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看到有人说化石证据都是反对进化论的,特转贴一文
送交者: pzzdm.com 2010年06月13日15:02:10 于 [彩虹之约] 发送悄悄话

Fossils & Evolution - Fossil Evidence Supports Evolution
What Does the Fossil Record Say About Life?

By , About.com Guide

When you hear talk of evidence for evolution, the first thing that frequently comes to mind for most people are fossils. The fossil record has one important, unique characteristic: it is our only actual glimpse into the past where common descent is proposed to have taken place. As such it provides invaluable evidence for common descent. The fossil record is not "complete" (fossilization is a rare event, so this is to be expected), but there is still a wealth of fossil information.

 

What Is the Fossil Record?

If you look at the fossil record, you find a succession of organisms that suggest a history of incremental development from one species to another. You see very simple organisms at first and then new, more complex organisms appearing over time. The characteristics of newer organisms frequently appear to be modified forms of characteristics of older organisms.

This succession of life forms, from simpler to more complex, showing relationships between new life forms and those that preceded them, is strong inferential evidence of evolution. There are gaps in the fossil record and some unusual occurrences, such as what is commonly called the Cambrian explosion, but the overall picture created by the fossil record is one of consistent, incremental development.

At the same time, the fossil record is not in any way, shape, or form suggestive of the idea of sudden generation of all life as it appears now, nor does it support transformationism. There is no way to look at the fossil record and interpret the evidence as pointing towards anything other than evolution — despite all the gaps in record and in our understanding, evolution and common descent are the only conclusions that are supported by the full spectrum of evidence.

This is very important when considering inferential evidence because inferential evidence can always, in theory, be challenged on its interpretation: why interpret the evidence as inferring one thing rather than another? Such a challenge is only reasonable, though, when one has stronger alternative — an alternative that not only explains the evidence better than what's being challenged, but which preferably also explains other evidence that the first explanation does not.

We don't have this when with any form of creationism. For all their insistence that evolution is only a "faith" because so much evidence is "merely" inferential, they are unable to present an alternative that explains all that inferential evidence better than evolution — or even anywhere close to evolution. Inferential evidence isn't as strong as direct evidence, but it's treated as sufficient in most cases when enough evidence exists and especially when there are no reasonable alternatives.

 

Fossils & Converging Evidence

That the fossil record in general suggests evolution is certainly an important piece of evidence, but it becomes even more telling when it is combined with other evidence for evolution. For example, the fossil record is consistent in terms of biogeography — and if evolution is true, we would expect that the fossil record would be in harmony with current biogeography, the phylogenetic tree, and the knowledge of ancient geography suggested by plate tectonics. In fact, some finds, such as fossil remains of marsupials in Antarctica are strongly supportive of evolution, given that Antarctica, South America and Australia were once part of the same continent.

If evolution did happen, then you would expect not just that the fossil record would show a succession of organisms as described above, but that the succession seen in the record would be compatible with that derived by looking at currently living creatures. For example, when examining the anatomy and biochemistry of living species, it appears that the general order of development for the major types of vertebrate animals was fish -> amphibians -> reptiles -> mammals. If current species developed as a result of common descent then the fossil record should show the same order of development.

In fact, the fossil record does show the same order of development. In general, the fossil record is consistent with the developmental order suggested by looking at the characteristics of living species. As such it represents another independent piece of evidence for common descent, and a very significant one since the fossil record is a window to the past.

 

Fossils & Scientific Predictions

We should also be able to make some predictions and retrodictions as to what we would expect to see in the fossil record. If common descent occurred, then the organisms found in the fossil record should generally conform to the phylogenetic tree — the nodes on the tree at which a split occurs represent common ancestors of the organisms on the new branches of the tree.

We would predict that we could find organisms in the fossil record showing characteristics that are intermediate in nature between the different organisms that evolved from it and from the organisms from which it evolved. For example, the standard tree suggests that birds are most closely related to reptiles, so we would predict that we could find fossils which show a mix of bird and reptile characteristics. Fossilized organisms that posses intermediate characteristics are called transitional fossils.

Exactly these sort of fossils have been found.

We would also expect that we would not find fossils showing intermediate characteristics between organisms that are not closely related. For example, we would not expect to see fossils that appear to be intermediates between birds and mammals or between fish and mammals. Again, the record is consistent.

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    someone once said - mean 06/14/10 (158)
  建议你看一看“darwin's dilemma"  /无内容 - j9 06/13/10 (133)
      一起动脑吧 - j9 06/14/10 (113)
      什么证据支持进化论?贴出来看看。 - soccerfun 06/14/10 (156)
      如果一个杀人犯,找不到他杀人的证据,他就是清白的?  /无内容 - pzzdm.com 06/13/10 (126)
        如果一个杀人犯,找不到他杀人的证据 - soccerfun 06/13/10 (118)
            可是我没去批判人家呀。 - soccerfun 06/14/10 (135)
              那么贵教的教徒动不动来学术论坛批科学,虽然他们不懂,你觉得是 - pzzdm.com 06/14/10 (115)
                别人的事我不清楚。 - soccerfun 06/14/10 (153)
          没错,但是如果他真的犯了罪,而且把证据都销毁掉了 - pzzdm.com 06/13/10 (101)
            还是要依法办事。 - soccerfun 06/14/10 (117)
              法?漏网之鱼多了,你们基督徒的公义之心呢?关于鸡和蛋 - pzzdm.com 06/14/10 (135)
                不要感情用事嘛。 - soccerfun 06/14/10 (125)
                  我说的是如果事实上这个杀人犯确实杀了人,但是苦于没有证据 - pzzdm.com 06/14/10 (137)
                    “事实上这个杀人犯确实杀了人”是什么意思? - soccerfun 06/14/10 (107)
                      评论如下 - pzzdm.com 06/14/10 (125)
                        不是正上班呢吗?别说我害你啊。最后一帖。 - soccerfun 06/14/10 (130)
                        纳尼? - mean 06/14/10 (120)
                          地心说难道不是教皇钦定认可的基本理论? - pzzdm.com 06/14/10 (174)
                            there's a simple way out - mean 06/14/10 (152)
                              test  /无内容 - caleb 11/20/10 (88)
                                test  /无内容 - caleb 03/02/11 (57)
  基督教靠谎言洗脑,跟北韩的小胖子一样卑劣!  /无内容 - pzzdm.com 06/13/10 (173)
    你最基督教的了解近乎一张白纸。 - soccerfun 06/13/10 (158)
        什么证据? - soccerfun 06/14/10 (116)
          我上文所贴的是美国科学界主流观点,但是跟我讲过话的教徒 - pzzdm.com 06/14/10 (141)
            你说说看,什么证据支持进化论?  /无内容 - soccerfun 06/14/10 (104)
              请看我上面贴的文章啊!  /无内容 - pzzdm.com 06/14/10 (138)
                文章都说什么了?您给翻译一下。 - soccerfun 06/14/10 (131)
                  对不起我要上班呢  /无内容 - pzzdm.com 06/14/10 (135)
                    好吧,忙完了正事儿再说。  /无内容 - soccerfun 06/14/10 (151)
                      hehe - HaiShi 08/22/10 (103)
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