Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 2
Chapter 17 Appendix Part 1
FOSSILS AND STRATA
The only past evidence available to us of the evolution from one species through transitional species to others is the fossil record in the sedimentary rock strata.
*McLoughlin assures us that the proof of evolution is available, and that it is to be found in the evidence in the rocks.
[After considering Archbishop Ussher's famous chronology as being a search for the limits of time on our planet:] "Today we continue Archbishop Ussher's search, but we now use a far more accurate source of information than his Bible. From the beginning of its history, the earth has maintained a detailed geological journal . . " —*J. C. McLoughlin, Archosauria (1979), p. 1.
The case for evolution rests in the rocks.
"If evolution has taken place, there [on the rocks] will its mark be left: if it has not taken place, there will be its refutation." —H. Enoch, quoting T.H. Huxley in Evolution or Creation, (1966), p. 51.
*Pierre Grass agrees.
"Naturalists must remember that the process of evolution is revealed only through fossil forms. A knowledge of paleontology is, therefore a prerequisite; only paleontology can provide the evidence of evolution and reveal its course or mechanism." —*Pierre Paul Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms (1977), p. 4.
The evidence for the theory that counts will be evidence shown in the sedimentary strata.
"The really crucial evidence for evolution must be provided by the paleontologist whose business it is to study the evidence of the fossil record." —*W.E. Le Gros Clark (1955), p. 7.
It can provide us with the only evidence available.
"Evolution, if it has occurred, can in a rather loose sense be called a historical process; and therefore, to show that it has occurred, historical evidence is required . . The only evidence available is that provided by the fossils." —*W.R. Thompson, Introduction to *Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species (1956 ed.).
But the truth is that the geological evidence is of little help to the evolutionary cause.
"Geology, however, has been notably unforthcoming, and instead of being the chief support of Darwin's theory, it is one of its moat serious weaknesses." —*Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution (1962), p. 330.
Facts supporting evolution are not to be found in the fossils, so faith alone must suffice.
"The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution based on faith alone, exactly the same sort of faith which it is necessary to have when one encounters the great mysteries of religion." —*Louis Trenchard More, The Dogma of Evolution (1925). [Dean of Graduate School of University of Cincinnati, and a staunch evolutionist.]
*Darwin's champion and "bulldog" admitted the total absence of evidence from the strata for evolutionary theory.
"To say, therefore, in the admitted absence of evidence [for evolution], that I have any belief as to the mode in which the existing forms of life have originated would be using words in a wrong sense. . I have no right to call my opinion anything but an act of philosophical faith." —*Thomas Henry Huxley, Discourses Biological and Geological (1896 ad.), pp. 256-257.
*Allen deplores the sorry state of historical geology, which encompasses both paleontology (fossil study) and stratigraphy (strata study), which is supposed to provide us with evidence from the past for the evolution of plants, animals, and man.
"Because of the sterility of its concepts, historical geology, which includes paleontology and stratigraphy, has become static and unproductive. Current methods . . of establishing chronology are of dubious validity. Worse than that, the criteria of correlation—the attempt to equate in time, a synchronize the geological history of one area with that of another—are logically vulnerable. The findings of historical geology are suspect because the principles upon which they are based are either inadequate, in which case they should be discarded or reformulated. Most of us refuse to discard or reformulate, and the result is the present deplorable state of our discipline." —*Robin S. Allen, "Geological Correlation anal Paleoecology," Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, January 1948, p. 2.
A London anatomy professor summarizes it in this manner:
"Paleontology, or the study of fossils, provides the really crucial evidence concerning the evolution of the Hominidae in the past. However extensive and compelling it may be, the evidence for evolution based on the study of red living today can be only indirect. . Direct evidence of evolution must depend on actual demonstration from the fossil record of a succession of stages representing the transformation of ark ancestral into a descendant type. . That evolution did occur can be scientifically established only by fossilized representative samples of those intermediate types that have been postulated on the basis of indirect evidence." —*Michael Day, article, "Man," in Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 11 (19n ed.), p. 420.
2. THE FOSSIL HUNTERS
Millions of fossil specimens have boon located, preserved, shipped to universities and museums for study and categorization and then stored. How do men obtain and process them
1 - Selecting the area to search. Fossil seekers—whether they be amateur rock hounds, pebble puppies, or professional paleontologists; first go to locations where larger quantities of fossils have been discovered. For example, If one wants to find dinosaurs he will probably go to Colorado, Wyoming, or Alberta, Canada. The best collecting areas are those places where wind, water, or highway excavation has cut deep into the rocks and exposed large areas. In such paces, one does not have to dig as far to find fossils.
2 - Beginning the search Plants or invertebrate (backboneless) animals will be found inside rocks, so the fossil hunter split rocks open to locate them. To find the larger animals, a search is made for fragments of bone which might be sticking out of the ground. Then other bones must be found that match it. The searcher begins with larger tools, but switches to smaller ones when he comes to the bones. Final cleaning of skeletons is done with small awls and paintbrushes.
3 - Protecting the finds in the field As each bone is uncovered, it is given a protective coating of shellac or a quick-drying plastic. Then it is covered with strips of wet paper, over which are wrapped strips of burlap dipped in plaster of saris. This forms a protective "jacket." Larger bones may be strengthened by placing sticks inside the jacket. When the plaster has hardened, the specimen is rolled over and a jacket is places do the other side.
4 - Final work back in the museum Upon arriving at the museum, it is then fully uncovered, given a better cleaning, and plaster is added to fill out broken or missing parts. The piece is then classified and either added to the already, huge fossil stockpiles, or, if it is a particularly good specimen, it may be put on display.
Specimens for display are mounted. For a shelf mount, specimens are merely cleaned and set on a shelf for people to look at. For a bas-relief mount, technicians clean off the best side of the skeleton, strengthen the other side with plaster, and then fasten the slab to the wall. For a free mount, each bone is removed from the rock, cleaned, and strengthened. Then a small model is made to indicate the position of all the bones in the finished mount. A steel framework is welded together, and the bones are fastened to the outside of the framework, hiding the steel. Once completed, the skeleton appears to stand by itself.
5 - Has it been worth it? When you stop to think about it, millions of man-hours and entire lives have been devoted to the urgent task of finding transitional species. But it has been a total failure; all the paleontologists have found have been distinct species. In addition, there is nothing inherent in the fossils or the strata by which to date any of the rocks or their contents.
3. THE EXPERTS SPEAK
The scientists themselves recognize that the flaws !n the fossil evidence are simply too great. The rocks and their fossils simply do not support evolutionary theory:
*Charles Darwin recognized in his time that the fossil evidence was lacking for the origin of species and their transition from one species to another. But he said that later fossil discoveries would vindicate his position. Yet a century of fossil exploration has failed to do that.
"Darwin set aside most of the fossil evidence for evolution with the proposal that it was massively incomplete. But there were polemic rather than scientific reasons for this attitude because he insisted on gradualistic evolution which most fossils did not substantiate. But the fossil record can no longer be set aside as woefully incomplete. More than 100 years of study demand instead that the gradualistic concept be reassessed." —*J.B. Waterhouse, "The Role of Fossil Communities in the Biostratigraphical Record and in Evolution," in *J. Gray and *A.J. Boucot, "Historical Biogeography, Plate Tectonics, and the Changing Environment" (1979), in Proceedings of the 37th Annual Biology Colloquium (1979), P. 249-250.
So little paleontolgical evidence is available, that Darwinism has to be read into the rocks,, not out of them!
"The record of the rocks is decidedly against evolutionists." —*Sir William Dawson, Geologist.
The fossilized record book declares that evolution is based on faith alone.
The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone; exactly the same sort of faith which it is necessary to have when one encounters the great mysteries of religion. The changes that are noted as time progresses show no orderly and no consecutive evolutionary chain, and above all, they give us no clue whatever as to the cause of variations. Evolutionists would have us believe that they have photographed a succession of fauna and flora, and have arranged them on a vast moving picture 51m. The evidence from paleontology is for discontinuity [separate species]; only by faith and imagination is there continuity [evolution] of variation." —*Louis T. More, The Dogma of Evolution, also presented in a series of lectures delivered at Princeton University.
The fossil evidence provides no particular evidence in support of evolutionary theory:
"The fossil record doesn't even provide any evidence in support of Darwinian theory except in the weak sense that the fossil record is compatible with it; just as it is compatible with other evolutionary theories, and revolutionary theories, and special creationist theories and even ahistorical [nonhistorical] theories. " —*David B. Kitts, "Search for the Holy Transformation," Paleobiology, Vol. 5, Summer 1979, p. 353.
"No real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution over special creation." —*Mark Ridley, "Who Doubts Evolution?" New Scientist, Vol. 90, June 25, 1981, p. 831.
"But the facts of paleontology conform equally well with other interpretations. . e.g., divine creation, etc., and paleontology by itself can neither prove nor refute such ideas." —*Dwight Davis, "Comparative Anatomy and the Evolution of Vertebrates." in *Jepsen, *Mayr and *Simpson (sort. hors), Genetics, Paleontology and Evolution (1949), p. 74.
"The fossil evidence could be consistent with the idea of a Great Designer." —*Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980). P. 29.
Adherence to Darwin's theory has locked paleontologists into a position which their research does not vindicate:
"Contrary to popular myths, Darwin and Lyell were not the heroes of true science . . Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." —*Stephen Jay Gould, "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History, Vol. 88, May 1977, p. 12, 14. [Gould is a professor at Harvard University teaching geology, biology, and the history of science.]
The fossil hunters have little hope that their profession will accomplish its task within the foreseeable future.
"Likewise, paleontologists do their best to make sense out of the fossil record and sketch in evolutionary sequences or unfossilized morphologies without realistic hope of obtaining specific verification within the foreseeable future." —*Donald R. Griffin, "A Possible Window on the Minds of Animals," American Scientist, Vol. 84, September-October 1978, p. 534.
The geologic column theory of evolution is supposed to show gradual evolutionary progression of life forms, but it fails to do just that:
"The three-leveled, five-kingdom system may appear, at first glance, to record an inevitable progress in the history of life that I have often opposed in these columns. Increasing diversity and multiple transitions seem to reflect a determined and inexorable progression toward higher things. But the paleontolgical record supports no such interpretation. There has been no steady progress in the higher development of organic design." —*Stephen J. Gould, Natural History, 85(8):37 (1978).
Not only Christians, but scientists—and even paleontologists—are coming to the conclusion that Darwin's theory is incorrect.
"Evolution . . is not only under attack by fundamentalist Christians, but is also being questioned by reputable scientists. Among Paleontologist, scientists who study the fossil record, there is growing dissent from the prevailing view of Darwinism." —*James Gorman, "The Tortoise or the Hare?" Discover, October 1980, p. 88
The facts written in the rocks are totally separate from the theories taught by evolutionists.
"So the geological time scale and the basic facts of biological change over time are totally independent of evolutionary theory.
"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." —*David M. Raup, "Evolution and Me Fossil Record " in Science, July 17, 1981, p. 289.
Evolutionary theory is a false science, founded on assumptions based on assumptions.
"Through use or abuse of hidden postulates, of bolo, often ill-founded extrapolations, a pseudoscience has been seated. It is taking root in the very heart of biology and is leading astray many biochemists and biologists, who sincerely believe that the accuracy of fundamental concepts has been demonstrated, which is not the case." —*P. Grasse, in The Evolution of Living Organisms (1977), p. 8.
The transitional forms are just not there.
"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. 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 fossils." —Op. cit., p. 14.
Only the fossil record can provide past evidence of evolution, and this it does not do.
"Although the fossil record forms our only direct evidence of the course of evolutionary. . history, it is notoriously incomplete." –*J. W. Valentine, "Phanerozoic Taxonomic Diversity: a Test of Alternate Models, " in Science, 180(4090)1078-1079.
If evolutionary theory had been correct, vast numbers of transitional species ought to have been found.
"Even if a number of species were known to biology which were indeed perfectly intermediate, possessing organ systems that were unarguably transitional in the sense required by the evolutionary model of nature, to refute typology and securely validate evolutionary claims would necessitate hundreds of thousands or even thousands [of thousands] of different species, all unambiguously intermediate in terms of their overall biology and the physiology and anatomy of all their organ systems." —*Michael Denton, in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 117.
*Hoffman tells us that all the arguments among the fossil hunters may have helped them understand what they are trying to accomplish, but it has not helped them accomplish it. The task before them has been to provide evidence of evolution.
"All the recent paleobiological debates have, in my opinion, contributed much to the conceptualization of paleobiological research itself, but nothing to evolutionary biology. This is not to say that paleobiologists cannot contribute to evolutionary biology. I contend only that they have not done so." —*A. Hoffman, "Paleobiology at the Crossroads: a Critique of some Modern Paleobiological Research Programs," in Dimensions of Darwinism (1983), p. 241.
A leading expert on fossils suggests not only that transitional fossil species are not existent, but that the theory being pursued is a will-of-the-wisp that is little more than a scholastic myth:
"I conclude that instances of fossils overturning theories of relationship based on Recent organisms are very rare, and may be nonexistent. It follows that the widespread belief that fossils are the only or best means of determining evolutionary relationships is a myth. Tracing how this myth came to be an article of faith among biologists [an 'Idol of the Academy'] should be an interesting study in the sociology of science; it seems to have followed, as an unquestioned corollary, from acceptance of evolution." —*Colin Patterson, "Significance of Fossils in Determining Evolutionary Relationships," in Annual Review Ecology and Systematics (1981), p. 218.
The evidence is lacking for the theory that living forms all descended from a common ancestor.
"The attempt to explain all living forms in terms of an evolution from a unique source, though a brave and valid attempt, is one that is premature and not satisfactorily supposed by present-day evidence." —*G. Kerkut, in Implications of Evolution (1977), p. 6.
Pitman provides us with an excellent summary of the problem:
"Cambrian rocks exhibit an explosion of life, so termed. All kingdoms and subkingdoms are represented in the geologic record from here onward. So are all classes except vertebrates, insects, moss corals, and the extinct trilobites and graptolites. Divisions of the plant kingdom, except algae and fungi, appear later. No new phylum (a division) has arisen for 350 million years, and there is a complete absence of transitional series between any two phyla. In excess of 5,000 species adorn the Cambrian layers." —*Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 190.
Here is a companion statement:
"Evolution has to explain not only persistent species but persistent kinds. As regards classification, all kingdoms and subkingdoms are represented from the Cambrian onward. All classes of the animal kingdom are represented from the Cambrian onward except insects (Devonian onward) and (perhaps) vertebrates and moss-corals from the Ordovician [onward]. All phyla in the plant kingdom are represented from the Triassic onward except bacteria, algae, (algae, with bacteria and fungi, occur from the pre-Cambrian onward); mosses and horsetails (Silurian onward); diatoms (Jurassic onward) and flowering plants (Cretaceous onward). As we noted earlier, orders and families (as well as kingdoms, phyla and classes) appear suddenly in the fossil record, with no indication of transitional forms from earlier types. The is the case even for most genera and species. Index-fossil sequences such as micraster, ammonites and trilobites indicate only variation ('microevolution')." —*Op. cit., p. 236.
The study of fossils reveals "vast stretches of little or no change and one evolutionary burst that created the entire system."
"Increasing diversity and multiple transitions seem to reflect a determined and inexorable progression toward higher things. But the paleontological record supports no such interpretation. There has been no steady progress in the higher development of organic design. We have had, instead, vast stretches of little or no change and one evolutionary burst that created the entire system." —*Stephen Jay Gould, "The Five Kingdoms, "in Natural History, June-July 1976, p. 37.
When new species did appear, they appeared suddenly, and with no links to previous species.
"New species almost always appeared suddenly in the fossil record with no intermediate links to ancestors in older rocks of the same region." —*S.J. Gould, "Evolution's Erratic Pace," in Natural History, May 1977, p. 12.
Evolutionary theory is based on group preferences, rather than on any scientific data:
"I know that at least in paleoanthropology, data are still so sparse that theories heavily influence interpretations. Theories have, in the past, clearly reflected our current ideologies instead of actual data." —*David Pilbeam, "Rearranging our Family Tree," in Human Nature June: 45 (1978). [Yale University.]
Fossil experts well know that the evidence in the sedimentary rocks provides no defense against the Creationist view that God created the world:
"No real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation." —*Mark Ridley, "Who Doubts Evolution?" in New Scientist, 90:830-831(1981). (Oxford University zoologist.)
4. UNIFORMITARIANISM VS. CATASTROPHISM
The theory of uniformitarianism teaches that "all things continue as they were from the beginning" (2 Peter 3:4; read 2 Peter 3:3-7). This theory declares that all past history has been just like our own time in regard to flooding, atmospheric conditions, and orogenic (mountain building) activity. In contrast, Creationists hold to the position that a massive cataclysm of immense proportions occurred only a few thousand years ago. That crisis was the Genesis Flood, recorded in Genesis 8 to 9.
* Lyell was the first to widely champion the theory of uniformitarianism.
"Opposed to the line of thinking was Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875), a contemporary of Cuvier, who held that earth changes were gradual, taking place at the same uniform slowness that they are today. Lyell is thus credited with the propagation of the premise that more or less has guided geological thought ever since, namely, that the present is the key to the past. In essence, Lyell's doctrine of uniformitarianism stated that past geological progress operated in the same manner and at the same rate it does today." —*J. H. Zumberge, Elements of Geology, 2nd. Edition, (1963), p. 200.
The uniformitarian theory provides a neatly-wrapped package, inside of which is the evolutionary geologic theory:
"This is the great underlying principle of modern geology and is known as the principle of uniformitarianism . . Without the principle of uniformitarianism there could hardly be a science of geology that was more than pure description." —*William Thornbury, Principles of Geomorphology (1954), pp. 16-17.
"Uniformitarian thinking compels us to recognize, in the record of the rocks, the slow unfolding of diverse sequence of events whose full display is beyond our comprehension." —*W. Dickinson, "Uniformitarianism and Plate Tectonics," in Science 174:107.
(We should here mention that there is a type of uniform pattern in nature with which we can well agree: the unalterable laws governing the natural world.)
"Uniformitarianism is a dual concept. Substantive uniformitarianism (a testable theory of geologic change postulating uniformity of rates of material conditions) is false and stifling to hypothesis formation. Methodological uniformitarianism (a procedural principle asserting spatial and temporal invariance of natural laws) belongs to the definition of science and is not unique to geology." —*Stephen Jay Gould, "Is Uniformitarianism Necessary?" American Journal of Science, Vol. 263, March 1985, p. 223. (Harvard University.)
"Substantive uniformitarianism as a descriptive theory has not withstood the test of new data and can no longer be maintained in any strict manner." —*S J. Gould, "Is Uniformitarianism Necessary?" in Journal of Paleontology, March, 1956, p. 227.
It has been admitted that one reason uniformitarianism was adopted was as an attempt to explain geological evidence for the Genesis Flood in a totally different way:
"Frequently the doctrine of uniformitarianism is used fruitfully to explain the anti-catastrophist viewpoint of history." —*James W. Valentine, "The Present is the Key to the Present," Journal of Geological Education, Vol. XIV, April 1986, p. 60.
"It is both easy and tempting.. to adopt a neocatastrophist attitude to the fossil record . . This is a heady wine and has intoxicated paleontologists since the day when they could blame it all on Noah's flood." —*Derek V. Alter, The Nature of the Stratigraphical record, p. 19.)Department of Geology and Oceanography, University Cc" of Swansea, England.]
"Catastrophism is a fighting word among Geologists. It is a theory based on divine intervention, and its adherents held that the history of the earth and life on it were moved by a series of disasters inspired by God." —*Newsweek, December 23, 1963
But there are other scientists who object, declaring that the uniformitarian theory is totally inaccurate, when viewed in accordance with the facts:
"There are many other reasons why we should not blandly accept the doctrine of uniformitarianism." —*E. Haylmun, "Should We Teach Uniformitarianism?" in Journal of Geological Education, 19 (1971) p. 36.
*Dunbar was perhaps the leading geologic authority of the 1950s. Here is his statement:
"The uprooting of such fantastic beliefs [of the catastrophist] began with the Scottish geologist, James Hutton, whose Theory of the Earth, published in 1785, maintained that the present is the key to the past and that, given sufficient time, processes now at work could account for all the geologic features of the globe. This philosophy, which came to be known as the doctrine of uniformitarianism, demands an immensity of time; it has not gained universal acceptance among intelligent and informed people." —*C.O. Dunbar, Historical Geology, 2nd Edition, (1960), p. 18.
There are simply too many flaws in the uniformitarian theory.
"The hurricane, the flood, or the tsunami may do more in an hour or a day than the ordinary processes of nature have achieved in a thousand years." —*Derek V. Ager, The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, p. 49.
In fact, there are serious-minded scientists today who believe that catastrophic conditions have indeed occurred in the past.
Of late there has been a serious rejuvenation of catastrophism in geologic thought. This defies logic; there is no science of singularities. If catastrophe is not a uniform process, there is no rational basis for understanding the past. For those who would return us to our Babylonian heritage of 'science' by revelation and possibility, we must insist that the only justifiable key to the past is probability and the orderliness of natural process; if uniformity is not the key, there is no key in the rational sense, and we should pack up our boots and go home." —*B. W. Brown, "Induction, Deduction, and Irrationality in Geologic Reasoning, Geology, Vol. 2, September 1974, p. 456.
There are scientists who are anxious to get rid of the uniformitarian concept, declaring it to be foolishness:
Accepting the principle of the rare event as a valid concept made it even more desirable to retire the term 'uniformitarianism. ' " —*P. Gretener, "Significance of the Rare Event in Geology, " in Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 51 (1967) p. 2205.
"Substantive uniformitarianism as a descriptive theory has not withstood the test of new data and can no longer be maintained in any strict manner." —*S. Gould, "Is Uniformitarianism Useful, "in Journal of Geological Education, 15 (1967) p. 150.
"Conventional uniformitarianism, or 'gradualism,' i.e., the doctrine of unchanging change, is verily contradicted by all post-Cambrian sedimentary data and the geotectonic histories of which these sediments are the record." —*P. Krynine, "Uniformitarianism is a dangerous Doctrine, " in Paleontology, 30 (1956) p. 1004.
"The present is the key to the past" is the definition of uniformitarianism.
"The present is the key to the past . . No causes whatever have from the earliest time . . to the present, ever acted, but those now acting: and they have never acted with different degrees of energy from that which they now exert." —*R. Moors, The Earth We Live On (1911), pp. 145-146.
Even this standard definition of uniformitarianism is ridiculed by thinking scientists:
It seems unfortunate that uniformitarianism, a doctrine which has so important a place in history of geology, should continue to be misrepresented in introductory texts and courses by 'the present is the key to the past,' a maxim without much credit." —*J. Valentine, "The Present is the Key to the Present, " in Journal of Geological Education, 14 (1966) p. 59-60.
"The present does not provide a complete key to the past, for we cannot find good samples today of all phenomena found in the ancient world." —*Robert H. Dots and "Roger L. Batten, Evolution of the Earth (1971), p. 210.
There are scientists who recognize that the uniformitarianism view is too simplistic. For, indeed, how dare anyone try to specify what the world has been like through all past time?
From a purely scientific point of view, it is unwise to accept uniformitarianism as unalterable dogma.. (One) should never close his mind to the possibility that conditions in past geological time were different than today." —*James H. Zumberge, Elements of Geology (1963), p. 201.
"In dealing with rocks formed when the world was less than half of its present age, a strict adherence to the doctrine of uniformitarianism is considered unjustified." —*A. Y. Glikson, Early Precambrian Tonalite, in Earth Science Reviews, 15(1)2.
There is no scientific law which requires that uniformitarianism be true.
Actually, the assumption that process rates must be uniform is without scientific backing. There is no scientific law which requires a natural event always to proceed at a constant rate. A scientific law only describes an event under a fixed set of conditions and as conditions vary, so does the rate. Conditions, not scientific law, determine the rate of process." —S. Nevins, "A Scriptural Groundwork for Historical Geology, " Symposium on Creation II (1970), p. 88.
"Factors may exist which scientists have not yet discovered. To insist that present rates or material conditions are average for all geological time rests entirely upon uniformitarian assumption." —Ibid.
Uniformitarianism is unproved, unprovable, and contrary to the evidence around us.
"The very foundation of our science is only an inference: for the whole of it rests on the unprovable assumption that all through the inferred lapse of time which the inferred performance of inferred geological processes involves, they have been going on in a manner consistent with the laws of nature as we now know them. We seldom realize the magnitude of that assumption." —*W. Davis, The Value of Outrageous Geological Hypothesis, " Science 83; May 7, 1926; pp. 485-468.
There is simply too much data coming to light, for uniformitarianism to survive.
[Noting the subtropical conditions earlier existing in North America, Europe, Siberia, and Australia:] "If so, the present is not a very good key to the past in terms of climate."— *Robert H. Dolt and *Roger L Batten, Evolution of the Earth (1971), p. 298.
There is evidence of massive geological catastrophes at some time in the past:
"The diatomite fossil beds in Santa Barbara County, California, contain striking evidence of a sudden catastrophe. Fish fossils are heavily matted together in foot-thick layers so well preserved they retain a fish odor when a fragment is broken.
"There are many indications that the fish were suddenly trapped. The fossils show wide open gasping mouths, fins widely spread, back fiercely arched, body twisted, and head back. Many fossil fish are partly on end through bedding planes of the rock." —Erich A. von Fange, "Time Upside Down," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1974, p. 22 also see CRSQ, 6(3):129-135).
"Over an area of more than 10,000 sq. miles fish remains are found bearing unequivocally marks of violent death. The figures are contorted, contracted, curved; the tail in many cases is bent around to the head, the spines stick out, the fins are spread to the full." —*H. Miller, Old Red Sandstones, pp. 221.
Consider this violation of uniformitarian theory:
"The recent report of the discovery of a fossil skeleton of a baleen whale in a diatomaceous earth quarry in Lompoc, California, should be of unusual interest to Creationists.
" 'The whale is standing on end in the quarry and is being exposed gradually as the diatomite is mined. Only the head and a small part of the body are visible as yet. The modern baleen whale is 80 to 90 feet long and has a head of similar size [to the one just discovered], indicating that the fossil may be close to 80 feet long.'
"No comment was made concerning the implications of such a unique discovery. However, the fact that the whale is 'standing on end,' as well as the fact that it is buried in diatomaceous earth, would strongly suggest that it was buried under very unusual and rapid catastrophic conditions. The vertical orientation of the whale is also very similar to observations of vertical tree trunks extending through several successive coal seams. Such phenomena cannot easily be explained by uniformitarian theories, but fit readily into a historical framework based upon the recent and dynamic universal flood described in Genesis." —Larry S. Helmick, "Whale Skeleton Found in Diatomaceous Earth Quarry," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1977, p. 70.
In graphic terms (and one long sentence!), a scientist lists a number of examples of catastrophes that can suddenly and unexpectedly occur:
"Hurricanes of global magnitude, of forests burning and swept away, of dust, stones, fire, and ashes falling from the sky, of mountains melting like wax, of lava flowing from riven ground, of boiling sea, of bituminous rain, of shaking ground and destroyed cities, of humans seeking refuge in caverns and fissures of the rock in the mountains, of oceans upheaved and falling on the land, of tidal waves moving toward the poles and back, of land becoming sea by submerging and the expanse of sea fuming into desert, islands born and others drowned, mountain ridges leveled and others rising, of crowds of rivers seeking new beds, of sources that disappeared and others that became bitter, of great destructions in the animal kingdom, of decimated mankind, of migrations, of heavy clouds of dust covering the face of the earth for decades, of magnetic disturbances, of changed climates, of displaced cardinal points and altered latitudes, of disrupted calendars and of sundials and water clocks that point to changed length of day, month, and year, mountains springing from plains and other mountains leveled, strata folded and pressed together and overturned and moved and put on top of other formations, melted rock flooding enormous areas of land with miles-thick sheets, ocean and lake shores tilted or raised or lowered as much as a thousand feet, whales cast out of oceans onto mountains." —*Immanuel Velikovsky, Earth in Upheaval (1955).
5. INDEX FOSSILS
So-called "index fossils" are the key to all geologic stratigraphic dating. Yet, as we have observed earlier in this chapter, they constitute a woefully inadequate means of dating rocks. There simply is no reliable method of dating an "index fossil," yet that is a fact which most geologists and paleontologists refuse to consider. Here are admissions by experts that it is index fossils, and the theory behind them, which are the basis of fossil and strata dating:
The fossils are dated by the fossils:
"In each sedimentary stratum certain fossils seem to be characteristically abundant: these fossils are known as index fossils. If in a strange formation an index fossil is found, it is easy to date that particular layer of rock and to correlate it with other exposures in distant regions containing the same species." —*J.E. Ransom, Fossils in America (1984), p. 43.
The formations are dated by the fossils:
"The primary divisions of the geological time scale are, as we have just seen, based on changes in life, with the result that fossils alone determine whether a formation belongs to one or the other of these great divisions." —*Amadeus William Gragau, Principles of Stratigraphy 2nd ed. (1924), p. 1103.
Geologic events are dated by the fossils:
"The only chronometric scale applicable. . for dating geologic events exactly is furnished by the fossils." —*O.H. Schindewolf, "Comments on some Stratigraphic Terms," in American Journal of Science, June 1957, p. 394.
All sedimentary rocks are dated by the fossils:
"These systems, although actually arbitrary groupings of the stratified rocks of particular regions, have come into common use as the primary divisions for the rocks whenever chronological sequence is considered. In describing any newly discovered fossiliferous strata in any part of the earth, the first step to be taken in giving them a scientific definition is to assign them to one or other of the systems upon evidence of the fossils found in them. The character of the rocks themselves, their composition or their mineral content, have nothing to do with settling the question as to the particular system to which the new rocks belong. The fossils alone are the means of correlation." —*Henry S. Williams, Geological Biology (1895), pp. 37-38.
The rocks are correlated by the fossils:
"No paleontologist worthy of the name would ever date his fossils by the strata in which they are found . . Ever since William Smith at the beginning of the 19th century, fossils have been and still are the best and most accurate method of dating and correlating the rocks in which they occur." —*Derek Ager, "Fossil Frustrations," New Scientist, November 10, 1983, p. 425.
Only the fossils are considered:
"The character of the rocks themselves, their composition, or their mineral contents have nothing to do with settling the question as to the particular system [age level] to which the new rocks belong. The fossils alone are the means of correlation." —*Henry Shaler Williams, Geological Biology (1895), p. 38. [Yale University.]
6. CIRCULAR REASONING
"Circular reasoning" is a method of false logic, by which "this is used to prove that, and that is used to prove this. " It is also called "reasoning in a circle." Over a hundred years ago it was described by the phrase, circulus in probando, which is Latin for "a circle in a proof. "
There are several types of circular reasoning found in support of evolutionary theory. One of these is the geological dating position that "fossils are dated by the type of stratum they are in, while at the same time the stratum is dated by the fossils found in it." An alternative evolutionary statement is that "the fossils and rocks are interpreted by the theory of evolution, and the theory is proven by the interpretation given to the fossils and rocks."
In other chapters, we will find that circular reasoning is also used in regard to other evolutionary "proofs," such as the origin of life, genetics, and mutations. The theory of natural selection is almost totally dependent on circular reasoning.
As we will see below, geologists admit that this circular reasoning exists as a fundamental pillar of geological faith. For example, in a 1979 interview with *Dr. Donald Fisher, the state paleontologist for New York, Luther Sunderland, asked him: "How do you date fossils?" His reply: "By the Cambrian rocks in which they were found." Sunderland then asked him if this was not circular reasoning, and *Fisher replied, "Of course; how else are you going to do it?" —(Bible Science Newsletter, December 1986, p. 6.)
"The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately. Stratigraphy cannot avoid this kind of reasoning . . because circularity is inherent in the derivation of time scales." —*J. E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism Versus Materialism in Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, January 1976.
The paleontology director of the Field Museum in Chicago admits the problem exists.
"The charge that the construction of the geologic scale involves circularity has a certain amount of validity." —*David M. Raup, "Geology and Creationism," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, March 1983, p. 21.
Ager bemoans the problem:
"It is a problem not easily solved by the classic methods of stratigraphical paleontology, as obviously we will land ourselves immediately in an impossible circular argument if we say, firstly that a particular lithology [theory of rock strata] is synchronous on the evidence of its fossils, and secondly that the fossils are synchronous on the evidence of the lithology." —*Derek V. Ager, The Nature of the Stratigraphic Record (1973), p. 62.
But the experts have no clear-cut answer for extricating themselves from this dilemma, which *Kitts says is caused by an acceptance of evolutionary theory:
"But the danger of circularity is still present. For most biologists the strongest reason for accepting the evolutionary hypothesis is their acceptance of some theory that entails it. There is another difficulty. The temporal ordering of biological events beyond the local section may critically involve paleontological correlation, which
necessarily presupposes the nonrepeatability of organic events in geologic history. There are various justifications for this assumption but for almost all contemporary paleontologists it rests upon the acceptance of the evolutionary hypothesis." —*David G. Kitts, "Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory, " in Evolution, September 1974, p.488.
No solid replies to the dilemma have been forthcoming:
"The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling the explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. This is supposed to be hard-headed pragmatism." —*J.E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraply, " American Journal of Science, January 1976, p. 48.
*West explains that the theory is based on the interpretation of fossils, and the fossil interpretation is based on the theory:
"Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so, we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory." —*Ronald R. West, "Paleontology and Uniformitarianism," Compass, May 1968, p. 218.
The theory explains the rock strata and their contents, and they in turn explain the theory:
Material bodies are finite, and no rock unit is global in extent, yet stratigraphy aims at a global classification. The particulars have to be stretched into universals somehow. Here ordinary materialism leaves off building up a system of units recognized by physical properties, to follow dialectical materialism, which starts with time units and regards the material bodies as their incomplete representatives. This is where the suspicion of circular reasoning crept in, because it seemed to the layman that the time units were abstracted from the geological column, which has teen put together from rock units." —*J.E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, January 1978, p. 49.
The sequences of which creatures are ancestors and which are descendants both proves—and is proven by—the theorized age and sequence of rock strata.
"The prime difficulty with the use of presumed ancestral-descendant sequences to express phylogeny is that biostratigraphic data are often used in conjunction with morphology in the initial evaluation of relationships, which leers to obvious circularity." —*B. Schaeffer, *M.K Hecht and *N. Eldredge, "Phylogeny and Paleontology," in *Dobzhansky, *Hecht and *Steere (Eds.), Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 6 (1972), p. 39.
According to *North, first came the theory that the strata had to be in a certain order, thus deciding the age of the fossils in it. Then came the theory that the fossils in the rocks decided the age of the strata they were in.
"The paleontological time-scale rests squarely on the law of superposition [which fossil strata is placed on top of which]. From this unassailable foundation, the paleontologist became for more than a century the arbiter of all stratigraphic organization. But for geologists, the law of superposition presupposes the existence of decipherable geological sections, and every geological section must have a top and a base. [Every fossil strata must be identifiable, and have a top and a bottom.] The paleontological succession was pieced together from hundreds of such sections, the tops and bases of which had been established by geologists on the ground.
"The paleontologists' wheel of authority turned full circle when he put this process into reverse and used his fossils to determine tops and bottoms for himself. In the course of time he came to rule upon stratigraphic order, and gaps within it, on a world-Wide basis." —*F.K North, "The Geological Time-Scale," in Royal Society of Canada Special Publication, 8:5 (1984). (The order of fossils is determined by the rock strata they are in, and the strata they are in are derided by their tops and bottoms—which are deduced by the fossils in them.)
The ages are dated by the fossils, which is the basis for evolution, which is the determinate of the ages:
"The geologic ages are identified and dated by the fossils contained in the sedimentary rocks. The fossil record also provides the chief evidence for the theory of evolution, which in turn is the basic philosophy upon which the sequence of geologic tees has been erected. The evolution-fossil-geologic age system is thus a closed circle which comprises one interlocking package. Each goes with the other." —Henry M. Morris, The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth (1972), pp. 7877.
It cannot be denied that it is all one big circle:
"It cannot be denied that, from a strictly philosophical standpoint, geologists are here arguing in a circle. The succession of organs has been determined by a study of their remains buried in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the remains of organisms that they contain." —*R.H. Rastal, article "Geology," Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 10, (14th ad.; 1958), p. 168.
Strata dating cannot avoid reasoning in a circle. (Because, at the heart of it, the dating comes from a theory, instead of facts!)
"The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately. Stratigraphy cannot avoid this kind of reasoning, if it insists on using only temporal concepts, because circularity is inherent in the derivation of time scales." —*J E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism Versus Materialism in Stratiqraphy, " American Journal of Science, January 1976, p. 53.
*Azar utters a cry for help.
"Are the authorities maintaining, on the other hand, that evolution is documented by geology and on the other hand, that geology is documented by evolution? Isn't this a circular argument?" —*Larry Azar, "Biologists, Help!" BioScience, November 1978, p. 714.
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