Tuesday, March 06, 2007

fossil record discredits darwin

In 1979, world renowned paleontologist David Raup said this:

Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded ... ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information ... ("Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, vol. 50 [1], p. 24, 25)


Its seems some paleontologists gave up on Darwin long ago. Sadly, most of the public is not aware of the inadequacy of the fossil record to back up Darwinian evolution.

8 comments:

Divers and Sundry said...

1979 was a long time ago. The current position statement of The Paleontological Society on the subject of evolution is, "Evolution is both a scientific fact and a scientific theory. Evolution is a fact in the sense that life has changed through time. In nature today, the characteristics of species are changing, and new species are arising. The fossil record is the primary factual evidence for evolution in times past, and evolution is well documented by further evidence from other scientific disciplines, including comparative anatomy, biogeography, genetics, molecular biology, and studies of viral and bacterial diseases. Evolution is also a theory – an explanation for the observed changes in life through Earth history that has been tested numerous times and repeatedly confirmed." You can read more about this international organization here.

Jason Woolever said...

hey D & S, I'll have to check out more about that society. I don't know anything about them.

correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most paleontologists reject the gradualism of Darwinian evolution, opting for something closer to puncuated equilibrium?

i think this is true, which would not contradict Raus's statement.

Anonymous said...

Jason,

To change the subject just a tad, you should look at the research and theology of Roman Catholic Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. May 1, 1881 – April 10, 1955) was a French Jesuit priest trained as a paleontologist and a philosopher, and was present at the discovery of Peking Man. Teilhard conceived such ideas as the Omega Point and the Noosphere.

Teilhard's primary book, The Phenomenon of Man, set forth a sweeping account of the unfolding of the cosmos. He abandoned a literal interpretation of creation in the Book of Genesis in favor of a metaphorical interpretation. This displeased certain officials in the Catholic Curia, who thought that it undermined the doctrine of original sin developed by Saint Augustine. Teilhard's position was opposed by his church superiors, and his work was denied publication during his lifetime by the Roman Holy Office.

Controversies about his line of thought centre on the question of whether or not the mission started by Christ was completed with his crucifixion, or whether mankind is meant to advance Christ's mission via the evolutionary process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin

Read this when you have insomnia, I had to read some of the stuff back in high school, Roman Catholic, back then.

Here's a great summary article written by Methodist theologian from South Africa.

http://www.theglobalsilkroad.com/Teilhard.doc


http://www.richmond.edu/~jpaulsen/teilhard/isnoogen.html


Teilhard gives witness to the reality of his faith in the Christ √Čvoluteur - " Christ, the Capstone of Evolution" in the Epilogue of the Human Phenomenon: The Christian Phenomenon, (PM pp. 293-294)

.

Read up on Christogenesis
http://www.wtu.edu/news/pdfs/Change-Delio.pdf

Exercise - Do a Google search on Christogenesis

Here's a great summary article written by Methodist theologian from South Africa.

http://www.theglobalsilkroad.com/Teilhard.doc
Let me know you thoughts on this. Some of the statements are perplexing at best and sound straight out of the theology of the Cylon "god" on BattleStar Galatica.

Jesus love you,



John Flores

Divers and Sundry said...

The Paleontological Society says, "The evolution paradigm has withstood nearly 150 years of scrutiny. Although the existence of evolution has been confirmed many times, as a science evolutionary theory must continue to be open to testing. At this time, however, more fruitful inquiries address the tempo and mode of evolution, various processes involved in evolution, and driving factors for evolution. Through such inquiry, the unifying theory of evolution will become an even more powerful explanation for the history of life on Earth." They accept evolutionary theory and continue to refine it. I think science has "evolved" quite a bit since Darwin first came out with his general ideas.

I don't know how much David Raup's views have changed since that 1979 quote (that was 28 years ago, after all).

I don't know much about the science of it as I don't have a scientific background. Because the theory of evolution is in no way in conflict with Christian religious belief I accept the current understanding of people in the relevant fields, in this case the current position statement of a professional paleontological organization. As I've said, if the scientific view changes, I'll accept their judgment on this particular issue. I have no personal loyalty to the theory of evolution but also no need (or expertise) to question their professional judgment.

Divers and Sundry said...

I did some googling and found a page that addresses the particular David Raup quote you posted on. I enjoy googling; everybody needs a hobby. (grin) Anyway, part of the site is set up to talk about the evolution issue and is from a pro-evolution pov. He offers this:

BEGIN QUOTE
In the Jehovah's Witnesses book Life: How did it get here? (and in many other places) we find the quote:

...we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information...

David M. Raup, Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin Vol. 50 #1 (January 1979) p. 25

I'm sure that Dr. Raup knew his fossils. But wait: just how did he finish that last sentence?

- what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic.

What Raup is actually talking about is the fact that several "simple" sequences have turned out to be complex sequences. His article in no way attacks evolution: he assumes throughout that all species have a single common ancestor. His point is that gradual change by natural selection is not the only mechanism of evolution. He actually spends much of the article proposing an additional mechanism, surname extinction.

Since he wrote this article, there have been breakthroughs in the study of microfossils. So, his comment about the shortage of fossil series is out of date."
END QUOTE

There are links to other supporting resources, but I didn't follow them.

It doesn't surprise me that Darwin's ideas have had to be modified over the last 150 years or that advances have been made in the field during that time. I'd worry more if the scientists were refusing to budge from Darwin's initial thoughts on this subject.

Jason Woolever said...

In one sense, no one could argue with the Paleontological Society's position. The word "evolution" can be used to talk about either microevolution or macroevolution. No one can deny microevolution. Microevolution is verifiable fact.

D & S, I appreciate your commitment to what you see as being true. The reason that I don't believe in macroevolution is that there is not scientific consensus on the fact that it happened, and especially not how it happened.

Macroevolution is in conflict with Christianity if it leads people to understand that the world could have been created without God. I would argue that it does.

Romans 1:18-21 talks about how humankind will be held accountable for how they examined the data that God expects to be interpreted as evidence of his existence.

If a theory leads people to examine the evidence and conclude that it could have happened without God, that is eternally harmful to that person. Notice the word "wrath" in Romans 1:18, and the words "futile in their thinking" and "hearts were darkened" in verse 21.

Divers and Sundry said...

Jason said, "D & S, I appreciate your commitment to what you see as being true."

I have tried to make it clear that I have no personal commitment to evolution. I am currently accepting the view of evolutionary biology, for example, from the professional biologists. That's all. If they change their understanding I will accept that just as easily. This in no way has an impact on my firm belief in the Truth that God created everything.

Jason wrote, "Macroevolution is in conflict with Christianity if it leads people to understand that the world could have been created without God. I would argue that it does."

The assertion that evolution is in conflict with Christianity is where I always end up with creationists. Creationists eventually end up telling me that an acceptance of evolutionary theory in incompatible with Christian faith. I disagree, obviously, but I've found no way to have productive discussions once someone has effectively said I can't be Christian if I accept evolution.

It starts out all about the science but ends up all about the religion.

I have enjoyed the discussion. Thank you.

Jason Woolever said...

So, from your experience, you're helping people who believe that can't be Christian if they accept evolution to believe that they can still be Christian. That's a good thing to do. I've enjoyed the discussion too.