Archive for stephen jay gould

Missing links

Posted in Evolution with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2008 by airtightnoodle

At theballoonman’s blog, recently an anti-evolutionist (at least, that is what they appear to be) by the screenname of J2nice78 presented the following Stephen Jay Gould quote to demonstrate that the fossil record is not acceptable evidence for evolution:

“The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: 1) Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; Morphological change is usually limited and directionless. 2) Sudden Appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transormation of is ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed.’” This has been more recently affirmed by others.

Of course, there is much more to that Gould quote, but that wasn’t what really interested me, personally.  What I really enjoyed was this bit from a user named Magistra:

And incidentally, “fully formed” is in the eye of the beholder, just as all points on a line are “fully formed” points rather than simply part of a line. Transition fossils are being found all the time, but you can always claim there are “missing links” just as you can claim there are still points between any two “fully formed” points on a line. However, the fact that there are still “missing” points doesn’t mean you can’t connect the dots.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

You may also enjoy reading this post from Skeptic Con: Why Creationists Are Delusional About the Fossil Record.