sweep asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

does the fossil records show evidence for evolution?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Yes, beyond any serious argument. Creationist theory is considered ridiculous by the world of science. Humans and other species today evoloved over tens of millions of years, and geneticists can point to various common traits and ancestors- the points where the trees branched out and the species diversified.

    I cannot fathom how so-called intelligent people still try to dispute the time scales of science. Carbon dating should prove much of biblical reference as wrong. No-one disputes floods, the Med (for example) has flooded and dried out many times- at least double figures, due to cycle of the weather. It is not hard to see how stories of this would survive- imagine being a stone age man, with the water suddenly rushing in across the plains where you and your family live. many would die, and stories would survive, just like the tsunami in Asia will be talked about.

    Anyway, science does not claim to have all the answers, yet, but it is thorugh the work of science that our lives have been bettered. Can you name me one religious teacher who has cured a disease, or invented an improvement for the world of food, education, medicine etc?

    Religion is the cause of many of the world's problems, as no-one who claims to be devoutly religious wants to accept any possibility that there might be errors in their way of living, believing and worshipping. Those of us who keep open minds, and try to treat one and all with respect and love find it disgusting that people claim to represent God/ Allah ect and go out to kill. How wrong can a person be?

    Hope this is relevant to your question, take care.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Tons of it, starting with archaeopteryx, the missing link between reptiles and birds that was discovered between the first and second editions of Darwin's "Origin of Species".

    To take two specific examples, we now have a very well documented fish-to-quadruped transition, and a multitude of fossils intermediate between humans and other apes.

    See the recent books "Your Inner Fish" and "The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans," both recent up-to-date expert accounts.

    Anyone who pretends to you that the fossil record does NOT show convincing evidence for evolution is either lying, or maintaining a state of deliberate ignorance by ignoring the data.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. Far more so now that when Darwin first wrote. Many transitional forms have been found.

    Of course, evolution does not need the fossil record - proof comes from comparative anatomy, DNA analysis, and recently, laboratory evidence.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, all evidences points to the fact that evolution is inbuild funcion in all life formes that serves as a very efficient way to adapt to ever changing environment.

    However, egsisting of such mechanicsm doesn't negate egsistence of higher inteligence / power that created life.

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  • 1 decade ago

    yes, it is some of the most compelling evidence. We constantly find interspecies and missing links in the fossil record and it also shows that mass extinctions occured, wiping out whole groups of animals.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    When you hear talk of evidence for evolution, the first thing that frequently comes to mind for most people are fossils. So why place the fossil record at the end of the list of evidence?The main reason is to demonstrate that there is an incredible amount of evidence for evolution without even looking at a single fossil. Our modern wealth of knowledge about anatomy, embryology, biochemistry and biogeography provides ample evidence for evolution on its own. But the fossil record does have a unique characteristic that none of the other evidence does: it is our only actual glimpse into the past where common descent is proposed to have taken place. As such it provides a valuable - or perhaps invaluable - piece of evidence if it supports common descent. The second reason for discussing the fossil record last is to tie it in with the other evidence already addressed.

    The history of life, as represented by the fossil record, generally supports the theory of evolution without considering other evidence. If you look at the fossil record, you find a succession of organisms that is suggestive of incremental development. You see very simple organisms at first and then new, more complex organisms appearing over time. The characteristics of newer organisms frequently appear to be modified forms of characteristics of older organisms. Thus, this succession of life forms, from simpler to more complex, showing relationships between new life forms and those that preceded them, is suggestive of evolution. There are gaps in the fossil record and some unusual occurances, such as what is commonly called the Cambrian explosion, but the overall impression one gets from the fossil record is one of incremental development. The fossil record is not suggestive of the idea of sudden generation of all life as it appears now, nor does it support transformationism. That the fossil record in general suggests evolution is certainly an important piece of evidence, but it becomes even more telling when it is combined with other evidence for evolution.

    For example, the fossil record is consistent in terms of biogeography. We would expect that the fossil record would be in harmony with present biogeography, the phylogenetic tree and the knowledge of ancient geography suggested by plate tectonics. And so it is - in fact, some finds, such as fossil remains of marsupials in Antarctica are strongly supportive of evolution, given that Antarctica, South America and Australia were once part of the same continent.

    If evolution did happen, then you would expect not just that the fossil record would show a succession of organisms as described above, but that the succession seen in the record would be compatible with that derived by looking at currently living creatures. For example, when examining the anatomy and biochemistry of living species, it appears that the general order of development for the major types of vertebrate animals was fish -> amphibians -> reptiles -> mammals. If current species developed as a result of common descent then the fossil record should show the same order of development.

    In fact, the fossil record does show the same order of development. In general, the fossil record is consistent with the developmental order suggested by looking at the characteristics of living species. As such it represents another independent piece of evidence for common descent, and a very significant one since the fossil record is a window to the past. We should also be able to make some predictions and retrodictions as to what we would expect to see in the fossil record. If common descent occurred, then the organisms found in the fossil record should generally conform to the phylogenetic tree we constructed as described previously.

    The nodes on the tree at which a split occurs represent common ancestors of the organisms on the new branches of the tree. We would predict that we could find organisms in the fossil record showing characteristics that are intermediate in nature between the different organisms that evolved from it and from the organisms from which it evolved. For example, the standard tree suggests that birds are most closely related to reptiles, so we would predict that we could find fossils which show a mix of bird and reptile characteristics. Fossilized organisms that posses intermediate characteristics are called transitional fossils. Exactly these sort of fossils have been found. We would also expect that we would not find fossils showing intermediate characteristics between organisms that are not closely related. For example, we would not expect to see fossils that appear to be intermediates between birds and mammals or between fish and mammals. Again, the record is consistent.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes. Absolutely.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not at all. The gaps in the fossil record are, {or should be}, a source of acute embarrassment to evolutionists.

    I could go on, but am frankly bored with the whole debate. Evolutionists, get off your high horse and look at the facts; yes, that's right, THE FACTS! {Apologies; I don't normally do capitals}

    Oh, go on then; the thumbs down is just grist to the mill, and I've got a minute.

    As to the gaps in the fossil record, consider the following:

    "Given that evolution, according to Darwin, was in a continual state of motion ...it followed logically that the fossil record should be rife with examples of transitional forms leading from the less to more evolved. ...Instead of filling the gaps in the fossil record with so-called missing links, most paleontologists found themselves facing a situation in which there were only gaps in the fossil record, with no evidence of transformational evolutionary intermediates between documented fossil species." (Schwartz, Jeffrey H., Sudden Origins, 1999, p. 89.)

    In an attempt to further their careers and justify the claims that evolution is a legitimate theory, many scientists have fraudulently deceived the world by planting or reconstructing fossils which they would claim to be authentic finds. The most widely published evolution fraud was committed in China in 1999, and published in in the National Geographic

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. Absolutely. In droves. In *spades*. (Pardon the pun.)

    A few very good summaries (and please notice that these are from sources as reputable as universities and the National Academy of Sciences ... these aren't just hack-job web sites):

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/lines/Ifossi...

    http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/projects/human/

    http://www.nap.edu/html/creationism/evidence.html

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Nope.It shows evidence for a great flood.

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