Evidences of Faith

What the Fossil Record Shows

I remember learning the General Theory of Evolution as a schoolboy. I remember that I was taught that the theory was supported by an overwhelming body of evidence. My teachers did mention that there were still people on the planet who did not believe the General Theory. However, they also mentioned that there were still people who believed the earth to be flat. In other words, the implication was that anyone who did not believe in the General Theory was backward and ignorant. At the time, it did not occur to me to question this point; like most school children, I merely accepted it and tried to learn it so as to do well on the tests. As I grew, however, I began to learn to think for myself, and eventually came to realize that the "evidence" for the General Theory is not so overwhelming, after all.

It is important to note that evolutionary processes do take place. Over time, we see new breeds of dogs being developed. We see new types of bees result from the crossing of two or more similar species of bee. I do not know anyone who questions the fact that such changes occur. However, all of these changes occur within the same kind. What we do not see - and what no one has ever seen - is a completely new kind of creature evolving. No one has ever seen, either in nature or in the laboratory, one kind of creature evolve into another kind of creature. In other words, microevolution - evolution within natural boundaries - is a proven fact. The theory under question - and the theory that contradicts the Bible - is the General Theory, or macroevolution. Macroevolution teaches that all forms of life currently on the planet evolved from the same single-celled organism. Moreover, macroevolution teaches that all life is the result of natural processes, and not the design of an omnipotent Creator.

In order for the General Theory to be true, there would have to have been not only changes within kinds, but also changes between kinds. For example, the original single-celled organism had to evolve into more complex forms, and some of these had to evolve into fish, and fish into reptiles, and reptiles into birds and mammals. However, as already noted, no one has ever seen such a change occur. Even the scientists who are laboring to prove that macroevolution could have occurred have not been able to produce such a change in their laboratories. That being the case, what would make a person think that such a change ever did occur? One of the answers given to our children in school is, the fossil record.

The fossil record is not a reference to the music you and I listened to twenty or thirty years ago. The fossil record is the compilation of all the fossils that have been found, and the conclusions that have been drawn from them by evolutionary scientists. In other words, the fossil record, as the term is used, is not really evidence of anything. It includes evidence, but it also includes conclusions drawn from that evidence. Therefore, the fossil record does not show anything except how the scientists think. Let us look at an illustration of this point. Suppose I am digging in my back yard and I find a few arrowheads. I look closely at them, and I notice that they are irregularly shaped. I conclude from this evidence that a Native American warrior named Soaring Eagle must have sat in my back yard 150 years ago, making arrowheads. The evidence is clear and objective: a few irregularly shaped arrowheads. However, my conclusion based on that evidence is subjective and open to question. The same is true of the fossil record: the evidence provided by the fossils is clear and objectively verifiable. The conclusions drawn by the scientists, however, are not so. Therefore, we ought not to think that the fossil record, taken as a whole, proves anything.

However, the fossils themselves do provide evidence of something. In fact, more than 100,000 species have been found in fossils. Out of all of these, how many intermediate species have been found? It is impossible, the evolutionist will admit, for a new kind of animal to evolve in just a few generations. In order for a reptile to evolve from a fish, there would have to be a large number of intermediary forms, as successive generations become less and less fish-like and more and more reptilian. In order for the General Theory to be true, such processes would need to have taken place many, many times: simple organisms to fish, fish to reptiles, reptiles to birds, reptiles to mammals, land mammals to sea mammals (whales), land mammals to flying mammals (bats), etc. (The evolutionists may put the various kinds of creatures in a different order, but the principle remains the same.) Therefore, we would expect to find fossilized remains of many thousands - or even millions - of these intermediate forms. So then, how many have been found? The answer is: zero.

Certainly, there are fossilized remains of intermediates between similar species, such as the "eohippus" to the horse. However, this is no different from what we can still observe today: changes occurring within kinds. Even of these, there are relatively few fossils. But of intermediates between different kinds, there is not so much as one fossil that is universally accepted by the evolutionists themselves. It is true, that from time to time a new fossil find is touted as a "missing link". However, these are generally rejected after more intensive scrutiny. There are a few - very few - that have not been universally rejected by the evolution scientists themselves; yet none of these are universally accepted by them, either.

For example, consider the widely publicized find commonly called "Lucy". This is claimed to be a missing link between humans and their supposed predecessors. In some newspaper and magazine articles, it is stated as fact that "Lucy" is a pre-human ancestor of humankind. However, the actual evidence is sketchy at best: a relative handful of bones. In order to reconstruct "Lucy", many assumptions must be made as to what she actually looked like. And, some reputable scientists who believe in evolution, and have examined the bones, insist that "Lucy" was not an ancestor of humans, but simply a different kind of ape<1>. In other words, "Lucy" is not evidence that mankind evolved from some other creature. "Lucy" is a theoretical construct based upon a handful of bones. The bones, like the arrowheads in the illustration used above, are the actual evidence. "Lucy" is like "Soaring Eagle": she is some evolutionists' interpretation of those bones - an interpretation that is at best highly suspect, and one that is rejected even by some of the evolutionists themselves.

Now, how can this be? If all the life forms known today evolved from common ancestors, as the General Theory states, how can it be that there is not so much as one piece of hard evidence that an intermediate form ever existed to bridge the gaps? The actual fossil evidence does not show a chain of life with a few links missing; on the contrary, the actual fossils indicate that there has always been a wide variety of life forms on earth, much like what exists today. Keep in mind that there are not just a few small gaps to be bridged in order to connect all of the various life forms into the evolutionists' "tree of life". On the contrary, there are many enormous gulfs needing countless intermediate forms to span them. As far as we can see from the fossils that have been found, this has always been the case. So, the actual fossil evidence indicates that from the very beginning, each different kind of creature has reproduced according to its kind, just as they all do today - and just as the Bible states that God created them to do.

The General Theory of Evolution is an intellectual house of cards. It will eventually go the way of all of the great scientific errors that preceded it. Meanwhile, the plain truth stands unblemished and irrefutable: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Man may hide from this all-important truth, but he cannot escape it.

<1> A. W. Mehlert, "Australopithecus and Homo habilis - Pre-Human Ancestors?", Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, vol. 10 (part 2), 1996, pp. 219-240. This is a creationist journal, but the author cites the work and conclusions of numerous evolutionists.

e-mail this author at jfrobson@flash.net

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