Stalling over Transitional Forms | The Institute for Creation Research

Stalling over Transitional Forms

Skeptics of Mr. Darwin's strange theory have for years used a truly remarkable book by evolutionist Barbara J. Stahl of Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. It is titled, Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution, (1974).1 Sadly, this is now out of print. Dr. Stahl, anatomy professor and paleoichthyologist, is clearly no friend of the creationist. She was, however, intellectually honest enough to write this 604-page book documenting the many problems associated with alleged evolution of the vertebrates.

Darwinists were understandably quick to downplay Dr. Stahl's research. In recent years their only "valid" criticism is that the book is dated and anything found in its pages is now (thankfully) passé.

I beg to disagree. In 2001 Edwin H. Colbert and his coauthors published their fifth edition of Colbert's Evolution of the Vertebrates.2 Dr. Stahl's detailed research has held up all these years when compared with Colbert's more recent text.

Bird origin: "In the absence of fossil evidence, paleontologists can say little about the date at which these |sixty-nine living families of Passeri-formes| . . . appeared" (Stahl, 386). "Of all the classes of vertebrates, the birds are least known from their fossil record" (Colbert, 236).

Whale origin: "As with most tetrapods secondarily modified for aquatic living, ascertaining the terrestrial stock from which the whales came is exceedingly difficult" (Stahl, 486). "Like the bats, the whales (using this term in a general and inclusive sense) appear suddenly in early Tertiary times, fully adapted by profound modifications" (Colbert, 392).

Amphibian origin: "Since the fossil material provides no evidence of other aspects of the transformation from fish to tetrapod, paleontologists have had to speculate how legs and aerial breathing evolved" (Stahl, 195).

"This is certainly a logical explanation of the first stages in the change from an aquatic to a terrestrial mode of life. We can only speculate about this" (Colbert, 84-85).

Snake origin: "The origin of the snakes is still an unsolved problem" (Stahl, 318). "Unfortunately, the fossil history of the snakes is very fragmentary, so that it is necessary to infer much of their evolution" (Colbert, 154).

Fish origin: "The higher fishes, when they appear in the Devonian period, have already acquired the characteristics that identify them as belonging to one or another of the major assemblages of bony or cartilaginous forms" (Stahl, 126). "Both these groups |bony and cartilaginous| appeared in the late Silurian period, and it is possible that they may have originated at some earlier time, although there is no fossil evidence to prove this" (Colbert, 53).

Contrast this lack of fossil evidence for evolution with the clear evidence for creation: the sudden appearance of fully formed vertebrates (and invertebrates) in the fossil record.

References

  1. Stahl, Barbara. 1974. Vertebrate history: Problems in evolution, New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
  2. Colbert, E. H., M. Morales, and E. C. Minkoff. 2001. Evolution of the vertebrates: A history of the back-boned animals through time, 5th ed., New York: Wiley-Liss, Inc.

*Frank Sherwin is a zoologist and seminar speaker for ICR.

Cite this article: Sherwin, F. 2007. Stalling over Transitional Forms. Acts & Facts. 36 (2).

The Latest
NEWS
Did Our Middle Ear Evolve from Fish Gills?
A recent SciTechDaily article begins by saying, “Embryonic and fossil evidence proves that the human middle ear evolved from the spiracle of fishes”1...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Can Scripture Be Trusted? | Creation.Live Podcast: Episode 8
Both believers and skeptics can find themselves asking if Scripture can be taken at its word. Is it scientifically accurate? Can its history be trusted?...

NEWS
Cambrian Soft Tissue Defies Evolution
Paleontologists have discovered “early fossils [of] simple hollow tubes ranging from a few millimetres to many centimetres in length.”1...

NEWS
Fruit Fly Jitters
Researchers working with fruit flies–the ubiquitous lab animal–have discovered the flies are able to undergo an amazing ocular process called...

CREATION PODCAST
Can Radioisotope Dating Be Trusted? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Carbon dating is a common method used to determine the ages of fossils and other materials, but carbon14 deteriorates quite quickly. How can it still...

NEWS
Prepare for the Big Non-Event!
In 1950 the famed Italian physicist Enrico Fermi asked his coworkers at the lunch table the simple metaphysical question in regard to possible aliens...

NEWS
Move Toward the Enemy: Fighting for Truth in Science
Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the...

NEWS
Evolving Mammals?
The evolution of mammals from non-mammals, like the evolution of all other animal groups, has been, and will always be, problematic. English paleontologist...

NEWS
Butterfly Variation
Butterflies have made science news again, this time in regard to a master gene called WntA: “a combined team of researchers from Cornell University...

CREATION PODCAST
How Old Is The Universe? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 35
Many scientists claim that the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old by reverse-engineering the Big Bang with the assumption that this theory...