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Where are the Transitional Fossils?
A common argument leveled against the theory of evolution is that scientists have not been able to produce transitional fossils that show the change of one species into another. In this podcast, we address a common misconception about what transitional fossils actually are.
The song is built around the image of a river flowing through a canyon it has sculpted—an image that can easily be played out as a picture of the way that the Lord has been at work preparing a path for us in the material world, complete with signposts to his former and present activity.
What scientific evidence do we have about the first humans?
In recent decades, scientists have discovered more about the beginnings of humanity. The fossil record shows a gradual transition over 5 million years ago from chimpanzee-size creatures to hominids with larger brains who walked on two legs. Later hominids used fire and stone tools and had brains as large as modern humans. Fossils of homo sapiens in east Africa date back nearly 200,000 years. Humans developed hearths for fire, stone points for spears and arrows, and cave paintings by 30,000 years ago. By 10,000 years ago, humans had spread throughout the globe. Genetic studies support the same picture. Humans share more DNA with chimpanzees than with any other animal, suggesting that humans and chimps share a relatively recent common ancestor. Also, the same defective genes appear in both humans and chimps, at the same locations in the genome—an observation difficult to explain except by common ancestry. Genetics also tells us that the human population today descended from more than two people. Evolution happens not to individuals but to populations, and the amount of genetic diversity in the gene pool today suggests that the human population was never smaller than several thousand individuals. Yet all humans, of all races, are descended from this group. Humanity is one family.
Wheat that Springeth Green
As we remember the narrative that takes us from Good Friday through Easter morning, the image of a buried grain of wheat invites us into the story rather than just describing what happens in it.
Of all the blessings to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day, none of them surpasses the riches of the eternal blessings which the Lord has bestowed on his sons and daughters in Christ Jesus.
The Water Is Wide
While in common parlance we tend to think of something being “co-opted” as a bad thing and a violation of original principles or intentions, the word itself does not imply a “hijacking” so much as a divergence with connection: co-operation between one use and another.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
The complex sounds in the piece are created by only five human voices over a foundation of a single cello—the entirety of the Toby Twining Music ensemble.
Finding Our Voice
I wonder if the answer might lie not in our study of God but in our praise of Him.
What is the character of our creative interaction with the world—not only the material world alone, but also the spiritual one? What do we literally make of the gift we of all creatures have—to see the intricacies of the cosmos and to recognize that they point not just to a god or designer, but to the Lord who invites us into intimate relationship with Him and each other?
Called by Name
Just as the Lord gave Adam the task of naming the animals in the Garden, naming remains a central part of the scientific exploration of the world. But what does it mean to be “called by name”?
Does the Cambrian Explosion pose a challenge to evolution?
The “Cambrian Explosion” refers to the appearance in the fossil record of most major animal body plans about 543 million years ago. The new fossils appear in an interval of 20 million years or less. On evolutionary time scales, 20 million years is a rapid burst that appears to be inconsistent with the gradual pace of evolutionary change. However, rapid changes like this appear at other times in the fossil record, often following times of major extinction. The Cambrian Explosion does present a number of interesting and important research questions. It does not, however, challenge the fundamental correctness of the central thesis of evolution.
What does the fossil record show?
Fossils provide a unique view into the history of life by showing the forms and features of life in the past. Fossils tell us how species have changed across long periods of the Earth’s history. For instance, in 1998, scientists found a fossil showing an animal at the transition from sea creature to land creature. This tetrapod had a hand-like fin, confirming a prediction of evolutionary biology. Though the fossil record does not include every plant and animal that ever lived, it provides substantial evidence for the common descent of life via evolution. The fossil record is a remarkable gift for the study of nature.