Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record

From: Nucacids <>
Date: Tue Dec 01 2009 - 07:34:31 EST

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

I do. Given all the other evidence for evolution, it would be easier for me
to write off the precambrian rabbit-like fossil as an anomaly than to
embrace the notion that evolution has been disproved. I would assume
Dawkins discusses much of the evidence for evolution in his book. Is that
evidence really so shaky that it can be ignored and dismissed because of the
discovery of a single out-of-place fossil? I think not.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry M. Gray" <>
To: "AmericanScientificAffiliation" <>
Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 11:52 PM
Subject: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record

> Hi,
> 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?
> TG
> ________________
> 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 07:35:00 2009

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