Hypothetical ancestors

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Sun Feb 10 22:08:29 CST 2002

At 08:27 PM 2/10/02, Bryan Simon wrote:
>In view of the
>extremely large number of biological species in the world, surely it should
>be possible that we actually come across these very ancestors in a few
>cases, or am I being naive?  This would assist greatly in answering critics
>among creationists who often pose the question "What happened to or how
>come we never see the intermediates that must have been present at some
>stage to be able to account for the evolutionary process?"

There is no point to answering creationists when they ask the wrong
questions. Try asking them a question: "What methods can be used to
determine what were the originally created kinds of organisms?"

>These ancestors
>presumably can also be fossils?

It is methodologically impossible to show that a fossil is an ancestor of a
living organism. It may agree in every respect with the reconstructed
hypothetical common ancestor, but that still proves nothing.

The one thing we can surmise about fossils is that they are *relatives* of
living organisms.

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Biological Sciences Department             Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University      FAX: (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                  jcclark at csupomona.edu

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