More Evidence for Transitional Fossils

Warren Akers

Young Earth creationists (YECs) continue to claim that no transitional fossils exist.  The Palaeos site is one among a plethora of sites that overwhelmingly confirm the existence of such fossils.

At Palaeos you will find some really cool cladograms.  Start here at Sarcopterygii, the group of fish that includes the ancestors of modern tetrapods. Scroll to the bottom of the cladogram and click on Reptilomorpha. Note, if you scroll to the bottom there is Synapsida (although the link is actually in the box at the top of the page). At the bottom of this cladogram is Mammalia (again, the actual link is in the box at the top).  Scroll down. Congatulations!  You have just gone through the entire evolutionary history of fish to modern mammals. Every name you saw on the cladogram represents an actual fossil species, carefully placed in the proper order in the cladogram based on age and a careful description of its morphology! Look at the really nice descriptions of the fossils; one of the best is a section on one of the proto-mammals, Morganucontidae. The descriptions show that these phylogenic trees, and the claim that these fossils are transitionals, aren't arbitrary - they have exactly the right characteristics to be placed where they are in the phylogenic trees, and they have the right "in-betweenness" to count as transitional between two different groups of animals.

So, in this respect, a prediction of evolution is born out in the fossil record. Can creationism explain these transitions beyond saying that the creator simply created all these species on a whimsy? For instance, right now there is very little fossil evidence linking bats to their non-flying ancestors. My evolutionist prediction is that if and when these transitional fossils are discovered, they will clearly link bats with more primitive tree dwelling mammals distantly related to primates. No transitional fossils will be found that are "in-between" bats and birds.

What predictions can creationism make? Does belief in a creator necessarily imply that such fossils will be found? If evolution predicts them and creationism makes no predictions, what will it mean if and when such fossils are found?