Would those who believe there are no "transitional fossils" clarify what they think one is? ?
"There are no transitional fossils" is something I've heard often asserted by those trying to refute the Theory of Evolution. Every time I hear it, I become curious about what's being referred to by the term "transitional fossil".
Does "transitional fossil" mean something that's chimp on the left side and human on the right? Evolution doesn't work that way. In fact, given how Evolution and natural selection do work, it would be positively stupefying to find a fossil like that.
Does "transitional fossil" mean a lifeform changing from one species to another? In that regard, all fossils are basically transitional fossils since they show the progression of how life evolved from the first forms into the forms they exist in now, and there are quite a few places-- for instance, in the evolution of man-- that we have enough of a fossil record to be able to point out where, how, and when the various features unique to humans changed to become so.
Does "transitional fossil" mean a fossil that's changing from one "kind" to another, like a reptile to a mammal, or a reptile to a bird? We have quite a few of those. They may not be called crocodogs or crocoducks, but we have fossil records of animals in intermediate stages from one type of lifeform to the other. For the reptile to mammal transition they're called Therapsids and Cynodonts. For reptiles to birds, there's the ever-famous Archaeopteryx.
Those are the only three alternatives I can think of off the top of my head for what "transitional fossil" could describe. From an evolutionary point of view, the first type shouldn't exist. The second and third types we have fossil record examples of.
So, when people say there are no "transitional fossils", to what are they referring?
Why don't they just say "I don't believe in Evolution because Buckbeak doesn't exist"?