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Monday, June 10, 2013
Two popular axioms of the modern era are these: The fossil record proves evolution, and you can find anything on the Internet. Paradoxically, the only thing you cannot find on the Internet is convincing proof of evolution in the fossil record (or at least pictures of the fossils themselves, which show a slow progression toward greater complexity from one species to another).
Since the Smithsonian archivists would probably balk at me rummaging through their collections, I decided to do the next best thing. I looked on the Internet. I went to Bing images (I wanted to see the picture themselves sans the dogma and rhetoric of the macro-evolution debate) and typed “transitional species fossils” in the search field and got an impressive 3,810 hits. By comparison, the search “unicorns” produced 1.5 million hits.
Out of the top 100 hits, exactly half were not photographs of fossils but were artists’ interpretations or computer-generated art work or loosely related subject matter. There was a picture of George Bush, seven cartoons, two salamanders (salamanders are the closest example macro-evolutionists have that resembles a fish with feet like the ubiquitous Darwin symbol seen conspicuously on car bumpers), a polar bear, an alligator with duck feet, etc.
There were, of course, many serious candidates for the Holy Grail of paleontology: irrefutable fossil evidence of speciation. By far the most impressive and numerous examples were the 17 pictures of archaeopteryx. Archaeopteryx, discovered more than 1 1⁄2 centuries ago, has long been touted as the “missing link” in the phylogeny of birds. Intuitively, it looks like a bird. Problems classifying archaeopteryx are many and varied, but two are noteworthy. One is that all of its features are highly specialized and not primitive or transitional. Another is that at least two species of birds have been found in strata older than that which contained archaeopteryx.
Second-place contenders consisted of three collections of humanoid skulls. Two of which begin with what appears to be modern chimpanzee skulls successively leading to modern humans. The chimpanzee skulls were there for comparison to the next earliest skull in the collection — Proconsul Africanus, which is strikingly similar to a modern gibbon, or Argyptopithecus, which resembles a howler monkey.
If the progenitor of man so closely resembled modern monkeys, then we need to ask, could even the mindless “Blind Watchmaker” of chance be so schizophrenic as to leave one branch in stasis for 30 million years and transform another branch so miraculously and profoundly?
All the collections of skulls contained several suspicious characters. One skull closely resembles Piltdown man. Piltdown man was proven to be a hoax after 40 years of notoriety. It was eventually discovered that Piltdown man actually consisted of an ape jaw and a human skull cap dyed to look similar.
There is a long history of fraud, conjecture from little data, and neo-Darwinian bias in the pantheon of missing links. Java man was discovered to be a human femur bone and an ape skull. Nebraska man was deduced from nothing more than the tooth of a pig. Ramapithecus was a small primate with the morphology of an orangutan.
Two illustrations of horse evolution are also notable. Both begin with a small extinct animal about the size of a small dog with hoofed toes called Hyracotherium.
The taxonomy of this “hyrax-type beast” is no longer considered equine. Although there is plenty of latitude and variation built into the genome of a given family or kind of animal, there are also limits to that variation. Modern horses range in size from 17 inches to 18 hands tall, but they do not have unicorn horns for the same reason they do not have multiple toes. Such phenomenal mutations would require irreducibly complex new information in their genetic code.
If macro-evolution were correct, we should expect our museums to contain scores of fossils of intermediate forms, thousands of boughs, branches and twigs instead of just the nodes of fully developed animals. Darwin’s prohibition of “great and sudden leaps” certainly runs counter to the “punctuated equilibrium” and “Cambrian explosion” sleight of hand deftly introduced by evolutionists to explain the lack of evidence in the geologic column.
Certainly, there are “mountains of evidence” for evolution to be found on the Internet even if much of it rests on one fossil. Yet, when you strip away all the artists’ interpretations, frauds and conjecture, the whole thing contracts and narrows to one small proof: one dubious bird.
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