Initially when we look at these charts it can be intimidating. In the 20 plus years I’ve been in ministry, I’ve had people make the claim to me numerous times that phylogenic charts prove evolution.
Well, not so fast. Actually, it was these charts that convinced me that the Creationists were telling me the truth! Sounds weird, I know, so let’s deBunk the claim that the phylogenetic charts prove evolution !
Because of my background growing up I was not a very trusting person. I asked a LOT of questions. As a 28 year old who was very new in his faith and was seeking to find the truth, I asked both Christians and non-christians, creationists as well as evolutionists, many questions. As I listened to their answers I looked at the world around me to see what fit with what they were telling me. That’s one of the reasons I so strongly promote critical thinking .
On one occasion I called one of the leading anti-creationist organizations in the country and was fortunate enough to get the president on the phone. I was very honest with her and asked point blank questions. One of them was, “I talk to a creationist and they tell me that there aren’t any transitional fossils proving evolution, then I talk with someone who believes in evolution and they tell me there are lots of them. If there are so many of these transitional fossils, why don’t I see them anywhere?”
Her response was very interesting. She said that the evolutionary process is happening so slowly that we don’t see the changes because they weren’t fossilized. She also claimed that in many instances what is changing is cartilage, which doesn’t fossilize very well — another reason why we don’t see the changes!
I had another person explain it to me like this: “Evolution is taking place all around us. I look at myself in the mirror today and I don’t look anything like I did 30 years ago. I have changed so slowly that I didn’t even notice it during the process.” Well, now that I’ve turned 50 I can kind of relate to that. What I see in the mirror sure isn’t the same as what I saw 30 years ago!
However, the reason I didn’t see my own change over the years is because I watched it happen. If I look at pictures of myself at 10, 20, 30 and 50, I’d definitely see the changes. Now if I look at pictures from 6 months ago and today, I might not see the changes. And ultimately, I am still a human, no matter that I don’t look the same as I once did. So, this rationale might sound good, but doesn’t really answer my question about why we don’t have transitional fossils.
So…I continued my research and kept reading a LOT. One day I found a book entitled “The Dinosaur Data Book.” As I was reading through it I came to the phylogenetic chart, or family tree, of the dinosaur. Take a look at it below.
You may be looking at this chart and thinking, “There’s the evidence. Sure enough it shows evolution! If you start at the bottom of the chart and follow it up over the millions of years this shows that given enough time and the right circumstances, small reptiles evolved into all of the dinosaurs we find in the fossil record. What’s the problem?”
Really! I tell folks something my parents taught me a long time ago, “Before you sign anything, read the fine print!” Please notice what the “fine print” states, and remember, I made it MUCH larger and bolder so that you can see it. In the original you have to squint to read it. Look at it here blown up.
It reads “Tinted areas indicate solid fossil evidence.” Wow, that means that the ‘red’ stuff is “solid fossil evidence” of dinosaurs! I’m a simple man, so may I please make it easy? They’re claiming the ‘red’ stuff can also be called, ‘facts!’
The ‘white’ areas therefore are NOT ‘solid fossil evidence’ because if they were “solid fossil evidence,’ they’d be ‘red.’ And since it’s not ‘fact,’ that would mean that it’s . . . speculation at best! Personally, I call it fairy tale or fiction!
So, let’s take a look again at the chart and point out the ‘white’ stuff!
Remember, the ‘white’ areas are where all of the so-called ‘evolution’ had to have taken place for the evolutionary belief system to be true?
However, we just established that only the ‘red’ indicates “solid fossil evidence.” So where change/ evolution occurs, the ‘non-red’ or white area, there is no “solid fossil evidence.” The truth of the matter is that according to this chart evolution is not based on actual observational evidence. This shows a foundation of evolutionary theory (where the change occurs) based on a lack of “solid fossil evidence” in the fossil record. In drawing this chart they presume transitional change in the white areas and then use the fossil evidence, indicated in red, to support the claim of evolutionary transition. The actual observational evidence (the red) shows that one animal stayed one animal and didn’t change from or into anything else.
There’s another very important point to notice. We need to teach critical thinking skills when dealing with these charts. Take a look again at the chart below.
Notice how much ‘evolution’ had to take place in 30 million years for their story to have any chance at being reality.
Now look again at the chart,
Notice that everything changed like crazy for 30 million years and then many things didn’t change for 150 million years! It’s actually much worse than that, there are quite a few fossils that are dated 300 and 400 million years old and they are exactly the same today as what you see in the fossil record. They’re called ‘living fossils.’ Seriously, what happened?
- They just decided they liked the way they looked and quit changing at a certain point.
- They’re just not that old and they’ve never changed from anything else.
Hmmm! It seems that answer #2 fits with what we see in the world today and what we read in the Bible. God told us very clearly that He created “kinds” of animals. As a matter of fact, He used that term “according to its kind” 10 times in Genesis 1 as He created the various types of plants and animals.
IF, God did it this way, then what we should see is that one thing, stayed one thing, and never changed from, or into, anything else! This is exactly what we see in the fossil record!
We find many things in the world today that are called ‘living fossils.’ There are hundreds of these fossils. Animals and plant that haven’t changed in, supposedly, hundreds of millions of years. I’m of the belief that they’re just not that old!
Let me quote Dr. Gary Parker from his book “Creation: Facts of Life”
“The evolutionist, of course, expected to find fossils that showed stages through which one kind of animal or plant changed into a different kind. According to evolution, the boundaries between kinds should blur as we look further and further back into their fossil history. It should get more and more difficult, for example, to tell cats from dogs and then mammals from reptiles, land animals from water animals, and finally life from non-life. They expected also that the criteria we use to classify plants and animals today would be less and less useful as older and older fossils showed the in-between characteristics of presumed common ancestors for different groups.
But if the different kinds of life we see today are the descendants of created kinds, as the creationist says, then all we ought to find is that fossils are just variations of these kinds, with decline and even extinction evident as a result of corruption and the catastrophe of Noah’s Flood. The same kind of criteria we use to classify plants and animals today ought to work just as well with fossils, and each kind should represent a mosaic of complete traits.”
I can hear the skeptics saying, “He’s a ‘creationist’ so you can’t really trust him!” Well, let me give just a couple of quotes from some non-creationists to see if what I’m telling you is accurate or not:
“Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series.”
Ernst Mayr (Professor Emeritus, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, hailed as the Darwin of the 20th century), What Evolution Is, 2001, p. 14.
Or, one of my personal favorites:
“ . . . instead of finding the slow, smooth and progressive changes Lyell and Darwin had expected, they saw in the fossil records rapid bursts of change, new species appearing seemingly out of nowhere and the remaining unchanged patterns hauntingly reminiscent of creation.”
Pagel M., “Happy accidents?,” Nature, Vol 397, pg. 665 (February 25, 1999).
Later I’ll show some other charts that illustrate more little “tricks” that are used to deceive. One of my favorites is the chart depicting whale evolution!! But that’s for later. For now, this claim that the phylogenetic charts “prove” evolution is . . . deBunked!
God is good, all the time.