When Darwin's The Origin of Species was published in 1859, it was believed that he had put forward a theory that could account for the extraordinary variety of living things. He had observed that there were different variations within the same species. For instance, while wandering through England's animal fairs, he noticed that there were many different breeds of cow, and that stockbreeders selectively mated them and produced new breeds. Taking that as his starting point, he continued with the logic that "living things can naturally diversify within themselves," which means that over a long period of time all living things could have descended from a common ancestor.
However, this assumption of Darwin's about "the origin of species" was not actually able to explain their origin at all. Thanks to developments in genetic science, it is now understood that increases in variety within one species can never lead to the emergence of another new species. What Darwin believed to be "evolution," was actually "variation."
The Meaning of Variations
Variation, a term used in genetics, refers to a genetic event that causes the individuals or groups of a certain type or species to possess different characteristics from one another. For example, all the people on earth carry basically the same genetic information, yet some have slanted eyes, some have red hair, some have long noses, and others are short of stature, all depending on the extent of the variation potential of this genetic information.
Variation does not constitute evidence for evolution because variations are but the outcomes of different combinations of already existing genetic information, and they do not add any new characteristic to the genetic information. The important thing for the theory of evolution, however, is the question of how brand-new information to make a brand-new species could come about.
Variation always takes place within the limits of genetic information. In the science of genetics, this limit is called the "gene pool." All of the characteristics present in the gene pool of a species may come to light in various ways due to variation. For example, as a result of variation, varieties that have relatively longer tails or shorter legs may appear in a certain species of reptile, since information for both long-legged and short-legged forms may exist in the gene pool of that species. However, variations do not transform reptiles into birds by adding wings or feathers to them, or by changing their metabolism. Such a change requires an increase in the genetic information of the living thing, which is certainly not possible through variations.
Darwin was not aware of this fact when he formulated his theory. He thought that there was no limit to variations. In an article he wrote in 1844 he stated:"That a limit to variation does exist in nature is assumed by most authors, though I am unable to discover a single fact on which this belief is grounded."28 In The Origin of Species he cited different examples of variations as the most important evidence for his theory.
For instance, according to Darwin, animal breeders who mated different varieties of cattle in order to bring about new varieties that produced more milk, were ultimately going to transform them into a different species. Darwin's notion of "unlimited variation" is best seen in the following sentence from The Origin of Species:
I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale.29
The reason Darwin cited such a far-fetched example was the primitive understanding of science in his day. Since then, in the 20th century, science has posited the principle of "genetic stability" (genetic homeostasis), based on the results of experiments conducted on living things. This principle holds that, since all mating attempts carried out to transform a species into another have been inconclusive, there are strict barriers among different species of living things. This meant that it was absolutely impossible for animal breeders to convert cattle into a different species by mating different variations of them, as Darwin had postulated.
Norman Macbeth, who disproved Darwinism in his book Darwin Retried, states:
The heart of the problem is whether living things do indeed vary to an unlimited extent... The species look stable. We have all heard of disappointed breeders who carried their work to a certain point only to see the animals or plants revert to where they had started. Despite strenuous efforts for two or three centuries, it has never been possible to produce a blue rose or a black tulip.30
Luther Burbank, considered the most competent breeder of all time, expressed this fact when he said, "there are limits to the development possible, and these limits follow a law."31 In his article titled "Some Biological Problems With the Natural Selection Theory," Jerry Bergman comments by quoting from biologist Edward Deevey who explains that variations always take place within strict genetic boundaries:
Deevey concludes, "Remarkable things have been done by cross-breeding ... but wheat is still wheat, and not, for instance, grapefruit. We can no more grow wings on pigs than hens can make cylindrical eggs." A more contemporary example is the average increase in male height that has occurred the past century. Through better health care (and perhaps also some sexual selection, as some women prefer taller men as mates) males have reached a record adult height during the last century, but the increase is rapidly disappearing, indicating that we have reached our limit.32
In short, variations only bring about changes which remain within the boundaries of the genetic information of species; they can never add new genetic data to them. For this reason, no variation can be considered an example of evolution. No matter how often you mate different breeds of dogs or horses, the end result will still be dogs or horses, with no new species emerging. The Danish scientist W. L. Johannsen sums the matter up this way:
The variations upon which Darwin and Wallace placed their emphasis cannot be selectively pushed beyond a certain point, that such variability does not contain the secret of 'indefinite departure'.33
Confessions About "Microevolution"
As we have seen, genetic science has discovered that variations, which Darwin thought could account for "the origin of species," actually do no such thing. For this reason, evolutionary biologists were forced to distinguish between variation within species and the formation of new ones, and to propose two different concepts for these different phenomena. Diversity within a species-that is, variation-they called "microevolution," and the hypothesis of the development of new species was termed "macroevolution."
These two concepts have appeared in biology books for quite some time. But there is actually a deception going on here, because the examples of variation that evolutionary biologists have called "microevolution" actually have nothing to do with the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution proposes that living things can develop and take on new genetic data by the mechanisms of mutation and natural selection. However, as we have just seen, variations can never create new genetic information, and are thus unable to bring about "evolution." Giving variations the name of "microevolution" is actually an ideological preference on the part of evolutionary biologists.
The impression that evolutionary biologists have given by using the term "microevolution" is the false logic that over time variations can form brand new classes of living things. And many people who are not already well-informed on the subject come away with the superficial idea that "as it spreads, microevolution can turn into macroevolution." One can often see examples of that kind of thinking. Some "amateur" evolutionists put forward such examples of logic as the following: since human beings' average height has risen by two centimeters in just a century, this means that over millions of years any kind of evolution is possible. However, as has been shown above, all variations such as changes in average height happen within specific genetic bounds, and are trends that have nothing to do with evolution.
In fact, nowadays even evolutionist experts accept that the variations they call "microevolution" cannot lead to new classes of living things-in other words, to "macroevolution." In a 1996 article in the leading journal Developmental Biology, the evolutionary biologists S.F. Gilbert, J.M. Opitz, and R.A. Raff explained the matter this way:
The Modern Synthesis is a remarkable achievement. However, starting in the 1970s, many biologists began questioning its adequacy in explaining evolution. Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but microevolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern only the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest. As Goodwin (1995) points out, "the origin of species- Darwin's problem-remains unsolved.34
The fact that "microevolution" cannot lead to "macroevolution," in other words that variations offer no explanation of the origin of species, has been accepted by other evolutionary biologists, as well. The noted author and science expert Roger Lewin describes the result of a four-day symposium held in November 1980 at the Chicago Museum of Natural History, in which 150 evolutionists participated:
The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. …The answer can be given as a clear, No.35
We can sum up the situation like this: Variations, which Darwinism has seen as "evidence of evolution" for some hundred years, actually have nothing to do with "the origin of species." Cows can be mated together for millions of years, and different breeds of cows may well emerge. But cows can never turn into a different species-giraffes or elephants for instance. In the same way, the different finches that Darwin saw on the Galapagos Islands are another example of variation that is no evidence for "evolution." Recent observations have revealed that the finches did not undergo an unlimited variation as Darwin's theory presupposed. Moreover, most of the different types of finches which Darwin thought represented 14 distinct species actually mated with one another, which means that they were variations that belonged to the same species. Scientific observation shows that the finch beaks, which have been mythicized in almost all evolutionist sources, are in fact an example of "variation"; therefore, they do not constitute evidence for the theory of evolution. For example, Peter and Rosemary Grant, who spent years observing the finch varieties in the Galapagos Islands looking for evidence for Darwinistic evolution, were forced to conclude that "the population, subjected to natural selection, is oscillating back and forth," a fact which implied that no "evolution" that leads to the emergence of new traits ever takes place there.36
So for these reasons, evolutionists are still unable to resolve Darwin's problem of the "origin of species."
The Origin of Species in the Fossil Record
The evolutionist assertion is that each species on earth came from a single common ancestor through minor changes. In other words, the theory considers life as a continuous phenomenon, without any preordained or fixed categories. However, the observation of nature clearly does not reveal such a continuous picture. What emerges from the living world is that life forms are strictly separated in very distinct categories. Robert Carroll, an evolutionist authority, admits this fact in his Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution:
Although an almost incomprehensible number of species inhabit Earth today, they do not form a continuous spectrum of barely distinguishable intermediates. Instead, nearly all species can be recognized as belonging to a relatively limited number of clearly distinct major groups, with very few illustrating intermediate structures or ways of life.37
Therefore, evolutionists assume that "intermediate" life forms that constitute links between living organisms have lived in the past. This is why it is considered that the fundamental science that can shed light on the matter is paleontology, the science of the study of fossils. Evolution is alleged to be a process that took place in the past, and the only scientific source that can provide us with information on the history of life is fossil discoveries. The well-known French paleontologist Pierre-Paul Grassé has this to say on the subject:
Naturalists must remember that the process of evolution is revealed only through fossil forms... only paleontology can provide them with the evidence of evolution and reveal its course or mechanisms.38
In order for the fossil record to shed any light on the subject, we shall have to compare the hypotheses of the theory of evolution with fossil discoveries.
According to the theory of evolution, every species has emerged from a predecessor. One species which existed previously turned into something else over time, and all species have come into being in this way. According to the theory, this transformation proceeds gradually over millions of years.
If this were the case, then innumerable intermediate species should have lived during the immense period of time when these transformations were supposedly occurring. For instance, there should have lived in the past some half-fish/half-reptile creatures which had acquired some reptilian traits in addition to the fish traits they already had. Or there should have existed some reptile/bird creatures, which had acquired some avian traits in addition to the reptilian traits they already possessed. Evolutionists refer to these imaginary creatures, which they believe to have lived in the past, as "transitional forms."
If such animals had really existed, there would have been millions, even billions, of them. More importantly, the remains of these creatures should be present in the fossil record. The number of these transitional forms should have been even greater than that of present animal species, and their remains should be found all over the world. In The Origin of Species, Darwin accepted this fact and explained:
If my theory be true, numberless intermediate varieties, linking most closely all of the species of the same group together must assuredly have existed... Consequently evidence of their former existence could be found only amongst fossil remains.39
Even Darwin himself was aware of the absence of such transitional forms. He hoped that they would be found in the future. Despite his optimism, he realized that these missing intermediate forms were the biggest stumbling-block for his theory. That is why he wrote the following in the chapter of the The Origin of Species entitled "Difficulties of the Theory":
…Why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?… But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?… But in the intermediate region, having intermediate conditions of life, why do we not now find closely-linking intermediate varieties? This difficulty for a long time quite confounded me.40
The only explanation Darwin could come up with to counter this objection was the argument that the fossil record uncovered so far was inadequate. He asserted that when the fossil record had been studied in detail, the missing links would be found.
The Question of Transitional Forms and Stasis
Believing in Darwin's prophecy, evolutionary paleontologists have been digging up fossils and searching for missing links all over the world since the middle of the nineteenth century. Despite their best efforts, no transitional forms have yet been uncovered. All the fossils unearthed in excavations have shown that, contrary to the beliefs of evolutionists, life appeared on earth all of a sudden and fully-formed.
Robert Carroll, an expert on vertebrate paleontology and a committed evolutionist, comes to admit that the Darwinist hope has not been satisfied with fossil discoveries:
Despite more than a hundred years of intense collecting efforts since the time of Darwin's death, the fossil record still does not yield the picture of infinitely numerous transitional links that he expected.41
Another evolutionary paleontologist, K. S. Thomson, tells us that new groups of organisms appear very abruptly in the fossil record:
When a major group of organisms arises and first appears in the record, it seems to come fully equipped with a suite of new characters not seen in related, putatively ancestral groups. These radical changes in morphology and function appear to arise very quickly…42
Biologist Francis Hitching, in his book The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong, states:
If we find fossils, and if Darwin's theory was right, we can predict what the rock should contain; finely graduated fossils leading from one group of creatures to another group of creatures at a higher level of complexity. The 'minor improvements' in successive generations should be as readily preserved as the species themselves. But this is hardly ever the case. In fact, the opposite holds true, as Darwin himself complained; "innumerable transitional forms must have existed, but why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?" Darwin felt though that the "extreme imperfection" of the fossil record was simply a matter of digging up more fossils. But as more and more fossils were dug up, it was found that almost all of them, without exception, were very close to current living animals.43
The fossil record reveals that species emerged suddenly, and with totally different structures, and remained exactly the same over the longest geological periods. Stephen Jay Gould, a Harvard University paleontologist and well-known evolutionist, admitted this fact first in the late 70s:
The history of most fossil species include two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: 1) Stasis - most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless; 2) Sudden appearance - in any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and 'fully formed'.44
Further research only strengthened the facts of stasis and sudden appearance. Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge write in 1993 that "most species, during their geological history, either do not change in any appreciable way, or else they fluctuate mildly in morphology, with no apparent direction."45 Robert Carroll is forced to agree in 1997 that "Most major groups appear to originate and diversify over geologically very short durations, and to persist for much longer periods without major morphological or trophic change."46
At this point, it is necessary to clarify just what the concept of "transitional form" means. The intermediate forms predicted by the theory of evolution are living things falling between two species, but which possess deficient or semi-developed organs. But sometimes the concept of intermediate form is misunderstood, and living structures which do not possess the features of transitional forms are seen as actually doing so. For instance, if one group of living things possesses features which belong to another, this is not an intermediate form feature. The platypus, a mammal living in Australia, reproduces by laying eggs just like reptiles. In addition, it has a bill similar to that of a duck. Scientists describe such creatures as the platypus as "mosaic creatures." That mosaic creatures do not count as intermediate forms is also accepted by such foremost paleontologists as Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge.47
The Adequacy of the Fossil Record
Some 140 years ago Darwin put forward the following argument: "Right now there are no transitional forms, yet further research will uncover them." Is this argument still valid today? In other words, considering the conclusions from the entire fossil record, should we accept that transitional forms never existed, or should we wait for the results of new research?
The wealth of the existing fossil record will surely answer this question. When we look at the paleontological findings, we come across an abundance of fossils. Billions of fossils have been uncovered all around the world.48 Based on these fossils, 250,000 distinct species have been identified, and these bear striking similarities to the 1.5 million identified species currently living on earth.49 (Of these 1.5 million species, 1 million are insects.) Despite the abundance of fossil sources, not a single transitional form has been uncovered, and it is unlikely that any transitional forms will be found as a result of new excavations.
A professor of paleontology from Glasgow University, T. Neville George, admitted this fact years ago:
There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways it has become almost unmanageably rich and discovery is outpacing integration… The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mainly of gaps.50
And Niles Eldredge, the well-known paleontologist and curator of the American Museum of Natural History, expresses as follows the invalidity of Darwin's claim that the insufficiency of the fossil record is the reason why no transitional forms have been found:
The record jumps, and all the evidence shows that the record is real: the gaps we see reflect real events in life's history - not the artifact of a poor fossil record.51
Another American scholar, Robert Wesson, states in his 1991 book Beyond Natural Selection, that "the gaps in the fossil record are real and meaningful." He elaborates this claim in this way:
The gaps in the record are real, however. The absence of a record of any important branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually static, or nearly so, for long periods, species seldom and genera never show evolution into new species or genera but replacement of one by another, and change is more or less abrupt.52
This situation invalidates the above argument, which has been stated by Darwinism for 140 years. The fossil record is rich enough for us to understand the origins of life, and explicitly reveals that distinct species came into existence on earth all of a sudden, with all their distinct forms.
The Truth Revealed by the Fossil Record
But where does the "evolution-paleontology" relationship, which has taken subconscious root in society over many decades, actually stem from? Why do most people have the impression that there is a positive connection between Darwin's theory and the fossil record whenever the latter is mentioned? The answer to these questions is supplied in an article in the leading journal Science:
A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: low-level textbooks, semipopular articles, and so on. Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general these have not been found yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks.
N. Eldredge and I. Tattersall also make an important comment:
That individual kinds of fossils remain recognizably the same throughout the length of their occurrence in the fossil record had been known to paleontologists long before Darwin published his Origin. Darwin himself, ...prophesied that future generations of paleontologists would fill in these gaps by diligent search ...One hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin's predictions. Nor is the problem a miserably poor record. The fossil record simply shows that this prediction is wrong.
The observation that species are amazingly conservative and static entities throughout long periods of time has all the qualities of the emperor's new clothes: everyone knew it but preferred to ignore it. Paleontologists, faced with a recalcitrant record obstinately refusing to yield Darwin's predicted pattern, simply looked the other way.54
Likewise, the American paleontologist Steven M. Stanley describes how the Darwinist dogma, which dominates the world of science, has ignored this reality demonstrated by the fossil record:
The known fossil record is not, and never has been, in accord with gradualism. What is remarkable is that, through a variety of historical circumstances, even the history of opposition has been obscured. ... 'The majority of paleontologists felt their evidence simply contradicted Darwin's stress on minute, slow, and cumulative changes leading to species transformation.' ... their story has been suppressed.55
Let us now examine the facts of the fossil record, which have been silenced for so long, in a bit more detail. In order to do this, we shall have to consider natural history from the most remote ages to the present, stage by stage.
28 Loren C. Eiseley, The Immense Journey, Vintage Books, 1958, p. 186.; cited in Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, Harvard Common Press, Boston, 1971, p. 30.
29 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964, p. 184.
30 Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, Harvard Common Press, Boston, 1971, pp. 32-33.
31 Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, Harvard Common Press, Boston, 1971, p. 36.
32 Jerry Bergman, Some Biological Problems With the Natural Selection Theory, The Creation Research Society Quarterly, vol. 29, no. 3, December 1992.
33 Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey, Vintage Books, 1958. p 227., cited in Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, Harvard Common Press, Boston, 1971, p. 33.
34 Scott Gilbert, John Opitz, and Rudolf Raff, "Resynthesizing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology", Developmental Biology, 173, Article no. 0032, 1996, p. 361. (emphasis added)
35 R. Lewin, "Evolutionary Theory Under Fire", Science, vol. 210, 21 November, 1980, p. 883.
36 H. Lisle Gibbs and Peter R. Grant, "Oscillating selection on Darwin's finches," Nature, 327, 1987, pp. 513; For more detailed information, please see Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution, 2000, pp. 159-175.
37 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 9
38 Pierre Grassé, Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, New York, 1977, p. 82.
39 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964, p. 179.
40 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, The Modern Library, New York, p. 124-125. (emphasis added)
41 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 25.
42 K. S. Thomson, Morphogenesis and Evolution, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 98.
43 Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong, Tichnor and Fields, New Haven, 1982, p. 40.
44 S.J. Gould, "Evolution's Erratic Pace", Natural History, vol. 86, May 1977. (emphasis added)
45 Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge, "Punctuated Equilibria: The Tempo and Mode of Evolution Reconsidered", Paleobiology, 3 (2), 1977, p. 115.
46 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 146.
47 S. J. Gould & N. Eldredge, Paleobiology, vol. 3, 1977, p. 147.
48 Duane T. Gish, Evolution: Fossils Still Say No, CA, 1995, p. 41
49 David Day, Vanished Species, Gallery Books, New York, 1989.
50 T. Neville George, "Fossils in Evolutionary Perspective," Science Progress, vol. 48, January 1960, pp. 1, 3. (emphasis added)
51 N. Eldredge and I. Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution, Columbia University Press, 1982, p. 59. (emphasis added)
52 R. Wesson, Beyond Natural Selection, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1991, p. 45.
53 Science, July 17, 1981, p. 289. (emphasis added)
54 N. Eldredge, and I. Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution, Columbia University Press, 1982, pp. 45-46. (emphasis added)
55 S. M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species, Basic Books Inc., N.Y., 1981, p. 71. (emphasis added)
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