Fossil Record Predictions
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
Upon initiation of an online debate that I dubbed the “Evolution as ‘Science’ Debate,” I asked humanists on the Friendly Atheist Facebook page to provide observable examples of biological evolution, such as an originally-blind organism developing eyesight. There were very few humanists that understood my request for observable evidence, as most of them provided evidences that fall into the realm of historical science.[i] One particular humanist, MR, provided common claims and arguments regarding the fossil record in response to my original question. Responding to over two dozen humanists is a time-consuming task, and since I had already addressed similar arguments earlier in the thread, I shortened my reply by referring MR to my earlier comment in response to humanist KY’s arguments. See below for Part 6 of the Evolution as “Science” Debate.
Note: transcript portions are in topical order for clarity, but the posts are numbered to maintain chronological integrity. By the time I share Part 10 of this blog post series, I will have shared the entire debate transcript. Also, all names are abbreviated for privacy and brevity.
(sorry for all the linguistc errors that surely there will be in my post, english is not my mother langueage)
In science a scientific theory can be tested simply trying to verify or falsify the predictions of said theory (the TEST must be repeteable, not the thing that is beeng tested. Even to find the fossil of a "missing link" is a test). For exaple in the evolution case, the evolution predicted that, beeing all the beeings slowly evolved from a common ancestor, it should be possible to find a lot of fossil "missing link" between the species of today. Which is EXACTLY what happened thousands of times since the first development of the darwinistic theory, and there shouldn't be any reason for the existence of fossil proof of said "missing links" if evolution wasn't true. For example, if all animal were created, there is no reason to suppose the past existence of an animal that have both the characteristics of birds and reptiles, but if evolution is true, than said animal MUST have been existed some time in the past. So it should be possible to find the fossil of an animal like that (possible doesn't mean "said fossil MUST exist", it is possible that said animal never left a fossil behind, but to find said fossil is something EXPECTED). And said animal HAS been discovered: is the Archeopterix.
Every time a missing link is found, that is one more proof of the correctness of evolution (because evolution PREDICTED that, where creationism DIDN'T), while creationism and "intelligent design" never menage to bring any proof EVER (no, "it's written in my sacred book" is not a proof, scientific or otherwise). True, no quantity of said proof will be ever enought to make evolution an absolute certaintly (the same is true for EVERY scientific theory), but there is a point in which the amount of proofs is enought to declare something "sure enought" or even "certain beyond every reasonable doubt", and in the case of evolution, that was long time ago. And that is only one kind of "testable predictions" that evolution does, the genetic proofs (study of the genetic similarity between the organisms that for the evolutionary theory must be related) are even waaaay more. There is simply no way to correctly guess the degree of genetic similarity between to different species if is no true that they have a common ancestor (because, if said species are created, than che common DNA should be random, or at least only depend from how similar two species are, not how much are related. Dolphins should be genetically similar to fish than to dogs, for example, and yet they aren't, as evolution predicts)
At the same time, as a scientific theory must be testable in positive, it must also be testable in negative. Which mean that there must be a way to disprove it if the theory is false (another reason why creationism can't be a scientific theory). And as evolutionism predicts the existence of past living beeings never descovered before, so it predicts the INEXISTENCE of living beeng that CAN'T have existed in some time periods for the evolution to be true, and so the discovery of the fossil of said living beeings would be alone able to definitivly prove that evolution is wrong. And said hypotetical beengs are even more than the ones which existence IS predicted. For example, the fossil of a rabbit in the cambrian period would DESTROY the theory of evolution, because there is no way a rabbit could have evolved in said period. And yet, after centuries of paleontologic discoverires, said fossil never have been found.
So yes, evolution IS a scientific theory that CAN be tested in SEVERAL WAYS
MR, I’ve addressed much of what you said in previous comments, especially my comment to KY. I will reemphasize that interpretations of supposed “missing links” are based on unverifiable assumptions. Who was there to observe the creature reproduce to know whether or not it even had descendants to contribute to the claimed evolutionary tree? This is not a true “test,” unless you had a time machine to go back in time and directly observe the evolution of organisms over the supposed millions of years of history. Otherwise, how does one know if a “transitional form” is truly a transitional form if they don’t even know for sure (by direct observation) whether or not that organism continued to reproduce??
On the other hand, I can argue that everything in the fossil record is consistent with God’s creation of different “kinds” of plants and animals (Genesis 1), and that the fossil record is consistent with a global, catastrophic flood (Genesis 6 through 9). Moreover, the supposed “transitional forms” appear to have been fully functional plants and animals. This is perfectly consistent with the “prediction” of the biblical worldview.
As I mentioned to KY and others, creation scientists also expect to observe anatomy and DNA similarity due to common Designer, not common ancestor. See my previous reply to KY for more info.
The examples you share primarily fall within the realm of “historical science,” which is not directly observable and testable. I’m asking for examples of “observational science”: directly observable examples of organisms adding brand new genetic information and functionality.
Regarding your example of finding a rabbit in the Cambrian rock layers as a theoretical disproof of evolution: creation scientists would not expect to find a rabbit in the Cambrian rock layers either, because creation scientists interpret the order of the fossil record as an order of burial during the Flood, not an order of evolutionary progression (learn more here: https://answersingenesis.org/fossils/fossil-record/order-in-the-fossil-record/).
MR replied with two separate posts to my response, and I followed with a lengthier rebuttal. I will share those portions of the debate in Parts 7 and 8 of this blog post series.
[i] To learn more, see https://answersingenesis.org/media/video/science/nature-of-science/