googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: The 6th Lie that Evolutionists Tell: Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The 6th Lie that Evolutionists Tell: Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order.

"Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. Evolution has passed this test with flying colours." Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

This quote just annoys me (I mean, besides the peculiar, European way that Dawkins spelled, “colors”). I think I'm going to add it as a 6th lie to the “Five lies evolutionists tell.” Dawkins may have made this particular quote but I've heard a similar sentiment expressed many times in different ways. You may have heard someone say something like, “Evolution would be disproved if we found a rabbit in the Cambrian.” It's all a lie! It's a lie on so many different levels that I'm not sure if I can cover them all sufficiently in a single post – but, of course, I'll try.

First, there is a very subtle lie that most people completely overlook. Dawkins used the phrase “date order.” By doing this, he immediately projects the idea of time onto the fossil record; thus, fossils found lower in the fossil record are “older” than the ones above them. The reality is that the order in which fossils are buried simply demonstrates the order in which they were buried. It is the long age assumptions of their theory that says lower fossils are older.

According to YEC theory, most of the fossil bearing, geological column was formed during the Flood event. The lower fossils may have buried first but they're not necessarily “older.” If I filled a glass with ice, the cubes on the bottom were laid down first but they're not “older” than the cubes above them. By referring to where fossils appear as the “date order,” Dawkins is creating the false impression that their sequence represents, de facto, when the creatures lived. It's a lie.

From there, we next must understand that evolutionists have constructed their history of life on earth according to where they have found the fossils. We have found shark fossils, for example, very low in the fossil record so most scientists believe sharks lived very long ago. We find dinosaur fossils above shark fossils so scientists assume dinosaurs evolved after sharks. Of course, sharks are still alive today and dinosaurs are extinct; one might ask where are the shark fossils above the dino fossils that represent the “millions of years” sharks have continued living since the dinos went extinct? I ask rhetorically because that's not my point right now. I'm merely demonstrating how evolutionists piece together the history of evolution using the fossil order. Species found at the bottom lived first; species found higher evolved later.

If evolutionists construct their theory according to the order in which fossils appear, then how could any fossil possibly upset the theory? If the fossil of some particular species is found “out of order” from where it was previously expected, the theory is just tweaked to accommodate the new find. I wrote about this common phenomenon in a post titled, “A lot of things seem to have evolved 'earlier than thought'” where I cited a few headlines like, “Complex vision evolved earlier than thought” and “Ants evolved much earlier than thought.” “Out of order” fossils are rather ordinary. When a fossil appears out of sequence (which we often find), we simply see a new headline that says, “New find pushes evolution of this species back to earlier than thought.”  It's a lie to say that such a find would “easily disprove” the theory.

Now, even though evolution is so plastic that it can be stretched to accommodate nearly any discovery, we have occasionally found fossils that present rather thorny difficulties for evolutionists. A few years ago, I wrote about a controversial find in Mexico where dozens of modern looking, human footprints were found in volcanic ash that was dated via radiometric dating to be 1.3 million years old. That means either modern humans were walking around in Mexico 1.3 million years ago or the ash layer isn't really 1.3 million years old. Neither comports well with evolution. In order to rescue their theory, scientists decided the footprints really belonged to cows. No, I'm not kidding.

You can see then how scientists brazenly twist the evidence in order to force it to fit their theory. If a rabbit were ever found in the Cambrian, I predict we would read a headline something like, “Ancient species of lizard looked exactly like a modern rabbit!”

Dawkins quote is fluff. He speaks it with confidence in order to bolster evolution and make it seem unassailable but it's all smoke and mirrors. Evolutionists are constantly redrawing all the lines of evolutionary history every day as new evidence overturns their previous theories about the evidence.  For them to boldly say the theory stands up to every new find is laughable. Could that be what Dawkins meant when he said evolution is “The Greatest Show on Earth”?

What we need to find is a cassette tape in the Cambrian. Wouldn't that be funny? I know it can't happen since we know the Cambrian was already formed before cassette tapes were invented. Even so, I wonder how the evolutionists would explain that away?


Anonymous said...

So true, man. It makes me sick to my stomach. Seriously, how arrogant and stupid is Richard Dawkins? Really frustrating.

When we look to a car, we all know: There's ID. Why would be different with all the living things? Which are infinitely more "complex?"

But, like every other "great show on earth," this one is gonna end up cancelled, they always do.

Good work, brother. Like always.
God Bless!

Steven J. said...

Phillip Kitchner, noted philosopher of science, would agree with your point about "a single fossil" being able to refute evolution. He notes, citing the famed "Quine-Duhem thesis," in one of his books that there is no "silver bullet" falsification of a scientific theory, because hypotheses cannot be tested singly: a Precambrian rabbit fossil would force us to consider whether we were wrong to accept evolution, or wrong to identify these particular rocks as Precambrian, or perhaps even wrong to identify the fossil as a rabbit (though note that lizards are [a] diapsids rather than synapsids like rabbits, and [b] have no more business being around in the Cambrian than lagomorphs do). When an immense range of data supports one idea, it is more parsimonious to reject one of these "auxiliary hypotheses" when a rare anomalous result turns up, than it is to reject the theory that accounts for the vast majority of the evidence.

Though I note that having a group turn up in the fossil record before anything that might plausibly be an ancestor for it is considerably more disturbing than simply finding it earlier than we expected it, but still later than said plausible ancestors.

Oh, and while the article you cite on the footprints in 1.3 million year old ash is ambiguous, it seems to be saying that some of the footprints could indeed be humans: modern humans who made the prints alongside modern cows and farm equipment. As with the infamous "Paluxy man tracks," there may be no single explanation for all the supposed human footprints (some of the "man tracks" at Paluxy are modern carvings, some are the result of rock spalling, and some appear to be aberrant dinosaur prints).

Steven J. said...

Okay, so you agree that fossils lower in the geological column were deposited before those found above them; you just assume the difference in age is a matter of hours to weeks, or perhaps at most a few centuries (since YECs don't assume the entire geological record was laid down by the flood). Thus all the species could have lived at the same time, even if they were not buried at exactly the same time.

I note that this view is not terribly consistent with, e.g. the sort of fossil deposits that prompted Darwin's comment about the "extreme imperfection" of the fossil record: there are places where, e.g. layer upon layer of trilobite fossils are laid down, each layer containing a single species of the same genus (without transitional fossils between these species). They're segregated by species, not by size or shape or maturity, which doesn't sound like the sort of behavior one would expect from a flood acting on a host of species all alive in the same place at the same time.

More generally, if, e.g. ichthyosaurs and whales lived at the same time, and occupy many of the same ecological niches (there are many sizes and shapes of both), why aren't they ever found in the same layers of rocks? The patterns of faunal succession don't make a great deal of sense if all these "kinds" were contemporaries of one another.

Note, by the way, that while evolution pretty much depends on "deep time," the reverse is not true: the idea that different strata record suites of life from vastly different times predates evolutionary theory, was developed by creationists, and is still held by old-Earth creationists.

Oh, and the point, thus far, about cassette tapes in the Precambrian is that you don't have any, any more than you have a time machine. A pity, as the latter could presumably explain the former.

Steven J. said...

We find dinosaur fossils above shark fossils so scientists assume dinosaurs evolved after sharks. Of course, sharks are still alive today and dinosaurs are extinct; one might ask where are the shark fossils above the dino fossils that represent the “millions of years” sharks have continued living since the dinos went extinct?

There are of course numerous fossil shark teeth from the Cenozoic (the current geological era): the most famous is Cacharodon megalodon from ca. twenty million years ago, but there are hosts of others from the Eocene to the recent. These are not the same species or, in most cases, genera, as Mesozoic or Paleozoic sharks, any more than, e.g. Albertosaurus is the same as the earlier Allosaurus.

Something occurs to me. If the geological column, or at least the Mesozoic strata, are the sediments laid down by Noah's Flood, we have a couple of problems.

On the one hand, if "flood geology" is right, then Noah, his family, and his animal cargo must have disembarked onto a desolate world whose forests and fields were buried under miles of mud. The animals wouldn't have found much to eat for at least weeks, perhaps months or years.

On the other, as was pointed out by the last creationist I mentioned this to, the flood account mentions a dove bringing back an olive leaf to Noah, implying that some trees were indeed exposed above ground and that edible vegetation was available. But this, in turn, would imply that no very thick strata could have been laid down by the Flood. You can have flood geology or that olive leaf, but not both.

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

Thanks for your comments. They're provocative as usual.

By quoting Kitchner, I take it that we can agree that Dawkins is a liar? I know you've not quite used those words but the end result is the same. No single fossil could disprove evolution. Dawkins is wrong to say this and he is wrong to say evolution has “passed this test.” That was the whole point of my post so I should just claim victory and move on. However, I can't leave it at that.

While I know that nothing we find will ever dissuade the devout from their belief in evolution, I believe there should be some hypothetical discovery that would. I believe, for example, that a rabbit in the Cambrian really should disprove the entire theory even though I know it wouldn't. As you said, scientists would either reject the rock as being Cambrian or they would identify the fossil as some other, heretofore unknown creature that just looks like a rabbit (I was kidding when I said, “lizard”).

You have also raised a couple of other good points and though I don't have the time or space to get to all of them, I do want to touch on a few.

I do need to be careful when talking about the Flood. I did say, “Flood event” which I meant to include the Flood and its aftermath. It wasn't a 40 day event or even a year long event. Even after the Flood year, there was still much terraforming occurring as the waters receded. All of these events contributed to forming the geological column.

The Flood event was a snapshot of earth's history. Evolutionists complain about the “imperfection of the fossil record” but it's only “imperfect” if you assume your theory is true. I believe a majority of the species alive on earth on that time are represented in the fossil record. Rather than imperfect, I believe it's fairly complete. Of course, there are trillions of fossils and most of them are buried where we will never find them.

Of the fossils we do find, the simple reality is that the overwhelming majority of them are marine fossils. We find marine fossils at the bottom of the record and we find them at the top. Vertebrate, terrestrial animals represent only a tiny, tiny fraction of all the fossils that exist and even these are usually found in proximity with marine fossils (scientists usually invoke some sort of “beach” scenario). Yet it is from this most miniscule sampling of fossils that scientists have created their fanciful “progression of life” story.

You asked why ichthyosaurs and whales aren't found together? It's simply due to the extreme rarity of large, vertebrate fossils. Furthermore, it's possible that we may have already found whale bones (or more likely a piece of a whale bone) in the same stratum as an ichthyosaur but, because of evolutionary bias, it would be misidentified as something else besides a whale.

There is no obvious progression from simple to complex in the fossil record. Even the “earliest” fossils (that is, the “lowest”) have complex features. There is certainly not the “enumerable” number of transitional forms that Darwin predicted should fill every geological stratum if his theory were true.

The fossil record appears exactly as I would expect it if the Flood were historical.

To your point about the vegetation, I believe the chronology of the Flood year is a little fuzzy in most people's minds. The waters retreated for months before Noah left the Ark. It was at least 4½ to 5 months between the time the Ark stopped free floating until the dove returned with an olive leaf (probably a shoot). By that point, there was probably a lot of vegetation growing. If you have a yard, you no doubt know that plants need little encouragement to grow. If I left my yard unkept for one summer, it would resemble a jungle.

Thanks again for your comments. God bless!!


Steven J. said...

By quoting Kitchner, I take it that we can agree that Dawkins is a liar?

I do not think that disagreeing with me on a point of epistemology makes Dawkins a liar, even if I'm right. Even if we regard his statement as reckless hyperbole, I'm not sure that you want to treat reckless hyperbole as "lies;" that sort of criterion could come back to bite you in the posterior.

Note, by the way, that my (and Kitchner's) point is that there should not and cannot be any single test that would overturn evolutionary theory. A Precambrian rabbit (or any Precambrian tetrapod) would be a major puzzle, but it would be one fact in the face of a vast range of facts from multiple disciplines (note that the fossil record is not the only or even the main support of evolution) that strongly support evolution when, in principle, they could easily be very different.

That terrestrial vertebrates represent only a tiny fraction of the fossil record does not make those thousands of dinosaur fossils, or tens of thousands of early mammal fossils (including a great variety of hominid fossils) go away. If it matters at all, I would think that it would instill in you a sense of the irrelevance of harping on "missing links:" you should be sufficiently shocked by the quantity of found links.