Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Tue Dec 01 2009 - 11:40:58 EST


This is a funny group to interact with, I must admit. It seems that Michael Roberts is the only one to get the point.

While I don't necessarily disagree with Mike and Ted in their reference to Kuhn and all, and I suspect that Dawkins himself wouldn't disagree, the main point is that there is NO ANOMALY. Not a single one. That's the main question I'm asking here. Are there any anomalies with respect to this particular issue? The closest thing to one that I can think of is the question of stratiographic inversions. But once the possibility of an inversion is allowed, it's no longer an anomaly. A far cry from Ptolemaic epicycles.

As for John's question about common ancestry, I have to say that the sentence was added in order to preclude some objections that I've heard on the list from several folks, that many who reject Darwinian evolution are still comfortable with common descent. I'm taking common descent the way that Steve Martin did. It's possible that a "special creationist" event (e.g. injection of information) would be required in order to go from ancestor to descendent--as he points out, this is consistent with some ID advocates. Whether you want to call this common descent is a matter of semantics. I am willing to call that common descent. For example, my own view of human origins allows for common descent of our biological form, but I believe a special creative act is required for our full humanity in the image of God (say, in the creation of the human soul).

The point remains. There are no exceptions in the fossil record to the canonical common descent sequence.

In Chapter 4 Dawkins points out that the common YEC model, that fossils were laid down in the flood and their sequence reflects the organism's ability to flee the encroaching flood waters, would at best produce a statistical distribution in the fossil record rather than the exceptionless pattern that we find.


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 11:47:04 2009

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