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Stasis in the Fossil Record

When we investigate natural history, we find not living things "evolving into different anatomical structures," but ones that have remained unchanged, even over the course of hundreds of millions of years. This lack of change is referred to by scientists as "stasis." Living fossils and organisms that have not survived down to the present day, but which have left their fossils behind in various strata of the Earth's history are concrete proof of stasis in the fossil record. And this stasis shows that no gradual process of evolution ever occurred. In an article in the magazine Natural History, Stephen Jay Gould describes this inconsistency between the fossil record and the theory of evolution:

A thornback ray fossil dating back to the Mesozoic era (245-65 million years ago) has exactly the same characteristics as those living in the sea today. This particular creature, about 250 million years old, clearly demonstrates that the evolutionary process is entirely fictitious.

The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism:

1. Stasis.Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless.

 

2. Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and 'fully formed.' 13

If a living thing survives in a flawless form down to the present day with all the features it displayed millions of years ago and having undergone no change whatsoever, then this evidence is powerful enough to entirely dismiss the gradual evolution model anticipated by Darwin. Moreover, far from there being just one example to demonstrate this, there are in fact millions. Countless organisms exhibit no differences from their original states, which first appeared millions or even hundreds of millions of years ago. As openly stated by Niles Eldredge, this state of affairs is causing paleontologists to avoid the idea of evolution, which is still supported today:

No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history.14

The stasis in the fossil record really does represent the greatest problem facing the proponents of evolution. That's because evolutionists look in the fossil record for the evidence they need to prove their fictitious process of evolution. However, fossils provide none of the intermediate forms they seek, but furthermore, reveal that living things alleged to have undergone a process of change over time never underwent any evolution at all, even after hundreds of millions of years. Living forms are identical to how they appeared originally, and never underwent the gradual change predicted by Darwin. Niles Eldredge describes how the stasis for long neglected by evolutionist paleontologists undermines Darwin's claim of gradual evolution:

But stasis was conveniently dropped as a feature of life's history to be reckoned with in evolutionary biology. And stasis had continued to be ignored until Gould and I showed that such stability is a real aspect of life's history which must be confronted—and that, in fact, it posed no fundamental threat to the basic notion of evolution itself. For that was Darwin's problem: to establish the plausibility of the very idea of evolution, Darwin felt that he had to undermine the older ... doctrine of species fixity. Stasis, to Darwin, was an ugly inconvenience. 15

Seeing the invalidity of Darwin's claim of gradual evolution, Eldredge advanced forward the idea of "punctuated equilibrium" together with Stephen J. Gould, and his words above were an accurate expression of the difficulty that stasis posed for Darwin. Yet the point that Eldredge ignores and neglects is that the stasis that is so manifest in the fossil record also represents a major dilemma for punctuated equilibrium.

Stasis in the Fossil Record

If evolution had really taken place then living organisms should have developed by gradual incremental changes and continued to change over time. But the fossil record shows the exact opposite. Different groups of organisms appeared suddenly with no similar ancestors behind them, and remained in their original state for millions of years, undergoing no changes at all.

Ammonites emerged some 350 million years ago, then became extinct 65 million years ago. But during the intervening 300 million years, the structure seen in the fossils never changed.

A starfish dating back some 100 million years.

Horseshoe crab fossil from the Ordovician period. This 450-million-year-old fossil is no different from specimens living today.

 

Oyster fossils from the Ordovician period, no different from their modern counterparts.

35-million-year-old fossil flies, exhibiting the same bodily structure as flies today.

 

This 170-million-year-old fossil shrimp from the Jurassic period is no different from living shrimps.

This 140-million-year-old dragonfly fossil found in Bavaria, Germany is identical to living dragonflies.

 

Left: The oldest known fossil scorpion, found in East Kirkton in Scotland. This species, known as Pulmonoscorpis kirktoniensis, is 320 million years old, yet no different from today's scorpions.

Right: An insect fossil in amber, some 170 million years old but no different from its counterparts of today, found on the coast of the Baltic Sea.

The paleontologists who proposed the punctuated equilibrium model of evolution admitted that the stasis in the fossil record presented a "problem." But since they considered it impossible to abandon the idea of evolution, they suggested that living things came into being not through small changes, but by sudden and very large ones. According to this claim, evolutionary changes took place in very small intervals of time, and in very narrow populations. Until this sudden jump, the population had exhibited little or no change and remained in a kind of equilibrium. Since the hypothetical population concerned was a narrow one, so-called large mutations would very quickly be favored by natural selection, and thus—somehow—the emergence of a new species would be established.

Punctuated equilibrium suggests that the formation of a new species took place within communities containing very small numbers of plants or animals. But this model of evolution has now been refuted, with a great deal of proof, by the sciences of microbiology and genetics. (For detailed information, see Harun Yahya's Darwinism Refuted.) Nor is there any scientific basis for punctuated equilibrium's claim regarding "narrow populations," put forward in order to account for the stasis in the fossil record and therefore, the absence of intermediate forms. Punctuated equilibrium was dealt a severe blow when it was revealed that in genetic terms, a restricted population presents no advantage for the theory of evolution, but rather a disadvantage! Far from developing in such a robust way as to give rise to a new species, narrow populations actually cause genetic defects. The reason is because the individuals in small isolated groups constantly reproduce within a narrow genetic pool. Therefore, normally "heterozygote" individuals—those enjoying a wide gene pool—become "homozygote" or more restricted in their genetic variations. The result is that normally recessive defective genes become dominant, thus producing ever-greater defects and genetic diseases in the population.

There is no evolutionary process in the origin of frogs. The oldest known frogs are completely different from fish, first appeared with their own unique structures, and possessed exactly the same characteristics as modern frogs. There is no difference between this approximately 25-million-year-old fossil frog in Dominican amber and living specimens.

Therefore, the lack of intermediate forms in the fossil record cannot be a result of evolution taking place in narrow populations. In addition to all these scientific impossibilities, the adherents of punctuated equilibrium can't explain why traces of changes in such small populations are never found in the fossil record.

This clearly demonstrates that both the gradual model of evolution that Darwin proposed, and the punctuated equilibrium model put forward to cover up its deficiencies, are not able to account for the stasis in the fossil record, the sudden appearance of living forms, and the lack of transitional ones. Whatever theory may be proposed, all claims that living organisms underwent evolution will end in failure and are scientifically condemned to collapse, because living things did not evolve. God has created all living things in their perfect states, from nothing. Therefore, all claims that living things evolved are doomed to disappear.

Stephen J. Gould, one of the intellectual fathers of the "punctuated equilibrium" theory, admitted this in all clarity at a conference he gave at Hobart & William Smith College:

Every paleontologist knows that most species don't change. That's bothersome ... brings terrible distress. ... They may get a little bigger or bumpier. But they remain the same species and that's not due to imperfection and gaps but stasis. And yet this remarkable stasis has generally been ignored as no data. If they don't change, it's not evolution so you don't talk about it. 16

The "Ineffectiveness" of the Environment

The shark, one of the most dangerous creatures in the sea, and a 400-million-year-old fossil show that sharks have never undergone any evolution.

Living fossils hold a mirror to the lack of difference between present-day specimens and fossil remains from the past, and offer evidence that therefore, species underwent no evolution over millions of years. In that way, they deal a severe blow to the theory of evolution, which, as is well-known, claims that only those organisms able to adapt to changing environmental conditions survive, and that these evolve into other living things under the effect of imaginary random changes. But living fossils show that the idea of species gradually "reacting" to environmental conditions is actually groundless. Examples of very old living fossils include the shark, which reveals no trace of change despite being around 400 million years old. The Cœlacanth, which evolutionists portrayed as an intermediate form between fish and ambiphians until living specimens were found off Madagascar, constitutes a striking refutation of the theory of evolution's scenario of change.

Despite its evolutionist slant, Focus magazine referred to living things that had remained unchanged for millions of years in its April 2003 issue, which dealt with the Cœlacanth:

The discovery that a creature as large as the Cœlacanth had lived for so many years outside the knowledge of the scientific world led to its attracting a great deal of interest. Yet there are a very large number of organisms which, like the Cœlacanth, are identical to fossils remaining from millions of years ago. For example, the Neopilina, a species of crustacean, has remained unchanged for 500 million years, the scorpion for 430 million years, the Limulus, a marine creature with armour and a sword-like tail, for 225 million years, and the Tuatara, a species of reptile living in New Zealand, for 230 million years. Many arthropods, crocodiles, turtles and many species of plant are other components of this growing list. 17

A 50-million-year-old fossil scorpion in amber.

A tuatara fossil and a tuatara living today.

A fossil horseshoe crab and a presentday specimen. 

 

A fossil maple leaf dating back millions of years, and modern maple leaves.

A salamander fossil, 160 million years old.

 

A 2-million-year-old fossil ant preserved in amber. Above: an ant living today. These creatures are still the same as they were millions of years ago.

A fossil crocodile, 190 million years old, and a crocodile of today.

 

A fossil feather, 120 million years old.

Above Right: a fossil flower. Above Left: today's primrose.

 

Snake fossils dating back millions of years show that snakes have never changed at all.

A woodpecker feather, which is identical to present-day woodpecker feathers.

Focus cited the examples of cockroaches and archaeobacteria, and openly admitted these species deal a blow to the theory of evolution:

Looked at from the evolutionary perspective, the probability of organisms such as these undergoing mutation is much higher than that of others. Because every new generation means the copying of DNA. Bearing in mind the number of times the copying process takes place over millions of years, a very interesting picture emerges. In theory, various elements of pressure such as changing environmental conditions, hostile species and competition between species should lead to natural selection, the selection of species advantaged by mutation, and for these species to undergo greater change over such a long period of time. YET THE FACTS ARE OTHERWISE. Let us consider cockroaches, for example. These reproduce very quickly and have short life spans, yet they have remained the same for approximately 250 million years. Archaeobacteria are an even more striking example. These emerged 3.5 billion years ago, when the Earth was still very hot, and are still alive today in the boiling waters in Yellowstone National Park.18

The theory of evolution is a fictitious story written about the natural history of species, and is actually refuted by the scientific findings its adherents obtain! Living fossils show that the effect of the environment on living things is not evolution but rather "non-evolution." Species have not come by their present-day structures by undergoing a process of random change. They have all been flawlessly brought into being by Almighty God and have persisted in the form they were first created throughout their time on Earth.

 

Footnotes

13. http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/fsslrc02.html

14. http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/fsslrc02.html

15. http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/fsslrc02.html

16. http://www.bible.ca/tracks/fossil-record.htm

17. Evrimin Çıkmaz Sokakları: Yaşayan Fosiller, Focus, Nisan 2003

18. Evrimin Çıkmaz Sokakları: Yaşayan Fosiller, Focus, Nisan 2003

 

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