Conservapedia – The Trustworthy Encyclopedia

20 June 2010

Out there in the endless information space of the internet, a small stronghold of untainted knowledge exists that heroically resists the onslaught of information distorted by liberal democrats or satanic atheists:


One example from the entry on evolution (yeah, I know, that topic again):

Lack of Any Clear Transitional Forms

Bird or dinosaur? The Thermopolis specimen

The Thermopolis specimen
By joe_tourist,
used under cc license

… today there are over one hundred million identified and cataloged fossils in the world’s museums. If the evolutionary position was valid, then there should be “transitional forms” in the fossil record reflecting the intermediate life forms. Another term for these “transitional forms” is “missing links”.

Charles Darwin admitted that his theory required the existence of “transitional forms.” Darwin wrote: “So that the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great. But assuredly, if this theory be true, such have lived upon the earth.” Darwin wrote: “Why then is not every geological formation and every strata full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory.”

Scientist Dr. Michael Denton wrote regarding the fossil record: “It is still, as it was in Darwin’s day, overwhelmingly true that the first representatives of all the major classes of organisms known to biology are already highly characteristic of their class when they make their initial appearance in the fossil record.

Creationists assert that evolutionists have had over 140 years to find a transitional fossil and nothing approaching a conclusive transitional form has ever been found and that only a handful of highly doubtful examples of transitional fossils exist.

David B. Kitts of the School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma wrote that “Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them…”.

… the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould … admitted the following:
“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils … In a 1977 paper titled “The Return of Hopeful Monsters”, Gould wrote: “The fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change….All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.”

The senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, Dr. Colin Patterson, put it this way: “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….I will lay it on the line — there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.

In 1980, David Woodruff wrote in the journal Science the following: “But fossil species remain unchanged throughout most of their history and the record fails to contain a single example of a significant transition.”

The late Ernst Mayr … a prominent Harvard biologist … a staunch evolutionist and atheist … maintained that evolution was a fact … was compelled to make the following admission regarding the fossil record in relation to the theory of evolution: “Even the fossil record fails to substantiate any continuity and all novelties appear in the fossil record quite suddenly.”

Ah, using decade old quotes, a strategy that never gets old. But to be fair, the following is also part of the entry:

After having been incessantly quoted by creationist … Gould stated the following in 1981: “Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists – whether through design or stupidity, I do not know – as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups.”

And now, if you are a) still reading this and b) still interested in the other side’s point of view (and honestly, why would you? All those quotes are pretty compelling, aren’t they?), here is (an excerpt) of the Wikipedia entry (reservations towards the trustworthyness of online resources apply!):

dinosaur w/saddle

The little known transitional state between
Dinosaur and riding Horse
By williac,
used under cc license

According to modern evolutionary synthesis, all populations of organisms are in transition. Therefore, a “transitional form” is a human construct

Not every transitional form appears in the fossil record because the fossil record is nowhere near complete. Organisms are only rarely perserved as fossils in the best of circumstances and only a fraction of such fossils have ever been discovered. … the total number of of species of all kinds known through the fossil record was less than 5% … which suggests that the number of species known through fossils must be less than 1%

Proponents of creationism have frequently made claims about the existence or implications of transitional fossils … some of these claims include:

  • ‘There are no transitional fossils.’ … Such claims may be based on a misunderstanding of the nature of what represents a transitional feature
  • ‘No fossils are found with partially functional features.’ Vestigial organs are common in whales (legs), flightless birds (wings), snakes (pelvis and lung), and numerous structures in humans (the coccyx, plica semilunaris, and appendix).
  • … creationists have claimed that evolution predicts a continuous gradation in the fossil record, and have misrepresented the expected partial record as having “systematic gaps”. Due to the specialized and rare circumstances required for a biological structure to fossilize, only a very small percentage of all life-forms that ever have existed can be expected to be represented in discoveries and each represents only a snapshot of the process of evolution. The transition itself can only be illustrated and corroborated by transitional fossils, but it will never demonstrate an exact half-way point between clearly divergent forms.

Also, you might want to look at the List of transitional fossils, the Evolution of the horse or the Evolution of cetaceans (Whales, dolphins etc.).

  • Leave a comment