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“...there are about 25 major living subdivisions (phyla) of the animal kingdom alone, all with gaps between them that are not bridged by known intermediates.” Francisco J. Ayala and James W. Valentine, Evolving, The Theory and Processes of Organic Evolution (Menlo Park, California: The Benjamin Cummings Publishing Co., 1979), p. 258.
“Most orders, classes, and phyla appear abruptly, and commonly have already acquired all the characters that distinguish them.” Ibid., p. 266.
“All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.” Gould, “The Return of Hopeful Monsters,” p. 23.
“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils....We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.” Stephen Jay Gould, “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” Natural History, Vol. 86, May 1977, p. 14.
“New species almost always appeared suddenly in the fossil record with no intermediate links to ancestors in older rocks of the same region.” Ibid., p. 12.
“The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.” Stephen Jay Gould, “Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging?” Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1980, p. 127.
[From “In the Beginning” by Walt Brown
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