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If all of life on planet Earth evolved from a simple single celled organism, then there should be millions of examples of intermediary forms in the fossil records. However, Darwin himself said:-

"Why then is not every geological formation full of such intermediate links. Geology assuredly does not reveal any finely graduated organic change, and this is the most obvious and serious objection that can be urged against the theory". (Darwin, The origin of the species).

What is a transitional fossil?

“A transitional fossil is one that looks like it’s from an organism intermediate between two lineages, meaning it has some characteristics of lineage A, some characteristics of lineage B, and probably some characteristics part way between the two.  Transitional fossils can occur between groups of any taxonomic level, such as between species, between orders, etc.  Ideally, the transitional fossil should be found stratigraphically between the first occurrence of the ancestral lineage and the first occurrence of the descendent lineage...”

Solid Ground or Shifting Sands?

It’s important that the reader understand up front that—in spite of such a clearly defined definition—there is much disagreement among the leaders in paleontology concerning which specimens qualify as “transitional” and which supposed “transitional forms” fit into which lineages, and where.

What one authority defines as a “transitional form” between lineage A and lineage B can be (and often is) just as authoritatively declared not so when it is said to better fit between lineage X and lineage Y, or when a specimen is found in a position stratigraphically “older” than the first occurrence of lineage A or “younger” than B—and all of these are common occurrences.

Other experts in morphology further complicate matters when they point out differences in physical characteristics so significant that evolutionists are forced to scrap one or another theory in phylogeny (developmental history) in spite of any existing similarities


Some quotes about intermediates:-

Steven Stanley, an affirmed evolutionist, was objective enough to point out:

“The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition and hence offers no evidence that a gradualistic model can be valid.” [Steven M. Stanley, Macroevolution: Pattern and Process. San Francisco: W. M. Freeman & Co., 1979, p. 39.]

George Gaylord Simpson, another leading evolutionist, sees this characteristic in practically the whole range of taxonomic categories:

"...Every paleontologist knows that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of family appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.” [George Gaylord Simpson (evolutionist), The Major Features of Evolution, New York, Columbia University Press, 1953 p. 360.]

The list below illustrates the viewpoint that there is absence of transitional stages (Huse, 2000 and a web site - see links).

Amphibians to reptiles

Apes to man

Chemicals to cells


Fish to amphibians



Invertebrates to vertebrates

Reptiles to birds

Reptiles to mammals

Simple cells


The Cambrian explosion

Chemicals to cells - There is no Scientific explanation of non-living matter forming itself into so called simple cells. (to top of page).

Simple cells - There is no evidence for so called simple single celled organisms ever changing into other organisms. Even if billions upon billions of generations of bacteria are studied, they do not produce anything but bacteria. Subjecting bacteria to radiation (which causes the DNA to mutate) leads to mutilated bacteria with damaged DNA, but not to new organisms. (to top of page).

The Cambrian explosion - At the bottom of the geological column in the so called Cambrian rocks are found highly complex creatures: trilobites, worms, sponges, jellyfish, etc., all without ancestors. It's as though you "turned the light on" in the fossil record. These are highly complex life forms appearing on the scene without forerunners. Trilobites for example, have compound lenses in their eyes that make use of Fermat's principle and Abbe's Sine Law. This is like entering the highway of life without an entrance ramp. (to top of page).

Insects - When found in the fossil record, they are already developed without ancestors. Dragonflies are dragonflies, cockroaches are cockroaches. Instead of an evolutionary tree, we have only the leaves without the trunk or branches. To compound this problem the question of flight arises... when did they develop the ability to fly? There are no fossil intermediates in the record. (to top of page).

Invertebrates to vertebrates - There is supposedly 100 million years between the development of invertebrates and vertebrates, but no transitional forms exist. It is theorized that life passed through a stage where a creature possessed a simple rod-like notochord. This has not been found. (to top of page).

Fish to amphibians - There is supposedly 30 million years between the development of fishes and amphibians, but no intermediary forms exist. The coleocanth was thought to be an intermediate between fishes and amphibians. Fossilised remains of this fish are dated at 400 million years old (similar datings to those of dinosaurs). However, this fish was found alive and well in 1938 and since then many specimens have been found alive.

Among other differences, fish have small pelvic bones that are embedded in muscle and not connected to the backbone unlike tetrapod amphibians which have large pelvises that are firmly connected to the vertebral column. Without this anatomy, the amphibian could not walk. The morphological differences in this gap are obvious and profound. (to top of page).

Dinosaurs - There is the absence of transitional series leading to these giants. (to top of page).

Amphibians to reptiles - There are no transitional forms between amphibians and reptiles. However, the skeletons of amphibians and reptiles are closely related which makes this an ambiguous case. (to top of page).

Reptiles to mammals - There are no transitional forms between reptiles and mammals. Mammals just appear in the fossil record, again without transitional forms (Gish notes 32 such orders of mammals).
Marine Mammals such as whales, dolphins, and sea cows also appear abruptly. It has been suggested that the ancestors of the dolphins are cattle, pigs, or buffaloes. (to top of page).

Reptiles to birds - There are no transitional forms between birds and reptiles. Archaeopteryx was once thought to be such a link, but it has since been found to be a true bird (Morris, 1980). (to top of page).

Flight - Also consider the enigma of flight - supposedly, insects, birds, mammals (bats), and reptiles, each evolved the ability to fly separately. In each of the four cases there are no series of transitional forms to support this assertion. (to top of page).

Apes to man - For the supposed development of man from apes, see Early man? The primates - lemurs, monkeys, apes and man appear fully formed in the fossil record. The proverbial "missing link" between man and ape remains elusive and periodically changes with the thinking of the day. (to top of page).

Summary - Instead of getting a phylogenetic "tree" in the fossil record, you get vertical patterns indicative of creation, conflicting with the notions of gradual evolution and supporting the creationist position. (to top of page).

Suggested reading:-

Darwin's Leap of Faith, by John Ankerberg and John Weldon.

Evolution: The fossils still say no! by T. Duane PhD.

Genesis flood, by J. C. Whitcomb and H. M. Morris.

The Collapse of Evolution. by Huse

Suggested videos:-

The world of living fossils, The evidence for Noah's flood.


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