Missing Links: Will we find them…or not? Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

 

ape-to-man-progression-(ours)Introduction:

Missing Links are the hypothetical intermediates between two differing types of organisms, like between humans and apes. They are termed “Missing” because they are…missing. “There are missing links all over the evolutionary tree”[i] between different kinds of organisms. How many missing links are there?  Are they still missing? Why are they missing?

 

Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer:

“There are many transitional fossils.”[ii]

Darwin’s tree of life explains how all current organisms are related to each other. Undiscovered transitional forms (Missing links) are the bridges or branches backward in time. Species evolve over time and branch out evolving into different species. So there should be a lot of transitional forms. Practically speaking, every fossil that we are lucky enough to find is a transitional fossil as organisms evolve from a previous ancestor into new species.

The number of transitional fossils is unknown. There are many factors as to why all of them have not been found. Fossilization only happens when the conditions are just right, so it is pretty rare. So fossils are pretty rare. Only a small portion of organisms even fossilize. Most fossils are shells, but the larger organisms are even more rare. [iii]

Also, only a small fraction of the available fossils have been found due to the incompleteness of the fossil record, the amount of rock to look through, and the small amount of scientists actually looking and digging for fossils. Erosion, the movement of the rocks, and non-scientific digging endeavors can cause many fossils to be destroyed and lost forever.

Homo-habilis-skullIt is even possible that as ancient environments changed, the ancient organisms tended to change or evolve rapidly to survive. The change happened so rapidly that fossils are just not preserved, since again, conditions in the environment were not right for fossilization and therefore preserve the organism.

More links between different animal kinds are expected to be found. Just because they have not been found yet, doesn’t mean that they are not in the fossil record.

Every year, we are finding more and more fossils. In recent years, there have been many specific transitional fossils that have been found and here are five examples among others that could be named.

 

Fish to Amphibian Link:  Tiktaalik Rosae

Reptile to Mammal Link:  Thrinaxodon

Reptile to Bird Link:  Archaeopteryx

Land Mammal to Aquatic Mammal Link:  Ambulocetus natans

Quadrupedal Primate to Bipedal Primate Link:  Australopithecus afarensis[iv]

 

Check back tomorrow for the Creation Answer.  Thanks again for your constructive help.

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?

 

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[i] John D. Morris, Ph.D., What’s a Missing Link?, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/2709/, accessed October 7, 2013.

[ii] Claim CC200, http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC200.html, Accessed October 5, 2013.

[iii] Prothero, Donald R. (2007). Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. Columbia University Press.

[iv] Fossil Evidence, NOVA, PBS, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/tran-nf.html, accessed October 5, 2013.

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