Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Gaps in the Fossil Record

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on March 18, 2009

[Originally posted at: Life Without A Net]

Thanks again to my reader, Russ, for inspiring a blog entry.  In a recent thread, Russ pointed me to a propoganda piece by the Institute for Creation Research.  I say propaganda because actual research has not been forthcoming from the institute since its inception.  Let me make this abundantly clear:  The Institute for Creation Research has not published a single falsifiable scientifically derived prediction which has held up to scrutiny.  Not one.  What they do is publish half truths and outright lies about evolution and the sciences contributing to our understanding of the process.

I’m not going to dismantle this website point by point as I’m sure it’s been done by someone more competent and eloquent than me.  However, I want to address a very common claim by Creation Scientists (sic!).   It is said that the geologic column is incomplete, and that there are huge gaps where there ought to be gradual change.  

What these poor scientific illiterates do not understand is that according to the theory of natural selection, we should not expect to find a complete record.  In fact, the very things which cause speciation to occur would necessarily cause gaps in the fossil record.

To begin with, we must understand that speciation is a very, very long process in most cases.  In a single population, it is extraordinarily rare for a new species to just appear.  This is because of interbreeding.  Any new beneficial adaptation is overwhelmingly likely to be quite small, and it is also overwhelmingly likely to spread through the population relatively quickly, in evolutionary terms.

[Originally posted at: Life Without A Net]

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