From a peer reviewed paper by Gene Hunt in 2007: 1
"Directional evolution is rarely observed within lineages traced through the fossil record. Only ≈5% of cases (13 of 251) are best fit by the directional evolution model (...)
Some previous paleontological studies have used a model of directional change in which evolutionary changes proceed at an absolutely constant rate in the same direction indefinitely (11). Although of heuristic value, most would agree that this model is not realistic over paleontological time scales. (...)
I have used these methods to analyze many fossil sequences, but even the most promising examples (e.g., refs. 21 and 22) do not support models of sustained directional change, although single interval punctuations are sometimes implied (unpublished data). Thus, even relaxing the assumption that evolutionary mode is uniform within lineages, we are still led to the conclusion that directional change is rarely observed over paleontologically significant time scales. (...)
Despite the commonness of stasis, there is little consensus about its cause or causes."
Charles Doolittle Walcott, a paleontologist and Secretary (1907-1927) of the Smithsonian, began research in the fossil-bearing Burgess Shale region in the Rocky Mountains, Canada, and unearthed one of the greatest finds in the history of paleontology: the first fossils of Cambrian creatures 530 million years old. These approximately 530-million-year-old fossils entirely eliminated the false reasoning of gradual evolution. Yet they were brought out from where they had been stored and presented to the world only after 70 years had gone by. Walcott, a committed Darwinist, had decided to conceal the fossils he had obtained rather than sharing his findings with his fellow scientists. The Burgess Shale fossils were brought to light only in 1985, when the museum archives were reexamined. The Israeli scientist Gerald Schroeder comments: “Had Walcott wanted, he could have hired a phalanx of graduate students to work on the fossils. But he chose not to rock the boat of evolution. Today fossil representatives of the Cambrian era have been found in China, Africa, the British Isles, Sweden, Greenland. The [Cambrian] explosion was worldwide. But before it became proper to discuss the extraordinary nature of the explosion, the data were simply not reported” (Schroeder, 2000).
"A record of pre-Cambrian animal life, it appears, simply does not exist. Why this lamentable blank? Various theories have been proposed; none is too satisfactory. It has been suggested, for example, that all the Pre-Cambrian sediments were deposited on continental areas, and the absence of fossils in them is due to the fact that all the older animals were seadwellers. But that all these older sediments were continental is a theory which opposes, without proof, everything we know of deposition in later times. Again, it is suggested that the Pre-Cambrian seas were poor in calcium carbonate, necessary for the production of preservable skeletons; but this is not supported by geochemical evidence. Yet again, it is argued that even though conditions were amenable to the formation of fossilizable skeletal parts, the various phyla only began to use these possibilities at the dawn of the Cambrian. But it is, a priori, hard to believe that the varied types present in the early Cambrian would all have, so to speak, decided to put on armour simultaneously. And, once again, it has been argued that the whole evolution of multicellular animals took place with great rapidity in late Pre-Cambrian times, so that a relatively short gap in rock deposition would account for the absence of any record of their rise. Perhaps; but the known evolutionary rate in most groups from the Cambrian on is a relatively leisurely one, and it is hard to convince oneself that a sudden major burst of evolutionary advance would be so promptly followed by a marked 'slowdown'. All in all, there is no satisfactory answer to the Pre-Cambrian riddle."
Romer Alfred S. [late Professor of Zoology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University], "The Procession of Life," The World Publishing Co: Cleveland OH, 1968, pp.19-20.
"From 1860 onward the more distant fossil record became a big issue, and over the next two decades discoveries were made that at first seemed to give support to the theory particularly the claimed discovery of a well-ordered sequence of fossil horse' dating back about 45 million years. Successes like this continue to be emphasized both to students and the public, but usually without the greater failures being mentioned. Horses according to the theory should be connected to other orders of mammals, which common mammalian stock should be connected to reptiles, and so on backward through the record. Horses should thus be connected to monkeys and apes, to whales and dolphins, rabbits, bears. ... But such connections have not been found. Each mammalian order can be traced backward for about 60 million years and then, with only one exception the orders vanish without connections to anything at all. The exception is an order of small insect-eating mammal that has been traced backward more than 65 million years..."
Hoyle, Sir Frederick [late mathematician, physicist and Professor of Astronomy, Cambridge University], "Mathematics of Evolution," , Acorn Enterprises: Memphis TN, 1999, p.107.
"The only illustration Darwin published in On the Origin of Species was a diagram depicting his view of evolution: species descendant from a common ancestor; gradual change of organisms over time; episodes of diversification and extinction of species. Given the simplicity of Darwin's theory of evolution, it was reasonable for paleontologists to believe that they should be able to demonstrate with the hard evidence provided by fossils both the thread of life and the gradual transformation of one species into another. Although paleontologists have, and continue to claim to have, discovered sequences of fossils that do indeed present a picture of gradual change over time, the truth of the matter is that we are still in the dark about the origin of most major groups of organisms. They appear in the fossil record as Athena did from the head of Zeus-full-blown and raring to go, in contradiction to Darwin's depiction of evolution as resulting from the gradual accumulation of countless infinitesimally minute variations, which, in turn, demands that the fossil record preserve an unbroken chain of transitional forms."
Schwartz, Jeffrey H. [Professor of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, USA], "Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species," John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, 1999, p.3.
"A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: low-level textbooks semipopular articles, and so on. Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general. these have not been found-yet the optimism has died hard and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks."
Raup, David M. [Professor of Geology, University of Chicago], "Evolution and the Fossil Record," Science, Vol. 213, No. 4505, 17 July 1981, p.289.
"In spite of these examples, it remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families and that nearly all new categories above the level of families appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.
Simpson, George Gaylord [late Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University], "The Major Features of Evolution," , Columbia University Press: New York, 1955, Second Printing, p.360.
"If the creationists want to impress the Darwinian establishment, it will be no use prating on about what the fossils say. No good Darwinian's belief in evolution stands on the fossil evidence for gradual evolution, so nor will his belief fall by it."
Ridley, Mark [zoologist, Oxford University], "Who doubts evolution?" New Scientist, Vol. 90, pp.830-832, 25 June 1981, p.832.
STEPHEN GOULD, Harvard, "...one outstanding fact of the fossil record that many of you may not be aware of; that since the so called Cambrian explosion...during which essentially all the anatomical designs of modern multicellular life made their first appearance in the fossil record, no new Phyla of animals have entered the fossil record.", Speech at SMU, Oct.2, 1990
PRESTON CLOUD & MARTIN F. GLAESSNER,
"Ever since Darwin, the geologically abrupt appearance and rapid diversification of early animal life have fascinated biologist and students of Earth history alike....This interval, plus Early Cambrian, was the time during which metazoan life diversified into nearly all of the major phyla and most of the invertebrate classes and orders subsequently known." SCIENCE, Aug.27, 1982
Earth Science Ed., Science News, "The remarkably complex forms of animals we see today suddenly appeared....This moment, right at the start of the Earth's Cambrian Period...marks the evolutionary explosion that filled the seas with the earth's first complex creatures....'This is Genesis material,' gushed one researcher....demonstrates that the large animal phyla of today were present already in the early Cambrian and that they were as distinct from each other as they are today...a menagerie of clam cousins, sponges, segmented worms, and other invertebrates that would seem vaguely familiar to any scuba diver." Discover, p.40, 4/93
Cambridge, "And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists....the only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animal types in the Cambrian era is divine creation...", THE BLIND WATCHMAKER, 1986, p229-230
H.S. LADD, UCLA
"Most paleontologists today give little thought to fossiliferous rocks older than the Cambrian, thus ignoring the most important missing link of all. Indeed the missing Precambrian record cannot properly he described as a link for it is in reality, about ninetenths of the chain of life: the first ninetenths.", Geo. So. of Am. Mem. 1967, Vol.ll, p.7
PERCY E. RAYMOND, Prof. of Paleontology, Harvard,
"It is evidence that the oldest Cambrian fauna is diversified and not so simple, perhaps, as the evolutionists would hope to find it. Instead of being composed chiefly of protozoa's, it contains no representatives of that phylum but numerous members of seven higher groups are present, a fact which shows that the greater part of the major differentiation of animals had already taken place in those ancient times.", PREHISTORIC LIFE, 1967 p.23
As for the myth that is "Horse evolution", Dr. Niles Eldredge, a curator at the American Museum in New York, stated that, where
"evolution of the horse" diagrams were on public display at that time on the ground floor of the museum, said the following about the exhibition: "There have been an awful lot of stories, some more imaginative than others, about what the nature of that history [of life] really is. The most famous example, still on exhibit downstairs, is the exhibit on horse evolution prepared perhaps fifty years ago. That has been presented as the literal truth in textbook after textbook. Now I think that is lamentable, particularly when the people who propose those kinds of stories may themselves be aware of the speculative nature of some of that stuff." It is a well known fact that most of those museum displays, once highly touted as definitive proof of equine evolution, are now neatly packed away in the basements of those museums, fully rejected by modern paleontological discoveries!
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