The Fossil Record and Evolution

No, it wouldn’t. If all fossils were the same age the phylogenetic tree in the fossil record would be impossible to create since it is based on morphological change vs. fossil age.


Sorry, but no. The phylogenetic tree is based on morphological character states without reference to age.

I think you’re not actually wrong here. All this would mean is that the fossil record cannot be used to support evolution, if there was some explanation (I cannot imagine what, but let’s say there is one) for how evolution could have occurred but all species appear at the same time in the fossil record.

I’m not sure that is correct. If there were no such things as fossils, we could still created a phylogenetic tree from the species that we know exist right now. This is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for common descent that, unfortunately, is not easy to understand so creationists cannot appreciate it.


no problem. in this case we can say that the molecular clock is incorrect. no problem for evolution.

If the fossil record started 500,000 years ago one might explain that by aliens with highly advanced technology terraforming the earth and introducing a biota from elsewhere - the nested hierarchy we see in present day life representing evolution wherever it came from. If the fossil record started 1,000,000,000 years ago and showed the same set of species over the whole intervening time I fail to see how that can be reconciled with evolution - are you proposing a million years of Hamesque hyperevolution followed by a billion years of stasis?

Then let’s test it in the topic I created for that purpose:

Just to be clear, you have no reasonable justification for isolating recombination from any of those other mechanisms. They are all operating to produce information to perform the functions of antibodies, such as fighting off viral infections (hint hint).

Your hypothesis is that most of the FI is already present in the pre-B cells before recombination, remember?

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Not a good response. You are changing the scenario from one in which the organisms to whom the fossils belong are known to have existed at the same time to one in which that is not the case. You cannot argue against a claim by making up an entirely different claim.

The age of fossils isn’t determined by molecular clock. It’s determined by radiometric dating of the strata the fossils are found in. Having all fossils from Cambrian biota to dinosaurs to woolly mammoths be the same age would kill the idea of evolution thru common descent.

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All kinds of species are alive right now, so they would all appear in the strata that come from this time period. How is this a problem, exactly?

Since it took hundreds of millions of years to go from very primitive vertebrates in the Cambrian to the vertebrate species we see today, why would we need to say that?


The hypothetical (sudden appearance of most/all fossils) is 100.0000000% in contradiction to the known facts about the fossil record. I see no value in discussing such an absurd hypothetical.

But Merry Christmas nonetheless!


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We would also have to ask how someone could determine that a fossil has “suddenly appeared”. How do you determine if a fossil has no ancestors just by looking at it?

One fossil would be nothing but an unexplained anomaly. But suppose there were no fossils at all earlier than, say, the Early Miocene, yet the record were otherwise unchanged from that point on. How would we explain the simultaneous appearance of all fossil species? I think we’d have to suppose that the explanation did not involve an incomplete fossil record. My first hypothesis would be that life evolved on another planet and what we see is the terraforming (for want of the right word) of earth. Independent creation of species would still not be the best hypothesis, since it wouldn’t explain the nested hierarchy observable in extant (and Miocene) species.

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It started as an example of a hypothetical observation that would falsify evolution. @scd is weirdly convinced that a hypothetical fossil record that contradicts change over time and diversifying common descent would be compatible with the theory of evolution.

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The presumption appears to be that, if evidence arose that clearly demonstrated evolution to be false, scientists would instead try to figure out a way to rationalize maintaining belief in evolution rather than accept that the theory had been falsified. Basically, he is trying to say that evolutionists would behave just as creationists do if evolutionists were put into the same situation. For the time being, that seems highly unlikely to ever be anything more than a hypothetical situation. And the history of science would indicate that @scd’s presumption is wrong.

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Based on Earth’s history. Count how many times it happened since life began on Earth. Though to be fair, we were talking about traits like limbs so I should say the odds are more than once in half a billion years (the time since vertebrates and some invertebrates.

Go ahead, try to find an example where there is a duplication of a trait like a limb, down to the genetics, outside of the original lineage. Check all the scientific journals and YEC sources you like.

why not? if it happened it happened. simple as that.

why? we can say that the radiometric dating is wrong or that there is a special unknown geological process that mix up all layers or something else. evolution will be ok.

because in such a case evolution can explain it. and thus it will not be false.

so your calculation is base on the assumption that it happened at least once. as i said: there is no real calculation. just assumption.

Agreed. I’m impressed that as a psychiatrist, you can resist pointing out that this is classical projection. :wink:

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Prove me wrong. You cant

this is your claim so you should prove it too. but i will try to prove my point anyway. first step: do you agree that according to evolution its possible to evolve the same 10 bases twice?


Maybe to cut off a long and pointless discussion: Is your claim that it is hypothetically possible for the same trait to evolve twice, much as it is hypothetically possible to have a true coin come up heads a million times in a row?

And, @Rich_Hampton, is your claim similar: That it is possible theoretically, but also practically impossible in the same sense that a coin coming up heads a million times in a row is practically impossible?

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