Re: Out of order fossils

Adam Crowl (
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 20:47:53 +1000


----- Original Message -----
From: Karen G. Jensen <>
To: <evolution@calvin.eduCC:>
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 1999 9:07 AM
Subject: Re: Out of order fossils

>Does anyone on the list know about these claims of Devonian insects?
>I read about finds of centepedes, arachnids, and insect remains preserved
>in exquisite detail in Devonian rock form upstate New York, "similar to
>modern forms" (Science News 123:356-357, June 4, 1983) -- have these been
>found to be contamination?
Probably not. They are rather conservative groups with little pressure to
change grossly beyond their standard forms, so similar is no surprise at
all. "Exactly the same" would be a shock in the Devonian, but "similar" is
awfully vague. Perhaps you should get a hold of a University database and
look up follow-up articles. Some CD Rom databases allow searches on articles
that reference other articles. Check out the original Journal articles
rather than vague news reports, and then look for responses to those Journal
articles. If you are worried about some Creationist making a mountain out of
what sounds like a mole-hill, then research the originals - usually the
apparent conflict with evolution disappears. Creationists aren't as careful
with the facts as professional geologists or biologists, and often imagine
something that just isn't there.

Marvin Lubenow's various articles and books are a good example of this. He
butchers concepts and facts in a fashion that seems "scientific" but in
reality he creates a screen of misinformation that covers the truth. One
classic mistake which totally invalidates the central argument of his "Bones
of Contention" is his insistence that evolution of a new species requires
the parent species to go extinct - since _Homo habilis_ and _Homo erectus_
probably co-existed for a time he imagines that this disproves one evolving
from the other. Total nonsense, with a half-remembered grain of "fact". In
the 1960s Milford Wolpoff argued for a single human species because of the
possibility of ecological exclusion between two technological human species
[robust Australopithecines and early H.erectus] - they couldn't live
together since they'd be competing. Actually the various human species
probably occupied different niches so this was never a problem. This is
probably the "source" of Lubenow's flawed argument that parent and
off-spring species can't co-exist. Fact is they can if sufficiently
different in habits or far apart or if there's enough resources to share.
Lubenow's other creationist articles contain similar errors - not all
exactly the same, but alike...