THE ROCKS TALK
We have observed examples of microevolution in which variations exist within a species. But there is little or no empirical evidence supporting Darwin’s claim of macroevolution—one species evolving into another species.4 More sophisticated creatures clearly do appear to arrive in later periods, but there remain yawning chasms (not mere gaps) between not only different species, but even between the highest orders of creatures, what are called phyla.
Why are the missing links essential to Darwin’s theory? Couldn’t gradual macroevolution have occurred without producing transitional fossils? Not according to Darwin. And certainly if countless species had undergone very gradual transitions from one category to another (for example, cats into dogs or fish into birds), then, according to Darwin, there should be countless fossils.
The abundance of transitional fossils should be demonstrable within all phyla and species, not merely a few. Certainly there should be many millions of transitional fossils, since it is estimated that over a billion species have existed in Earth’s history. Again, we are not looking for microevolutionary changes of one type of bird evolving into another, or one type of horse evolving into another horse, etc.
Evolutionist Steven Stanley, a paleobiologist from Johns Hopkins, concludes in his book Macroevolution that, without the fossil evidence, “we might wonder whether the doctrine of evolution would qualify as anything more than an outrageous hypothesis.”5 In other words, all the conjecture about whether Darwinian evolution is factual or not comes down to hard evidence.
Occasionally some researcher claims to have “evolved” a new species in the lab, but that is not evidence for Darwinian macroevolution. In fact, many such claims turn out to be bogus, or merely evidence for microevolution. In any case, the lab experiment involves intelligence, not chance.
For 150 years paleontologists have been busy digging, classifying, and looking for these transitional fossils in a worldwide hunt. Billions of fossils representing about 250,000 species have been scrutinized. What have the scientists discovered? Does the fossil evidence support Darwin’s theory of macroevolution? If it does, the missing links Darwin predicted should no longer be missing.
We commence our fossil search with the mysterious Cambrian period, an era geologists date at around 530 million years ago.
Continue reading page 4 of 8 of “Where are Darwin’s Predicted Fossils?”