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Re: Transitional Fossils

In a message dated 95-09-28 19:09:56 EDT, jdharris@lust.isem.smu.edu (Jerry
D. Harris) writes:

>        The explanation I generally use is that _every_ fossil represents a
>transitional organism -- and that, therefore, the whole concept of a
>transitional fossil is a fallacy.  Creationists perceive evolution as if it
>works in a few short steps:  from, for example, dinosaur -> half-dinosaur,
>half-bird -> bird.  This, of course, isn't true.  There are far more steps
>in between (and, as almost any paleontologists will tell you, the harder
>you look for the transitional event, the blurrier it will become!  ;-)  ).
>Thus, the picture goes:  dinosaur -> vaguely bird-like dinosaurs -> yet
>more bird like dinosaur -> even more bird-like dinosaurs -> ... ->
>dinosaur-like bird -> even less dinosaur-like bird -> vaguely dinosaur-like
>bird -> bird -- and even each one of _these_ steps is blurry and probably
>impossible to identify in the fossil record.
>        Every organism, therefore, is a transitional organism:
>transitional between what immediately preceded it and what comes
>immediately after.

In cladistic methodology, NO fossils represent "transitional" organisms.
Every specimen of every species, theoretically, is located at a leaf node,
not a branch node, of a cladogram, and the transitional forms are relegated
to the realm of hypothesis. How odd, therefore, that you still believe not
only that transitional forms existed, but that ALL fossils represent
transitional forms. (Unless you already know, somewhere deep down, that
cladistic methodology is fundamentally flawed.)