AIG Claims There Are No Transitional Fossils

This one is really painful to read. Actually, just knowing it exists is painful. It’s at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Their headline Chapter 14: Fossil Record Evolution: Any Transitional Forms? That’s right — it’s a chapter from a creationist book AIG is selling, titled The New Answers Book 4. That link takes you to ol’ Hambo’s on-line book store, where you can buy the thing for only $11.99. It’s 380 pages of glorious creationism, and it was edited by ol’ Hambo himself.

But let’s get back to the new post at AIG. It was written by David Menton, one of AIG’s creation scientists. We’re not told, but he may have written that book chapter. Here’s AIG’s bio page for him. They say:

Dr. David Menton holds a PhD in biology from Brown University and served as an award-winning professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for 34 years. He retired as an Associate Professor Emeritus and now serves with Answers in Genesis as a speaker, writer, and researcher.

That’s enough of an introduction. Menton’s credentials don’t really matter. He works for Hambo. What else do we need to know? Here are some excerpts from his post about Chapter 14, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Is there such a thing as fossil record evolution? The central idea of evolution is that all of the kinds of living organisms on earth share a common ancestor and that over time they have evolved one from another by an unplanned and unguided natural process. This unobserved sort of “amoeba-to-man” evolution extending over hundreds of millions of years is called macroevolution to distinguish it from the relatively small-scale variations we observe among the individuals of a species.

Oh no! Menton is doing the micro-macro mambo, which we discussed in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. He says:

Evolutionists like to refer to these small variations as “microevolution” with the tacit assumption that over eons of time they add up incrementally to produce macroevolution. Thus, evolutionists look for evidence of these incremental steps, often referring to them as “transitional forms,” suggesting that they represent stages of transformation of one organism into a different kind of organism.

Those evolutionists are fools! They keep hoping to find transitional forms. And — surprise, surprise — they find them! Whenever a creationist denies the existence of transitionals, we always link to Wikipedia’s ever-growing List of transitional fossils, and also to one of our favorite posts — The Lessons of Tiktaalik.

But Menton doesn’t care about that. He tells us:

Since macroevolution is not observable in the time frame of human observers, evolutionists often invoke microevolution as both evidence for macroevolution as well as its presumed mechanism. But as any animal or plant breeder knows, the limited variation that is observed among the individuals of a species has not been observed to lead to the essentially limitless process of macroevolution.

Jeepers, he’s right! No one can get an armadillo to give birth to a squirrel. Anyway, the AIG post goes on and on — it’s probably the whole book chapter. It’s way too long and it keeps saying the same thing over and over, so there’s no reason to for us to continue with it. We’re outta here!

Addendum: AIG posted something similar by Menton two years ago — a repeat of something he wrote in 1994, and we blogged about that one too — see AIG Says There Are No Transitional Fossils.

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11 responses to “AIG Claims There Are No Transitional Fossils

  1. Take a look at the 1852 essay by Herbert Spencer, “The Development Hypothesis” on Wikisource.org and elsewhere.

  2. “Dr. David Menton holds a PhD in biology from Brown University”
    These credentials do matter, because they show Menton should know better. Either he or this entire university (or both) consist of straight-faced liars, that get parroted by millions of Americans and way too many Dutchies (via Logos.nl) as well.

    “Evolutionists like to refer to these small variations as “microevolution””
    Filthy lie. Professional biologists don’t have any use for this – they don’t dance the micro-macro mambo. It’s creacrappers who talk about it all the time; last time I met it in daily life is when I had a JW at my door.

    “with the tacit assumption”
    Another filthy lie. This assumption is not tacit at all; it’s a well known strategy that mathematicians call intrapolation.
    I’d like to quote a third filthy lie:

    “But a plausible sequential progression of intermediate stages is rarely, if ever, observed in the fossil record, which explains why we hear so much about “missing links.””
    There are such sequences for whales, horses and humans, to begin with. The only reason Mention hears so much about “missing links” is that creacrappers like he and his boss can’t stop babbling about them.

    Still our dear SC was completely right to stop where he stopped. When an essay, a blog post or even a comment starts that badly we can safely assume that it will only get worse. I skimmed a bit and yes, Menton totally does. So I agree also with him that the thing is too painful too mock.

  3. A couple of comments.
    Evolution is not solely, or principally, based on the fossils. At the time of “The Origin of Species”, there were few fossils. And today there are lines of evidence today that could not be imagined in the 19th century.
    Transitions across taxonomic classes, such as the origins of mammals and of birds, are well represented in the fossil
    record.
    And, to repeat, what is the alternative? There is no description.

  4. I’ve looked out the article. ” Even Darwin himself was aware of this problem”; oh dear! Special pleading (they do this a lot with bats): Scientist, “Look at these footprints in the sand”; Creationist “But there are whole areas of sand with no footprints at all!”

    Confusion of scales; an absence of intermediates between different genera is no obstacle to seeing the plain progression of genera over time. I think whale evolution maybe a good example.

    Christine: equids? And synapsids have been documented in great detail.

    Simple denial of everything that we have learnt about the origin of feathers in recent decades. He gives a very useful key reference (creationists often do) but then rejected on the grounds that it shows changes between different stages of evolution, which of course cannot happen.

    And finally, ” if there is no purpose or progress in evolution, how can one identify incremental transitional changes in the process?” I’m convinced! Since there is no purpose or progress in growing old, how can one ever identify the first grey hair?

  5. ..

    [Voice from above:] Well said!

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    Where is the line between micro and macro? Species. Okay, why? DNA. But isn’t Kind above species, so therefor macro happened after the flood? No, no, I meant Kinds, which are mostly species anyways. Why? Because they couldn’t all the animals on the boat. Wow, really, you know even ten-year-olds think that doesn’t sound scientific? Um, they are just being raised by atheistic monsters telling them lies about SCIENCE. The whole world is against us, I need my tinfoil hat and my safe-space!!!

  7. @Paul Braterman
    About transitions between genera. The YECs accept micro-evolution within a kind = something like a family. Even if there were not enough examples of fossils transitional beteeen genera, there is enough other evidence.
    Remember that there is more than fossil evidence.
    And then there are the synapsids = the so-called mammal-like reptiles to
    reptile-like mammals. Isn’t there a fine enough transition documented in the fossil record? The appearance of mammals is a major evolutionary innovation. It was predicted, not on fossil evidence (which appeared first in the mid 20th century), but by comparative embryology in the early 19th century.

  8. @TomS, absolutely. And the placing of whales within the even toed ungulates goes back over a century, based on serology

  9. Christine Marie Janis

    @ Paul Braterman

    Of course, as far as creationists are concerned, horses are just microevolution within a kind. However, you can read what I wrote about the chapter on horse evolution in Ham’s last book, “Glass House”, here:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RUXPOXWVAUEZ5/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1683441567

  10. @Christine, thanks. Even worse than I would have imagined

  11. Michael Fugate

    What’s interesting is the usual creationists didn’t show up to defend Ham’s honor – maybe they thought it a lost cause after Christine’s trouncing?