Dr. Raymond Bohlin (Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology) recently spoke at the Westminster Conference on Science and Faith, and here’s a summary of his presentation on ‘Human Evolution and the Fossil Record’.
One of the main evidences evolutionists use to support evolution is the fossil record. If they can find fossils of similar organisms from different eras, they may infer that one evolved from the other. But how can they be certain of that, and what does the scientific evidence really indicate?
First, it’s important to note there are many inherent problems associated with the fossil record. It is incomplete, limited, fragmentary and subjective. We can’t look at a fossil, for instance, and observe its history and discern everything about it. Fossils- obviously- can’t speak for themselves. Instead, scientists must piece together as much information as they can while formulating hypotheses and theories, and eventually form a conclusion. This means that the fossil record must be interpreted- kind of like an ancient, unknown language. But how can you know if your translation is accurate if no one can read it?
Despite these issues, evolutionists claim we can see gradual change in body structure in the fossil record, and they use this for the basis of their beliefs. But how can they see something that can’t be observed, and how can we be sure their claims are true? Have they discovered the Rosetta Stone of the fossil record? Or is it assumed to be true because the experts say so? I think many people accept evolutionary interpretations because that’s what they’ve been taught, our culture expects it, and most people don’t know enough to refute it. They assume the experts wouldn’t mislead them, but what expert can decipher an unknown language? Further, different experts arrive at different conclusions- some of which are in conflict. So then, how do you know which expert is interpreting the evidence correctly? Is it up to a vote, or personal preference? Or can we figure it out objectively?
Well, another problem is that scientists bring their personal biases with them. That’s right, scientists don’t examine the evidence without a preconceived worldview. If a scientist is an evolutionist, then the interpretation will be biased towards evolution and impose a naturalistic interpretation. This means that evolutionary scientists simply need to be persuasive with their conclusions in order to convince their audience to accept an evolutionary relationship where none exists. And that’s why I’d suggest applying a healthy sense of skepticism.
Consider, evolutionists Donald Johanson and Blake Edgar admit that human evolutionary studies have been plagued by debate and controversy, yet I doubt many evolutionists realize this. They point out that even a fossil scrap generates diverse interpretations. If that’s true, then why do many evolutionists accept it as fact and without question? Johanson and Edgar write, “The stakes are high. Hominid fossils are glamorous and bring scientific and popular success to those who find them. The fossils themselves become revered and coveted. The appearance of discordant evidence is sometimes met with a sturdy reiteration of our original views… it takes time for us to give up pet theories and assimilate the new information. In the meantime, scientific credibility and funding for more fieldwork hang in the balance.”
They’re right. Human evolution is controversial, but not simply because it implies that we were not created in God’s image, but because no one can be certain that an evolutionary connection exists, nor can they prove it. It’s subject to interpretation, and that interpretation may be predicated on the desire to achieve notoriety by having a fossil placed within the human lineage, even if the evidence suggests otherwise.
It’s not just creationists saying this, but evolutionists. This should be enough to caution most people from simply accepting whatever evolutionary claim is thrown out.
But there’s much more. According to Richard Lewontin, “When we consider our remote past, before the origin of the actual species Homo Sapiens, we are faced with a fragmentary and disconnected fossil record. Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by some paleontologists, no fossil hominid species can be established as our direct ancestor.”
Wow, that’s a fairly bold statement by an evolutionist. But you won’t hear that in most schools or colleges.
Stephen Jay Gould said, “Most hominid fossils, even though they serve as a basis for endless speculation and elaborate storytelling, are fragments of jaws and scraps of skulls.”
Storytelling? Really? Yet most evolutionists would have you believe it’s a fact.
Not surprising, various fossils have been removed from the human lineage over the years. Australopithecus sedeba is one example, as is Ramapithecus, Eoanthropus (Piltdown man), Hesperopithecus (Nebraska man), and Australopithecus africanus. I wonder how many evolutionists still believe they’re our ancestors…
Nonetheless, many people continue to accept evolution as a fact. The fossil record does not demonstrate a gradual change from an ape-like ancestor to man. Such an assumption is based on evolutionary assumptions, and much of it is imposed upon the evidence: storytelling.
I think too many people blindly accept evolution because it has been packaged and sold so neatly. But upon close inspection, it’s more of a dead-end. Humans have not evolved from any kind of ape-like ancestor, but were created by God, just as the Bible describes in Genesis, and I believe the fossil evidence supports this.
The bottom line is, even though evolutionists are certain that a particular fossil is related to humans, it’s scientifically impossible to substantiate that claim. No one can observe the any actual evolution in the fossil record. It can only be inferred and accepted by faith. I think one of the best ways to tell if a fragmentary fossil is human is if there are human artifacts associated with it.
I attached a standard hominin phylogeny. It supposedly shows what fossils are in the human lineage, and, as you can see, many of the connections are without clear fossil evidence… it’s merely speculation. Why, then, accept evolution without clear evidence? I think evolution is best to be rejected as a modern myth.