The cure for cults that want to deny others
their freedom of speech is more freedom of speech
-- Fredric Rice


Creationist Cults

Creationism's Dud From Their Arsenal:
The Fossil Record


"Not one single fossil ancestor has been found for each of the complex invertebrates (clams, snails, sponges, jellyfish, trilobites, brachiopods, etc.), nor are there any transitional forms connecting these creatures to a common ancestor. Supposedly, one of these invertebrates evolved into fishes (vertebrates). There are billions times billions of fossil invertebrates and untold billions of fossil fishes, but not one fossil intermediate form between invertebrates and fishes. Every major kind of fish appears fully formed without a trace of an ancestor, and there are no transitional forms connecting these various kinds of fishes. Obviously, evolution has not taken place on the earth." --- Reverend Duane Gish


It is ABSURD to expect the fossil record to contain a sample fossil of every species that has ever lived: fossilization does not work that way. Less than one per cent of hard-bodied organisms fossilize; less than one per cent of those fossils have been found by paleontologists and studied. Does Rev Gish know where the bones of his great gandparents are? No? Does that mean Gish never had great grandparents? You can see the absurdity of Rev Gish's first claim.
"Fossilization" is really a "bag" term for preservation in the rock record. To be more precise, one should refer to the actual processes (plural) of preservation. These include: mummification (preservation in arid/cold [or both] climates), usually reserved for fairly recent sort of remains (mammoths in permafrost, cave bears from the Pleistocene, and dodo and great auk remains from the Pliocene). Other more typical preservational modes are carbonization (usually for florules, i.e. plant remains), but certain critters croaking in water and falling to the bottom of a lake or restricted ocean in an euxinic or anoxic environment are not bothered by scavengers and other reducers, and are eventually "distilled" into a carbon film. Good examples are some of the piscine remains in the Eocene Green River Shales, ichthyosaurs from the Jurassic of Germany and Cretaceous fish from Brazil.

Other methods are replacement and permineralization; where there is a molecule for molecule exchange of organic remains (carbon base) for inorganic (silica, hematite, opal, magnetite, pyrite, etc.). This yields exquisite detail as it is a VERY slow process (106 years). Such examples include the "Petrified Forest" of the 4 corners area fame (coniferous trees replaced by precious opal), numerous examples of pyritized brachiopods from the Carboniferous Cincinnati Shales (Platystrophia ponderosa is a largish brachiopod and oftimes is found completely pyritized... makes nifty geological door prizes.)

Other modes of preservation include imbedment in various agents such as tar (Pleistocene Rancho de La Brea as a classic example), amber (Baltic insects from the Miocene) and body casts and molds by interment in ash falls.

As for the supposed big boat that "fossilized" in a mere 4,000 years on the slopes of a tallish mountain, just where the flying fornication did all the water come from (and go to) that allowed this rapid mode of fossilization on the side of a volcano? All processes of preservation (excepting the latter inclusion cases) require copious amounts of liquid H2O for the vehicle to carry dissolved minerals for replacement.

Or is it all just a great, huge load of bovine biogenic colluvium? --- Dr. Marty Leipzig

Transition from primitive jawless fish to sharks, skates, and rays:
  • Cladoselachians (e.g., Cladoselache).
  • Hybodonts (e.g. Hybodus)
  • Heterodonts (e.g. Heterodontus)
  • Hexanchids (e.g. Chlamydoselache)

Transition from primitive bony fish to holostean fish:

  • Palaeoniscoids (e.g. Cheirolepis); living chondrosteans such as Polypterus and Calamoichthys, and also the living acipenseroid chondrosteans such as sturgeons and paddlefishes.
  • Primitive holosteans such as Semionotus.

Transition from holostean fish to advanced teleost fish:

  • Leptolepidomorphs, esp. Leptolepis, an excellent holostean-teleost intermediate
  • Elopomorphs, both fossil and living (tarpons, eels)
  • Clupeomorphs (e.g. Diplomystus)
  • Osteoglossomorphs (e.g. Portheus)
  • Protacanthopterygians

Transition from primitive bony fish to amphibians:

  • Paleoniscoids again (e.g. Cheirolepis)
  • Osteolepis -- one of the earliest crossopterygian lobe-finned fishes, still sharing some characters with the lungfish (the other group of lobe-finned fish). Had paired fins with a leg-like arrangement of bones, and had an early-amphibian-like skull and teeth.
  • Eusthenopteron (and other rhipidistian crossopterygian fish) -- intermediate between early crossopterygian fish and the earliest amphibians. Skull very amphibian-like. Strong amphibian-like backbone. Fins very like early amphibian feet.
  • Icthyostegids (such as Icthyostega and Icthyostegopsis) -- Terrestrial amphibians with many of Eusthenopteron's fish features (e.g., the fin rays of the tail were retained). Some debate about whether Icthyostega should be considered a fish or an amphibian; it is an excellent transitional fossil.
  • Labyrinthodonts (e.g., Pholidogaster, Pteroplax) -- still have some icthyostegid features, but have lost many of the fish features (e.g., the fin rays are gone, vertebrae are stronger and interlocking, the nasal passage for air intake is well defined.)
--- Kathleen Hunt

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"You can lie about ICR all you want." -- Jason Daniel Henderson

"Thank you for your permission however there's never any need to. Creationist propaganda is already self-debunking." -- Fredric L. Rice


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