Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Tue Dec 01 2009 - 03:33:26 EST

I have argued this for years and didn't realise Haldane and Dawk agreed with

I thought his chapter on denying Romans was excellent.

I also agree with him that Christians especially leaders need to say more
against YEC.

He was speaking mostly about Britain where YEC is getting more common
including in the Church of England.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry M. Gray" <>
To: "AmericanScientificAffiliation" <>
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 4:52 AM
Subject: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record


I'm making my way through Richard Dawkins', "The Greatest Show on Earth".
There's a bit of anti-YEC rhetoric--he calls them history deniers (I'm not
so sure that YEC's themselves would reject his label). But aside from that,
so far, it's a thoroughly enjoyable read and in my opinion an excellent
presentation of the arguments for evolution.

Here's a section from Chapter 6 "Missing Link? What Do You Mean, 'Missing'?


What would be evidence against evolution, and very strong evidence at that,
would be discovery of even a single fossil in the wrong geological stratum.
I have already made this point in Chapter 4. J. B. S. Haldane famously
retorted, when asked to name an observation that would disprove the theory
of evolution, 'Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian!' No such rabbits, no
authentically anachronistic fossils of any kind, have ever been found. All
the fossils that we have, and there are very, very many indeed, occur,
without a single authenticated exception, in the right temporal sequence.
Yes, there are gaps, where there are no fossils at all, and that is only to
be expected. But not a single solitary fossil has ever been found before it
could have evolved. That is a very telling fact (and there is no reason why
we should expect it on the creationist theory). As I briefly mentioned in
Chapter 4, a good theory, a scientific theory, is one that is vulnerable to
disproof, yet is not d!

 isproved. Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil
turned up in the wrong date order. Evolution has passed this test with
flying colours. Sceptics of evolution who wish to prove their case should be
diligently scrabbling around in the rocks, desperately trying to find
anachronistic fossils. Maybe they'll find one. Want a bet?

Of course, this is only a jab at the YEC version of anti-evolutionism. All
who admit to common descent (theistic evolutionists, progressive
creationists, etc.) shouldn't have problem with this paragraph. As such, it
is only a piece of the long argument. Nonetheless, I think Dawkins makes the
point successfully and forcefully, as usual.

Anyone here think that Dawkins is off-base in his claim?

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

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Received on Tue Dec 1 03:34:25 2009

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