Posts Tagged ‘punctuated equilibria’

Titlu original: The Language of God – A Scientist Evidence for Belief
Autor: Francis S. Collins
Traducător: –
Editura: Free Press
Anul apariţiei: 2006
ISBN: 0-7432-8639-1
Preț: 10 $


 Recenzie de Valentin Teodorescu

Partea întâi și a treia pot fi citite aici și aici.

For example, although he admits that the Cambrian explosion might be used as an argument for a supernatural intervention, he immediately rejects it as representing an unconvincing appeal to the “God of the gaps” fallacy, and suggests – against Stephen Gould’s skepticism -, that this explosion of life might represent nothing more than a change in Earth’s condition which allowed the fossilization of a great number of species. He neglects here the fact that, for example, Precambrian strata show incredibly preserved microscopic fossils of sponge embryos (which are small and soft-bodied), and that in the Precambrian records the scientists found – beyond the old microbes which appeared more than 580 million years ago -, also the Vendian strata (approx 570 million years ago), which, at best, might contain only a very small fraction of the many new phyla that appear in Cambrian. The idea is that the Precambrian strata (and other fossil strata too) are not poorly sampled (as some evolutionists would like to believe), but rather they are truly representative of the history of life.[1]

How about the other fossil records? Collins considers that – in spite of the many unsolved enigmas -, there are good evidences that we already have the essential transition links between aquatic life and land dwelling amphibians, between reptiles and birds, between reptile and mammals, and between terrestrial mammals and whales.[2] But how convincing are these supposed transitions?

 For a long time it was said that between aquatic life and amphibians there are no true transitional fossils: the land dwelling amphibians appear suddenly in the fossil record. More recently paleontologists have found fossils that seem to show a connection between fish and tetrapods – in particular the structure of the front fins of some bony fish and the forelimbs of an early tetrapod. But even if we might admit this connection as possible, the common ancestry of all tetrapods is not yet evident: since the first amphibian fossils appear at the same time – but yet they are separated by large distances (Greenland, South America, Australia, Russia), and since – moreover -, it seems to exist an incongruence between their molecular data[3]  it would appear that the same transition has taken place simultaneously in multiple locations, a conclusion many scientists would find very improbable.[4]

How about the reptiles and birds transition? The evolutionists say that Archaeopterix is the missing link between reptiles and birds, because it has a toothed jaw like a reptile and true feathers like a modern bird. But the problem is that Archaeopterix was a true bird (and birds with toothed jaw were found also in later strata), and her supposed bird-like Dinosaur ancestors were million generations younger than her.[5] (mai mult…)


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