Re: transitional fossils

From: Cornelius Hunter <>
Date: Mon Dec 05 2005 - 11:08:42 EST

    Prediction: The fossil species should form an evolutionary tree.
    Falsification: The fossil record reveals a series of "big bangs" followed by a thinning of the ranks by extinctions. In each "big bang" new species appear, and then they remain unchanged until they reach extinction. If anything, it appears more like an inverted evolutionary tree. Rather than the prediction of a single trunk leading to many branches and twigs of diversity, what we actually find is the opposite: the rapid appearance of species followed by a narrowing as species reach extinction.

  This in no way falsifies common descent. These are issues with regard to the tempo of evolution.

  This is like saying that retrograde motion in no way falsified geocentrism because retrograde motion has to do with epicycles.You asked for a prediction of evolution/CD that has been falsified and I gave you one. There are plenty more. The fact that evolution and CD resist falsification given falsified predictions is not necessarily a good thing. How many epicycles is a fact allowed to have? How many falsified predictions must we have before we admit there are evidential problems and that evolution is not a fact?

  The rapid radiation events, which often follow mass extinction events, are resolvable into a rapidly branching tree or bush. It is in fact during just such radiations that we would expect to find, and indeed do find, the transitional forms between the higher taxonomic groups. The examples that I referenced in an earlier post are found during the time intervals of just such rapid radiations (which occur over tens of millions of years). It is the prediction of the tree of life that the criteria used to distinguish higher taxonomic groups should break down as we approach the common ancestors of lineages. That is what we find in the fossil record. It is during times of rapid radiation that fossil specimens often defy classification.

  Also, new species continue to evolve after major radiations. You seem to be using the term "species" in a colloquial rather than a biological/paleontological sense. It is simple false to state, or imply, that species all appear during some instantaneous episode without intermediates, and then remain unchanged until their extinction.

  Again, the "intermediates" which appear between the different species are "intermediates" only if evolution is true. It is not false that the species appear abruptly in the fossil record and then persist with little or no change. That is what we observe (even Dawkins admits to this). Sure, we observe minor changes, as we do in the field today. But such do not support macro evolution.
Received on Mon Dec 5 11:10:23 2005

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