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Darwin lobby: We have the bumper sticker. We win.

In August we noted that National Center for Science Education was running a bumper sticker contest

They may have declared their winner. Folk have been seeing this bumper sticker around town:

We have the fossils. We win.

That would be good news for Darwin, who didn’t think the fossil record supported him, but hoped it would, one day.

The trouble is, that has been the trade secret of paleontology (Stephen Jay Gould) that it doesn’t support him. It supports sudden, rapid emergence, which almost certainly means a non-Darwinian origin for change in life forms.

However, the lobby’s choice seems intuitively right. The slogan appeals to people who don’t know much about the issues except where they stand. Who they support. And what their views are.

These days, those people make the best, most reliable Darwinists.

Here’s the promo for the sticker, for example:

A reminder that in the argument over evolution there is really only one type of evidence, and it’s overwhelmingly on the side of those who believe in evolution.

Oh? Only fossils matter? So all that supposed genetic evidence is bunk?

In many cases – if the history we are piecing together is correct – the fossils only tell us something in the light of other types of evidence. When two lines of evidence must be taken together, we cannot say “there is really only one type of evidence.”

So, on the whole, Darwin’s pressure group has connected with its base. The people who do not wonder about things like that.

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26 Responses to Darwin lobby: We have the bumper sticker. We win.

  1. Show me the fossils!

  2. Strange that the vast majority of fossils are of marine invertebrates (>95%), and in that vast majority we do not see evidence of universal common descent let alone evidence for blind, undirected chemical processes.

    And this:

    A reminder that in the argument over evolution there is really only one type of evidence, and it’s overwhelmingly on the side of those who believe in evolution.

    is bogus because ID is not anti-evolution. And if “evolution” is defined as a change in allele frequency over time not even YEC is anti-evolution.

    So I guess all the NCSE has is equivocation.

    Quite the pathetic lot, these evolutionists…

  3. Michael Behe accepts the fossil record as evidence for common descent.

    I think his opinion carries more than the usual weight, since he is an outspoken critic of the mechanism of evolution.

  4. If all you have is a bumper sticker, everything looks like a bumper.
    (I couldn’t find this in a Google search, but someone must have thought of it before me. Since short phrases don’t get copyright protection, it could be used on a bumper sticker.)

  5. This bumper sticker is unintentionally ironic. Any ID supporter could put it on his bumper. Think about it. The bumper sticker supports ID if by “the fossils” one means the overwhelming majority of fossils that show (as Darwin admitted) that Darwinism did not happen.

  6. Michael Behe accepts the fossil record as evidence for common descent.

    He does? Strange that the FR doesn’t support universal common descent. And even stranger that any scientist relies on circumstantial evidence…

    I think his opinion carries more than the usual weight, since he is an outspoken critic of the mechanism of evolution.

    Correction- the mechanisms of DARWINIAN evolution.

  7. It supports sudden, rapid emergence, which almost certainly means a non-Darwinian origin for change in life forms.

    No, it doesn’t, and Stephen Jay Gould didn’t think so.

  8. Darwin “admitted” no such thing, and the fossils don’t show that “Darwinism did not happen”.

  9. Fossils best support the view that a major catastrophic worldwide event at a point in time past led to the sudden burial of millions/billions of living organisms. These organisms were not intermediate forms or transitional species slowly “evolving,” in Darwinian terms, into other wholly different kinds. They were fully formed and as distinct as we find them today in their fossilized remains.

    Darwinian “evolution” has relied on an erroneous understanding of the mechanics of geologic stratification. Flume experiments, as well as observations of sedimentaion and stratification in floods and other water-effect events, have now more than conclusively revealed how strata are laid down and built up (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBv-4jrzmNw).

    Fossils best support the biblical account of a global flood that occurred in the days of Noah.

  10. The fossil record cannot support any genetic mechanism. That means they cannot support Darwinism, neo-darwinism nor design.

  11. EL:
    “Darwin “admitted” no such thing, and the fossils don’t show that “Darwinism did not happen”.”

    Did Darwin not say: “The case, at present, must remain inexplicable and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.”

    He also went on to say that if the pattern holds it would be a genuine argument against his theory. Well it has done just that and more.

    “At present” is 150 years later. Has sufficient time not yet passed; considering the extensive worldwide searches, new finds consistently falling into existing groupings, strata revealing analogous fauna and flora no matter the global location.

    Darwin wasn’t afraid to recognise the weaknesses in his own theory; he laid out some of the failings thereof himself, which have held to this very day.

  12. Guy Berthault has conducted arguably the most comprehensive research on stratography and the so-called geologic column on which Darwinism rests (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related.)

    Fossils found in geologic strata have been erroneously assumed to have been deposited over long periods of time. The deeper in the strata, the older the fossils are assumed to be. Berthault’s work shows this to be a gross error. In reality, several depths of strata are laid down simultaneously by flowing particle-laden water. The particles are sorted/laid down by size.

    Observations at Mount St. Helens in WA have also shown that geologic strata happen much more rapidly and in shorter than had been assumed (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flrhqjN5BHo.)

    Strata that now look like they must have taken hundreds or thousands of years to build up were laid down in a few hours. It is time to rewrite the “geologic column” and the false assumptions it is has fed, foremot among them the notion of Darwinian evolution.

  13. The fossil record cannot support any genetic mechanism. That means they cannot support Darwinism, neo-darwinism nor design.

    Your argument, if true, destroys the opening post. Oops.

  14. Still fighting for a young-earth, are we? You’re going to embarrass your ID compatriots here if you’re not careful…

    Re: the Gould quote-mine in OP. I call shenanigans. It is unfair and unscholarly to quote it without also telling innocent readers (a) that Gould was referring to the very-small differences between closely-related species (which is what “Punctuated Equilibrium” was about — the “gaps” between the species are so small they are well within what creationists typically assume is “evolution within the created kind.”; and (b) telling readers about Gould’s further statements, e.g.:

    [T]ransitions are often found in the fossil record. Preserved transitions are not common — and should not be, according to our understanding of evolution (see next section) but they are not entirely wanting, as creationists often claim. [He then discusses two examples: therapsid intermediaries between reptiles and mammals, and the half-dozen human species - found as of 1981 - that appear in an unbroken temporal sequence of progressively more modern features.]

    Faced with these facts of evolution and the philosophical bankruptcy of their own position, creationists rely upon distortion and innuendo to buttress their rhetorical claim. If I sound sharp or bitter, indeed I am — for I have become a major target of these practices.

    I count myself among the evolutionists who argue for a jerky, or episodic, rather than a smoothly gradual, pace of change. In 1972 my colleague Niles Eldredge and I developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium. We argued that two outstanding facts of the fossil record — geologically “sudden” origin of new species and failure to change thereafter (stasis) — reflect the predictions of evolutionary theory, not the imperfections of the fossil record. In most theories, small isolated populations are the source of new species, and the process of speciation takes thousands or tens of thousands of years. This amount of time, so long when measured against our lives, is a geological microsecond . . .

    Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists — whether through design or stupidity, I do not know — as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups.

    – Gould, Stephen Jay 1983. “Evolution as Fact and Theory” in Hens Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., p. 258-260.


    If you use that sort of quote-mine argument on any academic who knows anything about what Gould thought, they will instantly and rightly conclude that you either don’t know what you are talking about or worse. Why do you guys try shenanigans like this?? They always backfire. Is your goal permanent marginalization? Because that’s where these kinds of unprofessional arguments take you.

  15. My argument is true and the opening post is about your sorry position and its asnine, untrue bumper-sticker

  16. We have the fossils. We win.

    Really? When did they get them? Must have happened recently.

    Perhaps they could show them to us, not to mention evolutionist Lynn Margulis who stated:

    I was taught over and over again that the accumulation of random mutations led to evolutionary change — led to new species. I believed it until I looked for evidence. …

    There is no gradualism in the fossil record… ‘Punctuated equilibrium’ was invented to describe the discontinuity.

    Here’s some suggestions for the darwinists’ bumper sticker:

    “We have the propaganda”

    “We don’t need any evidence, we KNOW it’s true”

    “All darwin dissenters will be EXPELLED!”

    “Academic freedom – the enemy of darwinists”

    “Darwin – bow down and worship him”


    CREATIONISTS!! They made a terrible mistake.

    They are saying a biological theory. A theory about the glory of living life is founded and to be persuasive on another subject of enquiry. GEOLOGY!!!
    They are right.
    Evolutions evidence is greatly reliant on non biological evidence.

    As it would be if it was not true.
    A biological subject could be in error if its evidence was not from biological investigation by scholars in biology.
    INSTEAD the evidence is from geological investigation (including shovels) by geologists.
    The fossils have meaning ONLY if they show sequence and this in time.
    Without the time proclaimed by geology there is either too little time or no time.

    As some posters said here there is no reason to see the geological strata, below the k-t line I say, as anything but laid in a single event called Noahs flood.
    Without the geology presumptions evolution is plain wrong.

    Yet the point for thinking creationists to stress is indeed that they have no dominant worthy evidence for evolution based on biological (sticky stuff) investigation.
    They pick casts of former life(not sticky) and proclaim conclusions from these casts entirely dependent on the geological presumptions.

    The fossils are silent on biology. only the geology is talking.
    Thats not biological evidence and has been the flaw in the logic of evolution all along as far as claiming evidence.

    If the geology turned out wrong completely and importantly then it would be very apparent HAVING THE FOSSILS was never having testable evidence of a BIOLOGICAL theory.

    They blundered.

  18. I think it should read:

    We have the fossils. We lose!

    The fossil record shows stasis, sudden appearances, out of sequence organisms, an embarrassing paucity(if any at all) of fossils that can truly be considered missing links, etc.

    Another option for them to consider:

    Our interpretation of the fossils trumps all others! We win!

    This is the thing. Fossils prove nothing in and of themselves. The fossil evidence has to be interpreted. Evolutionists only allow interpretations that fit their theory. And even then, the fossil record is mostly problematic for them.

    The bumper sticker is a good one as it helps to preserve the myth that fossils in and of themselves prove evolution to be true. The facts though, indicate otherwise. But, wearing evolutionary blinders, they are unable to see this and get really touchy when someone else sees something different in the fossil record.

  19. If evolution were a fact, the fossil evidence would surely reveal a gradual changing from one kind of life into another. And that would have to be the case regardless of which variation of evolutionary theory is accepted. Even scientists who believe in the more rapid changes associated with the “punctuated equilibrium” theory acknowledge that there would still have been many thousands of years during which these changes supposedly took place. So it is not reasonable to believe that there would be no need at all for linking fossils.

    Also, if evolution were founded in fact, the fossil record would be expected to reveal beginnings of new structures in living things. There should be at least some fossils with developing arms, legs, wings, eyes, and other bones and organs. For instance, there should be fish fins changing into amphibian legs with feet and toes, and gills changing into lungs. There should be reptiles with front limbs changing into bird wings, back limbs changing into legs with claws, scales changing into feathers, and mouths changing into horny beaks.

    But is this what Darwin found? No. He lamented, “Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.”

    The fossil record in Darwin’s day proved disappointing to him in another way. He explained: “The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formations has been urged by several paleontologists . . . as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species.” He added: “There is another and allied difficulty, which is much more serious. I allude to the manner in which species belonging to several of the main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferous rocks. . . . The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the [evolutionary] views here entertained.”

    Now, after well over a century of extensive digging, vast numbers of fossils have been unearthed. Is the record still so “imperfect”? The book Processes of Organic Evolution comments: “The record of past forms of life is now extensive and is constantly increasing in richness as paleontologists find, describe, and compare new fossils.”10 And Smithsonian Institution scientist Porter Kier adds: “There are a hundred million fossils, all catalogued and identified, in museums around the world.”

    Hence, A Guide to Earth History declares: “By the aid of fossils palaeontologists can now give us an excellent picture of the life of past ages.”

    After all this time, and the assembling of millions of fossils, what does the record now say? Evolutionist Steven Stanley states that these fossils “reveal new and surprising things about our biological origins.” The book A View of Life, written by three evolutionists, adds: “The fossil record is full of trends that paleontologists have been unable to explain.”

    What is it that these evolutionary scientists have found to be so “surprising” and are “unable to explain”?

    What has confounded such scientists is the fact that the massive fossil evidence now available reveals the very same thing that it did in Darwin’s day: Basic kinds of living things appeared suddenly and did not change appreciably for long periods of time. No transitional links between one major kind of living thing and another have ever been found. So what the fossil record says is just the opposite of what was expected. (Emphasis mine)

    Swedish botanist Heribert Nilsson described the situation this way, after 40 years of his own research: “It is not even possible to make a caricature of an evolution out of palaeobiological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that . . . the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as due to the scarcity of material. The deficiencies are real, they will never be filled.”

  20. Nick Matzke, as to the the two examples of ‘supposed’ transitional forms in your Gould quote, let’s see how well the ‘transitions stand up to even a little scrutiny, shall we???


    [He then discusses two examples: therapsid intermediaries between reptiles and mammals,

    Yet Nick, being the unbiased observer you are, the first site I come across points out some very serious 'scientific' concerns for the 'shoe-horning' that neo-Darwinists have imposed on the fossil record, as well as a concern for the lack of a demonstrated mechanism:

    The deception that therapsids are transiitional forms
    Excerpt The claim concerned contains serious logical flaws that totally refute Darwinism. It is impossible for jaw bones to migrate to such a complex organ as the ear as the result of supposed mutations. Darwinists have no answer to give to the questions of how, according to this claim, the mutations involved shrank the jaw bones in such a way as to make them ear bones, how they assumed the ideas shape and size, how muscles then formed around them, how balance was established in the middle ear and how the animal managed to continue hearing and using its jaw while all this was going on.

    Most importantly, THERE EXISTS NOT ONE SINGLE TRANSITIONAL FORM FOSSIL to back up this claim.

    Therapsids do not emerge in a chronological sequence of the kind Darwinists ascribe to living things. This means that there is no chronological transition in therapsid fossils from a reptilian jaw bone to a mammalian one.

    Darwinists build an artificial line of descent between reptiles and mammals. This is established by the entirely arbitrary mixture of various sub-groups and is based on no scientific evidence whatsoever.

    According to the Darwinist claim, the imaginary line of descent established for the origin of mammals runs like this: anapsids, pelycosaurs, therapsids, cynodonts, early mammals and modern mammals. SINCE THERE EXISTS NOT A SINGLE TRANSITIONAL FOSSIL to confirm this illusory sequence, THIS FAMILY TREE IS ENTIRELY INVALID.

    Perhaps the second transitional series from your Gould quote will not be so pathetic Nick:

    and the half-dozen human species - found as of 1981 - that appear in an unbroken temporal sequence of progressively more modern features.]

    Yet just recently Ian Tattersall, who is certainly no lightweight in such matters, observed this ‘discontinuity’ in the fossil record in a peer-reviewed paper:

    Evolution of the Genus Homo – Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Tattersall, Schwartz, May 2009
    Excerpt: “Definition of the genus Homo is almost as fraught as the definition of Homo sapiens. We look at the evidence for “early Homo,” finding little morphological basis for extending our genus to any of the 2.5–1.6-myr-old fossil forms assigned to “early Homo” or Homo habilis/rudolfensis.”

    “Something extraordinary, if totally fortuitous, happened with the birth of our species….Homo sapiens is as distinctive an entity as exists on the face of the Earth, and should be dignified as such instead of being adulterated with every reasonably large-brained hominid fossil that happened to come along.”
    Anthropologist Ian Tattersall
    (curator at the American Museum of Natural History)

    Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, neo-Darwinists do not have a demonstrated mechanism to explain the transition from some hypothetical ape-like creature to man:

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.

    Dr. Sanford calculates it would take 12 million years to “fix” a single base pair mutation into a population. He further calculates that to create a gene with 1000 base pairs, it would take 12 million x 1000 or 12 billion years. This is obviously too slow to support the creation of the human genome containing 3 billion base pairs.

    Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) – October 2010
    Excerpt: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.,,, “This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve,” said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.

    Study Reports a Whopping “23% of Our Genome” Contradicts Standard Human-Ape Evolutionary Phylogeny – Casey Luskin – June 2011
    Excerpt: For about 23% of our genome, we share no immediate genetic ancestry with our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. This encompasses genes and exons to the same extent as intergenic regions. We conclude that about 1/3 of our genes started to evolve as human-specific lineages before the differentiation of human, chimps, and gorillas took place. (of note; 1/3 of our genes is equal to about 7000 genes that we do not share with chimpanzees)

    Widespread ORFan Genes Challenge Common Descent – Paul Nelson – video with references

  21. The problem with attacking the fossil record as evidence for Darwinian evolution is that you will also be attacking front-loading. If organisms were front-loaded into existence, the fossil record would result in a pattern very much like the pattern expected from Darwinian evolution.

  22. There are transitional fossils at every major level of taxonomy. There are transitional fossils at the tetrapod transtion, the mammal-like reptiles, theropod dinosaurs to birds, land mammals to whales, and in the human fossil record. I have been working in that record for over twenty years and transition is the rule. In fact, there are fossils that are so transitional that palaeoanthropologists argue about which grade to place them in.

  23. As it turns out, we share up to 9% of our genes with Neandertals. And why, for crying out loud, are you quoting a lawyer about the genetic data?

  24. Eh? Why? That means that God micromanaged species almost down to the population level, killing off countless species over time in the process.

  25. Jimpithecus, perhaps you would care demonstrate exactly how just one gene/protein came to be by purely neo-Darwinian means?

  26. Jimpithecus states,

    There are transitional fossils at every major level of taxonomy.

    and yet we find, completely contrary to evolutionary thought, that the most dramatic differences are when the vast majority of phyla first appeared in the Cambrian Explosion:

    Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories By: Stephen C. Meyer; Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington
    “To say that the fauna of the Cambrian period appeared in a geologically sudden manner also implies the absence of clear transitional intermediate forms connecting Cambrian animals with simpler pre-Cambrian forms. And, indeed, in almost all cases, the Cambrian animals have no clear morphological antecedents in earlier Vendian or Precambrian fauna (Miklos 1993, Erwin et al. 1997:132, Steiner & Reitner 2001, Conway Morris 2003b:510, Valentine et al. 2003:519-520). Further, several recent discoveries and analyses suggest that these morphological gaps may not be merely an artifact of incomplete sampling of the fossil record (Foote 1997, Foote et al. 1999, Benton & Ayala 2003, Meyer et al. 2003), suggesting that the fossil record is at least approximately reliable (Conway Morris 2003b:505).”

    Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
    What they had actually proved was that Chinese phosphate is fully capable of preserving whatever animals may have lived there in Precambrian times. Because they found sponges and sponge embryos in abundance, researchers are no longer so confident that Precambrian animals were too soft or too small to be preserved. “I think this is a major mystery in paleontology,” said Chen. “Before the Cambrian, we should see a number of steps: differentiation of cells, differentiation of tissue, of dorsal and ventral, right and left. But we don’t have strong evidence for any of these.” Taiwanese biologist Li was also direct: “No evolution theory can explain these kinds of phenomena.”

    This following quote sums up the implications of these findings:

    “Without gradualness in these cases, we are back to miracle,”
    Richard Dawkins – River Out Of Eden pg. 83

    As well, as is often overlooked, the Ediacaran biota themselves were soft bodied, but well preserved, fossils that add even more evidence testifying to the suddenness of the Cambrian Explosion. Because to state the obvious one more time, “if there were any transitional fossils leading up to the Cambrian Explosion then they certainly should have been found”:

    Macroscopic life in the Palaeoproterozoic – July 2010
    Excerpt: The Ediacaran fauna shows that soft-bodied animals were preserved in the Precambrian, even in coarse sandstone beds, suggesting that (the hypothetical transitional) fossils are not found because they were not there.

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    “So, where then are those ancestors? Fossil preservation conditions were adequate to preserve animals such as jellyfish, corals, and sponges, as well as the Ediacaran fauna. It does not appear that scarcity is a fault of the fossil record.”
    Sean Carroll developmental biologist

    The unscientific hegemony of uniformitarianism – David Tyler – 2011
    Excerpt: The summary of results for phyla is as follows. The pattern reinforces earlier research that concluded the Explosion is not an artefact of sampling. Much the same finding applies to the appearance of classes.

    “The Cambrian Explosion was so short that it is below the resolution of the fossil record. It could have happened overnight. So we don’t know the duration of the Cambrian Explosion. We just know that it was very, very, fast.”
    Jonathan Wells – Darwin’s Dilemma Quote

    Deepening Darwin’s Dilemma – Jonathan Wells – The Cambrian Explosion – video

    The evolutionary theory would have us believe that we should have more phyla today due to ongoing evolutionary processes. Yet, these following timeline graphs highlight the loss of phyla through time:

    Origin of Phyla – The Fossil Evidence – Timeline Graph

    Punctuated Equilibrium and Patterns from the Fossil Record – Casey Luskin
    Excerpt: “The Cambrian Explosion is by no means the only “explosion” in the fossil record. One evolutionist concedes that for the origin of fishes, “this is one count in the creationists’ charge that can only evoke in unison from paleontologists a plea of nolo contendere [no contest].” Plant biologists have called the origin of plants an “explosion,” saying, “the … radiation of land (plant) biotas is the terrestrial equivalent of the much-debated Cambrian ‘explosion’ of marine faunas.” Vertebrate paleontologists believe there was a mammal explosion because of the few transitional forms between major mammal groups: “There are all sorts of gaps: absence of gradationally intermediate ‘transitional’ forms between species, but also between larger groups — between, say, families of carnivores, or the orders of mammals.” Another study, “Evolutionary Explosions and the Phylogenetic Fuse,” found a bird (as well as a mammal) “Early Tertiary ‘explosion’” because many bird and mammal groups appear in a short time period lacking immediately recognizable ancestral forms. Finally, others have called the origin of our own genus Homo, “a genetic revolution” where “no australopithecine (ape) species is obviously transitional” leading one commentator to call it, like others called the Cambrian Explosion, a “big bang theory” of human evolution.”

    Here is a page of quotes by leading paleontologists on the true state of the fossil record:

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