What are some problems encountered when using the fossil record to support the claims of evolution?

2 Answers
Apr 9, 2016

Incomplete fossil record


Many fossil records are incomplete because some animals were soft bodied or soft tissue which decays quickly. Also, due to movement of tectonic plates, fossils are destroyed so there are many new fossilised organisms which are destroyed and we don't know about them.

Scientists, like Darwin, had interesting theories which explained the things that happened during evolution but cannot be supported because of the lack of reliable evidence. Fossils only give us that much evidence as only few fossil records are complete; the fossil record for horses is complete. There are animals that have evolved too quickly like the shark and haven't changed much over millions of years.

How does the fossil record provide evidence of evolution?

Jun 30, 2018

That there are no fossils showing the postulated transitions from one phylum of organisms to another and the fossils that show a loss of complexity instead of an increase.


The Darwinian theory of evolution postulates that all life has occurred due to small gradual changes in the population resulting in an increase in complexity. Darwin called his theory of evolution descent with modification. He believed that all life started from a common simple ancestor and that natural selection over billions of years resulted in the increase in complexity observed today.

In the over 150 years since Darwin predicted that transitional forms would be found validating his theory very few transitional forms have been found. The so called Cambrian Explosion with the sudden appearance of most of the major phylums found today with no transitional fossils is an extreme example of this. There are over 250,000 fossils species in museums none of them document the gradual transition of one species to another.

The horse fossil sequence is thought to be one of if not the most complete fossil sequence of a species. The problem encountered is that the sequence shows the wrong evolutionary trend. Darwin's theory of descent with modification predicts that a fossil sequence will show a trend from the simple to the complex. The horse fossil sequence shows the opposite trend from the complex to the simple. The horse fossil sequence start with species of horse that has four toes ( more complex ) and ends with a species of horse that has only one toe ( less complex)

Also there are many places on earth where the more complex fossils are found buried underneath the less complex fossils. These sedimentary strata are called disconformities because the strata so not conform with claims of Darwinian evolution.

The fossils in general do not support the theory of Darwinian evolution. There is no evidence of gradual transitions between life forms. The evidence of sequences that do exist do not show the predicted movement from the simple to the complex.