Sunday, February 24, 2013


The scientific world has been in decline for a long time.  Precisely when science stopped being empirical and became faith based is hard to pin point but I think it started with the popularization of science by Carl Sagan.  Science – real science – is very complicated, technical, and thus hard to follow.  Because of this Carl Sagan in the brief time allotted to him by TV began to state various theories as facts when in fact they not.  From that time on things that had been postulated slowly morphed into facts ignoring the very basis of science which is empirical proof.  This erosion of science started with cosmology but rapidly infected other portions as well, especially the Theory of Evolution.  The very idea that Evolution is theoretical has disappeared.  Darwin reigns supreme even though the proofs demanded by Darwin have been ignored.  What Darwin observed and described is environmental adaptation not speciation.  No where in his seminal book “The Origin of Species” does he describe the origin of species and from that day to this how species originate is unproven and undemonstrated.  Many theories exist but none have been demonstrated.  This problem has plagued science for years but the scientific community is convinced that evolution is real even though they can’t actually prove it.

The evolutionary problem begins with the Cambrian Explosion.  The Pre-Cambrian is that period from the origin of the Earth to the fossil rich Cambrian and the beginning of the Geologic record.  Due to some unexplained process or event – non-divine event – life began in the Pre-Cambrian.  This life – based on limited evidence – was primitive bacterial life that evolved into something like pond scum and possibly simple worms.  But the Cambrian teems with fossils of complex life forms -- creatures with eyes, ears, organs, and complex bodies and ecologies.  How did these come to be and to be so diverse without any indication of their origin?  No transitional fossils exist – a criteria demanded by Darwin. 

The lack of transitional fossils is described as Stasis meaning a particular species exists unchanged in the fossil record for millions of years and then another species suddenly appears without any transitional fossils.   However, on close inspection these new species are really just examples of environmental adaptation by the same species.  That is the new trilobite is similar to the old trilobite, the new brachiopod is similar to the old brachiopod.  This pattern is repeated throughout the geologic record with new species looking like the preceding one, but are these truly new species or merely new versions of the same species much like a race horse looks different from a Clydesdale or a donkey but they are all equines.  How the ancestor of the horse divided into separate and distinct species remains an article of faith rather than a demonstrated fact.  The fossil record is devoid of transitional forms so to address this problem scientists have decided on Punctuated Equilibria.

This theory claims that no transitional fossils can be found in the geologic record because the separation between species happened at an accelerated rate requiring merely thousands of years rather than millions.  Because of this rapid evolution no transitional fossils were created because there wasn’t time.  That is a rather silly argument because the existing fossils were created one at a time and within the life time of the living fossil.  So while Punctuated Equilibria may sound like a viable theory it really doesn’t explain the absence of transitional fossils anywhere in the hundreds of millions of years of the geologic record.

This brings us to the descent of man – from pond scum to interstellar explorer.  Current thinking is that modern man has descended from a primitive ape that lived in Africa approximately three million years ago.  This original human (?) ancestor consists of a handful of bone fragments from which a proto-human has been constructed.  With this as a starting point additional bone fragments have been found in various places which has led the construction of the tree of human evolution which shows various species that have branched off and remained in the animal kingdom while others are shown to have continued their evolution into homo-sapiens and modern apes like the Chimpanzee. 

Whether or not this evolutionary tree of human development is true or not may be arguable but the real point is that this evolutionary span is approximately 3 million years and these various bone fragments can be argued to be transitional fossils.  If this is true then it seems logical that the geological record would contain transitional fossils of other life forms and whether Punctuated Equilibria is true or not-- it wouldn’t preclude finding transitional fossils.  The reality is that throughout the geological record new life forms suddenly appear with the most recent being Cro-Magnon man.  The question of speciation remains open and Darwin’s criteria for proof of his theory remains unanswered.

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