Re: [asa] Extinction/Extant

From: Keith Miller <>
Date: Mon Oct 12 2009 - 14:42:10 EDT

Moorad asked:

Completely silly question. It seems that we have a hard time to find
> transitional forms. In addition, all the evolutionary forms that resulted
> ultimately in humans seem to be extant. Does this make sense with regard to
> extinctions? [I am typing a hard manuscript and need to get away from it
> every so often. Excuse the flight of imagination or ignorance.]

I don't know where you are getting your information, but your statements
above are completely erroneous. There are a huge number of transitional
forms and the number is constantly and rapidly increasing with new
discoveries. My chapter "Common Descent, Transitional Forms, and the Fossil
Record" in the book "Perspectives on an Evolving Creation" lays out the
basic framework and discusses a very few of the many fossil transitions. I
am a paleontologist, and the fossil record alone is compelling evidence of
common descent. Common descent provides a predictive framework and new
discoveries have repeatedly confirmed that framework.

None of the fossil species that are part of the hominid branch of the tree
are extant. We are it. We did not evolve from chimps or gorillas, or any
living ape. We and living apes had a common ancestor perhaps 5 million
years or more ago, but all of the fossil species on our line of descent are

Evolutionary transitions always go back in time down the the tree of life.
Evolutionary transitions are never transitions between living species. You
go down the tree, you do not jump from limb to limb.


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Received on Mon Oct 12 14:42:55 2009

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