definition being what it is, [must be observable, repeatable and measurable] then I can see why evolution is still being taught as a theory, rather than a fact or as a law. Until it navigates through all three of these hoops, it will retain it’s definition as a theory. And if you read Webster’s definition of the word “theory”, you will likely not find more subjective terms and descriptions given to describe a single word in the entire dictionary. Notice all of the subjective terms that Webster uses to define the word theory: General principle “drawn from” any body of facts; is “plausible” orscientifically “acceptable”;“general principle” offered to explain observed facts;“hypotheses“; “guess“; “abstract thought” [my favorite].

As for the lack of fossil records, you at least don’t have to “guess” or “hypothesize” about that.

Incidentally, students are only getting half the story. The theory leaves unexplained the more important question...the origins of the universe, and thus by extension life? Evolution only addresses the origins of species, not the origins of life. This makes the theory totally useless in regard to the more important question: Where did matter come from? No matter, no life! No matter first, then no life possible to begin with. The theory is absolutely outside of it’s category to answer that question. It is best for it to stay within it’s own definition, with apologies from Webster, since it is less than flattering.


Emanuel Paparella2008-10-15 22:09:40
Indeed, Jack, the greatest surprise of the materialists and the positivists and the "politically correct" and "enlightened" people of our relativistic era will be to find out (as the more intelligent and objective among them are already beginning to suspect) that spirit and mind comes first and then matter. That is indeed chapter 1 which they will not touch because it would contradict all their misguided assumptions. They prefer to put the cart before the horse and begin with chapter 2.

Insightful article and thought provoking comments.


Sand2008-10-16 04:57:30
Wow! Talk about dumb and dumber.


Emanuel Paparella2008-10-16 15:24:08
Wow! Look who is judging!


Sand2008-10-16 15:56:42
Excellent suggestion. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation-evolution_controversy


Emanuel Paparella2008-10-16 16:59:42
http://www.metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/10438/Default.aspx

Indeed, it's an intelligent idea to begin reading a book with chapter one. You may wish to begin with the above linked article by Neil D. Broom titled "Does Nature Suggest Transcendence?" Take away the lenses of bias and ideological fanaticism though when, and if, you read it. As Aristotle has taught us, it is much more elegant and productive to begin by looking honestly at the positions one disagrees with and then compare them with those one agrees with, and it is a waste of time to go look for what one has already egregiously assume to be true. Of course, if one does not believe in Truth, Beauty, Goodness, nothing will ever begin and one will remain in the world of sophistry (how to win a diatribe...) or worse, the world of dumb and dumber flattering each other...and parading as intelligent dialogue!


Sand2008-10-16 17:19:27
At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientific_societies_rejecting_intelligent_design
This statement:
All or nearly all national and international science academies and professional societies have issued statements supporting evolution and opposing intelligent design.
This page documents scientific opinion as given by scientific bodies of national or international standing, and ad hoc groups of opinion among scientists. It does not document the views of individual scientists.
Follows: a list of the respected scientific organizations
United States
[edit] National
· The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world's largest general scientific society. The AAAS serves some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.
o A 2002 statement states: "[T]he lack of scientific warrant for so-called 'intelligent design theory' makes it improper to include as a part of science education."[1]
o A 2006 statement on the teaching of evolution: "Some bills seek to discredit evolution by emphasizing so-called "flaws" in the theory of evolution or "disagreements" within the scientific community. Others insist that teachers have absolute freedom within their classrooms and cannot be disciplined for teaching non-scientific “alternatives” to evolution. A number of bills require that students be taught to "critically analyze" evolution or to understand "the controversy." But there is no significant controversy within the scientific community about the validity of the theory of evolution. The current controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution is not a scientific one."[2]
o Q & A on Evolution and Intelligent Design: Is intelligent design a scientific alternative to contemporary evolutionary theory? No. Intelligent design proponents may use the language of science, but they do not use its methodology. They have yet to propose meaningful tests for their claims, there are no reports of current research on these hypotheses at relevant scientific society meetings, and there is no body of research on these hypotheses published in relevant scientific journals. So, intelligent design has not been demonstrated to be a scientific theory.[3]


Sand2008-10-16 17:22:55
List continues:
·· American Association of University Professors "deplores efforts in local communities and by some state legislators to require teachers in public schools to treat evolution as merely a hypothesis or speculation, untested and unsubstantiated by the methods of science, and to require them to make students aware of an "intelligent-design hypothesis" to account for the origins of life. These initiatives not only violate the academic freedom of public school teachers, but can deny students an understanding of the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding evolution."[4]
· American Astronomical Society
o 2005 letter sent to President George W. Bush by society President, Dr. Robert P. Kirshner: "'Intelligent design' isn’t even part of science – it is a religious idea that doesn’t have a place in the science curriculum."[5]
o 2005 statement on the Teaching of Evolution: ""Intelligent Design" fails to meet the basic definition of a scientific idea: its proponents do not present testable hypotheses and do not provide evidence for their views that can be verified or duplicated by subsequent researchers. Since "Intelligent Design" is not science, it does not belong in the science curriculum of the nation’s primary and secondary schools."[6]
· American Chemical Society The ACS includes 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers. "urges... State and local education authorities to support high-quality science standards and curricula that affirm evolution as the only scientifically accepted explanation for the origin and diversity of species."[7]
· American Geophysical Union The AGU represents over 43,000 Earth and space scientists. "Advocates of intelligent design believe that life on Earth is too complex to have evolved on its own and must therefore be the work of a designer. That is an untestable belief and, therefore, cannot qualify as a scientific theory." [8]
· American Institute of Physics has a Governing Board policy statement supporting evolution and opposing creationism.[9]
· American Psychological Association The Science Directorate and the APA Council of Representatives issued a Resolution Rejecting Intelligent Design As Scientific And Reaffirming Support For Evolutionary Theory.[10]
· American Society of Agronomy The ASA represents over 10,000 members. "Intelligent design is not a scientific discipline and should not be taught as part of the K-12 science curriculum. Intelligent design has neither the substantial research base, nor the testable hypotheses as a scientific discipline. There are at least 70 resolutions from a broad array of scientific societies and institutions that are united on this matter."[11]


Sand2008-10-16 17:25:04
List continues:
· American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology The ASBMB is a scientific and educational society representing 12,000 biochemists and molecular biologists. ""Intelligent design" is not a theory in the scientific sense, nor is it a scientific alternative to the theory of evolution. ..."intelligent design" might be appropriate to teach in a religion or philosophy class, but the concept has no place in a science classroom and should not be taught there."[12]
· Botanical Society of America "The proponents of creationism/intelligent design promote scientific ignorance in the guise of learning. As professional scientists and educators, we strongly assert that such efforts are both misguided and flawed, presenting an incorrect view of science, its understandings, and its processes."[13]
· Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology The Federation represents 22 professional societies and 84,000 scientists, and its statement FASEB Opposes Using Science Classes to Teach Intelligent Design, Creationism, and other Non-Scientific Beliefs was adopted by the FASEB Board of Directors.[14]
· The National Science Teachers Association NSTA is a professional association of 55,000 science teachers and administrators. "We stand with the nation's leading scientific organizations and scientists, including Dr. John Marburger, the president's top science advisor, in stating that intelligent design is not science.…It is simply not fair to present pseudoscience to students in the science classroom."[15]
· United States National Academy of Sciences
o That academy wrote a statement entitled "Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition National Academy of Sciences" which said that "Creationism, Intelligent Design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science" [16]
o There was also a letter from Bruce Alberts, former President, NAS: "We stand ready to help others in addressing the increasingly strident attempts to limit the teaching of evolution or to introduce non-scientific 'alternatives' into science courses and curricula. If this controversy arrives at your doorstep, I hope that you will both alert us to the specific issues in your state or school district and be willing to use your position and prestige as a member of the NAS in helping to work locally." [17]


Sand2008-10-16 17:27:29
List continues:
[edit] State and university
· Kentucky Academy of Science states "...in the strongest and most determined ways possible deplores the decision to substitute "change over time" for "evolution" in the state teaching standards, urges that the original wording be reinstated, and decries any attempt to remove the teaching of basic evolutionary theory..." Adopted by KAS Governing Board November 6, 1999. Passed unanimously by KAS membership November 6, 1999. Unanimously approved again at its annual business meeting on November 11, 2005. The KAS also voted to endorse the October 2002 AAAS Board Resolution on Intelligent Design Theory.[18]
· The Kentucky Paleontological Society Statement on Teaching Evolution states that "KPS is opposed to any attempt to teach creationism or omit mention of evolution from public school instruction. Furthermore, evolution should be called "evolution" in curriculum guidelines and other documents; euphemisms such as "change over time" are intellectually dishonest for they attempt to conceal the terminology used by scientists." Executive Committee approved this statement in 1999.[19]
· The Lehigh University Department of Biological Sciences responded to faculty member and intelligent design proponent Michael Behe's claims about the scientific validity and usefulness of intelligent design, publishing an official position statement which says "It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific."[20]
[edit] International
· Council of Europe In 2007 the Council's "Committee on Culture, Science and Education" issued a report, The dangers of creationism in education, which states "Creationism in any of its forms, such as 'intelligent design', is not based on facts, does not use any scientific reasoning and its contents are pathetically inadequate for science classes." In describing the dangers posed to education by teaching creationism, it described intelligent design as "anti-science" and involving "blatant scientific fraud" and "intellectual deception" that "blurs the nature, objectives and limits of science."[21]
· Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Nobel Laureates Initiative This organization has 38 Nobel laureates, who wrote a letter calling upon the Kansas Board of Education to reject intelligent design. "Logically derived from confirmable evidence, evolution is understood to be the result of an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection. As the foundation of modern biology, its indispensable role has been further strengthened by the capacity to study DNA. In contrast, intelligent design is fundamentally unscientific; it cannot be tested as scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent."[22]


Sand2008-10-16 17:29:24
List continues:
· Intelligent Design is not Science Initiative This initiative was brought forth by a coalition organized by the Faculty of Science at the University of New South Wales representing more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science teachers with signatories from the Australian Academy of Science, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, and the Australian Science Teachers Association. "(Intelligent design) is a theological or philosophical notion... Evolution meets all (scientific) criteria but ID meets none of them: it is not science."[23]
· Interacademy Panel Statement on the Teaching of Evolution This is a joint statement issued by the national science academies of 67 countries, including the United Kingdom's Royal Society, warning that scientific evidence about the origins of life was being "concealed, denied, or confused". It urges parents and teachers to provide children with the facts about the origins and evolution of life on Earth.[24]
· The International Society for Science and Religion declared that "[w]e believe that intelligent design is neither sound science nor good theology."[25]
· Project Steve A statement signed by over 800 scientists, all named Steve. "It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools."[26]
· The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Ottawa Centre, said, "The RASC Ottawa Centre, then, is unequivocal in its support of contemporary evolutionary theory that has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been refined by findings accumulated over 140 years. Some dissenters from this position are proponents of non-scientific explanations of the nature of the universe. These may include "creation science", "creationism", "intelligent design" or other non-scientific "alternatives to evolution". While we respect the dissenters’ right to express their views, these views are theirs alone and are in no way endorsed by the RASC Ottawa Centre. It is our collective position that these explanations do not meet the characteristics and rigour of scientific empiricism."[27]
· The Royal Society "opposes the misrepresentation of evolution in schools to promote particular religious beliefs" and states "[...]intelligent design has far more in common with a religious belief in creationism than it has with science, which is based on evidence acquired through experiment and observation. The theory of evolution is supported by the weight of scientific evidence; the theory of intelligent design is not." [28]


Emanuel Paparella2008-10-16 20:44:43
You have done it again! You went looking for those opinions that agree with your positition to justify your purported superior "enlightened" position and call those who hold the opposite dumb and dumber. We have not heard yet an intelligent statement about the contrary position, not even a statement which suggests that you do understand the position with which you disagree. The ancient Greeks called that sophistry.


Sand2008-10-16 21:01:45
I would appreciate you not attempting idiotic meaningless ploys. I have clearly shown the entire scientific world considers your statements utter and complete nonsense and you want me to even consider that they contain anything worthwhile? An exhibition of your naked stupidity is embarrassing.


Sand2008-10-16 22:25:40
A couple of observations on your comments are noteworthy. The most pitiful is your inability to state outright that you yourself object on reasonable grounds to my position. You've got these full sized cardboard cartoons of Aristotle or Plato or some anonymous Greek which you rush behind to speak to me what you fantasize he would say about my objections to your dreamy nonsense. You don't seem to have the convictions of your own opinions and judgment since you have so little solidity behind them to firm them up. So you make believe these fictitious historical characters are confronting me.
The second point is that you want me to somehow accept your total nonsense as something worth investigating as if it had any value whatsoever. I have clearly indicated that the total scientific world considers your proposals to be worthless trash. There is nothing sensible there worth considering.


Emanuel Paparella2008-10-16 23:45:51
And of course Broom's article as well as the objections of Jack Wellman were bypassed or ignored in order to set up a straw man called "intelligent design" which is then brought down by vituperative language. That is sophistry of the highest order. The question that the original article raises is this: IS EVOLUTION A THEORY OR A FULLY PROVEN LAW OF NATURE? That too is conveniently bypassed. I suggest that the visiting voices are the ones that need to be ignored so that the issue can then be studied irenically, without prejudice and bias; and now you may go ahead and add a few more foul-mouthed and boorish vituperations to your misguided one sided argument, which will not in any way change the answer to the question that you and your cohorts (the cohorts that indeed add nothing to your supposedly autonomous independent thinking)have so far failed to answer.


Sand2008-10-17 05:40:26
Paparella, early on I clearly indicated to you that you have a huge misconception as to the nature of ascientific theory and what you call a fact of nature. You entirely ignored this. Please look into it more thoroughly and educate yourself.

All science is an interrelationship of theories and all theory or, as your words put it, "fact of nature" are held tentatively in science and are accepted with the implication that new data may confirm or create doubts about it. This is the very foundation of the nature of science which you and your friend seem to have missed entirely. But some theories are so integrated into the basis of science and so thoroughly confirmed by all incoming data, current and past, that any serious doubts about it are more or less non-existent. Evolution is one of those "theories" that is so thoroughly accepted that no doubts are taken seriously and the overwhelmingly huge number of scientists and scientific organizations that I have listed are confident that no serious doubts about evolution exists. It is certainly well past time for you to accept that.


Sand2008-10-17 06:13:10
It would be more civil and intellectually more fruitful if you put aside your standard attempts to insult me with nonsense about voices and like disgusting nonsense. Your tendencies towards throwing slime and mud merely indicate you have no cogent foundation for your idiotic proposals.


Emanuel Paparella2008-10-17 13:03:20
"Although I have this sense that I sit up there alone something less than two meters above my shoes where I peer out at the world through those two holes on either side of my nose, I must admit that I do have silent conversations with somebody else or perhaps with several somebody elses." (Sand, in "Those guys in my head")


Sand2008-10-17 13:47:17
Aah, Paparella who never discusses with himself in silent conversation the nature of anything. No need. He has an infinite access to quotations from ancient Greece where the philosophers daily discussed all the problems of the atom, the stars, and other areas where they were totally ignorant of the realities.

Time, Paparella to start shoulder climbing which you advocated as an intellectual sport. I have listed the areas where the real giants of the today hang out so that you can climb out of the mud you daily fling and discover what is really going on in the world. But, of course, since you seem to prefer mud slinging to shoulder climbing I suppose my good advice will be unheeded.


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