How Does ID/Creationism Identify Gaps in the Fossil Record?

For the purposes of this thread, we are focusing on the idea of separately created kinds as part of ID/creationism compared to common ancestry between these groups.

We have heard proponents of separately created kinds state that their idea explains the gaps in the fossil record. I think something more profound and fundamental is being ignored in that statement. How does ID/Creationism determine where the gaps are?

For example, we can start from a set of larger species groups: birds, amphibians, lizards, dinosaurs, mammals, and fish. Where are the gaps between these groups? Is the gap between birds and mammals? Is the gap between fish and dinosaurs? What are the fossil gaps according to ID/Creationists, and why do those gaps exist between those specific groups and not others?

The only way I can see to make sense of this is if life evolved from common ancestors. That is the only way we would expect to see specific gaps between specific species groups in the fossil record. Why else would we expect to see transitional states between groups if not for the nested hierarchy that common ancestry produces?

In contrast, do we see gaps in designed things? Is there a gap between a Ford sedan and a Chevy truck? What types of features would we expect to fill in gaps in things like vehicles? Is there a gap between cars and airplanes? If we have several groups of vehicles, how would one go about identifying what the gaps are between them?

Gaps in the fossil record are not evidence against evolution. They are actually quite striking evidence for evolution. Only through evolution from common ancestors would we expect to be able to identify gaps in an incomplete fossil record.


Languages are a good analogy, and one that even Darwin used to illustrate how common ancestry worked.

If we took a random sampling of languages over the last few thousand years we would find that they form a type of nested hierarchy. We could identify gaps between between our random samples. For example, if we had Old English and Modern English we would expect there to be something in between. However, we wouldn’t think there is a gap between English and Chinese.

If languages were separately created, we wouldn’t expect to see gaps. Even if a new language was an amalgam of other languages we still wouldn’t expect to see gaps. One language could be a mix of english, chinese, and swahili. Another language could be a mix of french, arabic, and inuit. Another language could be a mix of french, swahili, and navajo. We could get a whole mix of different amalgams, and there is no reason why they would fit into a hierarchial pattern. It is only when we have languages descending from other languages that we see this branching pattern, and only in this branching pattern would we have gaps where we would expect a yet to be discovered language to fit into.


And as a result, linguists can reconstruct extinct ancestral languages such as Proto-Indo-European (and even hypothesize lexicons) using logic similar to that used by paleontologists.


This reminds me of the argument that in criticizing the ethics portrayed in a given tale one must implicitly appeal to the existence of at least some moral framework to begin with.

Here, too the dispute is not over the existence of discrepancies between various life forms, but rather about the metric by which one can identify them as such to begin with. Sure, vehicles are different, but to call out “gaps” between them - rather than mere differences - one must assume some expectation of continuity, and with things we know are actually created, such expectations are not warranted. If life were created in clearly separable kinds and noone expected to draw smooth transitions between them flowing up until the common ancestor, and back down the other branch, then noone would so tellingly call them “gaps”.

However, I’m not sure this is a particularly strong argument one way or the other. At the end of the day, this is playing some sort of “gotcha” on common choices of words, without addressing the substance (if we are so charitable as to grant any) of the claims at hand. If life forms were created in separate kinds like vehicles are, we would, indeed, expect to see unbridged differences between them. Neither evolution in general nor common ancestry in particular make that prediction. If anything, the latter would assert that transitional forms must have existed for any two organisms farther than a single generation apart, and it is in understanding that most organisms’ remains do not get preserved well enough to be recovered one day that we have an explanation (or an excuse, if one wished to be so uncharitable about it) for why the fossil record as we have it may be less than perfectly complete in all places. The mistake creationists make in pointing to such gaps isn’t in calling them gaps, nor in pointing out what would in isolation indeed be indirect evidence of their position, but in asserting that such gaps cannot or will not ever be closed, despite such predictions’ ever worsening track record.

1 Like

The question is where would those unbridged differences be.

In life, there are only gaps in specific places, say between dinosaurs and birds. We don’t say that there is a gap between mammals and birds.

But what about vehicles? For example, is there a gap between cars and airplaines?


A gap between cars and boats?


A gap between cars and helicopters?


I could go on and on and on. There is no reason to think that there is a gap in one place but not another.

Only with a tree-like structure caused by common ancestry would we think there is a gap in one place but not another.


For example, one such example is the prediction of, and eventual discovery of the fossil we now know as Tiktaalik.

On the other hand, evolution does not predict a fossil we might call crockoduck.


It’s a very good question, and if ID actually was a serious scientific endeavour there would be scads of articles from the DI addressing it. But there is nothing.

OTOH, many YEC’s actually make sincere, if ultimately foolish and futile, efforts to reconcile the fossil record with their beliefs.

This is one reason why ID is most accurately considered a grift, rather than as a movement created by people who actually believe what it propounds.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

As I see every particle of the infinite universe is evolving. Some have multiple descendant lineages ans some become extinct. Pure evolution would take us to singularity. But singularity can have billions of components. Or billions of components after big bang can evolve differently. So we have infinite numbers of parallel evolutions.

1 Like

We are assuming that people are aware of the facts.

A study in the journal Bioacoustics found that 65 different species of animals have their own form of laughter.

Western lowland gorillas produce a quiet, panting chuckle during play. (Image credit: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

1 Like

@OneGod because yours on topic

I’ve seen light in people radiate outward. I personally seen this. Ok so did I then ID that?

I read this whole thread and I’m confused how I’m off topic

I’m for evolution yet people tend to ID things to help them communicate yet it’s all subjective

Example even the word billion., is billion an ID

how come people don’t say Trillion, how did Billion get picked from all the random numbers?

Is numbers an ID?

@T_aquaticus you started this thread

The purposes of this thread is to focusing on the idea of separate created kinds as part of ID/creationism compared to common ancestry between these groups

What is ancestry, the common, ok lets look at ape and monkey, that’s common right? Now to focus on the idea of separating, and to ID those areas.

ok to focus on the separate, to separate cause that’s what is ask to focus on

ok, so to focus on the separation of that

now the title of thread is how does the ID/Creationism identify Gaps in the fossil record

I did look that up fossil and included that in my other message.

Question 1. What is ID/Creationism? What is an ID? When a person puts a name to something to help them communicate. Example I’m typing from a keyboard. I just ID what I’m doing, I’m identifying that I’m typing on what, a keyboard., now what are the gaps with keyboard? There’s gaps such as old type writers that the typing can’t go online, and there’s me typing from this keyboard and it goes online., what is the word online? Is that an ID that was created by who? Even if people created a way to go online, what is online? Is Evolution actually online, meaning evolution led to online in some way how do I ID that, so can communicate the subjective?

and how do these people who ID things identify the gaps?

Example what is electricity?

For one to study electricity one has to do what?

It is all subjective yes, but still how does one learn?

Ok so what gaps are there with electricity, are there any gaps?


Do you think there are gaps in the fossil record?

If so, where are those gaps, and how did you identify them?

1 Like

T_aquaticus wrote: Do you think there are gaps in the fossil record?

Riversea wrote: I am a beginner at this: the first video I saw claims there are gaps in the fossil record.

I wrote more below the video.

Why Are There Gaps In The Fossil Record?

So from that video, I’ll claim: Yes, there are gaps in the fossil record.

T_aquaticus wrote: If so, where are those gaps, and how did you identify them?

Riversea answers: Many fossils go unidentified because people are unaware of them. The gaps would be missing areas of fossils; in this case, one could use the remaining fossils to help ID the fossil; however, any fossil that’s completely decomposed can’t ID the fossil.

Are the gaps also unknown?

Example: Some fossils weren’t ever known, so they caused an unknown gap.

Is there a known gap due to other areas that are known, and understanding the gap is required to help understand what is known?

From what I have read of the ID/creationist literature, they are not claiming that the gaps in the fossil record is due to not being able to ID existing fossils. That’s not a gap.

I collect notes for teaching and for commenting online, and among those notes is the statement that only about 10,000 species are known in the entire fossil record. It is not at all surprising that there are gaps in it.


Are there gaps in the evolution of the various breeds of dogs that were domesticated from wolves? Are dog breeds the product of intelligent design?

That’s what Darwin thought as well:

More to the point, why would we consider a gap between wolves and a chihuahua to begin with? Why not a gap between a robin and a chihuahua?