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SORRY MR DARWIN!

On February 12, 2009 the world celebrates 200 years of the birth of Charles Darwin, the founder and the main architect of the theory of evolution by natural selection. It also observes 150 years of his famous book “The Origin of Species” which was first published in 1859. The book had, not just his theory and the evidences for evolution taking place in nature, but also a major confession that Darwin had made about the most important type of evidence one would require to really prove evolution beyond any reasonable doubt. In Darwin’s own words, that confession was: “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graded organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be argued against my theory”

But since Darwin had already committed himself to the idea of evolution of newer and fitter species through gradual change over time, he blamed his self confessed “gravest objection” on what he called “the imperfection of the geological record” or the imperfection of the fossil record. He wrote in his book: “The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record”

 

Darwin had hoped that with time, as the science of paleontology developed and matured, such fossils would be found. The ‘missing links’ as they are called would stop missing and clear and neat chains of organisms with transitional forms would prove his theory irrefutably.

But here we are, in the 200th year of Darwin’s birth and observing 150 years of his theory of evolution, and still the missing links are missing! No intermediate stages that would show the gradual transition between species have been found. In fact quite to the contrary, paleontological evidence unmistakably points to the sudden appearance of species with no transitional forms that would show gradual developmental stages; all are fully developed!

The fossil evidence is especially problematic for Darwin and his followers when it comes to what is known as the “Cambrian Explosion” which evolutionary paleontologists believe to have taken place some 530 million years ago. As the term “explosion” itself indicates, things were not gradual in the Cambrian period but rather sudden. And explosive, with all the major animal phyla coming into existence at once. So striking is this Cambrian phenomenon that even Richard Dawkins, the Oxford zoologist and as of now the most prominent and vocal Darwinist has to confess:

 

“It is as though they [the phyla and the species] were just planted there, without any evolutionary history” The fossil record, especially the “Cambrian Explosion” poses a very serious problem for Darwin, his theory and for the Darwinian paleontologists. One such paleontologist, Niles Eldredge, outs it like this: “Either you stick to the conventional theory despite the rather poor fit of the fossils, or you focus on the [data] and say that [evolution through large steps] looks like a reasonable model of evolutionary process – in which case you must embrace a set of rather dubious biological propositions”

 

To escape this dilemma, some prominent evolutionists like Stephan Jay Gould have been forced to think of alternate ways to explain the absence of the intermediate stages. They have proposed that evolution takes place by huge leaps. The only problem is that we never see a chicken hatching out of a lizard’s egg! And the theory itself sounds more miraculous than scientific!

Darwin’s anticipation was clearly off and his hope of finding fossils that would finally prove his theory of evolution through gradual change lies shattered, even after 200 years! All the evidence of the fossil record on the contrary points to the presence of an intelligent creator who created all the wide diversity that we see around us in nature. Sorry Mr. Darwin!

Contributed By: Deepak Ransom has an M.Sc in Zoology from the Allahabad University and is with the International Language Institute, Allahabad. d_ransom@rediffmail.com

 

 

 

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