Series - "Icons of Evolution, Darwin's Tree of Life, Darwin and the fossil record"

There are numerous transition fossils in the fossil record
Darwin's theory can be proven without a doubt in the fossil record
The fossil record shows one or a few species that diverged gradually over millions of years into families

 Hey guys. We continue our look at the 10 most quoted Icons of Evolution. Today we will be looking at the 2nd part of the topic Darwin's tree of Life.
If you answered yes to any of the above statements, you have been lied to. When Darwin wrote The Origin of Species, the oldest known fossils were from a geological period known as the Cambrian, named after rocks in Cambria, Wales. But the Cambrian fossil pattern didn't fit Darwin's theory. Instead of starting with one or a few species that diverged gradually over millions of years into families, then orders, then classes, then phyla, the Cambrian starts with the sudden appearance of many fully-formed phyla and classes of animals. In other words, the most advanced species appeared right at the start. Darwin knew about this and it was a major difficulty for his theory. He wrote in The Origin of Species that "if the theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Cambrian stratum was deposited long periods elapsed... [in which] the world swarmed with living creatures." Yet he acknowledged that "several of the main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferous rocks." Darwin called this a "serious" problem which "at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained."
Darwin was convinced that the difficulty will be proven correctly eventually. The fossil record is "a history of the world imperfectly kept," he argued, "and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries." He believed that rocks older than the Cambrian period had been so altered by heat and pressure as to destroy all vestiges of fossils; because of this, the major groups of animals only "falsely appear to have been abruptly introduced" in the Cambrian. Darwin also pointed out that "only a small portion of the surface of the earth has been geologically explored," as if to suggest that further fossil-hunting might provide at least some of the missing evidence.
 Paleontologists have also found Cambrian rocks in Canada, Greenland, and China where well-preserved fossils are particularly plentiful. But this vastly improved knowledge of Cambrian and Precambrian fossils has damaged Darwin's problem rather than helped it. Many paleontologists are now convinced that the major groups of animals really did appear abruptly in the early Cambrian. The fossil evidence is so strong, and the event so dramatic, that it has become known as "the Cambrian explosion," or "biology's big bang."
Cambrian Explosion
“Cambrian explosion” refers to the great quantity and diversity of life found in what is called the Cambrian layer of the geologic column. The Cambrian age in the geologic time scale is dated by scientists as being about 530 million years old. What is really interesting is not just what is found in this layer, but what is found in the layers above it, and what is not found in layers under it. The Cambrian layer has virtually every phyla known to man. Yes, all major body plans and enormous varieties of each all coexist in this layer. No evolutionary sequence here, they are all coexistent simultaneously.
Layers Above and Below
Remarkably the layers below the Cambrian have practically nothing with regard to fossilized specimens. The few creatures that are found in pre-Cambrian strata are all soft-bodied organisms like worms. So essentially you have nothing along the lines of organic complexity and diversity pre-Cambrian, and then suddenly everything. But wait, it gets even more interesting. To compound this huge problem the number of species fossilized in the layers above the Cambrian period gradually decrease with each successive layer. Once you reach the most recent layers approximately 98% of every thing that has ever lived is extinct. Have you ever heard that 98% of everything that has ever lived is extinct? This is where that saying came from—hard scientific fact. A reasonable and honest person must conclude from the evidence that the fossil record is diametrically opposite what would be predicted by evolutionary theory. It is noteworthy that these conclusions are derived from a geologic time framework that is put forth by scientists own interpretation of geologic evidence. In fact, the belief that the strata represent different geologic ages is just that, a belief. Nevertheless, it is a belief held among scientists world-wide.
Darwin and his contemporaries were aware of this problem with the fossil record some 150 years ago, but they believed that the fossil record had been insufficiently sampled up to that time. Their “belief” was that paleontological research in the future would more adequately sample the fossil record and show it to be more in line with evolutionary theory. They were wrong! Exactly the opposite happened. After a century and half of excavating fossils from the strata we have found the problem to be worse, not better. Contrary to the tree of life depicted in the school books, the fossil record depicts exactly the opposite story. The tree of life is an inverted cone, and not a tree at all.

If evolution did not take place, if the natural forces at work today did not create the diversity of life we see on our little blue world, then something supernatural must be responsible. True science seeks to understand, no matter what the philosophical or metaphysical ramifications may be. That is why evolution is not science, but rather a philosophy, for it seeks to explain things within only one possible framework, whether or not this framework is true. The facts are that the scientists' own interpretation of the fossil record clearly demonstrates that every species appeared at once suddenly and then gradually died off with the passage of time. The significance of this great body of evidence against evolutionary theory in the fossil record cannot be stressed enough. It is utterly devastating to evolutionary theory completely by itself.


Have an Intelligent Faith!!
-Nelis