Elusive Transitional Forms

Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in Johnsons from the Front | 1 comment


Geologic Time Chart

Geologic Time Chart

Has Science and the Scientific Method been misused? That was a question asked in my blog – Scientific laws and the Big Bang.  The following is another excerpt taken from “Truth and Science – Is Real Science At Risk?” an article by Dr. Arv Edgeworth*.  Ponder the questions he poses at the end and consider – are these viable questions that should be asked, and if they are being asked today or have been asked in the past?


The Fossil Record

Consider the following statement:

“Working with an incomplete fossil record is something like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing.  But after the puzzle is together, even with missing pieces, you will probably still understand the overall picture.”

Glencoe Biology 2006, p. 400


How incomplete is it?  2/3 of Earth’s land surface has only 5 or fewer of the 12 geologic periods in place.  80-85% of Earth’s land surface does not have even 3 geologic periods appearing in “correct” consecutive order.


Stephen J. Gould admitted: “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.”

Stephen J. Gould, Natural History, Vol. 86, pgs 22, 30


He also admitted: “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.”

Gould, S. J., in Evolution Now: A Century After Darwin, ed. John Maynard Smith, Macmillan, New York, p. 140, 1982


Niles Eldridge said: “Paleontologists ever since Darwin have been searching (largely in vain) for the sequences of insensibly graded series of fossils that would stand as examples of the sort of wholesale transformation of species that Darwin envisioned as the natural product of the evolutionary process.  Few saw any reason to demur- though it is a startling fact that, most species remain recognizably themselves, virtually unchanged throughout their occurrence in geological sediments of various ages.”

Eldredge, Niles, “Progress in Evolution?” New Scientist, vol. 110 (June 5, 1986), p. 55


Are these reasonable questions that should be asked?

1.  “Is the actual fossil evidence anything like the chart?”

2.  “What about the absence of transitional fossils?”

3.  “Are there any fossils clearly in transition?”


Is there another explanation that should be explored?


These are again good questions Dr. Arv Edgeworth has posed.

*www.truthandscience.net – website of Dr. Arv Edgeworth.


Lanny Johnson


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    1 Comment

  1. The mysteries are also most certainly perpetuated by the fact that we know little about the mass extinctions that occurred throughout the Paleozoic era. Was there devastation on such an order that complete fossil records were obliterated? As seemingly logical as evolution appears to be, I fear that we may never find the missing links that lead to modern species existence.

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