Vocal Point-Dr. Stephen Meyer

Recently someone critiqued a Christian school for their teaching of creation versus evolution. They wrote, “They [the Christian school/textbooks] say that fossils are found out of order in the way evolution says they should be found. This however is a complete lie and talking to any real paleontologist would explain why this is completely false….They also completely gloss over the fact that we have hundreds of thousands of transitional fossils.” Jerry Newcombe asked Dr. Stephen Meyer, who earned his Ph.D. in the study of the philosophy of science at Cambridge University, to answer these allegations one at a time. Dr. Meyer wrote the New York Times bestselling book, Darwin’s Doubt. www.darwinsdoubt.com



One Response to Vocal Point-Dr. Stephen Meyer

  1. David Butler says:

    1. Not sure why he didn’t say ‘synapsids’. Probably because he doesn’t want to be taken to task on the enormity of the paleontological evidence for them and their evolution.
    2. Meyer is taking advantage of the branching of various groups as evolution progresses to affirm the creationist claim. Beyond that, not sure what he’s arguing for since he deliberately ignores which groups he’s making a claim for. Sounds like he’s just selling the creationist strawman.
    3. He’s once again misrepresenting the reason why Punctuated Equilibrium was developed. It was basically because Darwin was wrong about animals ALL needing long gradual spans of time to evolve. Even Darwin mulled over the aspects of the fossil record at the time that showed more rapid emergence for some groups whereas others DID in fact show the relative ‘stasis’ of gradualism. Furthermore, PE was very specific in postulating that geographic isolation, and other factors might create accelerated selection pressures and the like. Later research from the 80’s onwards, would factually confirm this. Meyer of course, completely ignores this. Point being, the fossil record shows alternating stasis and PE for various groups, with PE being the outlier of sorts and it was actually the observance of stasis that was the biggest aspect of Gould and Eldridge’s ideas, in that overall, stasis and allopatric speciation is the norm, with PE occurring due to various factors. Geographic isolation, migration, etc. There is no single ‘mechanism’ for it. And there’s been no rejection of it, but rather, Gould and others simply moved away from PE being quite so dominant a factor.
    4. Meyer is neither a Biologist or a Paleontologist
    5. The progression is called ‘faunal succession’. It is NOT predicated on ‘complexity’. Meyer here is attempting to once again affirm the creationist argument that the fossil record is mixed. He’s ignoring (conveniently) the progression of life in the fossil record from Marine to terrestrial and from invertebrates to vertebrates, etc etc. Just an outright lie and misrepresentation.
    6. Meyer is doing the usual creationist line here, by stating that the many transitional forms stated by the person are wrong, when OF COURSE the person is not arguing that there are thousands of transitional groups. Meyer I note, was careful not to mention Gould’s own critique of creationists, and I quote: ““Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists — whether through design or stupidity, I do not know — as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups.” – Stephen Jay Gould

    **Editors’ note: See http://www.darwinsdoubt.com and http://www.evolutionnews.org for the other side on these and similar issues.**

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *