I want to start this post with a quote from one of my Creation Unfolding links. This person is a Christian, and in my opinion, well-meaning in his desire to honor Scripture. Yet, as we shall see, statements such as this, “The fossil record shows no transitioning life forms,” are actually misinformed, if not in complete error.
The facts: “transitional” fossils DO exist. Yes, I’m a young-earth creationist who believes in transitional fossils! It is true, a plethora of “transitional” forms do not exist, but there are enough to warrant a better creationist apologetic that accounts for those that do.
The most commonly used are, bird evolution, mammalian jaw evolution, and whale evolution. Yes, yes, I know there are several creationist websites that dumb down the extent of these “transitions,” but I don’t think this is necessary.
As Christians, we should not think it strange that God, in His wisdom, decided to create a suite of organisms that are linked biologically and anatomically. Think of humans and apes. Let’s be honest, humans share much in common with apes. We look like them. Their DNA is very similar. But does that mean we evolved from them? Absolutely not. Look at all the different kinds of birds. Eagles and robins both share an incredibly similar anatomical make-up. But does that mean one evolved from the other? Absolutely not.
Christians living in the middle ages also understood these similarities between different organisms. From these observations, they constructed a system of thought that itself was built from Aristotelian philosophy. This system of thought was called, “The Great Chain of Being.” This Great Chain of Being presented a tiered hierarchy of organisms with God at the top and lower life forms at the bottom.
Regrettably, in Aristotle’s scala naturae (the source for The Great Chain of Being) these organisms were “fixed” and unable to change. This idea was later developed and unfortunately incorporated into the scientific milieu of 17th and 18th century biology. It became known as the “fixity of species.”
Although Christians should reject the concept of “fixity of species,” there may yet be much to commend a hierarchical view of creation. This means that creatures are connected in a hierarchical sense that is expressed in their anatomy and biology (hence a connection between theropod dinosaurs and birds). Moreover, God has also built into each organism the ability to change and adapt (thus the evolution of the horse). It is this latter fact, along with the observation that some organisms do share great similarity, that has led secularists to extrapolate these changes into the belief system we call, Darwinian evolution.
So, yes there are creatures that share close anatomical structures and biology! And yes, apes and humans are a great example of this. And often, organisms actually do change, but within limits (horse evolution). But this combined similarity of form and evolution within groups is not Darwinian evolution, it is God’s creative strategy. So, let’s stop saying things like, “The fossil record shows no transitioning life forms.” It does and that’s ok! It is up to us to choose to believe God’s Word over the philosophical machinations of man