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Published On: Wed, Oct 26th, 2016

Jonathan Witt destroys the Missing links argument in the fossil record by ‘losing a few marbles’

In an attempt to illustrate the absurdity of neo-Darwinism, Jonathan Witt compares the absence of missing links to missing marbles with a colorful analogy.

First, the setup centers around Darwin’s prediction that evolution was slow, gradual and would yield species extremely similar and fossils difficult to discern from one another. Witt says “we should expect extraordinarily gradual and incremental change in the fossil record from one form to a subsequent and dramatically different form” but that is not the case.

"Missing Marbles" are link "Missing Links"  photo/ jacqueline macou via pixabay

“Missing Marbles” are link “Missing Links” photo/ jacqueline macou via pixabay

Witt offers up the secondary theory: “Stephen J. Gould tried to patch up the problem of an uncooperative fossil record with his idea of punctuated equilibrium, according to which evolution moves by relatively quick bursts followed by long periods of status. But even the quick bursts proposed by Gould’s model require many millions of years to get major new forms. That’s because natural selection working on beneficial genetic mutations still must do the primary creative work, and that can only happen one small step at a time.”

That doesn’t work either as mutations destroy and kill not create anything beneficial and we still see a conflicting tale in the fossil record: the Cambrian explosion for instance.

The comes the brilliant analogy set in a “giant field covered a foot deep in marbles” as you and your blindfolded friends wander through the myriad of marbles collecting enough to build a lovely rainbow.

“Each of you make several trips back to the base camp loaded with bags of marbles, but somehow all of you keep coming back with all primary colored marbles, again and again and again, despite ranging carefully all over the field,” he writes, before pointing out that “there’s never anything remotely approaching the perfect rainbow of variation you were promised.”

Witt connects the dots:

“it turns out that only a small fraction of the original marbles is still around — a very, very tiny fraction.”

“Oh,” you say, “did whoever carted the rest of them off choose almost all the transitional colors to take away? I guess they wanted to have mainly primary colors in the field then.”

Your host looks aghast. “Choose? It wasn’t by design. It was by utter happenstance. What are you suggesting, you fool?”

During the objection the “host” grabs up a purple or orange declaring: “Can’t you SEE? The missing links!”

Witt beautifully illustrates the illusion of scientists trying to cherry pick out a fossil or two of an “…extinct animal body plans as proof of gradual Darwinian evolution.”

“This just won’t do since, on Darwinian grounds, we should expect to find millions upon millions of distinct transitional forms. The pattern of stasis and abrupt transition is one that fits with an intelligent design hypothesis. Intelligence can proceed by great leaps. The pattern doesn’t at all fit the neo-Darwinian model,” Witt concludes.

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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