This one is titled Gaps in fossils don’t support evolution. The newspaper has a comments feature, but you can’t see them (if there are any) without a subscription.
Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is James. This is the third time we’ve featured one of his letters. The last was #602: You Have No Data. James seems to be a real estate broker, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. Excerpts from his newest letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
“Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes, and phyla are systematic and almost always large,” stated George Gaylord Simpson (anticipating Stephen Gould’s “Punctuated Equilibrium”). That includes whales/mammals, reptiles/mammals, dinosaurs/birds and apes/humans (well above species classification).
George Gaylord Simpson? He was a respected paleontologist who died in 1984. We don’t know if James is quoting him out of context, but if that quote is supposed to support creationism, he probably is. Then he says:
Tiktaalik? Tracks of tetrapods have been found in Poland that predate Tiktaalik by 10 million years.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! No one ever said that Tiktaalik was literally the first of its species. Since it was discovered in 2004 there have been many others found. Does James think that finding even earlier specimens of the same transitional species somehow invalidates the original discovery? Who knows? Let’s read on:
We also need a thousand geologically stable transitional forms for credibility. The fossil record does not provide the reasonably expected transitional fossils and is thus inadequate as evidence for evolution.
What in the world is a “geologically stable” fossil, and who decided that we need a thousand of them? Even one is sufficient to throw the concept of separately-created “kinds” into turmoil. As for the alleged lack of transitional fossils, we see that creationist clunker all the time. James also mentioned it in his earlier letter. Whenever it comes up, we always link to Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils. James continues:
The objective defense of and apologetic for the Christian faith consists of legal-historical evidence. Three major areas are 1. Extant ancient biblical texts, which allow an objective assessment of the time of writing, the reconstruction of the original text and historicity; 2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ based on the exceptional reliability and dating of the biblical texts versus the theories against it; and 3. Fulfilled biblical prophecy, utterly beyond human insight or manipulation. With respect to credible evidence, Christianity is absolutely secure.
Looking over James’ list of credible, objective evidence, it boils down to bible, bible, bible. No doubt about it — James has a solid case!
Hey — since James mentioned bible prophecy, we have to ask: What significant, unexpected historical events did the bible predict? Wikipedia has an article on it, Bible prophecy, but it doesn’t tell us much. If you, dear reader, are aware of any fulfilled prophecy that can’t easily be explained away as obvious (kingdoms rise and fall, disasters come and go, etc.), or as wish fulfillment, or maybe editorial license, perhaps you’ll inform us. For example, was the European discovery of the Western Hemisphere foretold? The American Revolution? The atom bomb? Visits to the Moon? We’d really like to know. Anyway, here’s more from James:
In the past, God was in full glory, recognized as the source of life. Some beings rebelled. God then established a plan, part of which was our universe and Earth, to restore his glory for our sakes, not his own.
What’s he talking about — the Flood? Probably. Moving along:
God doesn’t need us; we need him. The plan included suffering. Suffering is often the only thing that will get our attention. That alone is a sufficient reason.
Ah, suffering is part of James’ evidence, and he thinks it’s sufficient to prove his case. The end of his letter expands on that powerful point:
Romans 8:28 states that, for followers and, I believe, for those who listen and respond, the suffering will be used for good. I believe that can reasonably be extended to the innocent. The context is eternity. We will cry a million tears, then we shall behold him.
Well, there you are, dear reader. Another wonderful letter from James. If you’re not convinced, there must be something wrong with you.
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