Science, Reason, Faith


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Evolution, The Fossil Record, and Archaeopteryx

Posted by GreenSlugg Muse on Thursday, September 15, 2016
Evolution, The Fossil Record, and Archaeopteryx

How the public has been mislead about the nature of the fossil record

I have been wanting to make a video series on some of the so-called "transitional fossils" (i.e. missing links). Most people who believe in Evolution have been lead to believe that the fossil record contains overwhelming evidence for Evolution.

Yet top Paleontologists have said otherwise.

This was the whole point of Stephen J Gould proposing Punctuated Equilibrium.

‘The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches … in any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the gradual transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and “fully formed.”’


Evolutionists accuse Creationists of quoting Gould out of context, but I encourage readers to read the above article, and then go and read the original context for themselves.

The reality is that Evolution predicts that there should be an abundance of transitional found in the fossil record. Yet what we actually find are only a handful of highly disputable and highly disputed examples of so-called transitional fossils.

What we typically find in the fossil record, even according to Evolutionists who are paleontologists is stasis, not a long line of successive forms. Some stasis is expected given a Darwinian process, but what Darwin imagined would lead one to expect quite a few instances, at least, where we could see clear examples of very distinct organisms evolving into other very different organisms, like fish into amphibians or dinosaurs into birds.

Take Archaeopteryx for example. This is the number one example that Evolutionists give of a transitional form.

I will admit that I haven't visited this site before today. This website is new to me, however the author did a good job documenting mainstream criticism of the idea that Archaeopteryx is a dinosaur-to-bird transition.

One of the articles mentioned is from Alan Feduccia, an Evolutionist and outspoken critic of the idea that birds evolved from dinosaur. Feduccia is also an outspoken critic of the so-called "feathered dinosaurs" that appear in the news from time to time, and an outspoken critic of the notion that Archaeopteryx is a feathered dinosaur.

Feduccia believes that birds evolved from tree-dwelling reptiles, rather than from land-dwelling dinosaurs.

In full disclosure, Feduccia is a critic of Creationists, and gives a harsh, yet (in my opinion) unwarranted criticism at the end.

Feduccia claims that it is clear that Archaeopteryx is a half-reptile, half-bird. But there are a number of studies on Archaeopteryx that show otherwise.

"It has been asserted that Archaeopteryx shares 21 specialized characters with coelurosaurian dinosaurs.4 Research on various anatomical features of Archaeopteryx in the last ten years or so, however, has shown, in every case, that the characteristic in question is bird-like, not reptile-like. When the cranium of the London specimen was removed from the limestone and studied, it was shown to be bird-like, not reptile-like.5"

"A.D. Walker has presented an analysis of the ear region of Archaeopteryx that shows, contrary to previous studies, that this region is very similar to the otic region of modern birds.11"

"Recent events cast even further doubt on Archaeopteryx as a transitional form. If the claims of Sankar Chatterjee prove to be valid, then certainly Archaeopteryx could not be the ancestral bird, and dinosaurs could not be ancestral to birds. Chatterjee and his co-workers at Texas Tech University claim to have found two crow-sized fossils of a bird near Post, Texas, in rocks supposedly 225 million years old—thus allegedly 75 million years older than Archaeopteryx and as old as the first dinosaurs. Totally contrary to what evolutionists would expect for such a fossil bird, however, Chatterjee claims that his bird is even more bird-like than Archaeopteryx! In contrast to Archaeopteryx, this bird had a keel-like breastbone and hollow bones. In most other respects, it was similar to Archaeopteryx.14 If evolutionary assumptions are correct, this bird should have been much more reptile-like than Archaeopteryx. In fact, he shouldn't even exist!"

(From the same article.)

Personally I think that the author should have been more emphatic at the end that the claim that Archaeopteryx is a fraud is unlikely.