In His Image
“According To Its Kind” 1
“We may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity ….” 2
Charles Robert Darwin
The fossil record makes a mockery of Darwin’s prophecy. The core of Darwinian gospel takes the entire theory down with his imaginary ship. If being sold as an investment stock, it would be delisted by any exchange.
This giant fossilized nautilus shows a striking resemblance to its smaller, twenty-first century descendants.
Fossil cemeteries include mirror images of modern coelacanths, crustaceans, millipedes, horseshoe crabs, snails, bivalves, squid-like belemnolds, nautilus-like ammonolds, mollusks—even a shrimp discovered in Oklahoma, alleged to be 360 million years old.
Moving up the geologic column from the deepest sedimentary layers, ancestral duplicates of today’s stromatolites, brittlestars, sea lilies, dragonflies, tree ferns, horsetails, sycamore tree leaves, wasps, and sand dollars confirm the gross error of Darwin’s imaginings.
The Pre-Cambrian landscape presents a virtual “paleontological desert.” Rather than a reliable geologic column brimming with obvious transitionals, stasis intrudes. The abrupt appearance of several thousand different species during the Cambrian Explosion, without observable prior fossil ancestry, runs counter to the chance hypothesis.
“Almost abrupt appearance of the major animal groups,” from as many as 50 phyla, ranks as “one of the most difficult problems in evolutionary paleontology.” 3
This is “not an obviously predicable outcome of evolution.” 4
Today’s world is loaded with look-alike descendants of Cambrian animal species, relatively unchanged in appearance from their fossil ancestors, undercutting an already tenuous theory predicated on a chain of persistent transitions. Fossils reputedly millions of years old that share an “unaltered likeness” with living descendants discredits Darwinian projections.
Discontinuity and stasis combine to trump evolution’s gradual change.
Multi-celled animal embryos, no bigger than a grain of sand, have been discovered in China, preserved in calcium phosphate and dated at the edge of the Cambrian/Precambrian time frame—marking the prolific explosion of organic life during which “virtually all the major animal body plans seen on Earth today blossomed in a sudden riotous evolutionary springtime.” 5
Henry Gee’s scrutinizing eye views attempts to “take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage” as a less than scientific “assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story.” 6
“All fossil roundworms found to date are indistinguishable from modern forms.” Fossils conventionally dated “more than 3 billion years old are virtually identical to organisms, called cyanobacteria, living today.” 7
Shixue Hu of China’s Chengdu Geological Center reports discovering a cemetery of 20,000 fossils, many fully intact, buried fifty feet deep in a Luoping mountain in southwestern China. Duly awarded a 250 million year conventional age, the treasure trove of antiquity includes stunning evidence at odds with Darwin’s unfulfilled prediction. There they were, mega-millions of conventional years after the fact: fossil residue of clams, oysters and snails—virtual replicas of life forms that inhabit today’s earth.
The find’s stunner was the “soft tissues” found on some of the fossils! 8
Soft tissues that escaped decay for 250 million years?
Many plant and animal species have suffered extinction. Equally certain, a cast of thousands thrive profusely, perpetuating resemblance to ancient ancestors. Evidence preserved in stone contradicts Darwin’s guess that “not one living species” would escape to the future.
Stasis not only prevails, it dominates!
Conjectured chunks of deep time made anything seemingly possible to Darwin’s hand-drawn “tree of life”–even exaggerated leaps over vast chasms of biological diversity. But instead of a reliable geologic column brimming with the intermediates required by the chance hypothesis, stasis intrudes. The fossil record bulges with evidence of species transmitting their “unaltered likeness to distant futurity,” while evidence of fossil chains linking molecule-to-man ranges from the abysmally sparse to the invisible.
To build his thesis on the theme that “the production of new forms has caused the extinction of about the same number of old forms,” 9 Darwin had to turn a blind eye to overwhelming discontinuity in the fossil record.
Millions of fossils shout stasis!
This horseshoe crab is a dead ringer look-alike for its ancient, fossilized ancestor.
After 425 million years of conventional time, the ostracods remain unchanged. 10 Ancestral alligators, oysters, sea urchins, horseshoe crabs, bowfins, Australian lungfish, sturgeons, crinoids, bats, arrow worms, opossums, star-fish, corals, and the platypus weave a consistent pattern of mirror image resemblance with living descendants.
Out-of-kilter with Darwin’s idea of “new forms” from the old, an allegedly 360 million-year-old fossil shrimp, discovered in Oklahoma, appears to be a duplicate of shrimp living on today’s seafloors. 11
Devonian era fossils, virtually identical to animal species observed in today’s world, not only confirm stasis but also call into question evolution’s assumption that amphibians descended from fish ancestors. 12
Evolutionist Henry Gee’s ranked the horseshoe crab as another species that not only dodged extinction’s bullet but also evaded marching in any parade of transitional forms. Gee described the crab as “an animal that has not changed its basic form for hundreds of millions of years.” 13
Steven Austin, devout creationist with impeccable science credentials, declares as a matter-of-fact, “Clams have always been clams; brachiopods have always been brachiopods; fish have always been fish.” 14
Even the lowly cockroach survives unscathed from mega-time’s ravages.
The Western Pacific’s nautilus and its long-fossilized ancestor might pass as twins. “In every way they are virtually identical to the living chambered nautilus. The creature that swims in our oceans today is the same one that was swimming 100 million years ago.” 15
Fossil insect species identified in ancient Scandinavian amber bear a striking resemblance to today’s descendants.
“Lungfish almost identical to those of modern Africa are found as fossils in the rocks of the Devonian era…alongside fossils of the earliest amphibians and the very fish groups from which the amphibia supposedly arose.” 17
Greenling damselflies, tiny insects with 22mm wingspans, supposedly went extinct two-hundred-fifty million years ago, but there they are, still flying in Australian skies. 17
While Darwin preached extinctions, 1840’s era excavators for England’s Great Western Railway stumbled across a fossil cemetery “where thousands of Jurassic fossils with preserved soft tissues were found,” and then lost, until rediscovered by a team led by Phil Wilby.
“Literally millions of these animals were dying out or being killed in this precise area and we don’t know what that is.” 18
The ancient squid not only resembled its modern counterpart, but its inch-long ink sac delivered the ink used by an artist to sketch its design and to sign its scientific name. Wilby marveled, “It is difficult to imagine how you can have something as soft and sloppy as an ink sac fossilized in three dimension, still black, and inside a rock that is 150 million years old. The structure is similar to ink from a modern squid so we can write with it.” 18
A fossil spider with a one-inch body and legs stretching out 2.5 inches has been discovered in China’s Inner Mongolia. Reputed to be 165 million years old by conventional calculations, the arachnid dubbed Nephila jurassica, is a match for today’s largest known web-weaving spiders, the tropical “golden orb weavers.” 19
If the alleged dating were accurate, this little guy with fuzzy fibers on its legs, argues for 165 million years of stasis rather than the faintest hint of evolution! So where’s the evolution?
Instead of life forms transiting by gradual increments of “successive, slight modification,” the fossil cupboard overflows with extinctions and stasis pointing to discontinuity rather than the “inconceivably great” number of transitional links critical to confirm the chance hypothesis.
Henry Gee highlights the chasms of discontinuity.
“It is impossible to know for certain whether one species is the ancestor of another.” 20 A scientific realist, he stresses “… adaptive scenarios are simply justifications for particular arrangements of fossils made after the fact, and which rely for their justification on authority rather than on testable hypotheses.” 21
Ernst Mayr also emphasized discontinuity. “All species are separated from each other by bridgeless gaps; intermediates between species are not observed.” 22
Unwilling to discard his lifetime toil, Darwin backtracked by suggesting nineteenth century fossil discoveries must be woefully incomplete. He counted on future discoveries to salvage his theory. Fortified with a visionary’s optimism, Darwin shrugged off the shortfall, ascribing the missing branches in his conjectured transitional train of change to the “extreme imperfection of the geological record.” 23
Nearly two centuries later, “extreme imperfection” still rules!
The naturalist ignored bleak reality. Recent discoveries bring little comfort or corroboration to Darwin’s fantasy. Early in century twenty-one, with more than two billion fossils exposed to the light of day, those elusive transitional links continue missing in action.
A treasure trove of fossils was discovered at an altitude of 8,875 feet in the Colorado Rockies in 2010. By the time the dig had been completed in July, 2011, a total of 5,426 fossil specimens had been exposed to the light of day and delivered to Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science. The tusks and bones of extinct Mammoths and Mastodons excited and inspired the crew of scientists and volunteers to slog through ankle-deep mud in what is recognized as a world-class paleontological find.
Many other life forms rested patiently in the muddy site, waiting to be discovered. Fossils of a giant bison, a monster-sized sloth, a mule deer, and an ice age horse were readily identified with mammals that walk today’s earth. Then there was the impressive roster of small animal fossils uncovered in a dig that moved 8,000 tons of Rocky Mountain mud! All were readily identifiable, showing striking resemblance with their living descendants!
“…Trout, tiger salamanders, frogs, garter snakes, rattlesnakes, lizards, ducks, geese, grouse, finches, shore birds, shrews, weasels, otters, beavers, red backed voles, bog lemmings, muskrats, deer mice, harvest mice, chipmunks, golden-mantled ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, pocket gophers, jumping mice, rabbits, and pikas.” 24
Discoveries in the “Snowmastodon” fossil cemetery, high up the slopes of the Rockies, devastates Darwin’s pipe dream. Findings of “spruce, fir, oak, pine and Douglas fir“ along with peat moss, willow pollens, aster pollens, and sledge leaves at the site indicated to the sophisticated team of stalwarts that “almost all plant species we encountered in the ancient lake are still alive today.” 24
Not exactly a laundry list of evidence shouting, “go Darwin!” No amount of wishful thinking can mask imagination’s blank screen.
“Surprising as it may seem, the only real evidence for the geological succession of life, as represented by the timetable, is found in the mind of the geologist and on the paper upon which the chart is drawn. Nowhere in the earth is the complete succession of fossils found as they are portrayed in the chart.” 25
Scraping the bottom of the fossil-bone barrel, efforts in the quest for missing links continue fruitlessly. Rather than a roster of substantive evidence, evolution loyalists have had to settle for the rare and the dubious.
Using fossil bone scraps in an attempt to link birds to dinosaurs or whales to a land-based ancestor with a foot is a far cry from definitive evidence. The contemporary world is hardly awash with definitive examples of evolution in action. It remains for the fossil record to deliver more than unsubstantiated conjecture. Whether exposed to the shovels digging for clues in fossil fields, or to the revealing glare of electron microscopes, Darwin’s elaborate predictions have not fared well.
Questions arise as to whether likely fossil ancestors of living species have been awarded different identities in order to ratify evolutionary theory. Carl Werner has photographed thousands of fossils that match living species. He notes: “Museums have collected the fossil remains of 100,000 individual dinosaurs but have not found a single direct ancestor for any dinosaur species. Approximately 200,000 fossil birds have been found but ancestors for the oldest birds have yet to be discovered.” 26
Stasis dominates pre-history investigations.
Absent requisite transitional forms, Darwin’s flawed logic dangles in limbo, clinging by a tattered thread. Continuous chains of organic life forms have yet to be persuasively linked together from unrelated fossil fragments.
Borrowing a quip from Mark Twain’s timeless humor, evolution’s supposed mantle of authenticity is at the very least, “greatly exaggerated.” Or in the colorful phraseology of gritty Texas lingo, evolution’s hollow assumptions tend to resemble the pretend cowpoke: “all hat and noAgainst All Odds
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