Charles Darwin knew, in his time, that a certain important aspect of the fossil record was most troubling for his new theory of evolution. If his theory was to be vindicated he would need to find evidence of a “transitional form.” Someone would need to find a fossil that would link two separate and distinct species together – a sort of half and half of both species. As he penned The Origin of Species, no such “missing link” had yet to be found. In speaking of the “intermediate links” he said: “Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”
He was right. Without any fossil evidence of a transitional form – evolutionary transitions from single-cell creatures to advanced animals were nothing more than fanciful speculation.
Lucky for Darwin, not two years after publishing his work a curious fossil was discovered in a limestone quarry in Germany. The fossil seemed to be half-reptile, half bird – sporting some characteristics found in both species. The specimen was called Archaeopteryx (meaning “ancient wing.”)
Budding evolutionists were ecstatic. Here was the missing link proving that the gap between reptiles and birds had been bridged – offering the conclusion: some reptiles evolved into birds. As late as 1982, Harvard neo-Darwinist Ernst Mayr called Archaeopteryx “the almost perfect link between reptiles and birds.”
But all the optimism began to wane in the mid-1980’s when paleontologists began to study Archaeopteryx more closely. By 1996, Mark Norell (of the American Museum of Natural History) offered his conclusion: “Archaeopteryx is a very important fossil… but most paleontologists now believe it is not a direct ancestor of modern birds.” Paleontologist Larry Martin stated: “it is the earliest known member of a totally extinct group of birds.”
In short, Archaeopteryx was not transitional at all. The missing link was still missing.
This left evolutionists (and the theory) back at square one. But not without the resolve to discover and disseminate the “fact” of transitional forms and evolution.
In the last few decades, new transitional forms have been touted and publicized. There is Tiktaalik (claimed to represent the transition of vertebrate life from water to land);
and Pakicetus (a land animal that was the supposed ancestor of whales)
among some others. In fact, if you look at any evolutionary site for “transitional forms” you will find long lists of proposed specimens.
One would almost conclude that the fossil evidence is overwhelming. Transitional forms are more abundant than anyone ever thought they would be.
Except, the “evidence” is profoundly misleading.
Proofs for evolution, through the “abundance” of transitional forms, boils down to a lot of speculation about animals that were never observed and (quite often) only exist in the imaginations of whoever is telling the story about them. In short, there is no proof for any of the conjecture about how any of these creatures lived OR evolved.
This is not my opinion, but the opinion of some prominent evolutionists.
Dr. Colin Patterson (paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History) said: “As a paleontologist, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record… I will lay it on the line – there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument. The reason is that statements about ancestry and descent are not applicable in the fossil record. Is Archaeopteryx the ancestor of all birds? …There is no way of answering the question. It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favored by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science.”
And Stephen J. Gould (esteemed paleontology professor at Harvard) stated: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology… a species does not arise gradually by the gradual transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed.‘”
Experts in the field of fossils are saying… “Not one such fossil” has ever been found that shows how one species “transitions” to another species. AND the fossil evidence is telling us that every fossil exists as its own kind. There are no half-birds, half-reptiles in the fossil record… just a lot of opinion and supposition about such things from people who want it to be so.
Is there a better option that aligns with the evidence we see? Absolutely.
“According to their kinds” means that a bird has always been a bird, a fish has always been a fish, a reptile has always been a reptile, and on and on…
Do species change through time? Yes, they do. They change and adapt to their surroundings as their Creator enabled them to do. This is exactly what the fossil record shows.
But do they become a different species through eons of time? Not according to the fossils. Or the experts. In spite of what the imaginative speculations of evolutionists would have us believe.