воскресенье, 11 декабря 2016 г.

A Fossil Puzzle

G Avery's opinion of The modern theory of the descent of man, by Ernst Haeckel, published in Anthropogenie oder Entwicklungsgeschichte des Menschen (The Evolution of Man),1874 [1]

It is commonly believed that fossils are arranged in a certain order across sedimentary layers: generally, fossilized organisms in upper layers are allegedly more complex than those in lower layers. It is also believed that the order of fossils vividly demonstrates evolution of life.

However, an eminent evolutionist of the XX century Stephen J. Gould noted that fossils had not recorded any obvious progress from simple to complex:

“I regard the failure to find a clear ‘vector of progress’ in life’s history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record.” [2]

Gould offers his own explanation as to why there is no clear ‘vector of progress’ in the fossils. His explanation involves “punctuated equilibrium” [3] and, possibly, mass extinctions. Yet, the Bible teaches us that there was a global Flood about 4500 years ago. The Flood should have formed a layered graveyard of fossils. 


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[1] G Avery's opinion of The modern theory of the descent of man, by Ernst Haeckel, published in Anthropogenie oder Entwicklungsgeschichte des Menschen (The Evolution of Man),1874. The figure show the human pedigree as a Great Chain of Being, illustrated by modern and fossil species. Hand-coloured print. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AHuman_pidegree.jpg. License: By G Avery (Scientific American) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

[2] Stephen Jay Gould, The Ediacaran Experiment, Natural History, Vol. 93 (February 1984), pp.14-23.

[3] “Rather, species form rapidly in geological perspective (thousands of years) and tend to be highly stable for millions of years thereafter.” (S. J. Gould, The Ediacaran Experiment)

Thus, I would call it “evolution by leaps” versus the Darwinian “evolution by small steps” – I.B.

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