Dr. Colin Patterson, a senior paleontologist at the British Museum (Natural History), was asked by Luther D. Sunderland why no evolutionary transitions were included in Dr. Patterson’s recent book, Evolution. In a personal letter, Patterson said:
“I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be asked to visualise such transformations, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it, and if I were to leave it to artistic licence, would that not mislead the reader?...Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say that there are no transitional fossils. As a palaeontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. You say that I should at least “show a photo of the fossil from which each type organism was derived.” I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.” Copy of letter, dated 10 April 1979, from Patterson to Sunderland.