Patterns in the Fossil Record, Part 2
A general note of caution is necessary in the discussion of patterns in the fossil record. As with many other aspects of the natural world, the complexity that we find in this field of study tends to transcend our idealized categorizations.
Patterns in the Fossil Record, Part 1
Fossils are remains of organisms or traces of their activity preserved in the rock record. The scientific significance of fossils is truly remarkable, because they represent the only available archive of past forms of life. Through fossils, not only can we reconstruct the morphology of extinct creatures but also infer aspects of their ecology and environment. Fossils are also very relevant in discussions…
Annotations from the Literature
A collection of short commentaries on scientific papers published in 2015, covering topics such as phylogeny of moths, beak variations in species of Galapagos finches and scrub jays, functional synthetic chromosomes, horizontal gene transfer, Jurassic fossil snakes, stasis, trace fossils of swimming tetrapods, and habitat diversity in the fossil record. Published in Origins, v. 64.
The Cambrian Explosion
Texbooks describe the fossil record as the ‘best evidence’ for evolution. They claim that the fossil record proves evolution because there seems to be a succession from simpler to more complex life forms, and a succession from marine to terrestrial forms. Charles Darwin suggested that all life has a common ancestor. “All the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth may be descended from some…
Lazarus species raise questions about how the geologic column formed. They are one good reason that we should be thinking about mechanisms other than deep time to account for the order we observe in the fossil record.
Climbing Up and Down Through the Fossil Record
Doesn’t the order of fossils in rock layers demonstrate evolution from simple to complex organisms? With invertebrates the data are ambiguous; the best case for increasing complexity can be made with vertebrate fossils and plants. However, there are other valid interpretations more consistent with the Biblical record and patterns of fossil appearance. First let’s review the data; rare microscopic…
- Ecology & Conservation
- Intelligent Design
- Other Sciences
- Faith and Science
- Origins Journal: Archive