Darwin wrote: "So that the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great. But assuredly, if this theory be true, such have lived upon the earth."(Foard JM. "Fossils: History Written in Stone." The Darwin Papers, 1(5), 1996. Accessed October 21, 2008.)
Darwin wrote: "Why then is not every geological formation and every strata full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory." ( "Natural Discontinuities and the Fossil Record." Veritas Forum, University of California at Santa Barbara, n.d. Accessed October 21, 2008.
Darwin, C. (1859)
The Origin of Species (Reprint of the first edition)
Avenel Books, Crown Publishers, New York, 1979, p. 292)
dr. patterson wrote sunderland, "Yet Gould [Stephen J. Gould—the now deceased professor of paleontology from Harvard University] and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. … You say that I should at least “show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organism was derived.” I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.’[Emphasis added]. ( Sunderland, L., Darwin’s Enigma, Master Books, Arkansas, USA, pp. 101–102, 1998. Patterson’s letter was written in 1979.
Note, for example, how Patterson referred to comments by Stephen J. Gould and ‘the American Museum people’ who are well-known to have specifically admitted the rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record. They actually proposed a theory of ‘evolution in jumps’ to explain away the fact that links seemed to be absent.
( Called punctuated equilibrium—the idea that evolutionary changes do not tend to take place gradually and continually in the main population over long time periods, but in (relatively) short bursts in small isolated populations which will therefore be less likely to be fossilized. This notion would not have been invented if not for the fact that the fossil record does not fit the predictions of Darwin and subsequent evolutionists. Their evolutionary opponents unkindly referred to it as ‘evolution by jerks’.)
Not surprisingly, many critics of evolution view "punctuated equilibrium" as simply an excuse for the absence of fossil evidence.
( Scott, Heidi (2007). "Stephen Jay Gould and the Rhetoric of Evolutionary Theory". Rhetoric Review 26 (2): 120–141.
Noted anthropologist Edmund Ronald Leach stated:
“ Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so.
( Leach E. "Still Missing After All These Years." Evolution is Dead!, 2008 Accessed October 21, 2008. http://www.evolutionisdead.com/quotes.php?QID=241
Marvin Lubenow shows that the various alleged ‘apemen’ do not form a smooth sequence in evolutionary ‘ages,’ but overlap considerably.
(Lubenow, M.L., Bones of Contention, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI,)
the timespan of Homo sapiens fossils contains the timespan of the fossils of Homo erectus, supposedly our ancestor. Also, when the various fossils are analyzed in depth, they turn out not to be transitional or even mosaic. The morphology overlaps too—the analysis of a number of characteristics indicates that Homo ergaster, H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis as well as H. heidelbergensis, were most likely ‘racial’ variants of modern man, while H. habilis and another specimen called H. rudolfensis were just types of australopithecines.
(Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Evolution 2 Chapter 8 - Argument: The fossil record supports evolution. Greenforest AR: Master Books, 2002. (p136-137))
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica,
current dating of Australopiths, Ar. kaddaba and Ar. ramidus coexisted; A. afarensis, K. platyops, A. bahrelgazali, and A. africanus all coexisted; P. aethiopicus, A. africanus, A. garhi, H. habilis, and H. rudolfensis all coexisted; and A. sediba, P. boisei, H. rudolfensis, and H. habilis all coexisted as well.
("Australopithecus." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/44115/Australopithecus>.)
famous paleontologist Meave Leakey has noted, "Their co-existence makes it unlikely that Homo erectus evolved from Homo habilis."
.(Urquhart, James (2007, August 8).Finds Test Human Origins Theory. BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6937476.stm
The prevailing theory that humans share a common ancestor with chimpanzees is also in question due to recent research which revealed that the majority of Australopithecines and Habilines are more closely aligned with orangutans. This leaves humans without a plausible ancestor.
(Humans related to orangutans, not chimps PhysOrg.com, June 18, 2009 http://www.physorg.com/news164508477.html
Australopithecus is nothing more than an extinct ape. It has been claimed that A. afarensis (the species that the famous fossil specimen Lucy belongs to) walked upright, but there is morphological evidence that Lucy was a knuckle-walker, like present-day apes.
(Richmond, B.G. and Strait, D.S., Evidence that humans evolved from a knuckle-walking ancestor, Nature 404:382–385, 2000; doi:10.1038/35006045)
However, the finding of the knuckle-walking morphology in Lucy has added confusion to the supposed hominid phylogeny. Lucy was thought to be the ancestor of A. africanus because Lucy’s skull was more chimpanzee-like, but now the foot bones and lower leg of a new A. africanus specimen unexpectedly are more apelike than Lucy.A. africanus also has more apelike limb proportions than Lucy. On the other hand A. africanus did not have the knuckle-walking morphology that Richmond and Strait discovered in Lucy. So it seems that different parts of the body tell a different evolutionary story:
‘The work by Richmond and Strait further complicates the picture: it suggests that A. afarensis retained some knuckle-walking features, whereas A. africanus did not. It is no longer a case of the skull pointing to one set of phylogenetic relationships, and the postcranial skeleton—everything but the skull—to another. Rather, different parts of the postcranium may not support the same phylogenetic hypothesis.’
(Collard, M. and Aiello, L.C., From forelimbs to two legs, Nature 404(6776):340, 2000.)
Maybe there is no evolutionary relationship at all, and these are all unique, extinct apes?
Lucy also had the brains, jaws, limbs, and inner ears of an ape.
(Wood, B., A precious little bundle, Nature 443:278–280, 2006)
analysis of the teeth of A. bahrelghazali revealed that this ‘species’ fed mainly on grasses and sedges, a type of flowering plant (Bower, B., Early hominid had unusual diet: eating grasses, sedges goes back at least 3 million years, Science News 182(12):14, 2012.)which seems to be more an animal diet and not one evolving towards humans. Others have found evidence that A. afarensis, as well as Ardipithecus ramidus, is an ape
( Rak, Y., Ginzburg, A. and Geffen, E., Gorilla-like anatomy on Australopithecus afarensis mandibles suggests Au. afarensis link to robust australopiths, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 104(16):6568–6572, 2007.)
The shoulder blade of a new A. afarensis was recently discovered, and the ape-like scapula showed that Lucy scaled trees.
(Green, D.J. and Alemseged, Z., Australopithecus afarensis scapular ontogeny, function, and the role of climbing in human evolution, Science 338:514–517, 2012.)
The authors wrote in Science, "Many of these traits change significantly throughout modern human ontogeny [development from an embryo], but remain stable in apes. Thus, the similarity of juvenile and adult fossil morphologies implies that A. afarensis development was apelike
(Green, D. J. and Z. Alemseged. 2012. Australopithecus afarensis Scapular Ontogeny, Function, and the Role of Climbing in Human Evolution. Science. 338 (6106): 514-517.)
Ape to Man Transition in Australopithecus sediba?
Berger put forth his hopes that Australopithecus sediba would prove to be the elusive transition between the apes and humans. Many evolutionary paleontologists were not convinced. Paleoanthropologist Tim White pointed out that the “transitional” characteristics to Homo may have been nothing more than a juvenile ape.
( Michael Balter, “Candidate Human Ancestor from South Africa Sparks Praise and Debate,” Science 328, no. 5975 (April 9, 2010): 154–155, doi:10.1126/science.328.5975.154.)
The origin of Australopithecus, the genus widely interpreted as ancestral to Homo, is a central problem in human evolutionary studies. Australopithecus species differ markedly from extant African apes and candidate ancestral hominids such as Ardipithecus, Orrorin and Sahelanthropus.”
(Tim D. White, Giday WoldeGabriel, Berhane Asfaw, Stan Ambrose, Yonas Beyene, Raymond L. Bernor, Jean-Renaud Boisserie, Brian Currie, Henry Gilbert, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, William K. Hart, Leslea J. Hlusko, F. Clark Howell, Reiko T. Kono, Thomas Lehmann, Antoine Louchart, C. Owen Lovejoy, Paul R. Renne, Haruo Saegusa, Elisabeth S. Vrba, Hank Wesselman, and Gen Suwa, “Asa Issie, Aramis and the origin of Australopithecus,” Nature, 440 (April 13, 2006): 883-89.)