The fossil record fits best with progressive creation

You reject those conclusions, as already shown. You reject Gould’s conclusion that there are transitional fossils that fit into those gaps.

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These are fairly annoying questions considering you have yet to present any coherent alternatives to one of the most powerful and well documented “school of thinking” in human civilization.


Cherry-picking challenges like the one you post above doesn’t have much of an impact when we take the “high altitude” view of the comparative evidences:

A) There is no theory or scenario that explains why no large mammals appear in the fossil record until after the extinction of the dinosaurs - - as reflected by the fact that virtually all dinosaur fossils are found below the KT (irridium) layer - - while all large mammals (including humans!) are found above the KT layer.

B) Primitive plant life that Evolution says went extinct by the time of various phases of the dinosaur period is found only below the KT layer.

C) Why would God use Special Creation to create a human genome filled with hundreds of thousands of deactivated virus genomes?


Let’s read Genesis 2:7 - -

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Have you been keeping up with the so-called “Genealogical Adam” scenario?

In this scenario (or group of scenarios), both Adam and Eve are acknowledged to be created by God, by means of Special Creation.

But then after they are ejected from their home in Eden, Adam and Eve are expelled within close proximity of a significant human population (sometimes called the pre-adamites), that was described in Genesis 1:

Genesis 1:27
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

There are ongoing differences between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:

In Genesis 1, God speaks of every tree “upon the face of all the Earth”.

Gen 1:29
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

There is no special reference to Eden, or to a tree that would not be for humanity to eat. It would appear that as of the conclusion of Genesis 1, Eden does not yet exist.

Let’s compare it to the section in Genesis 2 on trees:
Gen 2:16-17
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Here we find a very different tone. God speaks of “every tree of the garden” … not every tree on Earth, despite the fact that the one tree excluded is also in the garden.

Evolution works by making small modifications to existing structures. I am not an expert in such things, but the obvious explanation is that whatever type of skin system dinosaurs possessed before feathers appeared, proto-feathers were a more natural next step for evolution to take than proto-fur would have been.

I should add that I don’t think your dermatologist would agree that hair is simple. Have you ever looked at a diagram of all the components of hair? And, for contrast, did you look at the stepwise development of the feather that I posted earlier? I’m not sure this is such a slam-dunk as you imagine.

Rodents don’t evolve into whales. But small early mammals (ancestors of both rodents and whales, which would be early boreoeutherians, about 100 million years ago) did eventually develop into slightly larger ungulates (grazers), and some of these slowly became adapted for life along the water’s edge, and some of these slowly adapted to life in the water, and some of these became fully aquatic, and some of these over millions of generations became much larger and their teeth modified into baleens.

Anti-evolutionists like to make evolution sound ridiculous with such leaps as “rodents to whales” but If you look at all the steps from early mammals to modern whales, and imagine them happening over 100 million years (imagine ten to a hundred million generations of life), it’s really not all that ridiculous.


Maybe so. But it’s not a very good explanation for ERVs


It took a bit of Googling but I found what appears to be the quote you are using.

It is quoted on various anti-evolution websites and appears to be taken from a lecture he gave at at Hobart & William Smith College on February 14, 1980. If that is correct then the paper he was giving at the lecture was “Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging?” which you can read here. It appears he was discussing stasis as it applies to evolution and he wasn’t arguing against evolution in any form or fashion.

Context is always important and to be honest most of the sites where I found this quote are indulging in quote mining.


Thanks, Edgar…I understand where you are coming from. I have not settled a lot of things in my mind – for ex who was Adam etc…And Eve, of course. Takes two after all!!!

But yes, I found myself struggling with the fact that people like it when some discovery confirms the biblical text but then it is some sort of plot or demonic conspiracy when it comes to anything that challenges or demands a different look at Genesis 1 and 2…I also would not say that this has changed my belief in God and Jesus and so on…but it has given me new things to think about.

You make a valid point. Here is another one (maybe): It’s a long time since I studied statistics, but I seem to remember that one requires a surprisingly small sample size of a population to deliver a certainty of more than 90%. Not sure if this principle can be applied to fossils or not.

Thank you for your thoughts … it is unwise to try and ‘second-guess’ how God operates, to be sure.
In one of Creed’s recited by Catholics at Mass, we say Jesus was “begotten, not made” by the Father. I like to think there is a kind of parallel to this in the creation of man - Adam was not the offspring of a pre-existing creature, but was created from nothing. Plus there is a point of Thomistc philosophy that I have mentioned before - to create a creature from nothing is far more reflective of God’s power and glory than modifying a pre-existing creature.

Oh, thanks, there may be some hope for me - my father used to say I have brains, but don’t like to use them. Sometimes I’m not very bright at all.

I’ve tried reading stuff on genetics but I quickly realized it’s not something that can be readily understood by laymen. I could read the conclusions of the experts (both evolutionist and creationist), but without profession training, I have no way of evaluating the veracity of such conclusions. This unfortunately represents a weakness in my position.
Besides that, even if the genetic evidence is compelling, I will still have trouble overcoming my psychological attachment to the special creation of man … and I can’t see how I can get around the theological implications of Genesis 2:7.


Yes, I tend to agree with you. I was reading about a geologist in the seventeenth century who proposed from stratigraphy that the earth was millions of years old - ie, well before Darwin. And what about those chalk beds that are a kilometre deep in places?!
I’m no expert, but reading about dating by atomic physics and how such evidence converges that convinced that the earth was much, much older than what YECs claimed. Then there was Dawkins’ “no rabbits in the Cambrian” comment that eventually led me to accept that life-forms have changed greatly over time.

And why shouldn’t the earth and life be very old - how long has God been around?

@gbrooks9 will have to tell you all about Genealogical Adam if we can’t convince you to adopt a different exegesis of Genesis 1-3. (How’s that, George? Do I get points with Peaceful Science now?)

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I’m aware of Dr. Swamidass’ article on the matter, but haven’t read it yet.

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Joel Duff’s blog has lots of detailed information about geology and fossils from an EC perspective. I like that his articles are sensitive to the theological concerns of conservative YEC and OEC Christians who don’t accept evolution instead of just saying, “here’s the facts, deal, people!”

How many fossils have you personally examined? How many archaeological digs have you participated in? Don’t tell me your “knowledge” of fossils is based on other people’s opinions!

I have indeed presented a coherent alternative - progressive creation.

If I were a theistic evolutionist, I wouldn’t bother trying to offer a scientific (and ultimately useless) explanation for how feathers evolved - I would simply accept that “God done it” miraculously.

I would imagine a feather is infinitely more complex than a hair. Here’s another simpler solution to warmth than feathers - an increase in body fat. Or even simpler - move to a warmer region - unless dino is isolated, in which case, a few minute, hair-like proto-feathers isn’t going to improve its chances of survival.

The scientific explanation does strike me as ridiculous - a land-lubbing vegetarian grazer goes into the sea and eventually evolves into a whale. However a theistic-evolutionary explanation makes such an evolution feasible (albeit, still bizarre) - God done it. If God made a whale out of a grazer, who am I to judge?

It would seem so, but I’m not qualified to evaluate that claim. I found an article on Evolution News that would seem to dispute the “shared mistakes” claim, but I’m yet to read it - which may be pointless anyway, as I probably won’t understand any of it past the introduction. Out of my depth, unfortunately.

Thanks a lot for that, Bill. I’ve tried in the past to track down the full transcript of his speech, but didn’t have any luck. If stasis in the fossil record brought him “terrible distress”, I would like to know why - not sure if reading his full speech will shed any light on that question.

Yes, I know - I wasn’t trying to imply he was arguing against evolution - only against Darwin’s gradualism model. Nevertheless, his “terrible distress” comment is something very curious for a supposedly-objective scientist to make.

I’ve come across a few cases of egregious “out of context” quote-mining on some YEC sites. I would like to avoid making any kind of quote-mining error.

So you would then just ignore evidence that is too complicated? One large problem I’ve come across broadly speaking is to argue for or against comic book versions of reality. Like for example, how a young earth creationist argues for the sorting of animals to occur during the flood (the density of bones or ‘smarter’ animals climbed up higher). But of course no bones EVER got mixed up in all this chaos. In a simplistic sense, their model almost sounds plausible but in no way shape or form describes what we find in reality. In a similar sense, EN takes a sweeping brush at ERVs, ignores the actual evidence scientists are looking at, and calls it a day.

I can certainly appreciate your humility in admitting that you don’t have enough expertise to judge on some particular issue. ERVs are not ‘mistakes’- that term doesn’t really fit as it would imply there is some kind of perfect ‘design’ that exists. They are just simply retroviral insertions in the genome that have become fixed. They are at shared locations (>200,000 shares ERVs between chimps and humans-there are only 100 some ERVs that are unique to humans and 200 that are unique to chimpanzees) with one of three explanations of how they got that way.

  1. They come through common ancestry
  2. They were integrated into human and chimp genomes independently. However, we know what a retroviral bombardment produces (the Yohn et. al. 2005 paper was discussed extensively in the one thread Christy linked)- it produces maybe 5% of ERVs at similar locations. But we share 99.9%+ of ERVs with chimpanzees and can definitely conclude that #2 is rejected
  3. The ERVs have such specific integration preference that they always just insert in the same spot. The evidence from #2 already falsifies this, but we can indeed test this. And we find that some classes of ERVs have preferential site integration. So this changes the odds from one in 3,000,000,000 to get the same spot to maybe one in 100,000,000 on average. Given there are 200,000 shared ERVs- the odds of this one would be 1 in 100,000,000^(200,000). #3 is rejected and #1 is the only explanation left.

Thank you for your thoughts. I got to the stage where I didn’t trust any science at all connected with Origins, believing a huge atheist/demonic conspiracy was afoot. But after having things explained to me recently by some very knowledgeable (and patient) folks on another site, I concluded that my “conspiracy” position was false and rather silly. After all, there are a great many Origins scientists who are theists!

… and a planet with ever-changing life-forms than stretch back possibly billions of years is much more scientifically interesting than the YEC model!