The Origin of Species According to the Fossil Record: CREATION
theory of evolution claims that all the living species on Earth descended,
by means of a series of minute changes, from a common ancestor. To state
the theory another way, living species are not separated from one another
by absolute differences, but exhibit an inner continuity. However, actual
observations in nature have indicated that there is no such continuity
as claimed. What we see in the living world are different categories
of organisms, separated by vast and distinct differences. Robert Carroll,
an expert on vertebrate paleontology, admits this in his book Patterns
and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution:
Although an almost incomprehensible number of species inhabit Earth today, they
do not form a continuous spectrum of barely distinguishable intermediates. Instead,
nearly all species can be recognized as belonging to a relatively limited number
of clearly distinct major groups...1
Evolution is a process alleged to have taken place in the past, and fossil discoveries
are the only scientific source that can tell us about the history of life. Pierre
Grassé says this on the subject:
Naturalists must remember that the process of evolution is revealed
only through fossil forms. ... Only paleontology can provide them with
the evidence of evolution and reveal its course or mechanisms.2
In order for the fossil record to shed light on this subject, we need to compare
what the theory of evolution predicts against the actual fossil discoveries.
According to the theory, all living things have descended from various "ancestral" forms.
A living species that existed before gradually turned into another species, and
every present species emerged in this way. According to the theory, this transition
took place slowly over hundreds of millions of years and progressed in stages.
That being the case, countless numbers of "intermediate forms" must
have emerged and lived over the long process of transition in question. And a
few of them must certainly have been fossilized.
For example, half-fish, half-amphibian creatures that still bore fish-like characteristics
but which had also acquired certain amphibious features must have existed. And
reptile-birds with both reptilian and avian features must have emerged. Since
these creatures were in a process of transition, they must have been deformed,
deficient and flawed. These theoretical creatures claimed to have existed in
the distant past are known as "intermediate forms."
If any such living species really did exist, then they should number, in the
millions, or even billions. Abundant traces of them should be found in the fossil
record, because the number of intermediate forms should be even greater than
the number of animal species known today. The geologic strata should be full
of the remains of fossilized intermediate forms. Darwin himself admitted this.
As he wrote in his book, The Origin of Species:
If my theory be true, numberless intermediate varieties, linking most closely
all of the species of the same group together must assuredly have existed...
Consequently evidence of their former existence could be found only amongst
Yet Darwin was aware that no intermediate forms had yet been found, and regarded
this as a major dilemma facing his theory. In the chapter "Difficulties
on Theory," he wrote:
... Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine
gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why
is not all nature in confusion instead of the species being, as we see them,
well defined?… But,
as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we
not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?… 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.4
In the face of this difficulty, the only explanation Darwin could offer was that
the fossil records of his time were insufficient. He claimed that later, when
the fossil records had been examined in detail, the missing intermediate forms
would definitely be found.
The Sufficiency of the Fossil Record
In the face of the lack of intermediate forms, Darwin claimed, 140 years
ago, that they were not available then but new research would definitely
unearth them. But has it? To put the question another way, after looking
at the results of all the fossil research carried out to date, should
we accept that intermediate forms never actually existed—or should
we await the results of still further excavations?
A bony fossil fish dating back some 210 million years.
A fossil frog, approximately 53-33.7 million years old.
A fossil spider, some 355 to 295 million years old.
A trionyx (tortoise) fossil, approximately 300 million years old.
An echinoderm (starfish) fossil dating back some 135 million
A fossil crab approximately 55 to 35 million years old.
The answer to that question of course depends on the wealth of the fossil
record we already have available. Looking at the paleontological data,
we see that the fossil records are extraordinarily rich, with literally
billions of fossil specimens obtained from different regions of the world.5 From examining these fossils, experts have identified some 250,000 different
species, many of which bear an extraordinarily close resemblance to the
1.5 million species living today.6 (Of the 1.5 million species alive
today, fully 1 million are insects.) Yet among these countless fossil
specimens, no supposed intermediate form has ever been found. It seems
impossible for the intermediate forms, that have not been discovered
despite the rich fossil records, to be unearthed in new excavations.
T. Neville George, the Glasgow University professor of paleontology,
admitted as much many years ago:
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.7
All living things on Earth came into existence suddenly with
all their complex and superior features. In other words, they
were created. Absolutely no scientific evidence suggests that
living things are descended from one another, as evolutionists
Niles Eldredge, a well-known paleontologist and director of the American
Museum of Natural History, states that Darwin's claim to the effect that "the
fossil record is deficient, which is why we cannot find any intermediate
forms" is invalid:
The record jumps, and all the evidence shows that the record is
real: The gaps we see [in the fossil record] reflect real events
in life's history – not the artifact of a poor fossil record.8
In his 1991 book, Beyond Natural Selection, Robert Wesson says
that the gaps in the fossil record are real and phenomenal:
The gaps in the record are real, however. The absence of any record of
any important branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually
static, or nearly so, for long periods, ... genera
never show evolution into new species or genera but
replacement of one by another, and change is more or less abrupt.9
The argument put forward 140 years ago that "no intermediate forms
have been found yet, but they will be in the future" is no longer
tenable today. The fossil record is sufficiently rich to account for
the origin of life, and it reveals a concrete picture: Different species
all emerged independently of one another, suddenly, and with all their
different structures. No imaginary evolutionary "intermediate forms" existed
Facts Revealed by the Fossil Record
What is the origin of the "evolution-paleontology" relationship
that has been installed in society's subconscious? Why is it that when
the fossil record is mentioned, most people assume that there's a definite,
positive link between this record and Darwin's theory? The answers are
set out in an article in the magazine Science:
A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology
and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the
fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably
comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: low-level
textbooks, semipopular articles, and so on. Also, there is probably some
wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped
to find predictable progressions. In general these have not been
found yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept
A 24-million-year-old caterpillar fossil embedded in amber
is proof that caterpillars have always existed in exactly the
same form—and never underwent evolution.
A cicada nymph, 50 to 45 million years old.
N. Eldredge and Ian Tattershall make the following important comment
on that matter:
That individual kinds of fossils remain recognizably the same throughout
the length of their occurrence in the fossil record had been known
to paleontologists long before Darwin published his Origin. Darwin
himself, ... prophesied that future generations of paleontologists
would fill in these gaps by diligent search ... One hundred and twenty
years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear
that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin's predictions.
Nor is the problem a miserably poor record. The fossil record simply
shows that this prediction is wrong.
The observation that species are amazingly conservative and static
entities throughout long periods of time has all the qualities of the
emperor's new clothes: everyone knew it but preferred to ignore it.
Paleontologists, faced with a recalcitrant record obstinately refusing
to yield Darwin's predicted pattern, simply looked the other way.11
The American paleontologist S. M. Stanley describes how this fact, revealed
by the fossil record, is ignored by the Darwinist dogma that dominates
the scientific world, and how others are also encouraged to ignore it:
The known fossil record is not, and never has been, in accord with
gradualism. What is remarkable is that, through a variety of historical
circumstances, even the history of opposition has been obscured. ... "The
majority of paleontologists felt their evidence simply contradicted Darwin's
stress on minute, slow, and cumulative changes leading to species transformation." ...
their story has been suppressed.12
Let us now examine this truth revealed by the fossil record, which has
so far been "suppressed," in rather more detail.