A creationist objects to some fossil evidence for evolution

April 21, 2009 • 7:26 am

Over on his blog, Skeptic Dave takes on a woman who criticized the “supposed fossil evidence” for evolution given in my book:

“total BUNK! There are PLENTY of instances of mammals, invertebrates and insects mixed in the same layer of rocks. In one case, an entire tree was found UPSIDE DOWN through layered strata. So… did it just somehow stay upright for “billions” of years while rock slowly accumulated around it? Highly improbable. We also still have NO IDEA how something in between a wing and a leg is somehow better than a plain ol leg. It isn’t better unless it’s ALL there, and evolution tells us that it can’t all be there at once. When you go to look at something determined to see evidence to support your claim, that’s not scientific inductive reasoning anymore. That’s deductive. And that’s what most of today’s scientists set out to do. They want to “prove” what they already deeply, desperately believe.”

Go have a look at how Skeptic Dave and his friends have mustered the evidence against this “upside down tree” objection.   All supporters of evolution owe it to themselves to be able to address this very common objection.

8 thoughts on “A creationist objects to some fossil evidence for evolution

  1. Alright, I have to admit I’m confused. I understand how the tree was fossilized, but I’m not understanding the explanation as to how it came to be upside-down in the strata. I’m familiar with how older rock can come to reside above newer rock in the strata through lateral compression, essentially “flipping” the fossil record. Did the strata where the tree resides get flipped through tectonics?

  2. Thanks for noticing the blog. Really all of the credit goes to the fine posters at the Richard Dawkins forums and to you for writing your book. I just picked up the quote at Phil Plait’s blog and I just had to re-post it because it is one of the best quotes that I had ever heard about evolution. Thanks again.


  3. I just had another YEC/IDer stop by. I responded under the title “Another Creationist?”. I do have to agree with Dennis N.’s comment, this is nothing new. It really is like “the sun rises in the morning”.


  4. Jerry, While I appreciate your point about how all supporters of evolution should be prepared to address common objections, I think it misses the larger picture: evolution (like any idea in science) is ultimately not a political issue with supporters and detractors. Evolution either is or is not true (as you’ve eloquently pointed out, it is true). So it’s really the responsibility of the Christinas of the world to do a lot more research themselves before spouting their nonsensical opinions on topics they are clearly uneducated on. At most it’s our responsibility to point this out to her, and it’s the responsibility of scientists and supporters of science education to make sure that answers to her inquiries are freely available, but ultimately she has to find/read them for herself. I’ve pointed this out before on a different forum to someone who dropped the old ID blot-clotting canard. I casually pointed out that while neither I nor the blog owner were immediately knowledgeable about that topic, there was plenty of info to be found at sites like talkorigins.org and it was his responsibility to read and digest that before making any argument that blot clotting supports ID.
    Anyhow, just a picky point. Other than that, I love the blog. Keep up the good work!

    PS Actually I realize I should qualify my point that science isn’t like politics since I’ve been to enough conferences to know better. And I know there are contentious issues like punk eek and string theory. Anyhow, my larger point still holds about how it’s each person’s responsibility to inform him/herself before entering the fray.

  5. Jerry, I followed your link, which goes to Skeptic Dave’s homepage, and I couldn’t find the post you’re commenting on. Any guidance?

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