posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 12:14 AM
The existence of gaps or shortcomings in a theory do not show that the theory itself is wrong. True - you can't use the fossil record to *prove* the
Theory of Evolution. However, nothing will ever prove the Theory of Evolution (or any other scientific theory).
You don't prove theories in science. You can either *disprove* them, or fail to disprove them. There is no way to ever prove them.
Darwin painstakingly took many hundreds of thousands of examples of animals and plants, examined their structures, similarities, and differences, and
constructed a theory to account for these facts. He imagined evolution to be a slow, gradual series of minute changes that, over billions of years,
resulted in life as we now know it. His original theory has now been shown to be somewhat incorrect.
The changes are not gradual. Currently the theory is that evolution progresses along a course of "punctuated equilibrium", meaning living things
remain essentially static for long periods of time, until there is some sort of massive change to the environment. At that time, many species die
out, and others arise. The changes are not gradual, but sudden.
There are many reasons why the fossil record may not show some intermediate states in evolution. One possible reason, as the OP points out, is that
evolution simply doesn't take place. Although the record does, in fact, show many intermediate changes in species, it also fails to show some
Another reason could simply be that, compared to the static periods, the periods of change are brief. You've got millions of years of little change,
with perhaps only centuries, even decades, of sudden, massive upheavals. You just aren't going to see many fossils from a period of only a few
hundred years, no matter what they might be doing during that time. To put it into perspective, if a certain million-year era produced 10 feet of
rock (I think that's an extreme), a thousand years would give you only about an eigth of an inch of fossils. Most of the action is taking place in
that fraction of an inch, though. Mostly what you get is the "before" and "after" pictures, without much of the "during".
I don't see any conspiracy with evolution. I see a fossil record that seems to support - or at least, not refute - a theory that species can change.
In fact, I see more recent work that shows that species *do* change. Just as natural selection can drive evolution, so can "unnatural selection",
humans breeding animals for various traits. Look at dogs. They descend from the wolf, yet you've got the chihuahua (the existence of the chihuahua
is proof that there is no God, but I digress).
Maybe the Theory of Evolution is wrong. Some new discoveries - or reinterpretations of older discoveries - may result in science abandoning this
theory. But so far it fits more of the facts than anything else around. It's not perfect, and it might not even be right, but it's the best we've
got for now.