How does the fossil record support Darwin's theories?

1 Answer
Jun 29, 2018

The fossil record can be used to both support and oppose Darwin's theory of descent with modification.


Darwin's theory of descent with postulates that all life started with a common ancestor that was very primitive and simple and has changed by random accidental changes to the complexity seen in today's world.

In examining the sedimentary fossil layers in England the simplest fossils were found in the lowest levels, higher levels had more complex and advanced fossils. The fossil record that shows that the simpler fossils are generally found deeper in the earth supports Darwin's concept that life has progressed from the simple to the complex.

There are however many places on earth where the complex ( thought to be younger fossils) are found beneath simpler fossils ( thought to be older)

Darwin's theory postulates that slow gradual changes or slight improvements due to natural selection is sufficient to account for the changes (evolution) or organisms required by Descent with Modification.

The fossil record fails to show the slight improvements that would account for the formation of new phylums, or genera's of life. The Cambrian Explosion show evidence of the the major phylums springing into existence with no evidence of the transitions from supposed simpler ancestors.

The failure to find the supporting fossil evidence for Darwin's Theory of slow gradual changes caused the development of the theory of punctuated equilibrium as an explanation of how descent with modification could have occurred.

In general the fossil record supports the concept of life progressing from the simple to the complex. In actual detailed analysis the fossil record actually contradicts Darwin's Theory of slow gradual accidental changes directed by natural selection.