The Fossil Record

Click to View



The Fossil Record
The Only Direct Evidence.

CARL DUNBAR, Yale, "Although the comparative study of living animals and plants may give very convincing circumstantial evidence, fossils provide the only historical, documentary evidence that life has evolved from simpler to more and more complex forms." HISTORICAL GEOLOGY, p. 47

S. M. Stanley, Johns Hopkins, "It is doubtful whether, in the absence of fossils, the idea of evolution would represent anything more than an outrageous hypothesis. ...The fossil record and only the fossil record provides direct evidence of major sequential changes in the Earth's biota." NEW EVOLUTIONARY TIMETABLE, p.72, 1981

HISTORICAL - NOT EMPIRICAL, JOHN H. HORNER "...paleontology is a historical science, a science based on circumstantial evidence, after the fact. We can never reach hard and fast conclusions in our study of ancient plants and animals... These days it's easy to go through school for a good many years, sometimes even through college, without ever hearing that some sciences are historical or by nature inconclusive." Dinosaur Lives, 1997, p.19

In Their "Beginning": Sudden; Complex; Diverse; Every Animal Phylum; Assumed History Missing

STEPHEN J. GOULD, HARVARD, "The Cambrian Explosion occurred in a geological moment, and we have reason to think that all major anatomical designs may have made their evolutionary appearance at that time. ...not only the phylum Chordata itself, but also all its major divisions, arose within the Cambrian Explosion. So much for chordate uniqueness... Contrary to Darwin's expectation that new data would reveal gradualistic continuity with slow and steady expansion, all major discoveries of the past century have only heightened the massiveness and geological abruptness of this formative event..." Nature, Vol.377, 26 10/95, p.682

Preston Cloud & Martin F. Glaessner, "Ever since Darwin, the geologically abrupt appearance and rapid diversification of early animal life have fascinated biologist and students of Earth history alike....This interval, plus Early Cambrian, was the time during which metazoan life diversified into nearly all of the major phyla and most of the invertebrate classes and orders subsequently known." Science, Aug.27, 1982

RICHARD Monastersky, Earth Science Ed., Science News, "The remarkably complex forms of animals we see today suddenly appeared. ...This moment, right at the start of the Earth's Cambrian Period...marks the evolutionary explosion that filled the seas with the earth's first complex creatures. ...'This is Genesis material,' gushed one researcher. ...demonstrates that the large animal phyla of today were present already in the early Cambrian and that they were as distinct from each other as they are today...a menagerie of clam cousins, sponges, segmented worms, and other invertevrates that would seem vaguely familiar to any scuba diver." Discover, p.40, 4/93

Richard Dawkins, Cambridge, "And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists. ...the only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animal types in the Cambrian era is divine creation...", The Blind Watchmaker, 1986, p229-230

TREES & FISH IN CAMBRIAN, John Repetski, U.S.Geol. Survey, "The oldest land plants now known are from the Early Cambrian... Approximately 60 Cambrian spore-genera are now on record...represent 6 different groups of vascular plants..." Evolution, V.13, 6/'59, p.264. Daniel I. Axelrod, UCLA, "This report of fish material from Upper Cambrian rocks further extends the record of the vertebrates by approximately 40 million years." [WY, OK, WA, NV, ID, AR] Science, Vol.200, 5 May, 1978, p.529

PATCH FAILED, "Over the decades, evolutionary theorists beginning with Charles Darwin have tried to argue that the appearance of multicelled animals during the Cambrian merely seemed sudden, and in fact had been preceded by a lengthy period of evolution for which the geological record was missing. But this explanation, while it patched over a hole in an otherwise masterly theory, now seems increasingly unsatisfactory. Since 1987, discoveries of major fossil beds in Greenland, in China, in Siberia, and now in Namibia have shown that the period of biological innovation occurred at virtually the same instant in geologic time all around the world. ...just as the peculiar behavior of light forced physicists to conclude that Newton's laws were incomplete, so the Cambrian explosion has caused experts to wonder if the twin Darwinian imperatives of genetic variation and natural selection provide an adequate framework for understanding evolution..." Time, 12/4, 1995, p.67, 74

BLIND FAITH, Douglas Futuyma, "It is considered likely that all the animal phyla became distinct before or during the Cambrian, for they all appear fully formed, without intermediates connecting one form to another." EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 1985, p.325

"Trees" Contradicted By Fossils, From Some Similarities, Ignoring Others

SEPARATE LIVING KINDS" Stephen J. Gould, Harvard, "Our modern phyla represent designs of great distinctness, yet our diverse world contains nothing in between sponges, corals, insects, snails, sea urchins, and fishes (to choose standard representatives of the most prominent phyla).", Natural History, p.15, Oct. 1990

SEPRATE FOSSIL KINDS" Valentine (U. CA) & Erwin (MI St.), "If we were to expect to find ancestors to or intermediates between higher taxa, it would be the rocks of the late Precambrian to Ordivician times, when the bulk of the world's higher animal taxa evolved. Yet traditional alliances are unknown or unconfirmed for any of the phyla or classes appearing then.", Development As An Evolutionary Process, p.84, 1987.

"TREES" NOT FROM FOSSILS, Steven J. Gould, Harvard, "The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of the fossils.", Nat.His., V.86, p.13

STORY TIME, COLIN PATTERSON, Senior Paleontologist, British Museum of Nat. History, "You say I should at least 'show a photo of the fossil from which each type or organism was derived.' I will lay it on the line--there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument." "It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another.... But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test. .... I don't think we shall ever have any access to any form of tree which we can call factual." HARPER'S, Feb.1984, p.56

ARBITRARY ARRANGEMENT, R.H.Dott, U.of Wis. & R.L.Batten, Columbia, AMNH, "We have arranged the groups in a traditional way with the 'simplest' forms first, and progressively more complex groups following. This particular arrangement is arbitrary and depends on what definition of 'complexity' you wish to choose. ...things are alike because they are related, and the less they look alike, the further removed they are from their common ancestor." EVOLUTION OF THE EARTH, p.602

Unrelated Look-Alikes, J.Z.Young, Prof. of Anatomy, Oxford, "...similar features repeatedly appear in distinct lines. ...Parallel evolution is so common that it is almost a rule that detailed study of any group produces a confused taxonomy. Investigators are unable to distinguish populations that are parallel new developments from those truly descended from each other." LIFE OF THE VERTEBRATES, p.779

similarity IS NoT genetic, Sir Gavin Debeer, Prof. Embry., U.London, Director BMNH, "It is now clear that the pride with which it was assumed that the inheritance of homologous structures from a common ancestor explained homology was misplaced; for such inheritance cannot be ascribed to identity of genes. The attempt to find homologous genes has been given up as hopeless." Oxford Biology Reader, p.16, Homology an Unsolved Problem

Embryonic Recapitulation?

R. H. DOTT, Univ. of WI, R. L BATTEN, Columbia Univ., A.M.N.H., "Much research has been done in embryology since Haeckel's day, and we now know that there are all too many exceptions to this analogy, and that ontogeny does not reflect accurately the course of evolution." EVOLUTION OF THE EARTH, p.86

SIMPSON & BECK, "Haeckel misstated the evolutionary principle involved. It is now firmly established that ontogeny does not repeat phylogeny."Intro.To Biology, 1965,p.273

KEITH S. THOMPSON, Academy of Natural Sciences, "Surely the biogenetic law is as dead as a doornail. It was finally exorcised from biology textbooks in the fifties. As a topic of serious theoretical inquiry, it was extinct in the twenties." American Scientist, 5/6, 1988, p.273 "Ontogeny and Phylogeny Recapitulated"

Ashley Montagu, "The theory of recapitulation was destroyed in 1921 by Professor Walter Garstang in a famous paper. Since then no respectable biologist has ever used the theory of recapitulation, because it was utterly unsound, created by a Nazi-like preacher named Haeckel." Montagu-Gish Prinston Debate, 4/12/1980

"EMBRYONIC FRAUD LIVES ON," "Although Hacckel confessed...and was convicted of fraud at the University of Jena, the drawings persist." New Scientist, p.23, 9/6/97

Significant Change Is Not Observed

BOTHERSOM distresS, STEPHEN J. Gould, Harvard , "Every paleontologist knows that most species don't change. That's bothersome....brings terrible distress. ....They may get a little bigger or bumpier but they remain the same species and that's not due to imperfection and gaps but stasis. And yet this remarkable stasis has generally been ignored as no data. If they don't change, its not evolution so you don't talk about it." Lecture at Hobart & William Smith College, 14/2/1980.

"DESIGNS," S.J.Gould, Harvard, "We can tell tales of improvement for some groups, but in honest moments we must admit that the history of complex life is more a story of multifarious variation about a set of basic designs than a saga of accumulating excellence. ...I regard the failure to find a clear 'vector of progress' in life's history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record. ...we have sought to impose a pattern that we hoped to find on a world that does not really display it." Natural History, 2/82, p.2

Required Transitional Forms Missing

DARWIN'S BIGGEST PROBLEM, "...innumerable transitional forms must have existed but why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? ...why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain, and this perhaps is the greatest objection which can be urged against my theory". Origin of the Species.

MORE EMBARRASSING, David M. Raup, U. Chicago; Ch. F. Mus. of N. H., "The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be. Darwin was completely aware of this. He was embarrassed by the fossil record because it didn't look the way he predicted it would.... Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. ....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 the result of more detailed information." F.M.O.N.H.B., Vol.50, p.35

PREDICTION FAILED, Niles Eldridge, Amer. Mus. N. H., "He [Darwin] 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 was wrong." The Myths of Human Evolution, p.45-46

Proposed Links "Debunked"

TEXTBOOK DECEIT, GEORGE G. SIMPSON, "The uniform, continuous transformation of Hyracotherium into Equus, so dear to the hearts of generations of textbook writers never happened in nature." LIFE OF THE PAST, p.119

THE HORSE "STORY", Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist British Museum of Natural History, "There have been an awful lot of stories, some more imaginative than others, about what the nature of that history [of life] really is. The most famous example, still on exhibit downstairs, is the exhibit on horse evolution prepared perhaps fifty years ago. That has been presented as the literal truth in textbook after textbook. Now I think that that is lamentable, particularly when the people who propose those kinds of stories may themselves be aware of the speculative nature of some of that stuff." Harper's, p. 60, 1984.

TEXTBOOK HORSES, Bruce MacFadden, FL Museum of Natural History & U. of FL "...over the years fossil horses have been cited as a prime example of orthogenesis ["straight-line evolution"] can no longer be considered a valid theory...we find that once a notion becomes part of accepted scientific knowledge, it is very difficult to modify or reject it" FOSSIL HORSES, 1994, p.27

STORY TIME OVER, Derek Ager, Swansea, Wales, "It must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student....have now been 'debunked.' Similarly, my own experience of more than twenty years looking for evolutionary lineages among the Mesozoic Brachiopoda has proved them equally elusive.", PROC. GEOL. ASSO., Vol.87, p.132

"FOSSIL BIRD SHAKES EVOLUTIONARY HYPOTHESES, "Fossil remains claimed to be of two crow-sized birds 75 million years older than Archaeopteryx have been found....a paleontologist at Texas Tech University, who found the fossils, says they have advanced avian features. ...tends to confirm what many paleontologists have long suspected, that Archaeopteryx is not on the direct line to modern birds." Nature, Vol.322, 1986 p.677

REPTILE TO BIRD W.E. SWINTON, "The origin of birds is largely a matter of deduction. There is no fossil evidence of the stages through which the remarkable change from reptile to bird was achieved." BIOLOGY & COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY OF BIRDS, Vol.1, p.1.

Systematic Gaps

orders, classes, & phyla, George Gaylord Simpson, Harvard, "Gaps among known species are sporatic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes, and phyla are systematic and almost always large.", EVOLUTION OF LIFE, p.149

GENUINE KNOWLEDGE, D.B. Kitts, U.of OK, "Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of "seeing" evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of 'gaps' in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them... The 'fact that discontinuities are almost always and systematically present at the origin of really big categories' is an item of genuinely historical knowledge.", Evolution, Vol.28, p. 467

NOT ONE! D.S. Woodroff, U.of CA, San Diego, "But fossil species remain unchanged throughout most of their history and the record fails to contain a single example of a significant transition." Science, Vol.208, 1980, p.716 STEPHEN M. STANLEY, Johns Hopkins U., "In fact, the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another." THE NEW EVOLUTIONARY TIMETABLE, 1981, p.95

EVIDENCE-A MATTER OF FAITH, A.C. Seward, Cambridge, "The theoretically primitive type eludes our grasp; our faith postulates its existence but the type fails to materialize." Plant Life Through the Ages, p.561

"WE KNEW BETTER", Niles Eldredge, Columbia U., American Museum Of Natural History, "And it has been the paleontologist- my own breed-who have been most responsible for letting ideas dominate reality: .... We paleontologist have said that the history of life supports that interpretation [gradual adaptive change], all the while knowing that it does not.", TIME FRAMES, 1986, p.144

Punctuated Equilibrium

Unobserved imagined scenario to explain missing evidence,based on fossils not found, mechanisms not observed

GOULD & ELDREDGE, "In fact, most published commentary on punctuated equilibria has been favorable. We are especially pleased that several paleontologists now state with pride and biological confidence a conclusion that had previously been simply embarrassing; 'all these years of work and I haven't found any evolution'. (R.A. REYMENT Quoted) "The occurrences of long sequences within species are common in boreholes and it is possible to exploit the statistical properties of such sequences in detailed biostratigraphy. It is noteworthy that gradual, directed transitions from one species to another do not seem to exist in borehole samples of microorganisms." (H.J. MACGILLAVRY Quoted) "During my work as an oil paleontologist I had the opportunity to study sections meeting these rigid requirements. As an ardent student of evolution, moreover, I was continually on the watch for evidence of evolutionary change. ...The great majority of species do not show any appreciable evolutionary change at all." Paleobiology, Vol.3, p.136

S. M. Stanley, Johns Hopkins "The record now reveals that species typically survive for a hundred thousand generations, or even a million or more, without evolving very much. We seem forced to conclude that most evolution takes place rapidly...a punctuational model of evolution...operated by a natural mechanism whose major effects are wrought exactly where we are least able to study them - in small, localized, transitory populations...The point here is that if the transition was typically rapid and the population small and localized, fossil evidence of the event would never be found." p.77, 110, New Evolutionary Timetable, 1981

Colin Patterson, B.M.N.H. "Well, it seems to me that they have accepted that the fossil record doesn't give them the support they would value so they searched around to find another model and found one. ...When you haven't got the evidence, you make up a story that will fit the lack of evidence." Darwin's EnigmA, p.100

Implication Of The Fossils

PALEONTOLOGY DOES NOT PROVE EVOLUTION, D.B. Kitts, U.of OK, "The claim is made that paleontology provides a direct way to get at the major events of organic history and that, furthermore, it provides a means of testing evolutionary theories. ...the paleontologist can provide knowledge that cannot be provided by biological principles alone. But he cannot provide us with evolution.", Evolution, Vol.28, p.466

DON'T USE THE FOSSILS, Mark Ridley, Oxford, "...a lot of people just do not know what evidence the theory of evolution stands upon. They think that the main evidence is the gradual descent of one species from another in the fossil record. ...In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation." New Scientist, June, 1981, p.831

FOSSILS INDICATE CREATION! E.J.H. Cornor, Cambridge "Much evidence can be adduced in favor of the Theory of Evolution from Biology, Biogeography, and Paleontology, but I still think that to the unprejudiced the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation." CONTEMPORARY BOTANICAL THOUGHT, p.61

Fossils Do Not Support Evolution. Fossils Are Positive Evidence For Creation!


Valentine (U. CA) & Erwin (MI St.), "We conclude that...neither of the contending theories of evolutionary change at the species level, phyletic gradualism or punctuated equilibrium, seem applicable to the origin of new body plans." Development As An Evolutionary Process, p.96, 1987.



NO VERTICAL CHANGE, NILES ELDRIDGE, Curator, American Museum Of Natural History, "The classic cases of 'living fossils' reveal a more pervasive conservatism: there seems to have been almost no change in any part we can compare between the living organism and its fossilized progenitors of the remote geological past. Living fossils embody the theme of evolutionary stability to an extreme degree. ...Against them we might pit the mutability, the evolutionary changeability, of disease-causing and antibiotic-resistant staphylo-coccus bacteria, malaria pathogens, or the dreaded retroviruses (that cause AIDS and other horrid afflictions): in the short term, at least, evolutionary change in these microbes is extremely rapid. And so we ask: what underlies this great disparity of evolutionary rates?" FOSSILS, 1991, p.100


PERCY E. RAYMOND, Prof. of Paleontology, Harvard , "It is evidence that the oldest Cambrian fauna is diversified and not so simple, perhaps, as the evolutionists would hope to find it. Instead of being composed chiefly of protozoans, it contains no representatives of that phylum but numerous members of seven higher groups are present, a fact which shows that the greater part of the major differentiation of animals had already taken place in those ancient times.", PREHISTORIC LIFE, 1967 p.23


H.S. Ladd, UCLA, "Most paleontologists today give little thought to fossiliferous rocks older than the Cambrian, thus ignoring the most important missing link of all. Indeed the missing Pre-Cambrian record cannot properly be described as a link for it is in reality, about nine-tenths of the chain of life: the first nine-tenths.", Geo. So. of Am. Mem. 1967, Vol.II, p.7




Click to View