Have transitional forms been discovered in the fossil record?
The term “transitional forms” is the evolutionary term for intermediate organisms which share character traits from two separate groups. These transitional forms would represent a clearly defined continuum in the evolution of plants and animals; a development in the chain of life, reaching back to the hypothetical common ancestor.
Charles Darwin anticipated the question of transitional forms in his Origin of the Species. He stated that the most serious objection to his argument on common descent was the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record as understood in the 1850’s.
Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record. Charles Darwin. Origin of the Species, 1872, (Chapter 10; p. 293)
Darwin had hoped that future fossil discoveries would uncover “intermediary” life forms to support his claims of common ancestry. In the last 140 years, the “extreme imperfection” of the geological record is no longer an issue. Scientists have uncovered billons, even trillions of fossils (mostly marine) and have a large amount of raw data from which to derive support for their evolutionary scheme. Yet the absence of the transitional forms is still a glaring gap in Darwin’s theory.
To address this problem of the missing transitional forms, some evolutionists have attempted modifications to Darwinism that raise more questions than they solve. Academic jargon like saltation, punctuated equilibrium, genetic phenotypes and hundreds of others litter the science journals and textbooks, offered in anticipation of a lucky fossil find to authenticate the theories.
Often claimed as a transitional form between dinosaurs and birds is the fossil of an ancient toothed bird with claws called Archaeopteryx. According to evolutionary proponents, a true transitional dino-bird would have reptilian scales/ feathers (“sceathers”, and forearms/ wings (“wingarms”). But Archaeopteryx has no intermediary forms. Except for teeth, it is a fully functioning bird; odd, yes, missing link, no. Even the modern platypus has more unusual combination of genetic traits. Evolutionists recognize this discrepancy, arguing among themselves on whether this unusual bird fits the criteria for transitional forms.
The fossil record reveals that plant and animal life, their families, orders and classes arose suddenly without any trace of their ancestors. In spite of the billions of fossils found around the world, no transitional forms have been uncovered to support Darwin’s theory of evolution.