Kathleen Hunt transitional vertebrate
fossil FAQ talkorigins
THE DARWIN PAPERS
VOLUME 1 NUMBER V1
From The Nebulous Hypothesis:
A Study of the Philosophical and
Historical Implications of Darwinian Theory
© 1996 by James M. Foard
Editor and Publisher James M. Foard.
The Darwin Papers © 2000 James Foard
© 2004 James Foard
and distributed for non-profit and
educational uses only provided
acknowledgement is made for material
written by the author.
Read about Kathleen Hunt's
|In answer to an evolutionist critic|
of this site, I invite you to
Read all about Richard Carrier's
Evolutionist Pidgeon Droppings
A general definition of evolution was given in the beginning of Chapter Two, where we found out that evolution is a theory that proposes that all living species descended through adaptation to changing environments from a common set of ancestors, and that this process would continue back to a common ancestor of all life in some ancient tidal pool formed by random elements mixing together, and that the principle agencies evolutionists believe accounted for this were said to be natural selection, hybridization, inbreeding, and mutation.
We have seen earlier that natural selection does not increase the gene pool, but diminishes it, thus working against Darwinís theory, for we would go from a greater number of species to a lesser number, in other words, extinction, which is the opposite of the origin of species. Still, we will re-examine this along with hybridization, inbreeding and mutation, the four major processes that evolutionists stake their claims on.
In the previous chapter we also examined the fossil record and found that, despite the claims of evolutionists, genuine fossil evidence for evolution is non-existent. We will examine some of the arguments that evolutionists still use from the fossil record in detail in this chapter.
We have also looked at a few examples in previous chapters of present day
evolutionists examples (i.e. Flank and Isaak) that they claim substantiates
evolution and seen the frailty of their arguments when held up to logical and
fair scrutiny. Another spurious claim made by evolutionists, which they
continually use against their opponents, is that creationists take quotes out of
context. Evolutionists make these charges but rarely if ever provide any proof
of their allegations.
One difficulty in debating evolutionists and exposing their claims is that they are masters at the art of equivocation, which means to use misleading language and arguments in order to obfuscate the actual facts of the case. They do this in a variety of ways; from bringing in extraneous data and arguments that lend an air of polish and create the appearance of proof by the very amount of scientific verbiage, while clouding the issue at hand; repetition of the same argument over and over again, even after it has been refuted; bringing up false and tautologous arguments that in essence state nothing but are cleverly contrived to appear as though they are the result of a logical process; cleverly constructed fibs that are cloaked in scientific nomenclature that snare those unaware of their techniques; propagating the myth of Darwin that has been repeated ad nauseam for the past century; and sometimes by straight, old fashioned, bald faced lies and misrepresenting the position of their opposition.
Darwin of course was the master at this, but his disciples have continued his trade down through the years, and one good example would be from Donald Forsdykeís Web page on evolution, where he states, in astoundingly vanishing evolutionist logic: "To really understand evolution we must first understand the historical development of ideas on evolution. But to really understand its history, we must first understand evolution."!
Arguing against this type of Mad-Hatter logic can present difficulties for even the keenest logician in Aliceís evolutionary Wonderland.
Evolutionists, like their shell artist counterparts at
carnival booths, will manipulate the facts, frequently using misleading
arguments to define evolution that only cloud over the real deficiencies of
their case. One of their favorite techniques is to misuse or abuse our
understanding of certain universal absolutes in their definition of evolution. A
typical example would be when they state quite blithely that evolution is simply
"change over time". Well, nobody can argue that change definitely does take
place over time. The earth spins on its axis and revolves around the sun, and
this is certainly change over time. I walk or ride from my house to the store
and back, and this is certainly change over time. I get up in the morning and go
to sleep at night, and this is certainly change over time.
The entire creation is an example of change over time, unless it were to be frozen in a permanent instant of time with no past, present or future. So yes, any reasonable person would have to admit that change indeed does occur over time. But does this really provide any evidence for evolution? After all, even for a creationist, the first six chapters of Genesis taken literally are an example of change over time. The literal creation and fall of man was change over time. The descendants of Adam and Eve populating the earth was change over time. The universal Flood of Noah in the Bible was change over time. The consummation of the age in the book of Revelation will be "change over time". So change over time is a universal constant, even within a creationist model. This is nothing that the evolutionists can lay exclusive claim to.
What we need to do is ask ourselves what is the extent of this change over time, and is there any factual data provided by the evolutionist's that this "change over time" lends any credibility to their case?
The evolutionist's definition of change over time involves an unproven
assumption, that bacteria became metazoa that changed into fish that changed
into amphibians that changed into reptiles that changed into mammals that turned
into humans. We have seen in previous chapters, and will see later on in this
one, that this is an entire fantasy - no actual evidence has ever occurred to
substantiate this claim.
Darwin's theory of evolution is change over time only in the same manner that "The Lord of the Rings" is change over time: They both are works of fiction. Evolution glorifies destruction, extinction, selfish pride and the trampling of the weak under the ongoing progress of the strong, which has born bitter fruit in the 20th century, and if it continues to be our official academic Weltanschauung will produce a horrific future for mankind in the new century.
Evolutionists try to masquerade their fiction as science, but there is nothing scientific about it at all. Thus we have to be extremely watchful, as our Lord said, "Wise as serpents and harmless as doves" on order to be on our guard against the duplicitous arguments of men who have set themselves against the truth, who have rebelled against the Word of God and seek to lead others astray in their rebellion.
Another amazing argument used by evolutionists, based mind you on the absolute lack of any kind of fossil evidence of evolution for proof of the evolutionary theory, would be Steven Jay Gouldís astounding concept of "punctuated equilibrium." It is the theory that a bird can hatch from a lizard's egg, like Cinderella's mice turning into coachmen, and has also been called the "hopeful monster" theory by evolutionists.
David Menton, Ph.D. in cell biology from Brown University, has written of
"The absence of even a single example of a continuous fossil sequence showing the progressive stages of evolution of any plant or animal would certainly seem to be an insurmountable problem for evolutionism. Evolutionists have long been aware of this problem and have felt compelled to try to explain it away by any means possible, short of abandoning their faith in evolutionism itself . . . In the 1930s, paleontologist Otto Schindewolf concluded that the missing links in the fossil record were not really missing at all, but rather were never there in the first place! Schindewolf proposed that all the major evolutionary transformations must have occurred in single large steps. He proposed, for example, that at some point in evolutionary history, a reptile laid an egg from which a bird was hatched! This bizarre notion was championed in 1940 by the geneticist Richard Goldschmidt of the University of California at Berkeley. Like Schindewolf, Goldschmidt resigned himself to the fact that true transitional forms were not found despite over a hundred years of searching for them, and that evolutionary theory would simply have to accommodate this fact . . . Since there was not even the slightest shred of evidence to support the hopeful monster theory, it was dismissed with derision by almost all evolutionists of his time. But Goldschmidt was quick to point out to his critics that there wasn't the slightest evidence for their gradual evolution either! The hopeful monster theory would have joined the "recapitulation theory" in the scrap heap of abandoned evolutionary speculations, were it not for Stephen J. Gould and Niles Eldredge. In 1972, these influential evolutionists resurrected the long discredited hopeful monster theory and gave it a more respectable name __ "punctuated equilibrium."
Actually Gould's version is a bit slower than this, but essentially he is saying that evolution does not happen in a slow, gradual process, but in sudden spurts, and that is why there is not any fossil evidence of it having occurred.
This shows the desperate lengths that evolutionists will go to bolster
support for their theory, since punctuated equilibrium states that the lack of
transitional fossil forms is still evidence for evolution! It is like the two
headed coin used by con artists that always comes up heads: If evolutionists had
fossil evidence for evolution, they could say "We have fossil evidence for
evolution, therefore it occurred."
But because they have no fossil evidence for evolution, they say "We don't have fossil evidence for evolution, therefore it occurred."
Since evolution must have occurred, if there's no evidence of it, this is taken as evidence for evolution by evolutionists!
This is one of the boldest, most bald-faced evolutionary charades ever conducted in the history of science, and the fact that it has become the subject of intense scrutiny in scientific papers over the past twenty-five years shows the utter bankruptcy of evolutionary theory!
One has to wonder why Gould ever cooked up this theory in the first place and advance an argument so deficient in fact and logic. Perhaps to avoid the creationistsí principle argument: the scant evidence for evolution?
There actually are a couple of possibilities. Perhaps Gould was beginning to realize that the evidence for evolution was so inadequate that the genie was going to pop out of the bottle sooner or later. Perhaps the lack of evidence for evolution had produced the same change of mind that other scientists had experienced when they converted from evolution to creationism, but Gould simply didnít have the fortitude to come out and admit it. After all, no one would relish being an academic pariah, or of being some over-the-hill reactionary against the unquestioned dogma of evolution. After all, Gouldís career and reputation is staked on maintaining the legend of Charles Darwin and his theory on center stage.
The other possibility is that Gould simply ignored the implications of the lack of evidence for evolution because he was too steeped in his beliefs to honestly evaluate the facts presented before his very eyes. This explanation has profound and sadly evocative tones of certain of the false beliefs during the middle ages which people clung to, despite new scientific discoveries that contradicted their belief s, simply because they were swayed by the overpowering psychological effects of the herd instinct.
As then, even today, despite their education and training, many academics are unable to divorce themselves from a mistaken scientific hypothesis that they were taught was true in the early days of their careers when their minds were impressionable by men whom they respected and to some degree adulated as nearly infallible. Thus from one generation to the next the evolution myth has been passed on by believing academics to students, who in turn become the next generation of academics, using the same flawed logic with unquestioning faith. (Those who read this and have read Hens Teeth and Horses Toes by S. J. Gould will realize that this is in part a response to Mr. Goulds utterly unprofessional and cruel trashing of the memory of the great Agassiz on pages 117-119 of his book.)
Patrick Marks has commented, "Creationists are flabbergasted. How can evolutionists brazenly attack creationism as unscientific nonsense while entertaining the notion of punctuated equilibrium as a scientific alternative? Punctuated equilibrium, by its own description, is an unprovable, unmeasurable, untestable idea.
Even by evolutionists' own admission, this theory does not have one shred of
evidence to support it.
Ted Holden has written: "It is a pure pseudo-science seeking to explain and actually be proved by a lack of evidence rather than by evidence (all the missing intermediate fossils). Similarly, Cotton Mather claimed that the fact that nobody had ever seen or heard a witch was proof they were there (if you could see or hear them, they wouldn't be witches...).?
Holden further wrote: "The best example of that sort of logic was Michael O'Donahue's parody of the Connecticut Yankee (New York Yankee in King Arthur's Court) which showed Reggie looking for a low outside fastball and then getting beaned cold by a high inside one, the people feeling Reggie's wrist for pulse, and Reggie back in Camelot, where they had him bound hand and foot. Some guy was shouting "Damned if e ain't black from ead to foot, if that ain't witchcraft I never saw it!!!", everybody was yelling "Witchcraft Trial!, Witchcraft Trial!!", and they were building a scaffold. Reggie looks at King Arthur and says "Hey man, isn't that just a tad premature, I mean we haven't even had the TRIAL yet!", and Arthur replies "You don't seem to understand, son, the hanging IS the trial; if you survive that, that means you're a witch and we gotta burn ya!!!"
Henry Morris has pointed out: "Can anyone seriously believe that the first bird really hatched out of a reptile egg? Actually, there would have to be at least two such hopeful monsters _ one male and one female _ occurring simultaneously in the same population, in order to assure survival of the new type. It would seem that one could as easily believe in a fairy godmother with a magic wand!" (The Modern Creation Trilogy. Master Books, 1996, Vol. 2. P. 105)
Perhaps one of the best known sites among evolutionists would be the Talk.origins "Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ" by Kathleen Hunt, ostensibly showing evidence of evolution right out of the fossil record, however on closer inspection a better name for her FAQ just might be
The Mysterious Case
The Missing Transitional Vertebrate Fossils
Ms. Hunt stated that she wrote her FAQ "as a reference for answering the 'there aren't any transitional fossils' statement that pops up on talk.origins several times each year."
However, instead of providing real evidence of transitional vertebrate fossils, it would seem that in her FAQ she only succeeds in giving us one of the best examples of double-talk masquerading as science the likes of which haven't been seen since the glory days of Professor Eustace P. McGargle.
The entire FAQ is a massive hodgepodge of overstatements, retractions,
circular arguments, made-up stories and bloopers coming from Ms. Hunt (much of
it spun from her imagination), who in some phantasmoric fog of intellectual
evolutionist befuddlement asserts that she is going to show us real evidence of
transitional fossil remains, but then stumbles over herself time and again with
one excuse after another for the lack of any evidence to back up her claims.
The whole thing contains about as much real science and logic as one of the Marx Brothers movies from the golden years of Hollywood (actually the Marx Brothers movies had more science in them).
Now if all of those transitional fossils in the geologic record really do exist, then it should be a fairly simple task to find vast truckloads of them and present them to the world and that would settle the question once and for all. It should be a fairly simple task if evolution has really been occurring for millions of years.
Ms. Hunt claims to have done just that; she claims to have answered those
noisy creationist critics in her FAQ with genuine evidence of transitional
vertebrate fossils - well, sort of, as we shall see as we investigate Ms. Huntís
Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ to find out if it truly musters up to her
See Ms. Hunt's first two prime examples of
transitional vertebrate fossils here.
First we will look at the Introduction to Ms. Hunt's FAQ, however before she even reaches the second paragraph she admits that "few or none of the speciation events are preserved. Sometimes the individual specimens are not thought to be directly ancestral to the next-youngest fossils (i.e., they may be 'cousins' or 'uncles' rather than 'parents')."
A "speciation event" is where there is (or should have been, if evolution were true) a transitional form linking two distinct types of organisms together in evolutions' lengthy hypothetical chain; in other words, it is right where we should expect to find a transitional fossil, which is what the title of her FAQ implies she has set out to prove do exist, and yet, right at the very beginning of her FAQ she is telling us that "few or none of the speciation events are preserved", i.e. few or no transitional fossils exist!
In light of this statement at the very beginning of her FAQ, one can only assume that the rest of what she has to say must be the most bald-faced, brazen attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of her audience since the Emperor rode through town without a stitch of clothing on.
Ms. Hunt continues: "For example, the Order Perissodactyla (horses, etc.) and the Order Cetacea (whales) can both be traced back to early Eocene animals that looked only marginally different from each other, and didn't look at all like horses or whales."
These fanciful whale and horse ancestors have as much real evidence to back
them up as Grimm's fairy tales. They don't bear the faintest resemblance to
modern horses and whales, and there is very little evidence that horses and
whales evolved from them either.
The evidence for whale evolution has been vastly exaggerated ; while the horse series is more the product of imagination than any hard evidence. See also: Whatís happened to the horse? See also, The Future Evolution of the Horse.
Ms. Hunt admits again that there is very little evidence for evolution from transitional forms, and laments the sad fact that "Many laypeople even have the (incorrect) impression that the situation is even worse, and that there are no known transitions at all. Why are there still gaps? And why do many people think that there are even more gaps than there really are?"
She confesses that the fossil record is in kind of a mess, that it is not at
all the nicely arranged, orderly, sequential series that we see in textbooks on
She wrote: "The first and most major reason for gaps is 'stratigraphic discontinuities', meaning that fossil-bearing strata are not at all continuous. There are often large time breaks from one stratum to the next, and there are even some times for which no fossil strata have been found. For instance, the Aalenian (mid-Jurassic) has shown no known tetrapod fossils anywhere in the world, and other stratigraphic stages in the Carboniferous, Jurassic, and Cretaceous have produced only a few mangled tetrapods . . . To further complicate the picture, certain types of animals tend not to get fossilized -- terrestrial animals, small animals, fragile animals, and forest-dwellers are worst. And finally, fossils from very early times just don't survive the passage of eons very well, what with all the folding, crushing, and melting that goes on. Due to these facts of life and death, there will always be some major breaks in the fossil record".
It turns out again that these "major breaks" in the fossil record are always right where those transitional fossils are supposed to be found (but aren't). Now, if evolution were true then at least there should still be literally mounds of transitional forms laid down over the hundreds of thousands, and millions of years that life is supposed to have been evolving providing abundant evidence of it. In other words, most of the fossils should still be transitional forms, not well defined species. Transitional fossils should be the norm, but we have seen from the last chapter that the fossil record lacks any evidence that those transitional forms for evolution to have been a fact ever existed at all, by Darwin's own admission, and now Ms. Hunt is not helping to further her case with any new evidence.
If confession is good for the soul, Ms. Hunt must be in good company with the
saints as she continues her shrive, although not in a very penitential spirit,
having to admit that those mountains of transitional fossil forms (most
evolutionist letters to local newspapers always refer to the "tons and tons" of
fossils that prove evolution) are well nigh non-existent:
"Species-to-species transitions are even harder to document. To demonstrate anything about how a species arose, whether it arose gradually or suddenly, you need exceptionally complete strata, with many dead animals buried under constant, rapid sedimentation. [In this startling admission, Ms. Hunt is forced to concur with what creationists have been saying all along about how fossils were formed, which according to the Biblical account happened at the time of Noah's flood]. This is rare for terrestrial animals. Even the famous Clark's Fork (Wyoming) site, known for its fine Eocene mammal transitions, only has about one fossil per lineage about every 27,000 years."
So the picture gets bleaker by the minute: "Luckily, this is enough to record most episodes of evolutionary change (provided that they occurred at Clark's Fork Basin and not somewhere else), though it misses the rapidest evolutionary bursts [unluckily for Ms. Hunt and the rest of the evolutionists, these rapidest "evolutionary bursts" constitute "fast evolution", Gould's mythical scenario to explain the lack of transitional forms; they are totally non-existent and they constitute Ms. Hunt's last, best hope for validation for her theory]. In general, in order to document transitions between species, you (sic) specimens separated by only tens of thousands of years (e.g. every 20,000-80,000 years). If you have only one specimen for hundreds of thousands of years (e.g. every 500,000 years), you can usually determine the order of species, but not the transitions between species. If you have a specimen every million years, you can get the order of genera, but not which species were involved. And so on. These are rough estimates (from Gingerich, 1976, 1980) but should give an idea of the completeness required."
Let us pause here for a moment to digest what we have just read. We have very little, in fact, no evidence of transitional fossils according to Ms. Hunt, totally contradicting what she told us she was going to give to us as evidence for evolution.
We have seen that punctuated evolution, "fast evolution" leaves no evidence behind. What about "slow evolution"? Well, Ms. Hunt informs us that when an evolution event takes more than a hundred thousand years (really, not a very long time in evolutionist lingo), then we can't ever expect to find evidence of that having occurred in the fossil record either! "Note that fossils separated by more than about a hundred thousand years cannot show anything about how a species arose. Think about it: there could have been a smooth transition, or the species could have appeared suddenly, but either way, if there aren't enough fossils, we can't tell which way it happened."
So in essence, evolution has either happened so fast, according to Gould that we haven't been able to find evidence of it, or it is happening so slowly, according to Ms. Hunt, that we haven't been able to find evidence of it either.
Ms. Hunt is trying to get around the obvious fact that transitional links between species are still mysteriously absent from every single major family of living organism and extinct fossil organism today, just as it was in Darwin's day. We find that life is divided up into very neat, separate categories, almost as if it was designed according to a wonderful plan, and among the over 200 major groups of Families of organisms there are none, not one, nary even anything close to any organism, or group of organisms that come even faintly near to bridging the gaps between these diverse groups of living systems. Darwin was forced to admit this in his day and the same has been true even since then.
Again, if evolution were true, there should still be millions of
living transitional organisms surrounding us today (after all, a genuine "law"
of science wouldn't change over the course of paleontological time), but we have
seen from the last chapter that we do not have any present, living examples of
evolution, it all must come from the fossil record.
Evolutionists have a pre-packaged ready explanation for the lack of any present day transitional forms though. You see, evolution is going on at such a slow pace over such a long period of time we just don't see it happening. (That's a remarkably clever excuse, one that even the most seasoned carnival barker might feel ashamed to use on a prospective "mark" - "Hold onto your wallet Lem, them evolutionists are a comin' to town next week")
This brings us back to our original problem. With no present evidence for evolution, then we have to looking for evidence of it from the past again. This is the old bait and switch tactic used by conmen since time immemorial, used today by those plying the trade of selling the story of man's evolution.
If you are a committed evolutionist this might not phase you in the slightest; evolutionists and UFO enthusiasts generally will not let any evidence or total lack of evidence sway them from their beliefs, so to belabor the point would be . . . pointless.
After the failure of the fossil record to document evolution, Ms. Hunt brings
us her second reason why those mysterious transitional fossils aren't to be
found, which is simply because, ummm, well y'see, uh it's like this, they
aren't found because they aren't found! (I tried to figure this logic out too
and had no success. By this time even Spock would be scratching his head):
"The second reason for gaps is that most fossils undoubtedly have not been found."
She makes the same excuse for not finding fossils that Darwin made over one hundred years ago, that we haven't searched enough and that the geologic record is so imperfect (The title of Darwin's tenth chapter of his Origin was On the Imperfection of the Fossil Record)
The third reason why many people don't find out about transitional forms, according to Ms. Hunt, is because most evolutionists are so convinced about the fact of evolution that they don't think it is necessary to write down any of the proof of it in their books: "Why don't paleontologists bother to popularize the detailed lineages and species-to-species transitions? Because it is thought to be unnecessary detail . . . Paleontologists clearly consider the occurrence of evolution to be a settled question, so obvious as to be beyond rational dispute, so, they think, why waste valuable textbook space on such tedious detail."
And evolutionists have the hubris to accuse creationists of having blind faith!
"Calling Professor McGargle! We have a situation here in the evolution wing of the asylum!"
We dealt earlier with Gould's punctuated equilibrium. Ms. Hunt calls this "fast evolution" and informs the patient reader about the difference between slow evolution and fast evolution. The slow evolution is the kind that she has just stated there isn't much evidence for, while the fast evolution is the kind that, well, there's no evidence for either, because it just happened so fast somewhere back in time that there was never any fossil record left for it (hence Gould's devilish reasoning), thus they designated it "punctuated equilibrium."
Evolutionist's can't really figure out which of these processes occurs more
often; slow evolution that we have no fossil evidence for, or fast evolution
that leaves no evidence either.
Ms Hunt admitted, "There's been a heated debate (among evolutionists) about which of these modes of evolution is most common, and this debate has been largely misquoted by laypeople, particularly creationists."
Then in proper righteous indignation, she refers to those rascally creationists who jump to the conclusion that since there's no evidence for punctuated equilibrium, then perhaps it never occured in the first place: "Virtually all of the quotes of paleontologists saying things like "the gaps in the fossil record are real" are taken out of context from this ongoing debate about punctuated equilibrium."
As far as "slow evolution" is concerned she says: "Actually, no
paleontologist that I know of doubts that evolution has occurred [how could
they, if they did they would lose their jobs in the evolutionist oriented
academic communities where they work], and most agree that at least sometimes it
occurs gradually" ["at least sometimes it occurs
gradually"? Does this sound like overwhelming evidence for
But they (the evolutionists that can't agree with each other) aren't able to figure out when slow evolution occurs: "What they're arguing about is how often it occurs gradually," and she tells us "You can make up your own mind about that."
I guess that probably wasn't meant to include creationists.
Ted Holden has documented the impossibility and utter absurdity of "fast evolution", Punctuated Equilibrium (PE), ever having happened:
Of course the main problem, as pointed out, is that there is no evidence for
it. Arguing about how Punctuated Equilibrium might have worked makes as much
sense as arguing over what type of space drive the aliens used to get here from
Alpha Centauri before they cloned the President and the Congress and put their
doubles in to take over the world.
The story of the Florida panther below shows that genetic isolation, one of the evolutionists' favorite gambles as a viable method for evolution, is not a very viable method in real life.
Ms. Hunt then lays some more groundwork for her thesis by giving us a creationist perspective and an evolutionist perspective, which I must confess in all fairness is a pretty honest evaluation of the two points of view, but she does not present any facts as yet for either side, merely pointing out what both views would predict should be found in the fossil record. Next she presents an evolutionistís outline of the different time sequences that they believe the earth has gone through over the past (by evolutionary scales) 590 million years.
|"IN THE Northern Ocean
there is a fish, the name of which is Kun ,óI do not know how many li
[1 li = ca. 500 m] in size. It changes into a bird with the name of Peng,
the back of which is (also)óI do not know how many li in extent. When this
bird rouses itself and flies, its wings are like clouds all round the sky.
When the sea is moved (so as to bear it along), it prepares to remove to
the Southern Ocean [darkness]. The Southern Ocean is the Lake of
The Writings of Chuang Tzu Book I: Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease (350 B.C.)
|". . . IT IS conceivable that flying-fish which now glide far through the air, slightly rising and turning by the aid of their fluttering fins, might have been modified into perfectly winged animals." Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapter Six: Difficulties of the theory: Transitions in habits of life, (1859) pp.84, Benton Edition.|
|"GAP: THE EXACT reptilian ancestor of Archeopteryx, and the first development of feathers, are unknown. Early bird evolution seems to have involved little forest climbers and then little forest fliers, both of which are guaranteed to leave very bad fossil records (little animal + acidic forest soil = no remains). Archeopteryx itself is really about the best we could ask for: several specimens has superb feather impressions, it is clearly related to both reptiles and birds, and it clearly shows that the transition is feasible." Kathleen Hunt, Transition from diapsid reptiles to birds, talkorigins Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ|
|BYE BYE BIRDIE, GOODBYE: "ANALYSIS of fossil traits suggests that Archaeopteryx is not a bird at all. The latest discovery of a fossil that treads the line between birds and non-avian dinosaurs is leading palaeontologists to reassess the creature that has been considered the evolutionary link between the two . . . 'Archaeopteryx was [classified as] a bird because it had feathers and nothing else had them. But then other animals started being found that had wishbones, three-fingered hands and feathers. Heck, even T. rex had a wishbone. So one by one we've learned Archaeopteryx's uniquely avian traits weren't so unique. The writing was really on the wall,' says Lawrence Witmer, a palaeontologist at Ohio University in Athens." Nature News Published online 27 July 2011 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2011.443|
That was the introduction to Ms. Hunt's Transitional Fossils FAQ. The rest is going to actually cover alledged examples from the fossil record. We are finally going to get down to the meat, or more properly the bones of our study.
As we begin our quest in search of missing links we will journey back through the misty regions of time into ancient geological ages, passing through the Cretaceous (stopping to smell the first flowering plants on the way), the Jurassic, the Triassic, until we finally wind up in the Ordovician era where evolutionists believe that the first fish evolved.
We have arrived just in time for lunch, and we are going to dine on the
missing link that is known as the
"Transition from primitive Jawless fish to sharks, skates, and rays."
However, as far as the actual evidence for this mysterious creature, she
"Note that these first, very old traces of shark-like animals are so fragmentary that we can't get much detailed information. So we don't know which jawless fish was the actual ancestor of early sharks." (What!?!)
I hope you enjoyed your appetizer. The first contestant in Ms. Hunt's list of Transitional Fossils, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt to every sane evolutionist reading this that evolution is a fact, does not exist. After stating that she is going to provide us with the evidence for the evolutionary transitional fossil link from jawless fish to sharks, Ms. Hunt has informed us that we have no evolutionary transitional fossil link from jawless fish to shark!
Oh well, the main course is still on the way. Would you like some white wine from our evolutionary cellar while you wait for your fish?
Ms. Hunt does give us some examples of what she claims are early sharks, the Trystychius (early Mississippian), Ctenacanthus (late Devonian), and the Paleospinax, however the case for them being early sharks is highly dubious, since all of these species appear in the fossil record millions of years after sharks already existed (400mya), thus none of them could be considered ancestral transitional forms from non-sharks to sharks!
She mentioned the Cladoselache (late Devonian), however she informs us that they were ďProbably not directly ancestral to sharksĒ.? She also mentioned "A separate lineage leads from the ctenacanthids through Echinochimaera (late Mississippian) and Similihari (late Pennsylvanian) to the modern ratfish," (while leaving out the details), yet this still throws no light on the origin of sharks.
By her own admission, her first missing link transitional fossil has never been found.
Next we come to the "Transition from primitive jawless fish to bony fish".
Sadly my friend, if your appetite is still whetted for fish in this fine
evolutionary restaurant, I am once more the bearer of unfortunate tidings from
our chef. Alas, again she brings us nothing as evidence. She states:
"Once again, the traces are so fragmentary that the actual ancestor canít be identified."!
We do apologize for the inconvenience, and hope that you will stay at least for the dessert, which is even now being prepared by our chef.
Aha! Perhaps you are saying to yourself, "Hmmmm. The first two bold headings in Ms. Hunt's Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ that unequivocally affirm the existence of transitional vertebrate fossils have turned up no transitional vertebrate fossils! "
Sacre bleu Monsieur! This does indeed seem to be the case! Our search for those transitional fossils is getting more complicated by the minute! Things do seem to be looking rather bleak for Inspector Hunt so far, no? Once again those mysterious missing fossils elude our intrepid heroine.
Do not be discouraged my friend! The chase is still on, and the night is young! So let us follow along with Ms. Hunt as she continues her dauntless search for those elusive missing links!
Ms. Hunt informs us that in the Upper Silurian there are already fully developed fish with scales, but she hasn't gotten a clue as to what they evolved from, or if she does she is not sharing the information.
So there are still no transitional forms, despite the bold assertions in the
headings to her sections on fish.
This is beginning to smell like a fish story.
She does mention a whole group of fish that already have jaws, but not one transitional fish form from jawless to bony.
She says that eels and sardines appeared in the late Jurassic, carp from the
cretaceous, etc. but still gives no evidence of their transitional fossil forms
or where they evolved from:
"Eels & sardines date from the late Jurassic, salmonids from the Paleocene & Eocene, carp from the Cretaceous, and the great group of spiny teleosts from the Eocene."
The eels and sardines and carp and teleosts just pop up out of nowhere, fully formed; and again, no transitional fossils for them. None.
So despite the title of her FAQ we are still left in the dark about transitional vertebrate fossils, and remember, by this time we have covered, in the evolutionists time scale, many hundreds of millions of years.
Next we have Ms. Hunt's "Transition
from primitive bony fish to amphibians".
Here, she becomes a little bit confused while attempting to cover the mysterious transition from fish to amphibians.
She mixed up Elginerpeton pancheni, which was found in 1991 in Scotland by Per Ahlberg, with Obruchevichthys, which was found in Latvia a few years earlier. This error has been in Ms. Huntís FAQ on Talk.origins for years, and they have either never noticed it or never bothered to change it.
As far as Obruchevichthys being a transitional form, Ms. Hunt quotes Ahlberg, noting that it is "uncertain whether the appendage carried digits or a fin."
There is a very good reason for this, because all that was ever found of the creature were fragments of the lower jaw! Eventually Obruchevichthys was reclassified from a fish to a tetrapod (four legged creature) by Ahlberg himself, although how this was done remains a mystery.
Ms. Hunt indulges in more speculation: ďIf, however, tetrapod limbs evolved for aquatic rather than terrestrial locomotion, as recently suggested, such morphology might be perfectly workable."
Using such iron logic could anyone remain unconvinced that we have literally mountains of evidence for evolution? She proceeds: "Ideally, of course, we want an entire skeleton from the middle Late Devonian, not just limb fragments. Nobody's found one yet."
|"Yes, I'm trying to reach Professor
McGargle. Well, we have a patient here who insists she has a whole
room full of transitional fossils, but when I opened the door to her room
and looked inside it was empty. That's right, nothing inside except a desk
and a chair and a copy of Darwin's 'Origin of Species', but not a trace of
any transitional fossils. No, none at all I'm afraid. What's that? Is she
rational? Well, I'm only an orderly and can't make these decisions, but
Professor McGargle might be able to reason with her. No, I don't think she
is any danger to herself nor anyone else, she's just babbling on about all
of these imaginary transitional fossils. Yes, I'll wait here for the
doctor, thank you."|
Ms. Hunt: "These ancient bony fish probably gave rise both to modern ray-finned fish (mentioned above), and also to the lobe-finned fish."
Probably, and not even to amphibians, which she claims in her earlier cited heading, but simply to another species of fish, maybe. No proof, all supposition.
Much like in a lawyerís contract, it pays to read the fine print hidden within evolutionist depositions. This demonstrates that all of her evidence of evolution is suppositional; she simply believes in evolution and that is the proof she uses in her reasoning for the evidence of evolution! Her belief is based just as much on a "faith" as the creationists whom she so vehemently criticizes, except that the evidence-sudden appearance of unique forms in the fossil record, with no transitional forms- actually favors creationism, not evolution!
Let me say this about Ms. Hunt. She is certainly entitled to her opinion, as are we all; but when evolutionists parade those opinions as scientific fact, not because the scientific evidence supports their views, but in spite of the evidence that shows that their opinions are seriously wrong, and then they put those mistaken opinions into the textbooks that our schoolchildren are reading, and use those opinions to lampoon the faith of Christians through pseudo-scientific, deceitful sophistry, then I believe it is time that they and their fraudulent methods need to be exposed!
Even if there were certain skeletal similarities between some of the fish she
mentioned and amphibians (but no fish with toes and no amphibians with fins),
this does not at all connote a phylogenic (ancestor/descendant) relationship.
Australian scientist Michael Denton mentioned convergence, an evolutionary concept that pretty much blows all of Ms. Hunt's nice little stories of fish becoming amphibians becoming reptiles out of the water: "Then there is the problem of convergence. Nature abounds in examples of convergence: the similarity in overall shape of whales, ichthyosaurs and fishes; the similarity in the bone structure of the flippers of a whale and an ichthyosaur; the similarity of the forelimbs of a mole and the insect, the mole cricket; the great similarity in the design of the eye in vertebrates and cephalopods and the profound parallelism between the cochlea in birds and mammals. In all the above cases the similarities, although very striking do not imply any close biological relationship."
Denton mentioned the remarkable similarity between the thylacine and dogs.
Both have an amazing skeletal similarity, yet in their soft anatomical
reproductive systems there is a vast difference.
Ms. Hunt reveals her inherent prejudice when discussing the problems of a fish to amphibian transition by using the assumption of evolution as evidence for evolution: "Eventually, of course, amphibians did move onto the land."
Well, that was easy! We have fish, then we have amphibians, but no genuine fossil transition forms, only fish that "ought to be" be in the lineage of amphibians. It makes a fascinating story, but where's the real evidence?
|"Well, y'see, you had all of these
fish, and they got tired of swimming around in the ocean, and so they
decided to grow legs and they started walking around on the land. Isn't
that right Ollie?" |
"Why that's exactly how it happened Stanley!"
"And then some of them got real big on land, and they decided to go back into the water again and so they turned into whales. Isn't that right Ollie?"
"They certainly did, Stanley!"
"Lungs were not a problem, since lungs are an ancient fish trait and were
Well, if you have ever wondered how it was that lungs evolved, now you know!
Ms. Hunt has explained it all to us in her typically exhaustive manner, going into minute detail on every aspect of the evolution of these complex organs.
Are there any more questions? Good! Class is dismissed.
But how and when and where did lungs arrive on the scene as an ancient fish
trait in the first place?
Do we have a clue at all to any of this?
Are there any transitional forms that might have had half-formed lungs?
Why would such an incredibly complex set of double organs "evolve" through blind, random evolutionary circumstances?
Ms. Hunt is silent on all of this.
"Well Stanley, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into!"
Regarding the other part of Ms. Hunt's imaginary story - "This involved attaching the pelvis more firmly to the spine, and separating the shoulder from the skull" - John Morris notes that in all the fish mentioned, the hard parts of the fins are loosely embedded in muscle and not even close to being attached by a pelvic arrangement to the vertebrate which would be necessary to support the weight of the body. (John Morris, BTG No. 91B, July, 1996)
Morris also pointed out the improbability of all the right changes to happen by chance for a transition from water to land to occur: "Actually the skeletal differences are only one of the many problems encountered in trying to link fish and amphibian. The internal organs are quite different also. Major changes would have had to occur in just the right order to accomplish the transition. For instance, while the pelvic girdle is forming (by mutation), and the gills are mutating into true lungs, the ears and eyes must mutate to work in the dry air. How could any possible ancestor accomplish these and other simultaneous changes?"
So, no amphibian fossils have ever been found with fins, and no fish, fossil or otherwise have ever been found with toes. Ms. Hunt has absolutely failed to deliver on her promise in her FAQ so far.
Next we have another gap in the fossil record, and when we touch ground again a few million years later we are on to Ms. Hunt's "Transitions among amphibians"
She boldly goes where no frog has gone before as she attempts to explain how evolution produced transitions among the ancient amphibians, although it is unclear what the ancestral relationship is because she has to admit "Notice, though, that the times are out of order, though they are all from the Pennsylvanian and early Permian. Either some of the "Permian" genera arose earlier, in the Pennsylvanian (quite likely), and/or some of these genera are "cousins", not direct ancestors (also quite likely)."
She mentions a whole list of suspects that show no evidence of evolution. Most of them are similar in nature to Triadobatrachus, which she claims is a "proto-frog", found near Betsieka, a village in Northern Madagascar. It was merely described by its original discoverer as an anuran amphibian from the early Triassic. How do we know that it came from the early Triassic? Somebody said so, that's all. No radiometric testing was ever done on it. What do we have of Triadobatrachus? Fragments of a skull and fragments of a skeleton in counter-blocks; merely a few bones of some ancient amphibian that throw no light on where frogs appeared. Its features, what we have of them, are remarkably like modern amphibians and we have no soft tissue remaining to see what its gills or lungs looked like; it shows no evidence of being any kind of a transitional form connecting frogs to anything else.
Ms. Hunt's claim that Triadobatrachus is a "proto-frog" is entirely suppositional, along with the rest in her list of dubious "links".
Let us bring as a witness to this case Paula Weston, who noted in "Jeremiah Was Not a Bullfrog", that evolutionist R.L. Carroll stated: "When they first appear in the fossil record, both frogs and salamanders appear essentially modern in their skeletal anatomy. " Despite these similarities, frogs, salamanders, and cścilians are very different from one another in skeletal structure and ways of life, both now and throughout their known fossil record. We have found no fossil evidence of any possible antecedents that possessed the specialized features common to all three modern orders.In the absence of fossil evidence that frogs, salamanders and cścilians evolved from a close common ancestor, we must consider the possibility that each of the modern orders evolved from a distinct group of [unknown] Paleozoic [supposedly 200 million to 500 million years ago] amphibians." Creation Ex Nihilo 22(2):28,32 March/May 2000
This one quote wipes out all of Ms. Hunt's supposed vertebrate fossil links listed on her site for transitions among amphibians.
Moving on in her imagination, Ms. Hunt smoothly covers the final as yet unexplained transition from fish to tetrapod with: "A little later, the fin-to-foot transition was almost complete, and we have a set of early tetrapod fossils that clearly did have feet."
Thus we leap to Hynerpeton, Acanthostega, and Ichthyostega, and the Labyrinthodonts, all fully tetrapodal, none of them in the least mistaken for "half-fish half-tetrapod creatures.
She introduces us to Acanthostega. He is quite popular among many evolutionists as some sort of transitional form in our evolutionary tree, however Ms. Hunt makes this startling admission about Acanthostega and Ichthyostega: "Though they are probably not ancestral to later tetrapods, Acanthostega & Ichthyostega certainly show that the transition from fish to amphibian is feasible!"
Thus two out of three of her examples cited above were not even thought to have been links in any of the evolutionary trees for later life in the sequence of evolution!
Ms. Hunt continues her storytelling, filling in the details for us as though this has all been observed, when nothing could be further from the truth, she is simply making it all up: "In summary, the very first amphibians (presently known only from fragments) were probably almost totally aquatic, had both lungs and internal gills throughout life, and scudded around underwater with flipper-like, many-toed feet that didn't carry much weight. Different lineages of amphibians began to bend either the hind feet or front feet forward so that the feet carried weight. One line (Hynerpeton) bore weight on all four feet, developed strong limb girdles and muscles, and quickly became more terrestrial."
Essentially, Ms. Hunt is telling us a bedtime story, making it up as she goes along and filling in the details for our benefit. We are not dealing with science at all, but with a myth, a creation myth with no more evidence to back it up than the myths of ancient Greece or Babylon.
"Evolutionists E.H. Colbert and M. Morales admit, "Despite these similarities, there is no evidence of any Paleozoic amphibians combining the characteristics that would be expected in a single common ancestor. The oldest known frogs, salamanders and cścilians are very similar to their living descendants." (ibid) (Gish, D., Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No!, Institute for Creation Research, CA, USA, pp. 93-94, 1995.)
No true transitional forms have thus been found.
That was Part One A of Ms. Hunts Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ where she is practically falling over herself with reasons why there are no transitional fossils!
Let us move on to Part One B of Ms. Hunt's Transitional Fossils FAQ, and read
more of her evidences for evolution.
So far she has shown nothing; no more evidence for evolution than Darwinís failed premise did in his own time. In their arguments, evolutionists will range from the ridiculous to the sublime as they fathom every possible aspect of human sophistry to try and arrange a fabric of suppositions and falsifications to make it appear as though evolution has some aspect of scientific verifiability.
First Ms. Hunt deals with Transition
from amphibians to amniotes (first reptiles) , however she lightly brushes over the most serious and still
unanswered objection, that of the transition from the soft gelatin like egg of
the amphibian to the hard shelled amniotic egg of the
"The major functional difference between the ancient, large amphibians and the first little reptiles is the amniotic egg."
That is all she says about it. It must just be some minor detail, something that we don't need to concern ourselves with; at least by the way that Ms. Hunt deals with it in one simple sentence.
Scientist Michael Denton elaborates on the difficulties with this supposed
transition in a little more detail:
"The amniotic egg of the reptile is vastly more complex and utterly different to that of an amphibian. There are hardly two eggs in the whole animal kingdom which differ more fundamentally."
He then lists some of the main distinguishing features between the amphibian egg and the amniotic reptile egg. The reptile egg has "the tough impervious shell, the two membranes, the amnion which encloses a small sack in which the embryo floats, and the allantois in which the waste products formed during the development of the embryo accumulate, and the yolk sack containing the food reserves in the form of the protein albumen. None of these features are found in the egg of any amphibian."
He goes on to state "The evolution of the amniotic [reptilian] egg is baffling. It was this decisive innovation which permitted for the first time genuinely terrestrial vertebrate life, freeing it from the necessity of embryological development in an aquatic environment. Altogether at least eight quite different innovations were combined to make the amniotic revolution possible: the formation of a tough impervious shell; the formation of the gelatinous egg white (albumen) and the secretion of a special acid to yield its water; the excretion of nitrogenous waste in the form of water in soluble uric acid; the formation of the amniotic cavity in which the embryo floats (This is surrounded by the amniotic membrane which is formed by an outgrowth of mesodermal tissue, Neither the amniotic cavity nor the membrane have any homologue [similar structure] in any amphibian); the formation of the allantois from the future floor of the hind gut as a container for waste products and later to serve the function of a respiratory organ; the development of a tooth or caruncle which the developed embryo can utilize to break out of the egg; a quantity of yolk sufficient for the needs of the embryo till hatching; changes in the urogenital system of the female permitting fertilization of the egg before the hardening of the shell." (Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, pp. 218-219)
Ms. Hunt mentions none of this as she breezes through her imaginary transition from amphibian to reptile.
Denton mentions a further difficulty in any transition from amphibian to reptile: the vast difference between the hearts of amphibians and the hearts of reptiles (Reptiles have differing hearts among different species, but none of the reptile hearts are anything like an amphibians heart, and a transitional heart would be nearly impossible to imagine. See The Darwin Papers, Chapter Two, Flank's Dilemma). Denton says: "Trying to work out, for example, how the heart and aortic arches of an amphibian could have been gradually converted to the reptilian and mammalian condition raises absolutely horrendous problems." (Denton, ibid)
These problems present no difficulty for Ms. Hunt, as she indulges in a bit
of storytelling while briefly summarizing this incredibly difficult transition
in a few short lines: "The ancestral amphibians had a rather weak skull and
paired "aortas" (systemic arches). The first reptiles immediately split into two
major lines which modified these traits in different ways. One line developed an
aorta on the right side and strengthened the skull by swinging the quadrate bone
down and forward, resulting in an enormous otic notch (and allowed the later
development of good hearing without much further modification). "
(She's making all of this up too)
So it just "happened" because, well after all, everybody knows that evolution is true and reptiles came from amphibians that came from fish.
There are, also, a number of physical differences between reptiles and amphibians. Newly hatched reptiles are miniatures of the adult, however most amphibians go through a larval stage before reaching their adult body form. During this larval stage, amphibians are completely dependent upon water, living much like fish and even breathing through gills, thus some of the fossil amphibians discovered that evolutionists are so excited about because they show evidence of having gills might have only been the remains of a large amphibian in the later stages of adolescence In fact while most develop lungs, a few retain gills and are not thought of as transitional forms between fish and amphibians, as Ms. Hunt suggested). Reptiles are not as dependent on water and some rarely even go near water except to drink, and certain reptiles get much of their water from plants. Amphibian skin does not have hair or scales. Most amphibians use the skin on their bodies and mouth linings to breathe and absorb water (very few species have the ability to drink). If the skin dries out they cannot do either and will die. The nature of their skin makes amphibians very susceptible to dehydration.
In Part One of Ms. Huntís Transitional Fossils FAQ we found absolutely no transitional forms (all the sharks were fully sharks, all the bony fish were bony fish, all the amphibians were fully amphibians, and she merely listed a variety of types of amphibians without demonstrating any phylogenic [ancestral] relationships), despite her claims. She is simply storytelling; even the so-called evolutionary ages she uses have no scientific verification. They are far out of the range of carbon 14 dating, and being found in sedimentary rock they cannot be dated by the other radiometric methods used to date igneous and metamorphic rock - they are all based on presumption of age.
We also demonstrated the colossal problems in the egg of the amphibian evolving into the egg of a reptile, and we showed that the evolution of a reptilian heart would be virtually impossible, short of a miracle that is, and Ms. Hunt did not even come close to addressing the problems in these issues. On that alone her claims and the claims of other evolutionists for any amphibian to reptile transition should be cast into grave doubt.
In truth, despite the fact that Ms. Hunt attempts to give the impression that the amphibian to reptile transition has all been worked out and settled, within evolutionary circles there is fierce debate over which taxon belongs in what group, and the academics are now shaking the entire phylogenic tree with some taxon falling headlong out of the branches.
We have the introduction of various cladistic schemes that threatens to demolish the entire Linnaean system that has been the foundation of taxonomy for two centuries.
In the literature you find words to describe the current state of taxonomy like "mess", "reorganization", "confusing", "misnamed", "mistake", and within certain evolutionary circles names like "idiot" and worse pejoratives are flung around fairly often.
If you doubt what I'm saying, then go to any search engine (yahoo is a good one for this) and type in the two keywords "taxonomy, mess" and see how many sites pop up (last count was 440) hosted by academics in absolute frustration over the present chaotic state of evolutionary systematics.
In fact the designation tetrapod is in precarious straights at this moment, as can be seen by going to the website http://phylogeny.arizona.edu/tree/eukaryotes/animals/chordata/ichthyostega/tetrapod.lichen.html , where Jennifer Clack admits "There is currently a debate concerning the definition of the taxon Tetrapoda, which is part of a wider debate dealing with the definition of phylogenetic groups."
Ms. Hunt mentions proterogyrinus as a possible link between amphibians and reptiles.
Let us take a look at one typical classification chart and find out exactly where proterogyrinus (Proterogyrinidae) fits in:
Local node of Evolution Hyper Chart
Tournaisian Visean Serpukhovian Late Carboniferous Permian
Baphetid = = = = Baphetidae (Loxommatidae)
??? = = = = Proterogyrinidae
\\ ??? = = Seymouriamorph ancestor?= = = = = = = = = = = Seymouriamorpha
\\ // /
\\ // /
???= = Eoherpetontidae ???- - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -- - - - - ?
/ \= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Gephyrostegidae
/ Suborder Gephyrostegida
\\ = = = = = Cassigyrinus
Smithson, T. R., "The morphology and relationships of the Carboniferous
amphibian Eoherpeton watsoni Panchen", Zoological Journal of the Linnean
Society, vol.85, 1985, pp. 317-410
R. L. Carroll - Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, p.174 (1988, W.H. Freeman & company)
The question marks represent common ancestors that have never been found, and the double and single lined trails leading to the different orders and species represent nothing. They are meant to represent a whole line of transitional forms, but they have never been found either.
Does that help any? The same can be said for the rest of Ms. Hunts supposed transitional forms between amphibians and reptiles, but again, quoting Ms. Hunt, "why waste valuable textbook space on such tedious detail?"
Ms. Hunt also ventures into dinosaur phylogeny (hypothetical evolutionary ancestral relationships) in her amazing FAQ, so I thought it might be appropriate to introduce some discussions on dinosaur taxonomy that I found recently on the Web:
Here is some information on the classification of dinosaurs from 1994, just one among many from the net that demonstrates some of the chaos in that field of enquiry, where we have this interesting posting:
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. firstname.lastname@example.orgVertebrate
Paleontologist in Exile Phone: 703-648-5280U.S.
Geological Survey FAX: 703-648-5420Branch of Paleontology & StratigraphyMS 970 National CenterReston, VA 22092U.S.A. at http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1994Dec/0072.html
Previous message: Tom Holtz: "Re: predators for large animals?"
"Does anyone have the latest classification in a form that could be posted? Or as a file that could be e-mailed? I realize these things are always in a state of flux, but I'm curious to see what some of the latest thinking is regarding dinosaur phylogeny (if that's the right term)."
The answer: "There is no consensus yet on all the ingroups of dinosaur
phylogeny - in fact, it is one of the most hotly debated topics of current
At Barry University of Miami's Web
page on Dinosaur classification
(http://socrates.barry.edu/snhs-jmontague/courses/BIO%20300%20-%20Dinosaurs/lectures/dinolec04.htm ) we read:
"Ten years ago, Michael Benton published an official count of dinosaur species (see: Benton, M.J. 1990. Origin and interrelationships of dinosaurs. Chapter in: The Dinosauria [Weishampel, D.B., P. Dodson, and H. Osmolska, eds.]. University of California Press, Berkeley, California: pp. 11-30.). He recognized roughly 336 official species of dinosaurs in 1990. These were contained within 285 genera, which were themselves contained within 44 families. Benton's 1990 list resulted from a considerable pruning of older lists. Over 600 dinosaur species had once appeared in publication, some of them based on no more than one or several teeth ."
"The naming of fossil species is often an intellectual contest among so-called "splitters" and "lumpers." A "splitter" is an expert who tends to see a new species in each newly-discovered fossil; a "lumper" is a more conservative expert, and tends to see new fossils merely as varieties of previously named species. The fewer the pieces, the more contentious the arguments . Sometimes, a newly-published dinosaur taxon is challenged vigorously."
"The naming of the sauropod dinosaur genus Apatosaurus ("deceptive-reptile"), known formerly by the delightful name Brontosaurus ("thunder-lizard") illustrates this point (see Lucas, p. 24). Brontosaurus excelsus was originally described by O.C. Marsh in 1879; his type specimen was assembled from a mixture of newly-discovered bone fragments and previously cataloged museum pieces (including some pelvic and vertebral fragments of an animal named Apatosaurus ajax). Several of the leg and foot bones of the B. excelsus type specimen were later discovered to belong to one of the Camarasurus sauropods. Marsh's mixture of bones was eventually and mistakenly topped off with the reconstructed skull of another Camarasurus specimen."
"By the 1915 many anatomists had recognized the errors, but little effort was
put forth to advertise the corrected the name; "Brontosaurus" had already become
a world-famous icon (as well as the official product logo for the petroleum
corporation Sinclair Oil). In 1986, the International Commission on Zoological
Nomenclature formally approved the 1915 name change based upon precedence. Since
the pelvis of the type specimen had been taken by Marsh from a previously
described animal of the genus Apatosaurus, that became the official name for the
genus. The whole "Brontosaurus" affair seems sometimes less a scientific dispute
than a dispute over commercial trademarks.d..
The cladistical analyses of fossil vertebrate species has been controversial."
And here's another fine mess they've gotten themselves into: This is a scientific correspondence from http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1998Jun/msg00158.html
ALLOSAURS ARE A MESS
b. Subject: ALLOSAURS ARE A MESS
c.. From: email@example.com
d.. Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 14:28:01 GMT0BST
e.. Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org f.. Reply-To: email@example.com g.. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
"I have no definitive opinion on the taxonomy of _Allosaurus_ and its closest relatives - who has? - but with regard to what Tim Williams wrote... Bakker has not shown that these two species are distinct genera - at least not in any scientific publication. The name 'Madsenius' was proposed for certain _Allosaurus_ specimens which he considered distinct from 'true' _Allosaurus_. I've also heard that another.
Allosaurus_ specimen has been tagged as a new genus by Bakker, with the name 'Wyomingraptor' proposed for this one. I thought 'Wyomingraptor' was a torvosaur.
No, I am not getting confused with _Brontoraptor_ (which almost certainly is a torvosaur).
With due respect, Bakker appears to contradict himself regarding the interrelationships of allosaurs. For example, when talking about successive waves of big theropod evolution and extinction (as in last year's SVP - see _JVP_ 17: 30A), he argues that allosaurs are a very closely knit group of species exhibiting very little diversification. The implication is that the differences observed in, say, the Como ?taxa, are indicative of recent speciation and characters differentiating populations are probably not worthy of generic status. Yet, as we all know, at the same time he sees very similar allosaurs apparently different enough to deserve their own genera.. _Creosaurus_ and _Epanterias.
Add to this that the type specimen for _Allosaurus fragilis_ is poorly described and hardly defined. I am not convinced by Smith's study and I still think _Saurophaganax_ is quite a different beast from _Allosaurus_. I personally don't think that _A. fragilis_ and_A. (DCreosaurus) atrox_ are the same species either.. but then what do I know. ?"
These are correspondences among experts. These are the things that don't make it into the documentaries that are seen on The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, in Museums or school textbooks. Does this look like the classification of dinosaurs is n ` anything like an exact science?
Ms. Hunt has spent some time on the "mammal-like reptiles" as evidence for the evolution of the mammals, however there are some major problems in this scenario as well. For one thing, she is apparently unaware of the fact that the therapsids have not been classified as reptiles for quite some time, at least by the University of California Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley California.
They flourished during the Permian and Triassic periods, from about 280 to 200 million years ago, at the beginning of the ?Age of the Dinosaurs?.
Then they simply disappeared for 100 million years while dinosaurs tramped around on the earth, leaving almost no fossil evidence of their existence during this period!
Later, after the dinosaurs have pretty much left the scene, the true mammals show up, fully formed, starting at the beginning of the Cenozoic Era.
Biochemist Dr. Duane Gish has noted, with a touch of irony: "Since evolution is supposed to have involved natural selection, in which the more highly adapted creatures reproduce in larger numbers and thus gradually replace the less fit, we would now expect the mammals, triumphant at last, to flourish in vast numbers and to dominate the world. A very strange thing happened, however. For all practical purposes, the mammals disappeared from the scene for the next 100 million years! During this supposed vast stretch of time, the "reptile-like" reptiles, including dinosaurs and many other land-dwelling creatures, the marine reptiles, and the flying reptiles, swarmed over the earth. As far as the mammals were concerned, however, the "fittest" that replaced the mammal-like reptiles, they were almost nowhere to be found. Most of the fossil remains of mammals recovered to date from the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, allegedly covering more than 100 million years, could be contained in two cupped hands. Most such mammals are represented by a few teeth. If evolution is supposed to involve survival of the fittest, and the fittest are defined as those that reproduce in larger numbers, the origin of mammals represents something very strange, indeed. Since they survived in very few numbers, evolution apparently occurred by survival of the unfit !"
One more of Ms. Huntís transitional forms is just too good to pass up, and that would be Purgatorius, a supposed ancestral relative of man.
In Chapter Nine I deal with this strange little creature in some detail. A complete skeleton of purgatorius has never been found, but they have found teeth from which they have wonderfully reconstructed him, tail and all. There are four specimens of Purgatorius: Purgatorius unio; titutsi; janisae; and ceratops. He is supposed to have been approximately the size of a modern rat, and his anatomy is hypothesized to have been similar to a rat's anatomy also.
All that was ever found of Purgatorius unio and P.ceratops were one single tooth each , and yet from these two teeth Ms. Hunt stated that they were "pointy-faced, small early mammals with mostly primitive teeth, and claws instead of nails [?]. But they show the first signs of primate-like teeth; lost an incisor and a premolar, and had relatively blunt-cusped, squarish molars."
That is a remarkable evaluation from two teeth. Evolutionists assure us that purgatorius is where the human race had its beginnings.
Ms. Hunt also lists Palaechthon nacimienti along with Purgatorius. This little critter has been seized upon of late by evolutionists to bolster up their theory. Someone on the internet accused me of fraud, since I hadn't originally mentioned Palaechthon along with Purgatorius, (I don't claim infallibility, like the Pope, or that my writings are on a par with Holy Scripture, however I do claim to have facts, science and logic on my side), so let us find out something about
THE RAT SKULL THAT MADE
A RAT, BY ANY OTHER NAME, WOULD SMELL AS SWEET
PIDGEON DROPPINGS (From a Carrier pidgeon)
"Do you know what that green stuff
is that's in the middle of birdcrap?"
"That's birdcrap too."
Ms. Hunt has certainly given us a lot of birdcrap to sift through, and now we
are going to look at Palaechthon. It is known by some crushed skulls found
in North America. Palaechthon is supposed to have lived somewhere around 65-55
million years ago. How do they know this? Not by any scientific radiological
methods. The evolutionists have placed Palaechthon 65-55 million years ago
simply by stating it as a fact in order to fit it into their pre-arranged
scheme! That's all. That is just after (geologically speaking) they claim the
last of the dinosaurs became extinct, and according to their scheme, the "Age of
Mammals" commenced, with little furry creatures skittering around that finally
became monkeys that became man! So they found some skulls, pretty much identical
to rat skulls, and someone said, "Well, these creatures lived about 65-55
million years ago", and this lie has been repeated and inserted into every
evolutionist textbook on the subject. We know that through age and disease,
teeth on some rodents can be worn down at the edges over time.
We also know from recent tests that it is highly improbable that dinosaurs could have died off 65 million years ago, but even in the face of irrefutable evidence the evolutionists still resist scientific proof and cling to their unwarranted and outdated theories.
Most descriptions of Palaechthon state that he was merely a generalized small animal, and in rare moments of honesty, again reading the fine print, some evolutionists admit that it might have been ancestral to man, but they are not sure.
Once again, let us go to the indefatigable Ms. Hunt to see what she claims is
"proof" of evolution, and find out that, just as in everything else that she has
written, it is nothing more than speculative assumptions.
Ms. Hunt states that the evolutionary pedigree of Palaechthon, Purgatorius and the rest of these rat-like creatures is in fact very much in doubt: "GAP: 'The modern assemblage can be traced with little question to the base of the Eocene' says Carroll (1988). But before that, the origins of the very earliest primates are fuzzy. There is a group of Paleocene primitive primate-like animals called 'plesiadapids' that may be ancestral to primates, or may be 'cousins' to primates. (see Beard, in Szalay et al., 1993.)" Since Ms. Hunt states that Palaechthon and Purgatorius were "Very primitive plesiadapids", it is by no means certain that they were our ancestors.
As Palaechthon was merely a family member of the Plesiadapiformes suborder, (this is a recent promotion for the plesiadapids, see below on the Plesiadapiformes) Ms. Hunt effectively dismissed Palaechthon from being any kind of verifiable link in the supposed ancestry of human beings, so this pretty much blows Richard Carrier's rant out of the water. I stand vindicated from any charge of fraud from this idiot (Whoops! Freudian slip, I meant to say evolutionist). BTW, if he ever looked, I mentioned four types of Purgatorius, not two. (For more on this clown prince of evolutionists, go here)
Unfortunately for Carrier, he wanders even farther into the deeper waters of the evolutionary pool and seems to lose his footing. He mentions Cantius Trigonodus some kind of an ancient lemur like animal, nearly identical to Notharctus, and nearly identical with many other ancient and modern lemurs, and of course it is part of the whole, fictitious arboreal jigsaw mess, which I have discussed and thoroughly debunked in Chapter 9 of The Darwin Papers.
The Wikipedia article on Plesiadapis (Plesiadapiformes, Plesiadapidae) states: "Nearly all of what is known about the anatomy of Plesiadapiform primates comes from fragmentary jaws and teeth, so most definitions of Plesiadapiform genera and species are based on dentition"
Carrier and Hunt wax exuberant about the marvelous teeth that have been found in these ancient fossils. Carrier wrote: "It may not seem like much, but the evidence of transition was made only from what we have, the dentation."
Let is find out what William Howells had to say about all of these wonderful teeth: "Now a great legend has grown up to plague both paleontologists and anthropologists. It is that one of these wondrous men can take a tooth or a small broken piece of bone, gaze at it, and pass his hand over his forehead once or twice, and then take a sheet of paper and draw a picture of what the whole animal looked like as it tramped the Tertiary terrain. If this were true, the anthropologists would make the F.B.I look like a bunch of Boy Scouts . . . But it is not quite true . . . A tooth, all by itself, may speak volumes, but only about teeth." Howells, Mankind So Far, pp.127-128.
For more on teeth, go HERE.
John Pfeiffer, anthropologist at Rutgers University stated: "paleontologists often make too much of their finds. The tendency is to interpret small differences in tooth size and other factors, differences that fall within the normal range of individual variation, as signs of a new genus or at least a new species. In an extreme case, North American grizzly bears, now recognized as members of a single species which also includes Old World varieties, were once divided into more than twenty species." (John E. Pfeiffer, The Emergence of Man, Harper and Rowe Publishers, New York, Evanston, and London, 1969, pp.41)
A rodent, by any other name, would smell as sweet: Basically with the Plesiadapiformes (Palaechthon among the family members) you have a whole bunch of fossils of ancient rats, or rat-like creatures, virtually indistingishable from each other or from modern rodents, that evolutionists have subdivided, and split, and split up again into a bunch of arbitrarily made up "suborders" and "species"etc, based on almost infinitesimal differences in the size and spacing of teeth and jaws, differences that are found even today among members of the same species of certain rodents merely based on age and sex! You find that many differences in greater degree among dogs, and yet dogs are not designated as different species based on the size of teeth and jaws!
And these various Plesiadapiformes couldn't all possibly have been ancestors of human beings, even according to evolutionist logic (sic-an oxymoron), since that would mean that the primates sprang up from dozens of different ancestors at practically the same time!
Hmmmmm. We need a paternity test here.
Years ago, Elwyn Simons wrote for Scientific American: "Plesiadapis is clearly too specialized a primate to be the ancestor of later prosimians. This sterile offshoot of the family tree is significant to primate history on other grounds."
(Simons, Elwyn L., The Early Relatives of Man, Scientific American, July, 1964.) Simons doesn't specify what other grounds he was talking about.
As Ms. Hunt moves on into the actual primate section of her FAQ we have another one of these huge GAPS.
Ms. Hunt's FAQ is laced with these GAPS, where all of the transitions are supposed to have taken place, then new species simply pop up out of nowhere! "GAP: Here's that Oligocene gap (12 million years of nothing!) mentioned above in the timescale. Very few primate fossils are known between the late Eocene and early Oligocene, when there was a sharp change in global climate. Several other mammal groups have a similar gap."
Then, starting in the Oligocene she dumps a literal bonanza of so-called transitional fossils on us-
We have Parapithecus, Oreopithecus, Propliopithecus, Aegyptopithecus, Proconsul africanus, Limnopithecus, Dryopithecus, Sivapithecus and Kenyapithecus from the Oligocene and Miocene era; Australopithecus ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy), Australopithecus africanus, and Homo habilis, from the Pliocene era; and Homo erectus and Neandertals from the Pleistocene.
Ms. Hunt uses the words "possibly" twice, "probably ancestral" three times, and "probably" another three times in this section of her FAQ, and of course with everything else she expects us to take her word at face value.
That's quite an impressive assemblage of fossils, however in light of her earlier gaffs while wandering around through the Ordovician era, perhaps a second opinion might come in handy, so let's look at Ms. Hunt's prognosis on some of these ancient apes (the suffix "pithecus" attached to most of them means "ape"), and then find out what other experts in the field had to say about these dearly departed, long lost family members.
Ms. Hunt: "Propliopithecus, Aegyptopithecus (early Oligocene, Egypt) -- From the same time as Parapithecus, but probably at the beginning of the ape lineage. First ape characters (deep jaw, 2 premolars, 5- cusped teeth, etc.). Aegyptopithecus (early-mid Oligocene, Egypt) -- Slightly later anthropoid (ape/hominid) with more ape features. It was a fruit-eating runner/climber, larger, with a rounder brain and shorter face."
Second Opinion: In a conversation with author Michael Brown, David Pilbeam said: "The thing about Aegyptopithecus is that it's so primitive that it's unrealistic to refer to it as having many resemblances to living things whether monkeys or apes . . . Its just a very generalized primitive animal." (RefANo 31 )
More bad news for those evolutionists who were at first excited about the possibilities of Aegyptopithecus position in man's family tree. He is classified within the Family of Pliopithecidae, which were are considered the ancestors of gibbons. To further disqualify Aegyptopithecus, we find that Michael Brown wrote: "Although he [Elwyn Simons] doesn't himself subscribe to the theory of Aegyptopithecus being ancestral to all higher primates . . ."
(Simons had previously thought Aegyptopithecus was an ancestor)(RefANo 31 )
Ms. Hunt: "Proconsul africanus (early Miocene, Kenya.) -- A sexually dimorphic, fruit-eating, arboreal quadruped probably ancestral to all the later apes and humans. Had a mosaic of ape-like and primitive features; Ape-like elbow, shoulder and feet; monkey- like wrist; gibbon-like lumbar vertebrae."
Ms. Hunt: "Dryopithecus (mid-Miocene) -- A later ape probably ancestral to the great apes & humans. At this point Africa & Asia connected via Arabia, and the non-gibbon apes divided into two lines: Sivapithecus (including 'Gigantopithecus' & 'Ramapithecus', mid- Miocene) -- Moved to Asia & gave rise to the orangutan. Kenyapithecus (mid-Miocene, about 16 Ma) -- Stayed in Africa & gave rise to the African great apes & humans."
Second Opinion on Proconsul africanus, Dryopithecus, Sivapithecus, Ramapithecus, and Kenyapithecus:
"Recent taxonomic investigations show that the species of the genus Proconsul, with their relative abundance of skeletal remains, should almost certainly be lumped together with the genus Dryopithecus.What such an assignment would mean, in effect, is that all these Miocene-Pliocene hominoids-not only Eurasion but African as well-belong to a single cosmopolitan genus. This might have been recognized 30 years ago except for a series of mischances [blunders]." (RefB No. 55-56) It turned out that A. T. Hopwood of the British Museum of Natural History, the man who named Proconsul in 1933, "used teeth from the wrong fossil specimen when comparing Dryopithecus to Proconsul in classifying it. This went undetected until 1963, when it was found that Hopwood had been using part of a Ramapithecus fossil by mistake."
As for Ramapithecus, we find that molecular biology has proven that he could not be in the ancestry of man either. Michael Brown wrote: ". . . According to Sarich and Wilson [experts in the field of biochronology], Ramapithecus could not possible have been an early Hominid-a direct ancestor of man . . . and so the beloved Ramapithecus was demoted by biochemistry back into being a simple ape instead of an man-ape of any kind." (Brown, Michael, The Search For Eve, Harper and Rowe, 1990, pp.326-327)
Elwyn Simons wrote, "Recent examinations of Sivapithecus species suggests that they are not markedly different from Dryopithecus," so they were essentially the same. (RebC No. 36)
Science writer Kenneth F. Weaver wrote of this entire epoch in National Geographic: "A gulf of mystery separates Aegyptopithecus at 33 million years and Australopithecus at four million. Candidates for intermediate ancestors that have been proposed at one time or another include two from Kenya known as Proconsul and Kenyapithecus; two from India, Pakistan, China, and Kenya called Ramapithecus and Sivapithecus; and two from Europe called Rudapithecus and Dryopithecus. These apelike creatures lived at various times between 8 and 20 million years ago. . .
Despite much debate and speculation, none of these primates has been finally accepted as a human ancestor . . . the long geologic epoch known as the Miocene (24 million to 5 million years ago) will remain a largely veiled chapter in hominid evolution." (Kenneth F. Weaver, The Search For Our Ancestors, National Geographic, November, 1985, pp.581-582)
Well, this effectively wipes out 29 million more years (late Oligocene and the entire Miocene) from Ms. Hunt's Transitional Vertebrate Fossil Fake, ooops, sorry, I meant Transitional Vertebrate Fossil FAQ, but at this point, who's counting?
Ms. Hunt acknowledges another GAP during the last part of the Miocene, where nothing is found for ten million years:
"GAP: There are no known fossil hominids or apes from Africa between 14 and 4 Ma. Frustratingly, molecular data shows that this is when the African great apes (chimps, gorillas) diverged from hominids, probably 5-7 Ma. The gap may be another case of poor fossilization of forest animals. At the end of the gap we start finding some very ape-like bipedal hominids:"
We read above where Ms. Hunt quoted Carroll (1988), stating: "The modern assemblage can be traced with little question to the base of the Eocene".
This is a lie, and we have just given you the proof. Her whole Transitional Vertebrate Fossil Faq is one huge web of falsehoods, typical of evolutionist balderdash, designed to impress the reader with the apparent abundance of facts, which are in fact cleverly designed fables dressed up in scientific garb, designed to mislead one into accepting the false doctrine of evolution.
To read up a little more on the evolutionary hijinks of Simons and other "scientists" (I use that word very loosely when writing about the whole evolutionary crew of rascals) relating to these early fossils, seeThe Darwin Papers Chapter 9 Part 1.
So let's move on to the Pleocene, where the Australophithecines (southern apes) show up.
Again, Ms. Hunt throws a bewildering barrage of fossils at us, as if to convince us of the reliability of her account by the profuseness of her data. We have Australopithecus ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Archaic Homo sapiens, and the Flintstones, Neandertals.
I know this may seem tedious, however as any good reasearcher must be thorough, we don't want to leave any stone unturned, so let's proceed to go through her list of fossil ancestors and find out if they muster up to snuff.
The best way would seem to be by the second opinion route again, measuring Ms. Hunt's claims against other sources, much as in a court of law, where we could have more than one witness, and you, the reader, will be the jury and weigh the evidence.
(Much of the following response to Ms. Hunt's claims is taken directly from The Darwin Papers Part 2)
Ms. Hunt: "Australopithecus ramidus (mid-Pliocene, 4.4 Ma) -- A recently discovered very early hominid (or early chimp?), from just after the split with the apes. Not well known. Possibly bipedal (only the skull was found). Teeth both apelike and humanlike; one baby tooth is very chimp-like. (White et al., 1994; Wood 1994)"
Second Opinion: Ms. Hunt's opinion pretty much speaks for itself; "early hominid (or early chimp?)" means she hasn't got a clue; "Not well known . . . only the skull was found", so where does that leave us, and how are we to know if this fossil was in any way related to human beings? We don't, it's just an added tidbit of data that throws no light on the situation at all.
Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) and africanus
Ms Hunt "Australopithecus afarensis (late Pliocene, 3.9 Ma) -- Some excellent fossils ("Lucy", etc.) make clear that this was fully bipedal and definitely a hominid. But it was an extremely ape-like hominid; only four feet tall, still had an ape-sized brain of just 375-500 cc (finally answering the question of which came first, large brain or bipedality) and ape-like teeth. This lineage gradually split into a husky large-toothed lineage and a more slender, smaller- toothed lineage. The husky lineage (A. robustus, A. boisei) eventually went extinct"
Australopithecus africanus (later Pliocene, 3.0 Ma) -- The more slender lineage. Up to five feet tall, with slightly larger brain (430-550 cc) and smaller incisors. Teeth gradually became more and more like Homo teeth. These hominds are almost perfect ape- human intermediates, and it's now pretty clear that the slender australopithecines led to the first Homo species.
Second Opinion: "But the two forms of Australopithecines [afarensis and africanus], gracile and robust, represent in my opinion, evolutionary dead ends." (Mary Leakey, Walker and Leakey, The Hominids of East Turkana, Sci.Am., August, 1978) Walker and Leakey further wrote in Scientific American, August, 1978 of three supposed species of Australopithecines: "At the same time we may have seriously misunderstood the quantity and quality of variation in any one of the three species." One suggested reason for their confusion was the possibility that " . . . The three forms are only artifacts of our imagination..." (Walker and Leakey, The Hominids of East Turkana, Sci.Am., August, 1978)
In fact C. Loring Brace and Milford H. Wolpoff
of the University of Michigan believe that this is exactly the case. Another
possibility they mention is that two of the three forms
are actually only the male and females of one species, and the third
possibility is that there are only two species with one of them having a high
degree of variability.(ibid) Alan Walker and Richard F. Leakey write on two of
the types of Australopithecines that: "If among the species A. Robustus the morphological differences
between males and females were as great as they are among gorillas, then the
robust, crested specimens from East Turkana could be males and the more gracile
specimens could be females." (ibid)
The prominent Paleontologist G.G. Simpson said:
"It is notorious that hominid nomenclature, particularly, has become
chaotic." (The Primate Fossil Record, pg
450 By Walter Carl Hartwig 2002)
And what about "Lucy" the most famous Astralopithecus afarensis of them all? She was discovered by Donald Johanson in 1974. He wrote a book named after her and "Lucy" was the star of a few documentary specials. It would be in keeping with scholastic thoroughness to consider statements made on Lucy by some of the leading paleoanthropologists of this century.
Ernst Mayr said of Lucy: "That was the most
idiotic thing, it just shows that Johanson doesn't know what it's all about. . . Africanus and Afarensis quite likely
were geographic races of the same species."
(Ernst Mayr, A History of American Physical Anthropology, 1930-1980, New York,
Academic Press, 1982, pp.231)
Richard Leakey said that Lucy's skull was so incomplete that nearly all of it was "imagination made of plaster of Paris." (Richard Leakey, The Weekend Australian, 7-8 May, 1983, Magazine, pp.3)
Still, from this meager amount of evidence, Leakey was confident enough to proclaim: "Lucy may be considered a late Ramapithecus." (Johanson, Lucy, pp.279)
C. Loring Brace stated: "To consider Lucy a Ramapithecus is laughable."(ibid)
Lord Solly Zuckerman, one of the most eminent anatomists of the twentieth century, pioneered a scientific application of metric measurements to fossils (this should have been accepted practice all along with paleontologists) instead of the often spectacular (and embarrassing) subjective judgements pronounced by field workers with no scientific tools at hand. It was Zuckerman's considered opinion that all classes of Australopithecines, from the Taung child all the way to Lucy, were nothing more than apes, virtually identical to the pigmy chimpanzee, known as the Bonobo. So Lucy wasn't so unique after all. Oxnard along with others have said the same thing, Australopithecines were simply apes that walked upright at times.Homo habilis
Opinion: "Java Man", the first
"Homo erectus" was discovered by Eugene Dubois in 1892. What did Dubois actually
find? Part of a skullcap, three teeth, and a femur bone (thigh bone). The thigh bone and the partial skull cap
were found fifty feet apart in separate digs. Although Dubois initially insisted that
the partial skullcap and the thigh bone were ancestral to humans, even
evolutionists themselves have now said that the two bones probably did not even come from the same individual: The femur
came from a modern man, while the teeth are thought to have come from an
The original Java "Man" clearly wasn't a man at all, as W. E. LeGros Clark stated: "The Java skull cap shows ape-like characters in its general flattened shape, its enormous eye-brow prominence, the complete absence of what is usually called a forehead, and the small size of the brain-case." (Pg. 82 "History of the primates: An introduction to the study of fossil man" Fifth edition W. E. LeGros Clark, 1966, University of Chicago Press)
Geneticist and world renowned Berkeley scientist Rebecca Cann stated: "Dioramas in a natural history museum can be counted on to show some primitive ape-human (Australopithecus) emerging into some early species of our own genus Homo. Then Homo erectus evolves into Homo sapiens, along with mortgages, star wars, and ice cream. Such schemes imply a genetic continuity in space and time that contains more fantasy than Spiderman's best escapades." (Rebecca Cann, The World and I, Sept. 1987, pp.257)
One other thing I find fascinating that Ms. Hunt mentions about "Homo erectus" is "first fire". This is absolutely amazing, that after nearly 2 million years we have evidence that they were using fire! Now, I want you to think about this. Suppose that you went camping a few summers back and built a campfire. Then you left it, and after a few years, say ten, or twenty, or thirty, how would it look? Well, it might just look the same, but suppose nobody had tended it for about 500 years. What would the remains of your fire look like then? Well, you would obviously have forest or jungle growth that would have invaded the campsite over 500 years. Animals would have come and gone and would possibly have disturbed the site. You would have had rain, snow in the northern latitudes, land erosion, occasional floods, lichen, mold, mildew, bacteria and everything else that would alter the conditions of your campsite. And then again, we know that there are occasional forest fires that come along and obliterate everything in their path, and that would certainly change the remains of your campsite and your campfire that you built. So, lets extend this set of normal environmental circumstances over 100 thousand years. What would be left of your little campfire? Lets tack on another 100 thousand years, and another, and another, and another, and another, until we reach 2 million years of fires, floods, trees growing, trees falling, animals wandering through the site, snow, seasonal changes, perhaps the occasional avalanche if you were near a mountain, grass and herbs growing and dying and leaving mulch, insects, birds, water and wind scattering the remains of your little campfire. How in the world after 2 million years could you say that there was anything left of what you had originally built? But this is just what Ms. Hunt is expecting us to believe in her made up stories of so-called hominids from 1.8 million years ago! On the face of it, it's just the most ridiculous thing, this bridge to nowhere that she expects us to buy. No my friend, she is making it all up, it's simply a story to embellish her childish belief system, she's using no science at all, it's an evolutionary fable disguised as science, it's a false set of goods designed to deceive, nothing more.
For the rest of her batch of suspicious finds in "human ancestry", including Java man (eventually disowned by his discoverer, Dubois), we have Peking man (all of the bones were lost during WWII), Heidelberg Man (a single jawbone) and Neandertals, I cover many of these again in Chapter Nine Part 1 and Part 2, and in Chapter 10 of The Darwin Papers, where I demonstrate that most of the so-called ancestors falling out of the evolutionary tree have as much real evidence to prove their ancestry to humans as a cabbage patch doll would when put to genuine scientific scrutiny. The entire thing is a made up story (see the Howells quote at the beginning of Part 1, along with the rest of the chapter). For more on Homo erectus and Neandertals, see The Darwin Papers Chapter 10.
We also read from Chapter Nine Part 1 that Darwin himself admitted in his Descent of Man that he had no evidence for man's evolutionary descent, it was all simply philosophical surmising! And at the beginning of Chapter 5 of The Darwin Papers we read where Darwin confessed that he never had any fossil evidence for the evolution of any species of life on earth either, and in Chapter 4 we see where he made many of his stories about evolution up! (Now who does that remind me of?)
After she is done wandering through the Pleistocene, she meanders back to the Plesiadapids again for a spell, sort of like the last guest at a party wandering around the living room long after it's time to go home, quoting Phillip Gingerich, and it's really just as worthless as the rest of her stuff, and I'm forced to requote Elwyn Simons for a second opinion once more when he wrote for Scientific American: "Plesiadapis is clearly too specialized a primate to be the ancestor of later prosimians. This sterile offshoot of the family tree is significant to primate history on other grounds," (Simons, Elwyn L., The Early Relatives of Man, Scientific American, July, 1964)
I hope we don't need to rehash that again, and again, and again, and again aaaaahhhhhhhhh! |
Ian Tattersall, head of the Anthropology Department at the American Museum of Natural History and former Curator in Charge of the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution there, wrote: "If you add ancestry and descent to your cladogram [pictorial representation of species similar in appearance], you get what's called an 'evolutionary tree'[speculative imaginary story of how these creatures might have evolved from one another or from a hypothetical common ancestor]. Johanson and White's hypothesis about Australopithecus afarensis was a formulation of this kind. But since it's not actually possible to prove ancestry, trees are not only more complex statements than the cladogram you started with; they're also not testable. And because you can derive a number of different trees from a single cladogram, this obviously leaves the door open for endless argument. Yet more complex than the tree is the 'scenario.' . . . the average scenario is a highly complex mishmash in which considerations of relationship, ancestry, time, ecology, adaption, and a host of other things, are all inextricably intertwined, tending to feed back into each other. When your out there selling such complicated narratives, normal scientific testability just isn't an issue; how many of your colleagues or others buy your story depends principally on how convincing or forceful a storyteller you are-and on how willing your audience is to believe the kind of thing you are saying."
(Ian Tattersall, The Fossil Trail, Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford, 1995, pp.169)
Spending much more time with Ms. Hunt would be redundant (and painful). The rest of her FAQ has more of her bold claims of evidence for evolution with a paultry excuse for evidence. I would refer the reader to the previous chapter, The Fossil Record, where most of Ms. Huntís so-called transitional forms are refuted by referenced quotations, and to Chapter Nine of The Darwin Papers for more on the so-called ape-men. This excellent online book, The Truth About Human Origins, does much to dispell the evolutionist haze about these fossils also.
As this site will be under continuous construction over the next
year, more evidence showing Ms. Huntís fabrications will be added in due time,
but for now these links should help to answer anyone who has more questions on
The Darwin Papers Chapter 5, The Fossil Record and http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/creation-encyclopediaTOC.html
For a comphrehensive list of scientific articles exploding the myth of evolution, go HERE. For more on evidence of the recent death of the dinosaurs and other fossil tidbits, go HERE. And fossils don't take thousands, or millions of years to form, they can be much more recent.
See also Former Smithsonian Evolutionist Becomes Creationist.
BTW, Atheists are a bunch of cowards. Right now, in Muslim countries, Christians are giving their lives for their faith. While atheists crow against religion in THIS country, lets see if any of them have the GUTS to go into any Islamic country and spew their atheist rants out in the open. Naw, I don't think so.
Let us take a peek at another talk.origins FAQ with disastrous augury for the theory of evolution, Joseph Boxhornís FAQ, titled Observed Instances of Speciation.
According to Boxhorn we have new species evolving right before our
very eyes, thus finally demonstrating to a skeptical world that evolution is a
fact of science!
Has he indeed brought forth astonishing new evidence to prove Darwin's theory?
Letís look at the facts.
After quite a lengthy introduction, the first two examples of speciation in Boxhorn's FAQ were the experiments of de Vries (1905) and Digby (1912) on the Primrose plant, however as long ago as 1922 the magazine Science reported:
"Twenty years ago de Vries made what looked like a promising attempt to supply this (evidence for new species appearing among natural offspring) as far as Oenothera [Primrose] is concerned . . .but in application to that phenomenon the theory of mutation falls. We see novel forms appearing, but they are no new species of Oenothera. For that which comes out is no new creation." (Science, Jan. 20, 1922; from an address by Professor William Bateson addressing a group of scientists in Toronto)
So talk.origins is still using an experiment for
evidence for evolution that was rejected by the scientific community as long ago
What Mr. Boxhorn claims are new species are merely variations within species, or hybrids of the type similar to when horses and donkeys mate to produce mules. No new genetic information is created.
From here we go on to his amazing reports of the experiments with fruit flies, with examples like this one:
"5.3.1 Drosophila paulistorum. Dobzhansky and Pavlovsky (1971) reported a speciation event that occurred in a laboratory culture of Drosophila paulistorum sometime between 1958 and 1963. The culture was descended from a single inseminated female that was captured in the Llanos of Colombia. In 1958 this strain produced fertile hybrids when crossed with conspecifics of different strains from Orinocan. From 1963 onward crosses with Orinocan strains produced only sterile males. Initially no assortative mating or behavioral isolation was seen between the Llanos strain and the Orinocan strains. Later on Dobzhansky produced assortative mating (Dobzhansky 1972). "
This so-called speciation event barely deserves commenting on. Dobshansky's "speciation right before our eyes" were still Drosophila, still fruit flies. They started out as fruit flies and they ended up as fruit flies and the more exotic varieties were, like many of Boxhorn's examples, sterile, thus having little or no value in evolutionary reproductive terms.
In another fascinating experiment on fruit flies, Boxhorn reported that "55 virgin males and 55 virgin females of both ebony body mutant flies and vestigial wing mutant flies (220 flies total) were put into a jar and allowed to mate for 20 hours"!
Whew! Fruit flies gone wild! It must have been a little hard on the eyes for some white coated lab specialist who was taking down notes while observing this insect orgy. One can only imagine a bleary eyed scientist reaching for the visine after twenty hours of watching the event. Boxhorn himself did not personally carry out the experiment. How anyone could possibly have figured out that they were virgins in the first place should have won a nomination for the Nobel Prize!
This experiment was done to examine the courtship behavior of
mutant fruit flies, since Boxhorn believed that one of the distinctions of a
species was determined by how attracted certain members of the opposite sex were
to each other. Perhaps this meant that ugly fruit flies were of a different
species than handsome ones.
In all of Boxhorn's FAQ he does not have one, genuine example of evolution occurring, it is all hypothetical commentary with examples of variation and hybridization within a species kind. No "new" genetic information has been shown to be produced. His entire FAQ has failed to show observed instances of speciation.
Embryonic recapitulation has been disproved for over one hundred years now, and yet it is still used in evolutionistís arguments and in biology texts as proof for evolution. We have dealt extensively with the history and expose' of this pseudo-fact in the previous chapter on the fossil record, so it is unnecessary to repeat what has already been written on this subject (see Chapter Five).
Genetic and geographic isolation is another hypothesis that evolutionists attempt to use for their theory, however this idea has no grounding in fact either. Most evolutionary scenarios would have us believe that a small population of animals becoming isolated from the general population would develop through natural selection to produce a newer, hardier, more vigorous species better equipped to survive in nature. The problem with this is that natural selection reduces the gene pool, thus diminishing the survival value of the species in the long run.
A vivid example of this is the Florida panther, on the verge of extinction, plagued by health problems, sterility and heart murmurs. There has been an attempt to save this species by importing a related sub-species from Texas to interbreed with them. Tom Logan, chief of wildlife research for the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission reported on the experiment:
"We have a small, isolated population that has been inbreeding for 150 years, with an ever-increasing loss of genetic variation ," explained Logan. "And thatís the extinction process . . . In six to eight years we should have gone through a couple of generations of young, and we will have restored the genetic variation thatís been lost."
Since Darwin seemed to be pretty much in over his head when attempting to come up with any real answers as to how species originated, let us see what he had to say about mutual co-existence among varied animals in nature. He was well known for his idea of the "struggle for survival" concept, that species are constantly engaged in continual warfare for the food supply, so the idea that species would co-operate with each other for mutual advantage was foreign to the idea of survival of the fittest, even though he was forced at times to admit examples of mutual co-existence and co-operation among certain species, contrary to his own theory.
There are cases of apparent cooperation among different species in the plant and animal world, but evolution fails to explain how these came about. One good example of altruistic behavior in the natural world would be the "Dental offices" in certain parts of the sea, where large fish stop and open their mouths wide, while other small fish and shrimp dart in and clean the accumulated food particles from the larger fish's teeth. Sometimes the large fish even line up to have their mouths inspected and cleaned. After they are done, the small fish swim out of the larger fishís mouth, and the large fish swims away, probably to feast on more small fish. These examples of helpful behavior, like the hitchhiking spider that hitches a ride on willing scorpions, conflict directly with the idea of a "struggle for survival."
There is combat, aggression, struggle for dominance, and killing going on perpetually in the wild, some chimpanzees even make war on other chimp clans and exterminate them, but these would be examples of a fallen world, not the original world that God had made in the beginning, before the curse of manís sin affected every living being. Even in any one eco-system with a number of different animals, they do not all eat the same food, they are not all "struggling with each other" to survive.
There is definitely a "social etiquette" among animals that is carefully observed. Today scientists describe what has become known as the "balance of nature," where species co-exist in a delicate balance with each other, and in fact mark off distinct territories where strict rules are enforced and respected. Animals know when they are in the territory of another by scent, and they avoid confrontation with one another whenever possible.
There is also a problem with defining what "fittest" means. Does it mean those that were the biggest and strongest? The dinosaurs were the strongest land animals that ever lived, and they are extinct as far as modern science knows. Does it mean the smartest and most complex? The smallest creatures that have supposedly evolved the least, the bacteria and single celled amoeba, have been around the longest, again even outlasting the dinosaurs. Does it mean the swiftest? Some birds and species of large cats that are remarkably swift have come near to extinction over the last century. Does it mean the smartest? Turtles and sharks have been around (by evolutionists standards) for millions of years while other, supposedly smarter creatures, saber-toothed tigers, mammoths, extinct species of ape, the Tasmanian wolf, and various species of birds in recent eras, have gone by the wayside.
Often evolutionists will take a very general, well known, observable fact, that no one would contest, and then they will stretch that fact into a broad, sweeping statement to explain all of the diverse, intricate, existing phenomena in the organic realm from an evolutionist point of view.
A common example, referred to earlier in this chapter, would be the concept of "change." No one in their right mind would dispute that the universe is subject to change, and no one would dispute that change, growth, variation (within limits) is observed in living systems. Yet in the chapter Our Changing World, in his book A New Look at the Dinosaurs , Alan Charig extrapolates this obvious fact of existence to imply that evolution has occurred, because "everything in the world is constantly changing" (Charig, pp.22). He wrote: "Nothing, but nothing, remains the same . . ." which is a true statement in certain aspects in the natural world, but Charig expands this obvious fact into a non-scientific pronouncement by making the assertion that: "Everything is evolving."
Charig presents no evidence for any of this, he does say that there has been variation within species, he also mentions that some species have become extinct (the opposite of a species originating!), but he presents no evidence of any series of animals evolving from one distinct species into a totally different species, nor does he come up with a mechanism that would explain how favorable, genetic material could appear in the DNA structures of living things.
He also takes a very patronizing, condescending approach to the Biblical view, equating (wrongly) evolution with the "scientific view " and regarding the religious view as a primitive, child-like interpretation of the universe: "The contents of this chapter must seem to be the very opposite of what is written in the Bible, in the first chapter of Genesis. There it tells how God created the earth, and then, in four days, all forms of plant and animal life (including man himself) just as we know them today." (The Bible does not say that everything is just as we know them today, especially man, who originally would not have suffered old age and death. These kinds of misinterpolations are common fodder with evolutionary writers. There is room for variation and change within certain limits from an originally created pair; extinction of whole classes of animals would even be possible within the bounds of creationism, although this would not be the most preferred mechanism of ?improvement? as with evolutionists. Charigís criticism actually ignores one of the most obvious statements in Genesis, that the snake undoubtedly had a different physical structure after the fall, not from evolution, but from the effects of the curse.)
Charig continues: "Most people, however [marshaling the supposed
"correct" opinion to his side, another common tactic, similar to "all scientists
agree on evolution" etc. etc., a false presumption to bolster a failing
argument, as we have seen from the earlier cited authorities who vehemently
opposed evolutionary theory], no longer believe that the Biblical story of the
Creation is literally true. They look upon it as a parable, an allegory (like
many of the stories told by Jesus in the New Testament); in other words, it is a
fictitious story which serves to illustrate a moral teaching that the earth and
the living things upon it are constantly changing".
This is what Charig sees as the main message of Genesis, that "things are constantly changing?"
This might be the main message of Buddhism , which teaches that the phenomenal universe, known as samsara, or great turning, is in a state of flux, with no fixed elements having any permanent identity apart from accompanying "conditions" of existence, or Taoism with it's Book of Changes, or some other philosophical systems.
But can we say that this is the main message of Genesis, simply "that things change"? This is a rather vapid, one dimensional commentary on the first book of the Torah, the foundation stone of Jewish and Christian culture throughout the ages. This is similar to somebody stating that the beautiful harmony of a symphonic orchestra is not distinct from the rattling of a pneumonic jack-hammer breaking up cement; they are both equivalent; one is not qualitatively different from the other; orchestra music is just noise, like the backfire of car exhaust.
That's all Charig see's in Genesis. It's only an ancient weather report, an ancient almanac, There is nothing of significance about it except it tells us that things are changing.
To say that things are always changing is not a very profound
observation. Our nightly weather report is a record of change. The yearly
Almanac is a record of change. Of course things are constantly changing. Even a
first grader can make that observation when he comes home and tells his mother
what new thing they did in school that day!
But are we to believe Charig's rather simplistic observation that this is the main message of Genesis?
This type of shallow characterization of Jewish and Christian thought is very common with evolutionary writers. They set up a straw man that in their mind characterizes the ideology they wish to belittle and eventually destroy, and then after constructing this myth they set about to demolish it, all the while entirely missing the essential message of what the Bible is attempting to teach.
The Hebrew Rabbis have mined the book of Genesis for centuries and brought forth beautiful gems of wisdom and teaching that have enhanced the cultural and moral landscape of humanity for all to see.
Why can one person read the Bible and find in it wonderful
inspiration to go out to live a life of dedication to God and service to others, while another person reads the Bible and only sees in it a
collection of myths and fables, and uses the false ideology of evolution to
justify his rejection of the Creator?
Perhaps it is similar to the above example concerning someone who is unable to distinguish between beautiful symphonic music and the cacophony of a jack-hammer. They are spiritually tone-deaf. They have hardened their hearts to the gentle nudging of God's Spirit, and hence are incapable of seeing in God's Word the deeper truths that are there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear" the majesty of God's truth.
The main message of Genesis is that a sovereign Creator, out of infinite love and wisdom, created the entire universe, the earth, and man and every other living thing on the earth, and that man is morally accountable to this God, Who is to be loved, worshipped, reverenced and obeyed, and that there is a purpose to human life, and that there are moral consequences to our actions, and that we live in a world where values have significance, and that man has significance, and that all of life has a significance because we were created by the power of an Almighty Hand.. See this link for more.
Other objections to the Bible include the idea that if we found life on other worlds, then this would somehow disprove the idea that God had created all things, which seems to be a rather vague line of argument, since many Christians, among them quite a few in the Seventh Day Adventist movement, believe that this great universe might be full of diverse living systems, all of them created by God though, not having evolved by some nebulous process. A few centuries ago different Catholic and some Protestant writers speculated that there could be life on other worlds, this is no exclusively evolutionist or atheistic argument, and it lends no credence to their strange beliefs.
No one disputes that change does indeed occur, within limits. Taking this obvious fact and stretching it to contend that tree shrews became apes that became men has no verifiable evidence to back it up. Discussing the reasons for the gradual development of a new organ, Darwin wrote: "In many cases we are far too ignorant..." etc.  Since Darwin never even approached the fundamental question of the Origin of Species, let us see what some modern day scientists have to say about the situation.
Gordon Rattray Taylor wrote: "Darwinís theory of evolution by natural selection, which has stood as the one great biological law comparable with the law of physics for more than a century, is crumbling under attack. Biologists are discovering more and more features which it does not seem able to explain, and are holding meetings at which tempers often run high to discuss problems, some new, others which were discovered decades ago but quietly ignored." He further wrote: "In short, the dogma (Darwinism) which has dominated most biological thinking for more than a century is collapsing."
Michael Denton, an Australian medical doctor, evolutionist and scientist, on pp.358 of his earlier cited book, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, wrote: "The influence of evolutionary theory on fields far removed from biology is one of the most spectacular examples in history of how a highly speculative idea for which there is no really hard scientific evidence can come to fashion the thinking of a whole society and dominate the outlook of an age."
Professor Louis Bounoure, former President of the Biological Society of Strasbourg and Director of the Strasbourg Zoological Museum, then Director of Research at the French National Centre of Scientific Research, said: "Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless."
Dr. T.N. Tahmisian of the Atomic Energy Commission, USA, said in the Fresno Bee, August 20, 1959: "Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution, we do not have one iota of fact."
Biologist Jean Rostand informs us that even if a creature could acquire a characteristic to enable it to survive better, this would not be passed down through his progeny anyhow. Rostand wrote: " . . . acquired characteristics cannot be transmitted from the ancestor to the descendant. . ."
Thus the traditional stories of animals grasping things with their claws, then gradually developing hands, and fish struggling to survive out of the water and then developing arms and legs from their fins, is absolute science fiction. Science is defined as that which we can know, or can experimentally work with by direct observation and fact . In view of Darwinís many admissions of ignorance and outright dumbfoundedness I am at a loss as to how he or anyone with a rational intelligence can call his nebulous theories fact.
Dispelling the myth of evolution will take time and education and patience, for it is and has being vigorously enforced and propagated by its adherents in academia and in the media for many years, and they have become entrenched in their positions of influence in universities, middle level and High Schools, and in the television, movie and publishing industries. In addition, this myth has been handed down for generations from believing professors to students, who then become the next generation of teachers, and they often mix science with myth through insinuating the theory of evolution into their interpretations of natural data. This mixing of fact and flawed theory can be unconscious or deliberate, but the sad results are the continual perversion of scientific research towards an agnostic or atheistic view of life, or at the very least the removal of God and His providence from our everyday lives and from our understanding of history, which has profound consequences on the way we view life, our interpretation of manís role in creation, and our concept of our origin and destiny.
Next we shall look at the most well known aspect of paleontology, the extinction of the dinosaurs, and we will find out that there is a connection between their demise and one of the greatest events in the Bible, as we investigate the Flood of Noah in Chapter Seven of The Darwin Papers.
1 Timothy 6:20, Holy Bible
There are some evolutionists, and unfortunately some creationists who have stirred up much confusion by taken issue with using this quote from the Bible, stating that: 1) This passage concerning heresy does not refer to evolution and 2) The original Greek word translated as "science" was actually "gnosis", which meant secret or esoteric knowledge and thus Paul was not referring to the modern word "science" as we know it today.
There are some serious issues raised here, not the least of which is that we should not be majoring on the minors in our defense of creationism and causing unnecessary controversy within creationist ranks, which the evolutionists are ever seeking to spot and exploit for their own ends. However, since I have had this quote up on my site and this has been brought up, it must now be addressed.
As far as claiming that this verse, where Paul is warning Timothy to beware of false teaching, supposedly does not refer to evolution, while this is true that it does not directly refer to evolution, one could also make the case that since it doesn't refer directly to gnosticism either, which they claim it does refer to, then it isn't referring to that or to any heresy at all.
Using this type of faulty argument to deny that it refers to evolution, one could also say that if a mother told her child not to cross the street without looking both ways, but since she didn't mention one particular street on the way to school, then it would be okay for the child to cross that street without looking both ways.
This verse is a general statement made by Paul to beware of false teaching, false doctrine, nothing more and nothing less. It is what is known as an inclusive statement, and while it doesn't specifically mention evolution, it was meant to embrace heresies in the general sense, and evolution would certainly fit into that category. This passage doesn't mention other more modern heretical ideas either, like space aliens interbreeding with humans, and I assume that Paul was not going to give Timothy an exhaustive list of all the many heresies floating around in that day and age, or the heresies that would come about in the future. Furthermore, this verse has been used throughout history as a defense against Arianism, Sabellianism, and many other heresies by apologists for the faith, so this argument seems to break down here.
The Bible states "All scripture is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
Of course to an evolutionist this verse would not apply to evolution, simply because of the fact that if you were to ask any heretic if their ideas were heresy they would say no, of course not. Heresy always makes perfectly good sense to the heretic.
It is also claimed that this verse must be taken in context, and that it refers exclusively to the gnostic teaching of secret, or esoteric knowledge as necessary to salvation. However if we are to do this, we find that Paul is saying absolutely nothing in this epistle about gnostics or secret doctrines. To take it in context, Paul is simply warning Timothy to beware of "vain philosophy" or false teaching, where he says in another passage that through it "some have erred and departed from the faith."
Gnosticism would be included in this warning, but it would not necessarily be the sole heresy referred to in this verse. In addition, one of the characteristics of gnostic teaching was the concept of aeons, or vast ages of the earth, a topic which young earth creationists would certainly take issue with and that would have nothing to do with mystical knowledge.
As far as the meaning of the word gnosis, this was used by the gnostics, but it was also a word that simply meant knowledge, or experience and could have been applied to mean "learning".
In fact, this same Greek word gnosis is used in many other parts of the New Testament and it is used in Luke 1:77 to mean knowledge of salvation.
Also in Luke 11:52, Rom. 11:33, and 1Cor 8:1 it is used to mean nearly the same thing as in Luke 1:77, knowledge of God, while in Rom. 15:14 we are commanded to be filled with gnosis, so how can they claim that it is ipso facto being used in
1 Timothy only for gnosticism? Paul clearly was not referring to some gnostic experience when he was using this same word in these other passages, and it is clear that he was using it here to refer to what it plainly says: to beware of "false knowledge" or "science falsely so-called", and in the context that would surely, while not specifically mentioning evolution, embrace the teaching of evolution, along with gnosticism and other heresies.
Regarding the modern definition of the word science, it can and still is often used to mean knowledge, or "knowledge of" or "the study of", although it's meaning has been narrowed to include a specific discipline also. I think that to exclusively equate the word science with "the scientific method" is causing some of the confusion. They can be interchangeable at times, but one is not exclusively synonymous with the other.
In the New Testament Greek Lexicon this word gnosis
#1. Knowledge, signifies in general intelligence, understanding
A. the general knowledge of Christian religion
B. the deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced
C. esp. of things lawful and unlawful for Christians
D. moral wisdom, such as is seen in right
 Gish, Duane, Institute for Creation Research, Acts and Facts No. 102, December, 1981.
Florida panthers are fond of their cousins from Texas, Medford Mail Tribune, pp.1,Nov, 24,1995, orig. from the Los Angeles Times report out of Big Cypress National Preserve.
Denton, Michael, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, pp.249-250.
Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution, Baker Book House, 1984, pp.139.
Wallace, King and Sanders, Biosphere, The Realm of Life, Scott, Foresman and Company, Glenview
Illinois, 1984, pp.276.
Hoyle, Fred, The Intelligent Universe, London, Michael Joseph, 1983.
Whickramasinghe, Chandra, Philosophical Transcripts of the Royal Society of London, 1988, Vol.325, pp.611
 Patterson, Colin, Evolution, Natural Museum, London, 1999, pp. 129-131, ( Henry Morris, Back to Genesis Acts and Facts, November 2000)
Darwin, Origin, Chapter Six: Difficulties of the Theory: Utilitarian Doctrine.
Darwin, Origin, pp.97.
Taylor, Gordon Rattray, The Great Evolution Mystery, 1983, Harper and Rowe, Publishers, Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022, pp.1.
Taylor, Evolution Mystery, pp.15.
Denton, Michael, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 1985.
The Advocate , March 8, 1984, pp.17
The Orion Book of Evolution, Jean Rostand, The Orion Press, New York, 1960, pp.95.