Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 2
Chapter 17 Appendix Part 3
Plants are living organisms which lack locomotive power and sensory organs, have cellulose cell walls, and grow by photosynthesis. Where did the plants come from? How could the many different types possibly originate from a common ancestor?
"It has long been hoped that extinct plants will ultimately reveal some of the stages through which existing groups have passed during the course of their development, but it must be freely admitted that this aspiration has been fulfilled to a very slight extent, even though paleobotanical research has been in progress for more than one hundred years. As yet we have not been able to trace the phylogenetic history of a single group of modern plants from its beginning to the present." —*Chester A. Arnold, An introduction to Paleobotany, (194 7), p. 7.
"But I still think that to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation." —*E.J.H. Comer, Evolution in Contemporary Botanical Thought (1961), [A.M. MacLeod and L.S. Cobley, editor].
"Most botanists look to the fossil record as the source of enlightenment. But . . no such help has been discovered. . There is no evidence of the ancestry [of plants]." —*E.J.H. Comer, The Natural History of Palms (1966), p. 254.
[Speaking of the earliest known fossil mosses:] "They are unquestionably mosses, and sufficiently similar to modern ones in their vegetative organization as to suggest no major changes in moss evolution since that time." —*Henry N. Andrews, Jr., Studies in Paleobotany, p. 402.
"All [sea lilies] are distinct at their first appearance." —*James R. Beerbower, Search for the Past, p. 424.
"Much evidence can be adduced in favor of the theory of evolution—from biology, biogeography and paleontology, but I still think that, to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation . . Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed and a palm have come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most would break down before an inquisition [serious questioning]. Textbooks hoodwink." —*E.J.H. Comer, in Contemporary Botanical Thought, by Anna M. Macleod and L.S. Cobley, p. 97.
"Nothing is more extraordinary in the history of the Vegetable Kingdom, as it seems to me, than the apparently very sudden or abrupt development of the higher plants." —*Charles Darwin, in Francis Darwin (ad.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 3., (1887) p. 248.
"If the genealogies of animals are uncertain, more so are those of plants. We cannot learn a great deal from petrified plant anatomy which shows different spades at different times, but no real phylogeny [transitional plant species changes] at all. There are simply fascinating varieties of the plants we have today—some new species of course—plus many extinctions: but algae, mosses, pines, ferns and flowering plants are all clearly recognizable from their first appearance in the fossil record." —Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 181.
"But when did the angiosperms [flowering plants] appear on the scene, and where? And from what group did they evolve?
"Though there are plenty of theories, no one really knows. As botanist Tom Harris told the British Association in 1960: 'I ask you to look back on an unbroken record of failure.' The University of Michigan's Charles B. Beds, while claiming that 'substantial and exciting progress' has been made since then, concedes that the mystery is still 'as fascinating today as when Darwin emphasized the situation in 1879.' " —*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 76.
"If a new biological type is not the result of transformism it must, as far as we are capable of judging, arise in some way within the meaning of the words de novo, and that is something quite beyond our experience. That we have no such experience, however, is not in itself a reason for excluding the possibility of an origin of this sort in all cases . . On this argument then the very numbers of the Flowering Plants tend to support the opinion that they are, at least in all essentials, the results of biological transformism. At the same time we cannot totally ignore the possibility that occasionally in time and space, if no more frequently, there may have been involved an event of a different kind." —*R. Good, Features of Evolution in the Flowering Plants (1974), p. 384.
"The eldest land plants now known are the Early Cambrian of the Baltic region . . Approximately 60 Cambrian spas-genera are now on record." —*D. Axelrod, "Evolution of the Psilophyla Palsoflora," in Evolution (1959), Vol. 13 p. 284.
"Again, just as in the case of the absence of pre-Cambrian fossils, no forms have ever been found in pre-Cretaceous rocks linking the angiosperms with any other group of plants.
"The ancestral group that gave rise to angiosperms has not yet been identified in the fossil record, and no living angiosperm points to such an ancestral alliance. In addition, the record has shed almost no light on relations between taxa at ordinal and family level." —*M. Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985) p. 163, pp. 227, 230.
"As we bring early land plants into sharper focus in terms of their geologic, ecologic, and evolutionary relations, it seams dear that our phyletic charts need extensive revision, possibly on the order suggested here. Obviously, no final answers can be given to these problems that still surround the origins of the Psilophyte Paleoflora, and the mystery will be with us for years to come." —*D. Axelrod, "Evolution of the Psilophyte Paleoflora," in Evolution (1959), Vol. 13, pp. 364, 274.
"The remarkable absence of intermediate forms is also worrying. Again and again we find the fossil record bare, and then a wealth of forms. Were they really all derived from a common ancestor by intermediates which have all been lost? This is as true of plants as of animals. 'An abominable mystery', is how Darwin summed up the problem of the origin of the flowering plants. They first appear in the Cretaceous period, already much diversified, suggesting an origin much earlier. But not a trace of any intermediate stage has been found. We do not even know whether they evolved from the gymnosperms—the conifers or—whether they were a separate development." —*G.R. Taylor, Greet Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 232.
"Flowering plants suddenly appear in the Cretaceous period with no ancestors in lower formations. Fossil pollen grains of plants in the pine family have even been found in the Precambrian at the bottom of Grand Canyon." –J.N. Moors and H.E. Slusher, Biology—A Search for Order in Complexity (1970), p. 417.
"As yet we have not been able to farce the phylogenetic history of a single group of modern plants from its beginning to the present." —*Chester A. Arnold, An Introduction to Paleontology (1947), p. 7.
"Invertebrates" are animals without backbones. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, marsupials, and mammals have backbones. Most other creatures do not. The world is filled with myriad forms of invertebrates: They are in the ocean, in the rivers and lakes, on the land, underground, and in the air. Where did they come from? What were their origins? What were their common ancestors? We will lot the experts speak:
"Human evolution now seems to be largely immune to the 'poor fossil record" argument of phyletic gradualism. This argument also largely disappears for well-fossilized invertebrate animals, in general, when we consider that these creatures, unlike the vertebrates, have records that for major segments of geologic time are widely distributed in space and are also well studied." —*S Stanley, Macroevolution (1979), p. 88.
[Foraminifera:] "As the evidence stands, the morphological series shown do not always seem to have very strong claims to being evolutionary series." —*John Challinor, "Palaeontology and Evolution" in Darwin's Biological Work (1959), p. 79.
[Anthozoa:] "Any suggestion is welcome in the attempt to find some evolutionary scheme into which the corals may be fitted." —*Op. cit., p. 80.
[Echinoidea:] "Their number [the unanswered questions] is a measure of our ignorance." —*Op. cit., p. 81.
[Brachiopods:] "Such is the imperfection of the geological record of evolution." —*Op. cit., p. 82.
[Mollusca:]"No very coherent picture emerges when we trace the lammelibranchs and gastropods through the stratigraphical systems." —*Op. cit., p. 82.
[Trilobite:] "The Cambrian record . . reveals very little of the evolutionary paths they [the trilobites] followed." —*Op. cit., p. 88.
[Graptolithina:] "The links in the supposed evolutionary chains are not so secure as was thought." —*Op. cit., p. 87.
The arthropods are a group of invertebrates in the phylum Arthropods. Included here are crustaceans, insect, myrlapods, and arachnids. These life forms are characterized by jointed leis and segmented bodies. What creatures did they descend from?
"The origin of Arthropods is quite unknown." —*V. B. Wigglesworth, The Life of the Insect (1984), p. 4.
"In a thoroughgoing study [Sidney M. Manton, Journal of Zoology, 171:111(1973)], Manton has argued that the Arthropods can no longer be viewed as nature's most supreme demonstration of adaptive radiation about a common theme" . [i.e., that all the arthropods descended from a common ancestor]. Neither can the Arthropods be considered any longer as having 'evolved' from the relatively 'primitive' polychaete worms . . The Arthropods, of course, include trilobites, crustaceans (such as crabs, lobsters, and barnacles), spiders, scorpions, and insects.
" . . Dr. Manton argued that 'arthropodism' has arisen at least three times, resulting in three totally different phyla, the uniramia (myriopods, onychophora, and five distinct groups of hexapods or insects), the crustaceae, and the chelicerata (including the spiders) . .
"One weakness in the traditional view [of common ancestry for all arthropods] is the lack of evidence for intermediate ancestral types, either as fossils or living forms. By no conceivable route could anyone of the types of mandibles (jaws) found in crabs, insects, or king-crabs have 'evolved' from either of the other two.
"Insects have also traditionally been considered as fairly closely linked. But Manton argued that they are not a single group, but at least five groups; namely the winged insects, and four wingless groups, such as springtails and silver fish. She proposed that all these groups arose independently." —Walter E. Lammerts, "Insect Family May Become a Forest," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, September 1974, pp. 124-125.
Insects are a widely distributed group of invertebrates, of the class Insecta. They are characterized by a body divided into three parts with three pairs of logs. The adults usually have two pairs of wings. Included here are such creatures as flies, ants, grasshoppers, and beetles. Insects comprise the largest number of arthropods. There are more insects in the world than any other type of animal life—both in variety of species and total population. What are their origins? The experts have information for us:
"The fossil record does not give any information on the origin of insects." —*Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 7, p. 585 (1978 edition; Macropaedia).
"The presence of several hundred spades of insects in the Pennsylvanian makes their sudden appearance at this time the more remarkable. The diversity of the forms represented implies a long antecedent evolution whose record may yet be found in Mississippian if not in Devonian rocks." —*Carl O. Dunbar, Historical Geology. P. 237.
"The internal anatomy of these creatures is remarkably similar to what you find in flies today. The wings and legs and head, and even the cells inside, are very modem-looking." —*George Poinar, Jr., "Prehistoric Gnat" New York Times, October 3, 1982, Section 1, p. 49.
"Insect wings appear in the fossil record, from the first, fully formed. No evolution, no intermediate forms are found, any more than transitional forms between orders of insects, such as grasshoppers, bees, or damsel flies, are found. Insects have always been numerous and varied; they retain as many types in the present. They do not demonstrate plasticity . .
"There is no clue from the fossil record as to the origin of the iridescent wings of a dragonfly or the flight of the bee. A leap of faith is needed to believe in the evolution of an eye, a feather, an insect wing a any other special organ." —Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 227.
"There are no fossils known that show what the primitive anal insects looked like." —*Peter Farb, The Insects (1982), p. 14.
"By and large, the insect population of today remains remarkably similar to that of the earlier age. All the major orders of insects now living were represented in the ancient Oligocene forest. Some of the specific types have persisted throughout the 70-million years since then with little or no change." —*C T. Brues, "Insects in Amber," Scientific American, Vol. 185, November 1951, p. 80.
"The Trilobites, Paleozoic Arthropods known only from fossils, could have been ancestors [of insects], a belief based on their combination of general structure; but there is no actual proof or even good evidence that they were." —*A.B. and *E.B. Mots, 1001 Questions Answered about Insects (1961), p. 7.
"The so-called ancestral insect is simply a mental construct. That we can produce from it, by modifying it in various ways, all the forms whose descent we are investigating, is in no way surprising, because it has been built for this purpose. The biological prestidigitation is simply taking out of the hat the rabbits he put into it. The method used in working out the descent is, in fact, a perfect example of the argument in a circle." —*W. Thompson, "The Status of Species," in Philosophical Problems in Biology (1968), p. 89.
"There are vast gaps in the fossil record covering millions of years, and when we go beyond the Carboniferous period which began about 300 million years ago, the trail [of insect origins] fades completely. . . .
"Insect origins beyond that point [the Carboniferous] are shrouded in mystery. It might almost seem that the insects had suddenly appeared on the scene, but this is not in agreement with accepted [evolutionary] ideas of animal origins." —*A.E. Hutchins, Insects (1988), pp. 3,4.
"Over ten thousand fossil species of insect have been identified, over thirty thousand species of spiders, and similar numbers for many sea-living creatures. Yet so far the evidence for step-by-step changes leading to major evolutionary transitions looks extremely thin. The supposed transition from wingless to winged insects still has to be found, as has the transition between the two main types of winged insects, the paleoptera (mayflies, dragonflies) and the neoptera (ordinary flies, beetles, ants, bees)." —*Fred Hoyle, The Intelligent Universe (1983), p. 43.
"All the major types of animals likely to leave fossils are represented in the early Paleozoic rocks. This period of evolution is therefore characterized as much by the conservation of change as by the changes themselves . . But so far as is known over this long period of time no insect and no anthropoid has evolved any different pattern leading to another phylum. The evidences relating to the Age of Stabilization do lend themselves to interpretation on the Neo-Darwinian basis, all this evolution being subspeciational and completely graded in origin, and the gaps between species having been secondarily acquired." —*A. Boyden, Perspectives in Zoology (1973), p. 35.
"It is particularly remarkable that no forms with wings at an intermediate stage of development have been found. Where fossil insects have wings at all they are fully functional to serve the purposes of flight, and often enough in accident fossils the wings are essentially identical to what can be found today. Nor are there intermediate forms between the two kinds of wings, those of the Paleoptera held aloft or permanently at the side as in mayflies and dragonflies respectively, and those of the Neoptera with a flexing mechanism enabling the wings to be folded back into a resting position across the back into a resting position across the abdomen." —*F. Hoyle and *N. Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space, (1981), pp. 88, 89.
"We are in the dark concerning the origin of insects." —*Pierre-P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms (1977), p. 30. [Former president of the Academie des Sciences and editor of the thirty-five volumes Traite de Zoologie.]
"There is, however, no fossil evidence bearing on the question of insect origin; the eldest insects known show no transition to other arthropods." —*Frank M. Carpenter, "Fossil Insects," Yearbook of Agriculture: Insects (1952), p. 18.
Mollusks are a large group of animals of the phylum Mollusks. They ors found principally in salt water, and include clams, oysters, and snails. Most mollusks have a hard, limy outer shell protecting a soft beady. Some of them, such as the squid and octopus, lack this outer shell. What are the ancestors of the mollusks?
"Strange as it may seem.. mollusks were mollusks just as unmistakably as they are now." —*Austin H. Clark, The New Evolution, Zoogenesis (1930), p. 101.
"The horseshoe crab. . has existed on earth virtually unchanged for 200 million years." —*James Gorman, "The Tortoise or the Ham?" Discover, October 1980, p. 89.
Brachiopods consist of the mollusk—like sea animals in the phylum Brachiopoda. They are characterized by a shell with top and bottom halves and a pair of cilia-covered tentacles near the mouth, used in feeding. Let us now learn about their ancestors:
"Professor Hallam of Birmingham carried out a systematic study of bivalve shell fish found in successive layers of strata formed during the Jurassic period at Lyme Regis. These deposits were laid down by a continuous process in the Jurassic seas, so there were no gaps in the record. Hallam hoped to demonstrate the operation of natural selection leading to progressive changes in individual spades. He ended up with a completely contrary conclusion, that individual species appear suddenly with no intermediate forms. They persisted for up to ten million years unchanged. Some continued longer, others disappeared, the basic pattern always showing fixity of species. A similar conclusion was reached by Eldredge, working in the American Museum of Natural History, who studies trilobites, the marine organisms which look rather like modern woodlice. Here again species persisted unchanged for millions of years, and new species arose suddenly with no apparent linkage to previous forms." —*E. Ambrose, The Nature and Origin of the Biological World (1982), p. 118.
"It must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I teamed as a student . . have now been 'debunked'. Similarly, my own experience of more than twenty years looking for evolutionary lineages among the Mesozoic Brachiopoda has proved them equally elusive." —*Fred Hoyle, The Intelligent Universe: A New View of Creation and Evolution (1978), pp. 131, 132.
The octopi are part of a widespread group of saltwater cephalopods, of the family Octopodae. An octopus has a soft, rounded body and eight tentacles that bear suckers, and are used to move along the ocean bottom and capture prey. What is this strange creature descended from?
"If we consider the timetable and the fact that the fossil record shows few closely related forms [of cephalopods], then more questions arise, especially as to the origin of these animals. How long did it take to evolve from a primitive nautiloid to Eoteuthis, and where might one hope to find connecting forms." —*W. Stunner, "A Small Cleoid Cephalopod with Soft Parts from the Lower Devonian Discovered Using Radiography,"in Nature, (1985), Vol. 318, p. 55.
Vertebrates are creatures having a backbone, and include a large group of animate in the subphylum Vertebrate. We find here fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, marsupials, and mammals. Each has a backbone (spinal column), a skeleton of bone or cartilage, and a brain enclosed in a skull. What are the origins of the vertebrates? The experts will speak on the subject.
"Fossil remains, however, give no information on the origin of the vertebrates." —*Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 7, p. 587 (1976 edition, Macropaedia).
"In a sense this account is science fiction." —*N.J. Berrill, The Origin of Vertebrates (1955), p. 10.
"On the other hand, they [vertebrates] are pretty well diversified on this first appearance." —*James R. Beerbower, Search for the Past, p. 487.
"The gap remains unbridged and the best place to start the evolution of the vertebrates is in the imagination." —*H. Smith, From Fish to Philosopher (1953), p. 28.
Fish are cold-blooded, aquatic vertebrates having gills for respiration, fins for mobility, and, usually, a scaly external covering for protection. Fish outnumber all other backbone animals, and comprise three classes of the subphylum Vertebrate. Their ancestry has been a subject of concern for over a hundred years:
"Fish jump into the fossil record seemingly from nowhere: mysteriously, suddenly, full formed." —*Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (1982), p. 20.
"To our knowledge, no 'link' connected this new beast to any previous form of life. Fish just appeared." —*Marvels and Mysteries of Our Animal World (1984), p. 25.
"How this earliest chordate stock evolved, what stages of development it went through to eventually give rise to truly fish-like creatures, we do not know. Between the Cambrian, when it probably originated, and the Ordovician, when the first fossils of animals with really fish-like characteristics appeared, there is a gap of perhaps 100 million years which we will probably never be able to fill." —*F. Ommaney, The Fishes (1984), p. 80.
"In sediments of the late Silurian and early Devonian age, numerous fish-like vertebrates of varied types are presets, and it is obvious that a long evolutionary history had taken place before that time. But of that history we are mainly ignorant." —*A.S. Romer, Vertebrate Paleontology. 3rd ed: (1988), p. 12.
"Just how a why they did this [evolved themselves into fish] we will probably never know." —*F.D. Ommanney, The Fishes (1984), p. 84.
"The common ancestor of the bony-fish groups is unknown. There are various features, many of them noted above, in which the two typical subclasses of bony fish are already widely divergent when we first see them." —*A.S. Romer, Vertebrate Paleontology (1988), p. 53.
"[The 100 million year gap between fish and the ancestors they are supposed to be descended from] will probably never be filled." —*F.D. Ommanney, The Fishes (1984), p. 80.
"The geological record has provided no evidence as to the origin of fishes." —*J. Norman, A History of Fishes (1963), p. 298.
"But whatever ideas authorities may have on the subject, the lungfishes, like every other major group of fishes that I know, have their origins firmly based in nothing, a matter of hot dispute among the experts, each of whom is firmly convinced that everyone else is wrong . . I have often thought of how little I should like to have to prove organic evolution in a court of law." —*Errol White, "A Little on Lungfishes," Proceedings of the Linnean Society, "Presidential Address, January 1ssue," p. 8, London (1966) [italics his].
"These two, the sharks and the bony fishes, were distinct at their first appearance in the fossil record." —*James R. Beerbower, Search for the Past, p. 472.
"Unfortunately most of the connecting forms [fishes] are still listed among the 'missing links.' " —*James R. Beerbower, Search for the Past, p. 489.
"If hardly changing in morphology and low taxonomic diversity count, gars are prime living fossils. However, no one species has an impressive longevity, at least as measured by known specimens." —*E. Wiley and *H. Schultze, "Family Lepisosteidae [Gars] as Living Fossils," in Living Fossils (1984), pp. 180, 183.
"As a first example, we can consider the bowfin fishes. . No more than two bowfin species are known to have existed at any one time . . What has happened to the bowfin fishes during their long history of more than one hundred million years? Next to nothing! The bowfins of seventy or eighty million years ago must have lived very much as their lake dwelling descendants do today." —*S. Stanley, New Evolutionary Timetable (1981), pp. 83-84.
"How this earliest chordate stock evolved, what stages of development it went through to eventually give rise to truly fish-like creatures, we do not know." —*F. Ommanney, The Fishes (1984), p. 80.
"What remains to be understood is the early evolution of the entire astracoderm assemblage and the origin in even more ancient times of the vertebrate line from its nonvertebrate ancestral source. Difficulties of such magnitude exist, however, in the study of these matters that investigators have had to confine themselves to defining the problems and to building theories on the small amounts of evidence they do have. Although nonscientists sometimes accept current theories as the answers given by science to these questions of universal interest, students of evolution understand them as starting points for research." —*J. Repetski, "A Fish horn the Upper Cambrian of North America," in Science, (1978) Vol. 200, p. 529.
"All three subdivisions of the bony fishes first appear in the fossil record at approximately the same time. They are already widely divergent morphologically and they are heavily armored. How did they originate? What allowed them to diverge so widely! How did they all come to have heavy armor? And why is there no trace of earlier, intermediate forms?" —*G. Todd "Evolution of the Lung and the Origin of Bony Fishes—A Causal Relationship?" in American Zoologist (1980), Vol. 20, p. 757.
"The origin of Osteostraci [a fish] is much more mysterious than their disappearance. An investigator who seeks to know the steps by which these forms came into existence finds himself confronting one of the most perplexing problems in the study of vertebrate evolution. The earliest known osteostracans, those found in Silurian deposits, show all the typical characteristics of the group. No one has found any older fossils whose structure is clearly antecedent to the osteoetracan pattern. When a vertebrate group seems to burst upon the scans in this fashion, paleontologists can say only that they may possess fossils of the ancestral forms which they have not probably identified a that the progenitors of the group were too few in number a too fragile to leave remains that were likely to be found . . . Other examples are the appearance of antiarch fish with "fully formed" peculiar appendages, and of gnathostoma fish with "fully functional" hinged lower jaws. " —*B. Stahl, Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution (1973), pp. 2930, 92.
"The evolution of the armored, spine-like pectoral fins of the antiarchs constitutes a special problem and one that is far from being resolved. When the antiarchs appear in the Lower Devonian, they possess, fully formed, the peculiar appendages that W. Gross has dubbed "artroperygia" because of their superficial resemblance to arthropod limbs. No fossil has been found bearing appendages recognizably transitional between those of antiarchs and any other group of placoderme . . Paleontologists agree that the antiarchs must have diverged from artrodiran stock very early in the history of the jawed fishes. Little progress has been made in understanding how the fins might have developed from the arthrodiran pattern . .
"While the evolution of paired appendages among the placeoderme and acanthodians was foreshadowed by a number of structures at the oetracoderm level, the appearance of jaws in these fishes was not. The mouth in astraooderms was edged by dermal bone in such a way that its aperture could be changed very little; in the first gnathostomes the hinged lower jaw existed in a fully functional condition, making possible the enlarged gape and forceful closure that provided at once a new mechanism for food getting, defense, and offense. There is no evidence in the fossil record of stages transitional to the jaw apparatus that proved indispensable then and thereafter to the success of the vertebrates. " —*B. Stahl, Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution (1973), p. 902.
Tetrapods are animals with four feet. By now, a clear picture of their ancestry should have emerged:
"To me one of the moat astonishing consequences of the furor over dadistics is the realization that the current account of tetrapod evolution, shown in a thousand diagrams and everywhere acknowledged as the centerpiece of historical biology, is a will-o'-the-wisp. For nowhere can one find a dear statement of how and why the Recent groups are interrelated, and the textbook stories are replete with phantomsextinct, uncharacterizable groups giving rise one to another." —*W. Patterson, Book Review, in Systematic Zoology (1980), Vol. 29, p. 26
"There are no intermediate forms between finned and limbed creatures in the fossil collections of the world." —*G.T. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 80
Reptiles are a group of cold-blooded vertebrates of the class Reptiila. They include 1izards, snakes, crocodiles, and turtles, and have dry, usually scaly skin and often reproduce by laying eggs. Their origins have been the subject of exhaustive study for over a hundred years. What information do the experts have on this subject? Let us find out:
"One of the frustrating features of the fossil record of vertebrate history is that it shows so little about the evolution of reptiles during their earliest days, when the shelled egg was developing." —*Archie Cart, The Reptiles (1983), p. 37.
[Regarding snakes:] "Their family tree is still adorned with question marks rather than branches." —*C. Pope, The Great Snakes (1981), p. 184.
"There is no direct proof from the fossil record [regarding the reptile], but we can readily hypothesize the conditions under which it came about." —*R Stirton, Time, Lice and Man (1957), p. 416.
"Every textbook of evolution asserts that reptiles evolved from amphibian but none explains how the major distinguishing adaptation of reptiles, the amniotic egg, came about generally as a result of a successive accumulation of small changes. The amniotic egg of the reptile is vastly complex and utterly different to that of an amphibian. There are hardly two eggs in the whole animal kingdom which differ more fundamentally.
"The diagram above illustrates some of the main distinguishing features of the amniotic egg: the tough impervious shell, the two membranes, the amnion which encloses a small sac in which the embryo floats, and the allantois in which the waste products formed during the development of the embryo accumulate, and the yolk sac containing the food reserve in the form of the protein albumen. None of these features are found in the egg of an amphibian.
"The evolution of the amniotic egg is baffling. It was this decisive innovation which permitted for the first time genuinely terrestrial vertebrate life, freeing it from the necessity of embryological development in an aquatic environment. Altogether at least eight quite different innovations were combined to make the amniotic revolution." —*M. Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 218.
"In terms of purely skeletal characteristics Seymouria would appear to be a convincing intermediate [between amphibians and reptiles, but there is a serious drawback. The major difference between amphibians and reptiles] lies in their reproductive systems. Amphibians lay their eggs in water and their larvae undergo a complex metamorphosis (like a tadpole) before reaching the adult stage. Reptiles develop inside a hard well-encased egg and are perfect replicas of the adult on first emerging . . Skeletal characteristics alone are insufficient for designating a particular organism or species as intermediate. Recently a fossil of an immature form closely related to Seymouria has been found bearing larval gills (like a tadpole) which suggests that this group of amphibians were wholly amphibian in their reproductive system. There is a further difficulty with Seymouria and that is that it appears rather too late in the fossil record to be an ancestor of the reptiles." —*G. Kerkut, Implications of Evolution, (1980), p. 138
"Trying to work out, for example, how the heart and aortic arches of an amphibian could have been gradually converted to the reptilian and mammalian condition raises absolutely horrendous problem." —*Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, (1985) p. 219.
"Seymouria is sometimes thought of as a link between the Amphibian and reptiles. Unfortunately Syemouria is found in the Permian whilst the first reptiles arouse in the Pennsylvanian, some 20 or so million years earlier." —*G. Kerkut Implications of Evolution, (1980), p. 138.
Amphibians include animals of the class Amphibia. These are cold-blooded vertebrates, and include frogs, toads, and salamanders. They usually live in or near water and typically have moist, scaleless skin. Generally, their eggs are laid in water or moist places and hatch into legless, gilled larvae which develop into adults with lungs and two pairs of limbs. Their ancestry should be clear to the experts by now. What is it?
"About 350 million years ago, a number of archaic and now extinct groups of amphibia make their appearance as fossils. However, each group is distinct and isolated at its first appearance, and no group can be construed as being the ancestor of any other amphibian group." —*Michael Demon, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985). p. 184.
..Trying to work out for example, how the heart and aortic arches of an amphibian could have been gradually converted to the reptilian and mammalian condition raises absolutely horrendous problems." —*M. Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 219.
..The lack of fossil specimens intermediate between anurans or unodeles and the older amphibians has forced paleontologists and students of the living animals to base their speculations about the evolution of the group upon evidence from the anatomy and embryology of modern species. This approach so far proved insurmountable. The structure of the existing amphibians is so specialized that the more generalized condition from which it derived is almost completely obscured." —*B. Stahl, Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution (1973), pp. 240-241.
"It is generally presumed that amphibia evolved from fish and even the order of fish, the Rhipidistia, has been specified. However, transitional forms are lacking. The first amphibian had well developed fore- and hindlimbs of normal tetrapod type which were fully capable of supporting terrestrial motion." —*Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 168.
FROGS AND TOADS
Frogs are members of a wide-spread group of web-footed, tail-less amphibians, of the order Salientia. Found mostly near fresh water, they have strong hind laps adapted for leaping. Toads are a group of stout, squat "frogs" of the family Butonidae. They Inhabit most regions of the world, and—compared with frogs—toads have a rough, dry, bumpy skin and relatively short legs. Where did frogs and toads come from; what are their ancestors?
"The living forms have been set apart in the order Apoda (Gymnophiona) but are often thought of as having at least a connection with the salamanders and newts of the order Urodela (Caudate). Those animals and the frogs and toads which are members of the order Anura (Salientia) have been found as fossils, but known extinct forms are essentially modern in structure and give no hint of the older amphibians from which they have descended. Most of the urodelan and anuran fossils come from rocks of the Cenozic era, which began only 65 million years ago. The specimens can usually be assigned to families that have living representatives or even to extant genera. Remains from the Mesozoic era are much more sparse: less than a dozen frogs and about the same number of unodeles have been described . . The others are of Jurassic and Cretaceous age and already exhibit the skeletal modifications that distinguish the members of the modern orders from the labyrinthodonts and laposopondyls." —*B. Stahl, Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution (1973), p. 240.
Turtles are a group of reptiles in the order Chelonia. Found on land, as well as in fresh and salt water, each one has a squat body enclosed in a hard, protective shell, and a toothless beak with sharp-edged laws. On the average, turtles live longer than any other vertebrate, some to 150 years. What is the origin of the turtles? Which animals are their ancestors?
"The earliest and most primitive turtles, placed in the suborder Proganocheltia, and known from the Upper Triassic of Germany. Descriptions of these forms, by Jaekel (1916) and others, indicate that they are already unquestionably turtles in more features of their anatomy and show little, if any, affinity with other groups of reptiles . . At present the ancestry of turtles is subject to considerable speculation." —*R. Carroll "Origin of Reptiles," in Biology of the Reptilia, (1969) Vol. 1, pp. 1, 9.
"Unfortunately, the origin of this highly successful order is obscured by the lack of early fossils, although turtles leave more and better fossil remains than do other vertebrates. By the middle of the Triassic Period (about 200,000,000 years ago) turtles were numerous and in possession of basic turtle characteristics . . Intermediates between turtles and cotykosaurs, the primitive reptiles from which turtles probably sprang, are entirely lacking." —*C. Pope, "Reptiles," in Encyclopedia Britannice: (1976 edition) Vol. 26, Maaopedis. p. 750.
Birds belong to the class, Aves, and are warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrates that have feathers and wings. How could birds possibly have arisen from any other type of creature?
"[Concerning the theory that warm-blooded birds came from cold-blooded reptiles:] This stands out today as one of the greatest puzzles of evolution . . [birds have] all the unsatisfactory characteristics of absolute creation." —*Lecomte du Nouy, Human Destiny (1947), p. 72. ]French evolutionary scientist.]
"The transition from reptiles to birds is more poorly documented." —*G. Ledyard Stebbins, Processes of Organic Evolution (1971), p. 146
"No fossil of any such birdlike reptile has yet been found." —* World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 291 (1982 edition).
"Nothing is known with certainty as to how birds arose from reptiles or from what reptilian stock. . As we have said above, there are no paleontological data indicating how the transformation of reptile into bird came about; we do not know whether it happened gradually or by abrupt stages." —*E. Russell, the Diversity of Animals, (1982), pro. 118, 120.
"The origin of birds is largely a matter of deduction. There is no fossil evidence of the stages through which the remarkable change from reptile to bird was achieved." —*W.E. Swinton, in *A.J. Marshall (ad.), Biology and Comparative Physiology of Birds (1960), Vol. I, p. 1.
"In point of fact, the number of modifications in reptilian structure which the birds have managed to effect in order to adapt themselves for flight is so large as to constitute a real problem and deserves our further attention." —*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 70.
"To grasp how much such cases entail, consider the major components of reptile-to-bird; the development of feathers, which are very complicated objects; reform of the respiratory system; reform of the skeletal system, reform of the digestive system to allow increased fuel consumption while economizing on weight; reform of the nervous system, especially the building; and, finally, acquisition of flight and all the homing capacities. Any one of these components would be hard to visualize, but when all have to go forward together while keeping the organism in operation at all limas, the difficulties become overwhelming." —*Norman Macbeth, "The Hypothesis of Divergent Ancestry, " in Historia Natural (1985), Vol. 5, pp. 321, 326.
Mammals are the animals in the class, Mammalia. They consist of warm-blooded vertebrates, the females of which have mammary glands. This includes humans and such diverse creatures as dogs, elephants, porcupines, dolphins, and many others. Mammals are the only animals which have hair. Surely, by now their ancestry ought to have been pinpointed by scientists who have given their lives to unraveling this mystery:
"Fossils, unfortunately, reveal very little about the creatures which we consider the first true mammals" —*Richard Carrington, The Mammals (1963), p. 37.
"There is no missing link [to be found that connects] mammals and reptiles." —*Archie Carr, The Reptiles (1963), p. 41.
"This is true of all the thirty-two orders of mammals . . The earliest and most primitive known members of every order already have the basic ordinal characters, and in no case is an approximately continuous sequence from one order to another known. In most cases the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the order is speculative and much disputed." —*George Gaylord Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1944), p. 105.
"These mammals must have had an ancient origin, for no intermediate forms are apparent in the fossil record between the whales and the ancestral Cretaceous placentals. Like the bats, the whales (using the term in a general and inclusive sense) appear suddenly in early Tertiary times, fully adapted by profound modifications of the basic mammalian structure to a highly specialized mode of life. Indeed, the whales are even more isolated with relation to other mammals than the bats; they stand quite alone." —*E.H. Calbert, Evolution of the Vertebrates (1955), p. 303.
"This regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists. It is true of almost all classes of animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate . . it is true of the losses, and of the major animal phyla, and it is apparently also true of analogous categories of plants." —*G.G. Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1944), p. 107.
"The first successful mammals were small insectivore types whose relationships to these reptiles is not at all clear." —*W. Schelle, The First mammals (1955) p. 24. [The insectivores are insect-eating animals, such as hedgehogs, moles, and shrews.]
"The earliest mammal for which there is reasonable evidence, Triconodon of the Upper Jurassic period, was apparently already at or near the level of living 'primitive' mammals such as the insectivores or the Virginia opossum." —*Bone Bonanza: "Early Bird, " in Science News (1977), Vol. 112 p. 198.
"They evolved from an unknown lineage . . Each species of mammal-like reptile that has been found appears suddenly in the fossil record and is not preceded by the species that is directly ancestral to it. It disappears, some time later, equally abruptly, without leaving a directly descended species.. ." —*Tom Kemp, "The Reptiles that Became Mammals, " New Scientist, Vol. 92 March 4, 1982, p. 583.
"Every cynodont mammal-like reptile had a typical reptilian hearing arrangement, precisely engineered and no intermediate stage is known from the fossil indicating a transition to the equally precisely engineered but very different mammalian middle-ear auditory apparatus. In addition, no reptile has ever possessed the essential organ of mammalian hearing—the organ of Corti which is extremely complex.
"There are also many other major changes which would have to simultaneously be taking place: a new mode of reproduction, mammary [milk] glands, temperature regulation, a change from scales to hair or fur, and a new method of breathing. The mammalian diaphragm alone is a major hurdle for evolution to clear." —A. W. Mehlert, "Book Review," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, September 1987, p. 97.
"Although modified [DNA] subroutines govern the structure of ears and jaws in all vertebrates, this dose not necessarily mean one kind evolved into another. Consider what such a transformation would require: Soma early reptile would have scrapped the original hinge of its lower jaw and replaced it by a new one attached to another bone. Five bones of the lower jaw would have broken away from the biggest one. The jaw-bone to which the hinge was originally attached would, offer being set free, have forced its way into the middle part of the ear, dragging with it three of the lower jaw-bones which with the quadrate and columella, formed themselves into a completely new outfit.
"While all this was happening, two complicated structures would have developed in the inner ear. The organ of Corti, peculiar to mammals and their essential organ of hearing, comprises some 3,000 arches placed side by side so as to form a tunnel. Study the complexity of the cochlea and its nervous connections. Add to this the vestibular component of balance, which includes three Semi-circular canals in planes at right angles to each other. Two different kinds of nerve receptor are finely designed to achieve their purpose.
Both pieces of apparatus are intimately linked by their fluid (endolymph and perilymph) systems. The apparatus is entirely novel; from what precursors did it derive?
No problem? A popular school textbook gives an imaginative account of this evolution of vertebrate ear ossides and inner ear. It ends: 'Of course, there are numerous unresolved questions about this story; for example, how did the mammal-like reptiles hear [no ear organs], and chew [no mastoid process], while these fantastic changes were taking place? But despite such functional problems there is little doubt that it happened.'
"Little doubt! While all other changes that formed reptiles to mammals were occurring too?" —Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 203-205.
"The great American paleontologist, Alfred Romer tells us: 'We are therefore completely in the dark about the history of Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous mammals,' and ' . . a 40 million year no-man's land in the Triassic during which the presumed transition to mammals was occurring.' [A. Romer, Vertebrate Paleontology (1966), p. 184.] Romer bars the cynodonts from being mammal ancestors because of certain technical reasons such as too much specialization in many of their features. Francis Hitching writes that the transition from reptile to mammal is in serious trouble because of two problems—the very early evolution of the mammalian ear and its extraordinary sophistication. [Francis Hitching, Neck of the Giraffe (1982), p. 90] He says: 'The lack of evidence [lack of transitional forms] that this did happen is frequently remarked upon by creationists. ' " —A. W. Mehlert; "Book Review," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, September 1987, p. 98.
"The absence or extreme scarcity of forms transitional between a presumed, a a known, ancestral form and its later derivatives is a well known peculiarity of the geological record. "Missing links" have for the most part remained missing. Even in the Mammals, whose geological history is comparatively well documented, serious gaps in the record occur just at the time when the primary differentiation of the Orders is taking place. As Simpson points out, "The earliest and most primitive members of every order already have the basic ordinal characters, and in no case is an approximately continuous series from one order to another known. In most cases the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the order is speculative and much disputed." —*G. Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution, (1944), p. 106.
"There is not a trace at the molecular level of the traditional evolutionary series: jawless fish to bony fish to amphibians to reptile to mammal; . . incredibly, man is as close to the lamprey [jawless fish] as are other fish! To those well acquainted with the traditional picture of vertebrate evolution, the result is truly astonishing." —*Michael Demon, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 285.
Bats include mouse-like mammals having wing-like membranes, supported by elongated forelimbs. They are in the order Chiroptera, and are the only flying mammals. Although they can see, many bats are guided by hlgh tech radar (sonar) signals. There is nothing quite like a bat; where did they come from?
"Bats appear full fledged in both hemispheres in the Middle Eocene. ." —*A.S. Romer, Vertebrate Paleontology, 3rd Edition (1966), p. 254.
"A specially striking example is provided by the Bats. They appeared in the Middle Eocene with the wings fully differentiated, and since that time, some 50-55 million years ago, the Bat's wings have not essentially progressed, though they have become more diversified. The Bats, we must assume, have evolved, like the other mammalian Orders, from the primitive insectivores of Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene times, but of this great transformation, involving an entirely new mode of life, and a high degree of structural specialization, we have so far no record. The Bat's wings have not essentially progressed in a period dated at 50 million years." —*E. Russell, The Diversity of Animals (1962), p. 130.
Rodents are in the order Rodentia. A rodent has a pair of chisel-like front teeth adapted for gnawing. There are enormous numbers of rodents in the world. Their origins should be unmistakably known by this time; let us inquire of the experts:
"The origin of the rodents is obscure . . Presumably, of course, they had arisen from some basal, insectivorous, placental stock, but no transitional forms are known." —*Alfred S. Romer, Vertebrate Paleontology (1966), p. 303.
[Regarding rodents:] "The question of their origin must be left open." —*R. Haines, "Arboreal or Terrestrial Ancestrial Ancestry of Placental Mammals?" in Quarterly Review of Biology, 33 (1958), p. 19.
Squirrels are tree-dwelling rodents in the family Sciuridae. They are native to most regions of the world, and, usually having a slender body and a long, bushy tall, they feed chiefly on nuts. Where did the squirrels come from?
"In the sense that they represent the least derived family of a very diverse order, squirrels in general might be called living fossils. The recently discovered skeleton of Protosciurus (perhaps the oldest squirrel fossil) shows that the earliest recognized sciurid is strikingly similar in its osteology to living Sciurus. In the sense that it has evolved very little from what is apparently the primitive squirrel morphotype, Sciurus is a living fossil.
"By about 35 million years ago, squirrels have evolved in patterns that seem to differ in no important ways from their living relative Sciurus. Since Sciurus is so similar to what is apparently the primitive squirrel morphotype, it seems to fit the concept of 'living fossil.’" –*R. Emry and *A. Thorington, "The Tree Squirrel Sciurus as a Living Fossil," in Living Fossils (1984), p. 30.
Whales are large, aquatic mammals, of the order Cetacea. They are native to all oceans and certain fresh waters, and have fishlike bodies, and horizontal tall fins, and flippers. The toothed whales have small cone-shaped teeth, while the baleen (whalebone) whales have a thin plate of horny material instead of teeth. What is their ancestry? Evolutionists have theorized that they descended not from fish, but from a mammal that crawled back into the water! But an expert disputes that theory:
"So also with Whales, as we have already seen. though in this case primitive forms are known, these are not ancestral to the modern whales, which are not linked to the primitive mammalian stock by any known intermediate forms." —*E. Russell, The Diversity of Animals (1962), P. 130.
There is an immense variety of vertebrate animals. Where did they all come from? Here are a couple sample statements on specific animals not discussed elsewhere in this study:
"Conies, probosadeans, and sirenians were already distinct groups at the time when they first appeared in the fossil record." —*A.S. Romer, Vertebrate Paleontology, 3rd Edition (1966), p. 254.
"The real origin of horses is unknown." —*T. Storer, General Biology (1957), p. 216.
Monkeys consist of any mammal of the order Primates, with the exception of man, lemurs, anthropoid apes, and tarsiers. Monkeys are found in Asia, Africa, and North and South America. They have long limbs, and hands and feet adapted for grasping and climbing. Included here would be such creatures as capuchins, marmosets, baboons, and rhesus monkeys. It has been considered of urgent importance to determine the ancestry of monkeys, since it is thought that man either descended through them or from a common ancestor. What do the experts have to say on this matter?
"The details of the evolutionary background of the New World monkeys, the Platyrrhinae, would doubtless be informative and interesting, but unfortunately we know very little about them." —*A.J. Kelso, Physical Anthropology (1974), P. 151.
"The transition from insectivore [moles, shrews, and hedgehogs] to primate is not documented by fossils. The basis of knowledge about the transition is by inference from living forms." —*A. Kelso, Physical Anthropology: An Introduction (1974), P. 142.
"Clearly the fossil documentation of the emergence of the Old World monkeys could provide key insights into the general evolutionary picture of the primates, but, in fact, this record simply does not exist." —*Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 182.
Apes are large tail-less monkeylike creatures of the family Pongidae. Included here is the
chimpanzee, gibbon, gorilla, and orangutan. A burning question among evolutionary scientists is the origin of the apes. What is their ancestry? The experts will now speak to us. (in chapter 18, Ancient Man, will be found a much larger collection of statements on this topic.)
"Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record." —*Lyall Watson, "The Water People," Science Digest, May 1982, p. 44.
"Unfortunately, the fossil record which would enable us to trace the emergence of the apes is still hopelessly incomplete. We do not know either when or where distinctively apelike animals first began to diverge from monkey stock . . Unfortunately, the early stages of man's evolutionary progress along his own individual line remain a total mystery."— *Sarel Elmer and *Irven DeVore and the *Editors of Life, The Primates (1985), p. 15.
"Modern gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees spring out of nowhere, as it were. They are here today; they have no yesterday." —*D. Johansen & M. Edgy, Lucy— The Beginnings of Humankind (1981) p. 383.
Man stands unique from all other life forms on our planet. His mind sets him apart from plants and animals. An almost explosive question among anthropologists is the origin of man; so explosive that new theories about the origin of man make newspaper headlines. Does man have an animal ancestry? If so, we ought to have located it by now. Fossils have been studied for over a hundred years, and evolutionary theory says that men have lived and died on the surface of the earth for over a million years. So billions of hominid (half-man/half-ape) bones ought to be available for study. We turn to the experts for the answers.)
"No fossil or other physical evidence directly connects man to ape." —*John Gliedman, "Miracle Mutations," Science Digest, February 1982, p. 90.
"Even this relatively recent history [of evolution from apes to man] is shot through with uncertainties; authorities are often at odds, both about fundamentals and about details." —*Mankind Evolving, p. 168.
An immensely larger collection of statements on this topic will be found in chapter 18, Ancient Man.
We have plumbed to its depths the knowledge of scientists regarding the ancestry of plants and animals. Repeatedly, we have read statements !n which renowned research experts have summarized the findings in their particular field. But the result has been a dead blank. No one has any idea where any plant or animal came from. Yes, theories abound; no question about that. Yet as for actual facts, there are none—none after over a hundred years of intensive study and research. In conclusion, there is no indication that any true species descended from any other species. (For additional data on the fossil evidence, see the wealth of material given elsewhere in this present chapter on Fossils and Strata.)
In contrast with the evolutionists' confusion, the book of Genesis provides solid answers. Every creature came into being suddenly. Each was created "after his kind. " Such a picture of the origin of all life forms in our world is in complete agreement with the varied facts found in the world around us today, and in the fossil evidence from earlier times.
"The first sponges are complex sponges; the first starfish are unquestionably starfish; the first whales, plainly whales; the first turtles, clearly turtles; and so on through the animal kingdom. If fish evolved into amphibia, where are the transitional forms? How did gills change to become lungs? How did fins change into feet and legs? And if reptiles gave rise to birds, where are those transitional forms? How did scales change into feathers? How did heavy reptilian bones become hollow bones for birds?" —Howard Peth, Blind Faith (1990), p. 110.
"We do not know the phylogenetic history of any group of plants and animals." —*E. Core, General Biology (1981), p. 299.
"This regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists." —*George G. Simpson, Tempo and Mode of Evolution (1944), p. 108.
"It may be firmly maintained that it is not even possible to make a caricature [a rough sketch] of an evolution out of paleo-biological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that it has been possible to construct new classes [based on extinct species], and the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as being due to the scarcity of material. The deficiencies are real, they will never be filled." —*Herbert Nilsson, quoted in A.C. Custance, The Earth Before Man.
11 - FOSSILS SAME AS LIVING FORMS
Are creatures living now like those In the fossil record? Careful analysis over decades of study has revealed two facts: (1) There are plants and animals found in the fossil record which do not now exist. Those are creatures which earlier became extinct. (2) There are plants and animals found in the fossil record which are also found alive today. In every such instance of non-extinct fossil forms, their modern counterparts are identical to the fossil forms. This fact in itself is a powerful evidence against evolutionary theory! Thus, non-extinct fossil forms are like their present-day counterparts.
*Grasse, a well-known expert in the field, admits the truth of this fact:
"Biologists find it hard to admit that, in their basic structure, present living beings differ [hardly] at all from those of the past. To begin with, such a supposition seems contrary to the scientific spirit. But facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years, and for an equally long time numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving." —*P. Grasse, in Evolution of Living Organisms (1977), p. 84.
In one sample regional study, nearly every living species was also found in fossil form. This shows that each of these living species had not changed from what they were like in the distant past.
"G.G. Simpson recently estimated the percentage of living species recovered as fossils in one region of North America and concluded that, at least for larger terrestial fame, the record may be almost complete! In another approach he compared the number of living genera of various categories such as insectivores, carnivores, etc. in a particular region with the number of fossils genera of the same categories in a region of similar ecological make-up in the past." —*M. Denton, in Evolutionary: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 189.
The fossil record consistently reveals species variations, but no evolutionary transitions:
"Rather than support evolution, the breaks in the known fossil record support the creation of major groups with the possibility of some limited variation within each group." —*A. Thompson, in Biology, Zoology, and Genetics: Evolution Model vs. Creation Model (1983), p. 76.
*Clark bluntly admitted that the fossil findings supported the Creationists, and not the evolutionists:
"Thus so far as concerns the major groups of animals, the creationists seem to have the better of the argument." —*Austin H. Clark, "Animal Evolution, " in Quarterly Review Biology 3 (1928), p. 539.
12 - STASIS
In the fossil record species suddenly appear, without ever having had any transitional forms leading up to them. These species then remain UNCHANGED In their characteristics for long periods of time. That fact, etched into the fossil record, is called STASIS. Some of those creatures later become extinct. Those which have living representatives today will appear the same in the fossil record as well as in present life forms.
*Gould, one of the leading evolutionary proponents of our time, defines stasis for us:
"The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism:
1. 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." —*Steven Jay Gould, "Evolution's Erratic Pace," in Natural History, May 1977, p. 14.
Stasis is a powerful argument against evolutionary theory.
"The fact is that subsequently no new phyla have appeared, and no new classes and orders. This fact, which has been long ignored, is perhaps the most powerful of all arguments against Darwin's generalization." —*G. Taylor, in The Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 138.
Species suddenly appear, remain unchanged, and then become extinct or continue on down to our own time.
"Paleontology is now looking at what it actually finds, not what it is told that it is supposed to find. As is now well known, most fossil species appear instantaneously in the record, persist for some millions of years virtually unchanged, only to disappear abruptly." —*T. Kemp, "A Fresh Look at the Fossil Record, " in New Scientist, December 5, 1985, p. 66.
*Raup of the Chicago Field Museum agrees:
"Instead of finding the gradual unfolding of life, 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. And it is not always clear, in fact it's rarely clear, that the descendants were actually better adapted than their predecessors. In other words, biological improvements are hard to find." —*David Raup, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology,"in the Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, January 1979, p. 23.
*Gould and *Eldredge maintain that the fact of stasis—the total lack of change in species proves their strange variant evolutionary theory, known as "hopeful monsters;" to the effect that an alligator laid an egg one day and a bird hatched from it as a gigantic result of trillions upon trillions of sudden, perfect, all-positive, interrelated, and thoroughly organized mutations:
"We wanted to expand the scope of relevant data by arguing that morphological breaks in the stratigraphic record may be real, and that stasis is data—that each case of stasis has as much meaning for evolutionary theory as each example of change." —*S. Gould and *N. Eldredge, "Punctuated equilibria: the tempo and mode of evolution reconsidered," in Paleobiology 3 (1977), p. 116.
*Eldredge and *Tattersall hammer home stasis as proof of the "hopeful monster" theory. Yet the stasis information they provide clearly disproves standard evolutionary theory:
"Expectation colored perception to such an extent that the most obvious single fact about biological evolution—nonchange—has seldom, if ever, been incorporated into anyone's scientific notions of how life actually evolves. If ever there was a myth, it is that evolution is a process of constant change.
"The data, or basic observations, of evolutionary biology are full of the message of stability. Change is difficult and rare, rather than inevitable and continual. Once evolved, species with their own peculiar adoptions, behaviors, and genetic systems are remarkably conservative, often remaining unchanged for several millions of years." —*N. Eldredge and *I. Tattersall, in The Myths of Human Evolution, (1982), p. 8
"And this picture of stability for long periods, interrupted by abrupt change, is typical of the fossil record of all life." —*Ibid, p. 8.
*Macbeth explains that the startling fact of unchanged and unchanging species in the fossil record should not be true—yet it is:
"In hundreds of millions of years there must have been changes in climate, changes in the environment, new enemies, new parasites, new diseases. Yet these creatures, without showing any special virtues or abilities, continue unchanged." —*Norman Macbeth, in Darwin Refried (1971), p. 121.
This fact of unchanging plant and animal types extends all the way back to the beginning of the fossil record: the Cambrian.
"All the major types of animals likely to leave fossils are represented in the early Paleozoic rocks. This period of evolution is therefore characterized as much by the conservation of change as by the changes themselves." —*A. Boyden, in Perspectives in Zoology (1973), p. 35.
Yes, there are variations within species due to routine gene shuffling, but the species remain unchanged throughout. It is like a ball bouncing in a room. It may bounce here, there, and everywhere, against all the walls,—but it does not go through them. Genetics teaches us that the wall is the species barrier. That barrier is formed by the complex, interrelated coding in the DNA. Because of that coding, it is impossible for a species to change. (See chapter 10 (DNA and Protein) for much more on this.)
"The fossil record and modern breeding techniques both argue convincingly that Darwin and his twentieth-century apologists have been in error. Both the fossils and experiments in breeding overwhelmingly attest to the fact that variations within a species promote stasis, not transformation; yet the extrapolation continues, despite all the concrete evidence to the contrary." -*A. Standen, Science Is a Sacred Cow (1950).
A variety of intermediate species should have been found, but none ever are.
"The period of stasis . . raises the probability that the lineage would enter the fossil record, and we reiterate that we can identify none of the postulated intermediate forms. Finally, the large numbers of species that must be generated so as to form a pool from which the successful lineage is selected are nowhere to be found." —*J. Valentine and *D. Erwin, "Interpreting Great Developmental Experiments: The Fossil Record," in Development as an Evolutionary Process (1987), p. 95.
*Eldredge, curator of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, calls for a re-examination of the entire theory and its basis. He tells fellow scientists that the theory simply does not fit the facts:
"The picture emerging from the fossil record [is this]: long periods of little or no change, followed by the appearance of anatomically modified descendants usually with no smoothly intergradational forms in evidence.
"If the evidence conflicts with theoretical predictions, something must be wrong with the theory. But for years the apparent lads of progressive change within fossil species has been ignored or else the evidence—not the theory—has been attacked.
"Attempts to salvage evolutionary theory have been made by claiming that the pattern of stepwise change usually seen in fossils reflects a poor, spotty fossil record. Were the record sufficiently complete, goes the claim, we would see the expected pattern of gradational change. But there are too many examples of this pattern of stepwise change to ignore it any longer. It is time to reexamine evolutionary theory itself." —Wiles Eldredge, in Natural History, Vol. 89, No. 7 (1980).
Fifty years before, *Clark at Berkeley said the same thing:
"Since all the fossils are determinable as members of their respective groups by application of definitions of those groups drawn up from and based entirely on living types, and since none of these definitions of the phyla or major groups of animals need be in any way altered or expanded to include the fossils, it naturally follows that throughout the fossil record these major groups have remined essentially unchanged. This means that the interrelationships between them likewise have remained unchanged.
"Strange as it may seem, the animals of the very earliest fauna of which our knowledge is sufficient to enable us to speak with confidence, the fauna of the Cambrian period, were similar to animals of the present day. In the Cambrian crustaceans were crustaceans, echinoderms were echinoderms, arrow-worms were arrow-worms, and mollusks were mollusks just as unmistakably as they are now." —*Austin H. Clerk, The New Evolution: Zoogenesis (1930), p. 100.
*Bateson of Cambridge tells us that if there has not been any change in the species so far, we need expect none in the future.
"We no longer feel, as we used to, that the procase of variation now contemporaneously occurring is the beginning of a work which needs merely the element of time for its completion; for even time cannot complete that which has not begun." —*W. Bateson, quoted in Evolution or Creation, (1988), p. 140.
*Taylor notes *Thorpe's quandary and amplifies on it with his own questions.
"Despite this, many species and even whole families remain inexplicably constant. The shark of today, for instance, is hardly distinguishable from the shark of 150 million years ago. And this constancy is seen at higher levels too: birds vary widely in size, shape, colouring, song and habits but are still substantially similar to the birds of the early Tertiary.
"According to Professor W.H. Thorpe, Director of the Sub-department of Animal Behaviour at Cambridge and a world authority, this is the problem in evolution. He said in 1968:'What is it that holds so many groups of animals to an astonishingly constant form over millions of years? This seems to me the problem [in evolution] now the problem of constancy, rather than that of change.' " —*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), pp. 141-142.
Bartz, a natural science writer, explains about the nautilus, a creature in the ocean with complicated hydrostatic features which defies evolutionary theories.
"While the Nautilus looks like a sea snail, it actually is much more like the squid and the octopus, and very little like sea snails, except for its shell. Despite the fact that the Nautilus shell is found in the very oldest fossil layers which show evidence of life, it has a very concentrated nervous system and well-developed sense organs. The Nautilus is found in the southwestern Pacific and eastern Indian oceans, and looks just like the first Nautilus recorded in the fossil record. There is absolutely no evidence that the Nautilus, one of the oldest life forms in the fossil record, has evolved since life first appeared on Earth.
"Like the squid and the octopus, the Nautilus has mouth, eyes and tentacles and can swim backward quite rapidly by shooting jets of water. It also builds itself a shell home in which to live.
As it grows, needing a larger compartment within its shell, it moves forward in its ever-widening shell and closes off the cramped quarters behind it. But unlike the average shell fish, the Nautilus leaves a fleshy tube of its body in the old 'room.' This tube extends all the way back to the first room it ever lived in. This fleshy cord is used to make the sheet buoyant to flooding chambers or facing water out of them. The Nautilus is a swimmer, not a crawler." —Paul Bartz, Letting God Create Your Day (1990), Vol. 1, No. 2, p. 51.
13 - PROBLEMS WITH FOSSILS
You will find this particular appendix section to be an interesting one. Several oddities about the fossil record will be discussed here. An underlying problem is that the sedimentary strata are all mixed up, end so are the fossils within them! The theoretical "geologic column" chart which appears in the textbooks does not fit the data found out in nature. That fact is the heals for discussion and quotations in this and the next two appendix sections:
Too many things are being found in the wrong places:
"Except in standard sections, more fossils are identified wrongly than rightly." —*F.K. North, "The Geological time-Scale," in Royal Society of Canada Special Publication, 8:7 (1984).
"It is never possible to be absolutely sure that the very first and last appearances [of an index fossil] have been discovered, therefore the total temporal range of an index species is constantly subject to revision." —*Robert H. Doff and *Roger L Batten, Evolution of the Earth (1971), p. 87.
Index fossils sometimes give erroneous ages:
"The difference between their fossil assemblages makes it difficult to correlate between the facies on the basis of index fossils; this illustrates the limitation of facies fossils as discussed in chapter 4. The correlation problem is complicated further by the fact that the strata have been severely folded and faulted." —*Op, cit, p. 241.
"In general, the lowest stratigraphic appearance of Cambrian index fossils has defined this boundary, but no human being was around to paint a stripe on the rocks for us; so in continuous or conformable sequences of strata, what assurance is there that Cambrian index fossils appear in a position synchronous with their lowest position in Sedgwick's Welsh appearance?" —*Op. at, p. 146.
Fossils are too often found in the wrong places:
"Period names.. are being much of their old significance through the repeated discovery of fossils which overlap the old boundaries. . 'Carboniferous' amphbia now range right through the Permian and well up into the Jurassic; and some also downwards even to low in the Permian. Recently a tortoise carapace not hitherto known below the Eocene turned up in Triassic rocks." —*C J. Wills, "The Triassic Succession in the Central Midlands" in Journal of Geological Society of London, 1265:287.
A human fossilized jaw was found in strata far below the level where humans are supposed to have first appeared. After wondering about it for a time, the geologists forgot about the matter; it just did not fit into their theories:
"At all events after it had passed under many eyes, interest waned, largely because the jaw was modern in appearance. Since there was nothing about it that the anatomist would surely regard as primitive, interest quickly faded. Only time will tell how many other ancient human relics have been discarded simply because they did not fit a preconceived evolutionary scheme." —*Loren Eisely, The Immense Journey (1957), p. 18.
"This is a striking example of the extent to which paleontological facts are disregarded and replaced with purely speculative constructions when the evolution of man was the topic and when facts did not agree with preconceived ideas." —*F. Weindenreich, Apes, Giants, and Men (1948), p. 8-7.
Many other fossils have been found which do not agree with the time and content theory governing the respective strata they were found in:
"There remained, however, a large number of Paleozoic fossils, . which did not fit well into the general evolutionary picture nor into any familiar group . . A common solution was to ignore them . . They were in general treated rather as appendages to the recognized groups, as undesirable excrescences on an otherwise well-rounded evolutionary structure." —*A. Romer, "The Early Evolution of Fishes" in Quarterly Review of Biology 2 (1948), p. 35.
Fish fossils discovered below where they are supposed to be.
"In 1912, near Ohio City, Colorado, numerous fragments of fish remains were identified in Ordovician strata. These fish fossils, if found by themselves, would have been classified as Devonian; but the rocks in which they were found are manifestly Ordovician by virtue of their being invertebrate fossils. The first Devonian deposits in the area are, in fact, 100 feet above these Ordovician rocks. The Silurian era, normally sandwiched between the Devonian and Ordivocian, is not represented in this part of Colorado. " —*D.T.A. Cockerell, "Ordovician Fish Remains in Colorado, " American Naturalist, 47:248 (1913).
You have just completed
NEXT Go to the next chapter in this series,