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Fossils, "proof" Of Evolution ?!

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Definitions:

Fossils (from Latin fossus, literally "having been dug up") الحفرية are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past.

 

Fossil record,السجل الحفري  history of life as documented by fossils, the remains or imprints of the organisms from earlier geological periods preserved in sedimentary rock.

 

Paleontology or palaeontology علم المتحجرات أو الأحياء القديمة أو المستحاثات is the scientific study of prehistoric life.

 

Archaeology, or archeology علم الآثار(from Greek "ancient"), is the study of human activity in the past, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes (the archaeological record).

 

Geochronology  التاريخ الجيولوجي is the science of determining the age of rocks, fossils, and sediments

 

Anthropology علم الإنسان is the "science of humanity."

 

Uniformitarianism is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe.

 

Phyletic gradualism is a model of evolution which theorizes that evolution occurs through the accumulation of slight modifications over long periods of time.

 

Punctuated Equilibrium is a theory to explain the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record, which are predicted by Darwinian evolution, It proposes that most species will exhibit little net evolutionary change for most of their geological history, remaining in an extended state called stasis. When significant evolutionary change occurs, the hypothesis proposes that it is generally restricted to rare and geologically rapid events of branching speciation called cladogenesis. Cladogenesis is thought to be the process by which a species splits into two distinct species, rather than one species gradually transforming into another.

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Dating the Fossil Record

 

1-, Biostratigraphy:

The study of the sequence of occurrence of fossils in rocks reveals the relative time order in which organisms lived. Although this relative time scale indicates that one layer of rock is younger or older than another, it does not pinpoint the age of a fossil or rock in years.

 

2- Radiometric (radioactive) dating:

used to date materials such as rocks, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products,

Rocks are made up of many individual crystals, and each crystal is usually made up of at least several different chemical elements such as iron, magnesium, silicon, etc. Most of the elements in nature are stable and do not change. However, some elements are not completely stable in their natural state. Some of the atoms eventually change from one element to another by a process called radioactive decay.

A chemical element consists of atoms with a specific number of protons in their nuclei but different atomic weights owing to variations in the number of neutrons. Atoms of the same element with differing atomic weights are called isotopes. Radioactive decay is a spontaneous process in which an isotope (the parent) loses particles from its nucleus to form an isotope of a new element (the daughter). The rate of decay is conveniently expressed in terms of an isotope's half-life, or the time the time when the expected value of the number of entities that have decayed is equal to half the original number.

For most radioactive nuclides, the half-life depends solely on nuclear properties and is essentially a constant. It is not affected by external factors such as temperature, pressure, chemical environment, or presence of a magnetic or electric field. The only exceptions are nuclides that decay by the process of electron capture, such as beryllium-7, strontium-85, and zirconium-89, whose decay rate may be slightly affected by local electron density.(wikipedia)

Most radioactive isotopes have rapid rates of decay (that is, short half-lives) and lose their radioactivity within a few days or years. Some isotopes, however, decay slowly, and several of  these are used as geologic clocks.

dating1.jpg

The mathematical expression that relates radioactive decay to geologic time is called the age equation and is:

 


equation.gif

The formula below is a proper model that admits the possibility that some daughter isotope was present when the rock formed:

815af3104fab13e7259c2cfa8b488b85.png

where D0 is the amount of daughter isotope present at start.

Dating rocks by these radioactive timekeepers is simple in theory, but the laboratory procedures are complex. The numbers of parent and daughter isotopes in each specimen are determined by various kinds of analytical methods. The principal difficulty lies in measuring precisely very small amounts of isotopes.

dating3.jpg
 


The potassium-argon method can be used on rocks as young as a few thousand years as well as on the oldest rocks known. Potassium is found in most rock-forming minerals, the half-life of its radioactive isotope potassium-40 is such that measurable quantities of argon (daughter) have accumulated in potassium-bearing minerals of nearly all ages, and the amounts of potassium and argon isotopes can be measured accurately, even in very small quantities. Where feasible, two or more methods of analysis are used on the same specimen of rock to confirm the results.


Another important atomic clock used for dating purposes is based on the radioactive decay of the isotope carbon-14, which has a half-life of 5,730 years. Carbon-14 is produced continuously in the Earth's upper atmosphere as a result of the bombardment of nitrogen by neutrons from cosmic rays. This newly formed radiocarbon becomes uniformly mixed with the nonradioactive carbon in the carbon dioxide of the air, and it eventually finds its way into all living plants and animals. In effect, all carbon in living organisms contains a constant proportion of radiocarbon to nonradioactive carbon. After the death of the organism, the amount of radiocarbon gradually decreases as it reverts to nitrogen-14 by radioactive decay. By measuring the amount of radioactivity remaining in organic materials, the amount of carbon-14 in the materials can be calculated and the time of death can be determined.

For example, if carbon from a sample of wood is found to contain only half as much carbon-14 as that from a living plant, the estimated age of the old wood would be 5,730 years.

 

la_06_16.jpg

The radiocarbon clock has become an extremely useful and efficient tool in dating the important episodes in the recent prehistory and history of man, but because of the relatively short half-life of carbon-14, the clock can be used for dating events that have taken place only within the past 50,000 years.

Many uniformitarian scientists calibrate their dating efforts to the early 19th century, in the belief that today's C-14 increase is due to the industrial revolution. This assumes, however, that today's C-14 increase is only the result of the industrial revolution (which is unfalsifiable) and that the proportion was in equilibrium prior to the 19th century (which is also unfalsifiable).

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Geologic time scale

الحقبة أو الأبد (Eon) > الدهر (Era)والعصر (Period) > الحين (Epoch)

 

Geoscale.jpg

MY=million years

Pre-Cambrian Eon:حقبة ماقبل الكامبري=No visible life

(Hadean 4600-3800 m.y, Archean 3800-2500 m.y, and Proterozoic 2500-544 m.y)

 

Phanerozoic Eon = visible life

 

More about it and creatures of each era:

http://www.zoomwhales.com/subjects/Geologictime.html

 

More about 'age equation':

http://apparentdip.blogspot.com/2007/04/age-equation.html

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Some misconceptions on radiometric dating:
(explained by Dr. Roger C. Wiens  here)
No one has measured the decay rates directly; we only know them from inference.

Decay rates have been directly measured over the last 40-100 years. In some cases a batch of the pure parent material is weighed and then set aside for a long time and then the resulting daughter material is weighed. In many cases it is easier to detect radioactive decays by the energy burst that each decay gives off. For this a batch of the pure parent material is carefully weighed and then put in front of a Geiger counter or gamma-ray detector. These instruments count the number of decays over a long time.
 
If the half-lives are billions of years, it is impossible to determine them from measuring over just a few years or decades.
 
The example given in the section titled, "The Radiometric Clocks" shows that an accurate determination of the half-life is easily achieved by direct counting of decays over a decade or shorter. This is because
a) all decay curves have exactly the same shape (Fig. 1), differing only in the half-life, and
b) trillions of decays can be counted in one year even using only a fraction of a gram of material with a half-life of a billion years. Additionally, lavas of historically known ages have been correctly dated even using methods with long half-lives.
The decay rates are poorly known, so the dates are inaccurate.

Most of the decay rates used for dating rocks are known to within two percent. Uncertainties are only slightly higher for rhenium (5%), lutetium (3%), and beryllium (3%), discussed in connection with Table 1.
Such small uncertainties are no reason to dismiss radiometric dating. Whether a rock is 100 million years or 102 million years old does not make a great deal of difference.
 
To date a rock one must know the original amount of the parent element. But there is no way to measure how much parent element was originally there.

It is very easy to calculate the original parent abundance, but that information is not needed to date the rock. All of the dating schemes work from knowing the present abundances of the parent and daughter isotopes. The original abundance N0, of the parent is simply N0 = N ekt, where N is the present abundance, t is time, and k is a constant related to the half life.

There is little or no way to tell how much of the decay product, that is, the daughter isotope, was originally in the rock, leading to anomalously old ages.
 
A good part of this article is devoted to explaining how one can tell how much of a given element or isotope was originally present. Usually it involves using more than one sample from a given rock. It is done by comparing the ratios of parent and daughter isotopes relative to a stable isotope for samples with different relative amounts of the parent isotope.
For example, in the rubidium-strontium method one compares rubidium-87/strontium-86 to strontium-87/strontium-86 for different minerals. From this one can determine how much of the daughter isotope would be present if there had been no parent isotope. This is the same as the initial amount (it would not change if there were no parent isotope to decay). Figures 4 and 5, and the accompanying explanation, tell how this is done most of the time. While this is not absolutely 100% foolproof, comparison of several dating methods will always show whether the given date is reliable.
 
A rock erupted in 1980 from Mount Saint Helens volcano was sent to a dating lab and got back a potassium-argon age of several million years. This shows we should not trust radiometric dating.
 
But the potassium-argon method, with its long half-life, was never intended to date rocks only 25 years old.
These people have only succeeded in correctly showing that one can fool a single radiometric dating method when one uses it improperly. The false radiometric ages of several million years are due to parentless argon, as described here, and first reported in the literature some fifty years ago. Note that it would be extremely unlikely for another dating method to agree on these bogus ages. Getting agreement between more than one dating method is a recommended practice.

 
------------------
Note: Isochron dating can detect the initial amount of the daughter product. However, this example indicates that contamination can form good looking isochron data.

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The Cambrian Explosion:


The Cambrian Period "Age of Trilobites"540 to 500 mya is thought to be an important point in the history of life on Earth; it is the time when most of the major groups of animals first appear in the fossil record. This event is sometimes called the "Cambrian Explosion," because of the relatively short time over which this diversity of forms appears.

All existent phyla appeared. Many marine invertebrates (marine animals with mineralized shells: shell-fish, echinoderms, trilobites, brachiopods, mollusks, primitive graptolites). First vertebrates. Earliest primitive fish. Mild climate. Mass extinction of trilobites and nautiloids at end of Cambrian (50% of all animal families went extinct).

 

Richard Monastersky, a staff writer at ScienceNews magazine states the following about the "Cambrian explosion,"

A half-billion years ago, ...the remarkably complex forms of animals we see today suddenly appeared.

 

Dawkins, one of the foremost advocates of evolutionist thought in the world, comments on this reality:

For example the Cambrian strata of rocks… are the oldest ones in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.

Both schools of thought ('punctuationists' and 'gradualists') agree that the only alternative ( to imperfections of the fossil record ) explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animals types in the Cambrian era is divine creation, and both would reject this alternative." (Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker," 1986, p.229-230)

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Proof ?


 The evolutionist zoologist David Kitts interprets the facts presented by the fossil record as a “difficulty” for evolutionists:

    " . paleontology. . . had presented. . . difficulties. . . the most notorious of which is the presence of ‘gaps’ in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms . . . paleontology does not provide them."(Walter Starkey, The Cambrian Explosion “Evolution’s Big Bang? Or Darwin’s Dillema?”, WLS Publishing, 1999)

 

Even if we grant that every fossil looks the way it is reconstructed and that sequences demonstrating evolution really do exist, fossils cannot count as evidence for evolution. They can merely be consistent with evolutionary theory (which they aren’t!) — not evidence for the theory.

Why is this so?

No-one can know if any fossil is related. And because of this, we cannot know if one particular fossil evolved from another. If we cannot know that one particular fossil evolved from another, we cannot use them as proof that one fossil evolved from another (aka evolution)!

 

Now some may say that similarities between organisms determine relationships. In other words, similar organisms are probably related. But this reasoning falls flat. Many similarities exist between the marsupial mouse and the placental mouse.However, evolutionary scientists believe that the placental mouse and the horse are more closely related than the placental mouse and the marsupial mouse. In this instance, and in many others, similarities do not equate to relatedness. The argument from similarity as evidence for relatedness is a dead end.

Revise: Similar Organs (Homology) Evidence For Evolution ?

 

David Kitts, who studied under George Gaylord Simpson, summed up the fossil argument:


Few paleontologists have, I think, ever supposed that fossils, by themselves, provide grounds for the conclusion that evolution has occurred. The fossil record doesn’t even provide any evidence in support of Darwinian theory except in the weak sense that the fossil record is compatible with it, just as it is compatible with other evolutionary theories, and revolutionary theories, and special creationist theories, and even ahistorical theories.”

This can be concluded with this very fitting statement:


No real evolutionist, whether gradualistic or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution over special creation.”(Mark Riddley, “Who Doubts Evolution?” New Scientist (Vol. 90: June 25, 1981), p. 831)

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Living things were created at the most "appropriate" time for them


The real fact that emerges from examination of the fossil record is that living things emerged in the periods most suitable for them. God has designed all creatures superbly, and has made them well-suited to meet their needs at the times when they emerged on the Earth.
Let us consider one example of this: the Earth at the time when the oldest bacteria fossils emerge, some 3.5 billion years ago. Atmospheric and temperature conditions at the time were not at all suited to support complex creatures or human beings. That also applies to the Cambrian Age, the finding of human fossils from which, according to the evolutionist Kence, would invalidate the theory of evolution. This period, which refers to some 530 million years ago, was definitely unsuitable for human life. (There were no land animals at all at that time.)

http://matthew2262.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/in-the-beginning-was-oxygen/


The situation is the same in the great majority of succeeding periods. Examination of the fossil record shows that conditions able to support human life have only existed for the last few million years. The same applies to all other living things. Each living group emerged when the appropriate conditions for it had been arrived at—in other words, "when the time was right."
Darwinists make an enormous contradiction in the face of that fact, trying to explain it as if these appropriate conditions themselves had created living things (but they deny that) , whereas the coming about of "appropriate conditions" only meant that the right time had come. Living things can only emerge with a conscious intervention—in other words, a supernatural creation.


For this reason, the emergence of living things by stages is evidence not of evolution, but of the infinite knowledge and wisdom of God, Who created them. Every living group created established the appropriate conditions for the next group to emerge, and an ecological balance with all living things was set up for us over a long period of time.
On the other hand, we must be aware that this long period of time is only long to us. For God it is but a single "moment." Time is a concept that only applies to created things. As the creator of time itself, God is not bound by it.

A theory that maintains that invertebrates turned into fish, fish into reptiles, and reptiles into birds and mammals has to find the fossils to prove it. Darwin accepted that, and wrote that countless examples of these would have to be found, even though none were so far available. In the 150 years that have passed since then, no intermediate forms have been found. As the evolutionist paleontologist Derek W. Ager has admitted, the fossil record shows "not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another."
In conclusion, natural history reveals that living things did not come about by chance, but that they were created, stage by stage, over long periods over time.

http://harunyahya.com/en/Books/964/the-collapse-of-the-theory/chapter/12401

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A theory that maintains that invertebrates turned into fish, fish into reptiles, and reptiles into birds and mammals has to find the fossils to prove it. Darwin accepted that, and wrote that countless examples of these would have to be found, even though none were so far available. In the 150 years that have passed since then, no intermediate forms have been found.

You are simply wrong!

List_of_transitional_fossils

Explanation of Transitional Fossils

 

the fossil record shows "not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another."

"Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. The punctuations occur at the level of species; directional trends (on the staircase model) are rife at the higher level of transitions within major groups".

—Stephen Jay Gould

 

I cannot believe that you would take the time to make these posts without checking to see if you were right or wrong. As even the quickest search shows a wealth of evidence of transitionary fossils, the only possible conclusion is that you are being deliberately misleading.  What is your motive for this? 

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Proof ?

No real evolutionist, whether gradualistic or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution over special creation.”(Mark Riddley, “Who Doubts Evolution?” New Scientist (Vol. 90: June 25, 1981), p. 831)

Two issues here.

1. The fossil record has never been claimed to be "proof" of evolution. It is merely an observation that infers it. The theory itself rests on other evidence.

 

2. Quote Mining.

The above quote has been used on Wiki as a "prime example" of quote mining.

 

 

The following quote, mentioned in New Scientist, has been used in an attempt to discredit evolution:[2]

In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation.[3]

However, the quote leaves out the very next sentence, which not only provides context, but shows the author's point of view much more accurately:

This does not mean that the theory of evolution is unproven.

The article later goes on to state that:

So what is the evidence that species have evolved? There have traditionally been three kinds of evidence, and it is these, not the "fossil evidence", that the critics should be thinking about. The three arguments are from the observed evolution of species, from biogeography, and from the hierarchical structure of taxonomy.
Edited by QED

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Hi QED,

 

Not accepting the current understanding of Evolution as gospel can be career suicide if you're an academic - which I am. Therefore, I tend to tread these waters very carefully. According to my understanding, the explanations of the current discipline of Evolution are a priori. That relies on interpretation after the fact - in this case many years after the fact. The interpretations we make are grounded in the perceptions we have. These perceptions are molded by the various educational experiences that our social system has exposed us to. Judgments are not made in a vacuum.

 

Does the current understanding of evolution offer more than a priori explanations of findings and observations?

 

Please note: My intent is not to engage in a debate about creationism/intelligent design vs. evolution. I am not a creationist.

 

 

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