The Geologic Column
"The Evolution Handbook" Pages 426, 436, 445, 493
(1) Geochemistry is the study of the substances in the earth and the chemical changes they undergo. (2) Petrology is the study of rocks, in general. (3) Minerology is the study of minerals, such as iron ore and uranium. (4) Geophysics is the study of the structure, composition, and development of the earth. (5) Structural geology is the study of positions and shapes of rocks very deep within the earth.
(1) Geochronology is the study of geologic time. (2) Earth Processes is the study of the forces that produce changes in the earth. (3) Sedimentology is the study of sediment and the ways it is deposited.
(1) Paleontology is the study of fossils, and paleontologists are those who study them. (2) Stratigraphy is the study of the rock strata in which the fossils are found. (3) Paleogeography is the study of the past geography of the earth. (4) Paleoecology is the study of the relationships between prehistoric plants and animals and their surroundings.
"The part of geology that deals with the tracing of the geologic record of the past is called historic geology. Historic geology relies chiefly on paleontology, the study of fossil evolution, as preserved in the fossil record, to identify and correlate the lithic records of ancient time."—*O.D. von Engeln and *K.E. Caster, Geology (1952), p. 423.
"Although the comparative study of living animals and plants may give very convincing circumstantial evidence, fossils provide the only historical documentary evidence that life has evolved from simpler to more complex forms."—*Carl O. Dunbar, Historical Geology (1949), p. 52.
"Fortunately there is a science which is able to observe the progress of evolution through the history of our earth. Geology traces the rocky strata of our earth, deposited one upon another in the past geological epochs through hundreds of millions of years, and finds out their order and timing and reveals organisms which lived in all these periods. Paleontology, which studies the fossil remains, is thus enabled to present organic evolution as a visible fact."—*Richard B. Goldschmidt, "An Introduction to a Popularized Symposium on Evolution," in Scientific Monthly, Vol. 77, October 1953, p. 184.
"No biologist has actually seen the origin by evolution of a major group of organisms."—*G. Ledyard Stebbins, Process of Organic Evolution, p. 1. [Stebbins is a geneticist.], THE PERIODS: Quaternary - 1829, Tertiary - 1759, Cretaceous - 1822, Jurassic - 1795, Triassic - 1834, Permian - 1841, Carboniferous - 1822, Devonian - 1837, Silurian - 1835, Ordovician - 1879, Cambrian - 1835 THE ERAS: Cenozoic - 1841, Mesozoic - 1841, Paleozoic - 1838
"It remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of families, appear in the [fossil] record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences."—*George G. Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution, p. 360."The adequacy of the fossil record for conclusive evidence is supported by the observation that 79.1 percent of the living families of terrestrial vertebrates have been found as fossils (87.7 percent if birds are included)."—R.H. Brown, "The Great Twentieth-Century Myth," in Origins, January 1986, p. 40.
"Geology and paleontology held great expectations for Charles Darwin, although in 1859 [when he published his book, Origin of the Species] he admitted that they [already] presented the strongest single evidence against his theory. Fossils were a perplexing puzzlement to him because they did not reveal any evidence of a gradual and continuous evolution of life from a common ancestor, proof which he needed to support his theory. Although fossils were an enigma to Darwin, he ignored the problem and found comfort in the faith that future explorations would reverse the situation and ultimately prove his theory correct.
"He stated in his book, The Origin of the Species, ‘The geological record is extremely imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find intermediate varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views, on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory’ [quoting from the sixth (1901) edition of Darwin’s book, pages 341-342].
"Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track."—Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma (1988), p. 9 [italics ours].
"There are a hundred million fossils, all catalogued and identified, in museums around the world."—*Porter Kier, quoted in New Scientist, January 15, 1981, p. 129.
"The reason for abrupt appearances and gaps can no longer be attributed to the imperfection of the fossil record as it was by Darwin when paleontology was a young science. With over 200,000,000 catalogued specimens of about 250,000 fossil species, many evolutionary paleontologists such as Stanley argue that the fossil record is sufficient."—W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited (1954), p. 48 [italics ours].
"In part, the role of paleontology in evolutionary research has been defined narrowly because of a false belief, tracing back to Darwin and his early followers, that the fossil record is woefully incomplete. Actually, the record is of sufficiently high quality to allow us to undertake certain kinds of analysis meaningfully at the level of the species."—*S. Stanley, "Macroevolution," p. 1 (1979).
"Over ten thousand fossil species of insects have been identified, over thirty thousand species of spiders, and similar numbers for many sea-living creatures. Yet so far the evidence for step-by-step changes leading to major evolutionary transitions looks extremely thin. The supposed transition from wingless to winged insects still has to found, as has the transition between the two main types of winged insects, the paleoptera (mayflies, dragonflies) and the neoptera (ordinary flies, beetles, ants, bees)."—*Fred Hoyle, "The Intelligent Universe: A New View of Creation and Evolution," 1983, p. 43.
"It is not even possible to make a caricature [hazy sketch] of an evolution out of paleobiological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that . . the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as due to the scarcity of the material. The deficiencies are real; they will never be filled."—*N. Heribert-Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung (The Synthetic Origin of Species), 1953, p. 1212.
". . intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic change, and this is perhaps the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory [of evolution]."—*Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species, quoted in *David Raup, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," in Field Museum Bulletin, January 1979.
"The time required for one of these invertebrates to evolve into the vertebrates, or fishes, has been estimated at about 100 million years, and it is believed that the evolution of the fish into an amphibian required about 30 million years. The essence of the new Darwinian view is the slow gradual evolution of one plant or animal into another by the gradual accumulation of micro-mutations through natural selection of favored variants.
"If this view of evolution is true, the fossil record should produce an enormous number of transitional forms. Natural history museums should be overflowing with undoubted intermediate forms. About 250,000 fossil species have been collected and classified. These fossils have been collected at random from rocks that are supposed to represent all of the geological periods of earth’s history. Applying evolution theory and the laws of probability, most of these 250,000 species should represent transitional forms. Thus, if evolution is true, there should be no doubt, question, or debate as to the fact of evolution."—Duane T. Gish, "The Origin of Mammals" in Creation: the Cutting Edge (1982), p. 76.
"We can hardly pick up a copy of a newspaper or magazine nowadays without being informed exactly how many million years ago some remarkable event in the history of the earth occurred."—*Adolph Knopf, quoted in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations, p. 62. [Knopf was an American geologist.]
"It is, indeed, a well-established fact that the (physical-stratigraphical) rock units and their boundaries often transgress geologic time planes in most irregular fashion even within the shortest distances."—*J.A. Jeletzsky, "Paleontology, Basis of Practical Geochronology," in Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, April 1956, p. 685.
"Most of the species of maidenhair are extinct; indeed they served as index fossils for their strata until one was found alive." "The youngest fossil coelacanth is about sixty million years old. Since one was rediscovered off Madagascar, they are no longer claimed as ‘index fossils’—fossils which tell you that all other fossils in that layer are the same ripe old age."—Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), pp. 186, 198. Woops, a Living Index Fossil!
Circular Reasoning -Any rock containing fossils of one type of trilobite (Paradoxides) is called a "Cambrian" rock, thus supposedly dating all the creatures in that rock to a time period 600 million years in the past. But rocks containing another type of trilobite (Bathyurus) are arbitrarily classified as "Ordovician," which is claimed to have spanned 45 million years and begun 480 million years ago.
Think about the quote above the mouse and the one below. The mouse did.
"Fossils provide the only historical, documentary evidence that life has evolved from simpler to more and more complex forms."—*Carl O. Dunbar, Historical Geology, 2nd edition (1960), p. 47.
"Vertebrate paleontologists have relied upon ‘stage of evolution’ as the criterion for determining the chronologic relationships of faunas. Before establishment of physical dates, evolutionary progression was the best method for dating fossiliferous strata."—*J.F. Evernden, *O.E. Savage, *G.H. Curtis, and *G.T. James, "K/A Dates and the Cenozoic Mammalian Chronology of North America," in American Journal of Science, February 1964, p. 166.
"The dating of each stratum—and all the fossils in it—is supposedly based on index fossils, when it is actually based on evolutionary speculations, and nothing more.
"The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone."—Randy Wysong, The Creation-Evolution Controversy (1976), p. 31.
"Because of the sterility of its concepts, historical geology, which includes paleontology [the study of fossils] and stratigraphy [the study of rock strata], has become static and unreproductive. Current methods of delimiting intervals of time, which are the fundamental units of historical geology, and of establishing chronology are of dubious validity. Worse than that, the criteria of correlation—the attempt to equate in time, or synchronize, the geological history of one area with that of another—are logically vulnerable. The findings of historical geology are suspect because the principles upon which they are based are either inadequate, in which case they should be reformulated, or false, in which case they should be discarded. Most of us [geologists] refuse to discard or reformulate, and the result is the present deplorable state of our discipline."—*Robin S. Allen, "Geological Correlation and Paleoecology," Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, January 1984, p. 2.
"The charge that the construction of the geologic scale involves circularity has a certain amount of validity."—*David M. Raup, "Geology and Creationism," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, March 1983, p. 21.
"The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling the explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. This is supposed to be hard-headed pragmatism."—*J.E. O’Rourke, "Pragmatism versus Materialism and Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, January 1976, p. 48.
"Are the authorities maintaining, on the one hand, that evolution is documented by geology and on the other hand, that geology is documented by evolution? Isn’t this a circular argument?"—*Larry Azar, "Biologists, Help!" BioScience, November 1978, p. 714.
"Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution, because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so, we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory."—*Ronald R. West, "Paleontology and Uniformitarianism," in Compass, May 1968, p. 216.
"And this poses something of a problem. If we date the rocks by their fossils, how can we then turn around and talk about patterns of evolutionary change through time in the fossil record?"—*Niles Eldredge, Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution, 1985, p. 52.
"A circular argument arises: Interpret the fossil record in the terms of a particular theory of evolution, inspect the interpretation, and note that it confirms the theory. Well, it would, wouldn’t it?"—*Tom Kemp, "A Fresh Look at the Fossil Record," New Scientist 108, December 5, 1985, p. 66.
"But the danger of circularity is still present. For most biologists the strongest reason for accepting the evolutionary hypothesis is their acceptance of some theory that entails it. There is another difficulty. The temporal ordering of biological events beyond the local section may critically involve paleontological correlation, which necessarily presupposes the nonrepeatability of organic events in geologic history. There are various justifications for this assumption but for almost all contemporary paleontologists it rests upon the acceptance of the evolutionary hypothesis."—*David G. Kitts, "Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory," in Evolution, September 1974, p. 466.
Are Biologists Over Educated? "I have dealt with biologists over the last twenty years now. I have found that, in a way, they are hampered by having too much education. They have been steeped from their childhood in the Darwinian views, and, as a result, it has taken possession of their minds to such an extent that they are almost unable to see many facts that are not in harmony with Darwinism. These facts simply aren’t there for them often, and other ones are sort of suppressed or distorted. I’ll give you some examples.
"First, and perhaps most important, is the first appearance of fossils. This occurs at a time called the ‘Cambrian,’ 600 million years ago by the fossil reckoning. The fossils appear at that time [in the Cambrian] in a pretty highly developed form. They don’t start very low and evolve bit by bit over long periods of time. In the lowest fossil-bearing strata of all [the Cambrian, they are already there, and are pretty complicated in more-or-less modern form.
"One example of this is the little animal called the trilobite. There are a great many fossils of the trilobite right there at the beginning with no buildup to it [no evolution of life forms leading to it]. And, if you examine them closely, you will find that they are not simple animals. They are small, but they have an eye that has been discussed a great deal in recent years—an eye that is simply incredible.
"It is made up of dozens of little tubes which are all at slightly different angles so that it covers the entire field of vision, with a different tube pointing at each spot on the horizon. But these tubes are all more complicated than that, by far. They have a lens on them that is optically arranged in a very complicated way, and it is bound into another layer that has to be just exactly right for them to see anything . . But the more complicated it is, the less likely it is simply to have grown up out of nothing.
"And this situation has troubled everybody from the beginning—to have everything at the very opening of the drama. The curtain goes up [life forms first appear in the Cambrian strata] and you have the players on the stage already, entirely in modern costumes."—*Norman Macbeth, Speech at Harvard University, September 24, 1983, quoted in L.D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma (1988), p. 150.