Sunday, March 7, 2010

Missing Links

The fossil record has given scientists many clues as whether or not evolution is true and how new species have come about. There are many gaps in the fossil record, however, that cause some people to be skeptical about whether or not evolution is really true. Define transitional forms, macroevolution, and microevolution, and explain how they contribute to "missing links" in the fossil record. Explain why these are important to the theory of evolution and how these missing links have both benefited and harmed scientists trying to prove this theory. (Hint: Coyne explains missing links in the fossil record on pg. 32)

1 comment:

  1. A transitional fossil is a missing link. It is (a fossil of) an organism with characteristics of two different branches (fish and amphibians, apes and humans, etc).
    Microevolution describes small changes and adaptations within species while microevolution "is the addition of new traits or a transition to a new species". Extended microevolution causes macroevolution. Micro and macro evolution contribute to missing links because it is these forces that can continue evolving the ancestral 'link'. Microevolution, for example, pushed ancestors of Tiktaalik roseae to stray from their fish existence into amphibianism, and as a result, Tiktaalik has characteristics of both fish and amphibians. Tiktaalik may or may not have descendants, but it proves that microevolution acted on populations to make them into transitional forms and this culminated as macroevolution turning fish into amphibians.

    If God created all species, then there would be no need for half-fish half-amphibians or for any other transitional organisms. Species would arise fully formed. But evolution says that some forms evolved from others, and thus we should find fossils of the latter forms in the process of evolving.
    Thus, these missing links have benefited the evolutionist's argument against creationists because one of creationists' big arguments was that the absence of transitional forms supports that God created all species. Tiktaalik is a great help to scientists, but since there are so few other transitional fossils, the creationist argument is still alive.

    Why Evolution is True