Common Descent

Keith B Miller (
Wed, 11 Mar 1998 12:53:39 -0600

Russ wrote:

>George, suppose someone says to you that the gaps in the fossil record
>exist because God created groups of living things separately and that there
>are no fossils to be found in the gaps. This is a typical YEC argument. You
>might--at least for the sake of the argument--concede that there are some
>"missing links" between groups of fossils. But you would probably add that
>those links might be found, and then the "god" of the other person becomes
>a bit smaller. You'd be correct. Every time God is invoked to fill in for
>our ignorance, and later we find that we really didn't need God for some
>supposed gap in our knowledge, our "god" would diminish. Too many
>Christians have gone down that road.
>In our discussion of human evolution, you seem to depend on as-yet-unknown
>mechanisms to link the human race to other hominids. Aren't you falling
>into the same trap as the person who invokes God wherever there is a
>mystery? That person says our ignornace points to divine action; you seem
>to be saying that the fact we are presently ignorant about a gap tells us
>some scientific discovery will be made in the future. In the one case,
>ignorance is proof that God acts; in the other, ignorance indicates a
>mechanism will be found in the future.
>I'd rather go back to my original point. Genetic and structural similarity
>cannot be proof of descent, given that the organisms are subject to the
>same physical laws. There is, of course, no "god of the gaps"; our God is
>active in whatever happens. And we simply do not know that mechanisms
>presently unknown will be discovered, or are discoverable.

All I ask is - what gaps? Where do you see unexplained gaps in human
evolution, or in other aspects of the fossil record? Too often people
discuss "gaps" in the fossil record when they do not even know what the
nature of the "gaps" are. Have you read my article on transitional forms on
the ASA webpage?


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506