If evolution were true, one would expect thousands of transitional forms in the fossil record. They should be everywhere.
No you would not:
a. fossilisation is a relatively rare event.
b. how could you tell if a given fossil was transitional?
c. by definition all evolving life is transitional, no individual is the same as another, and the bigger the distance in time the greater the difference (generalising of course).
Evolutionists for decades have scoured the fossil record looking for them, and they are not found. When one or two questionable examples such as archaeopteryx come along, they fixate on them and think they've proven something.
They prove that evolution works as expected, archaeopteryx has the features of a reptile and a bird, palaeontologist should be rightly excited (a couple of more Ã¢â‚¬ËœprimitiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ than archaeopteryx bird/reptile fossils have been found in China by the way).
Then there are examples like the coelocanth which, for years, was believed to be transitional between an amphibian and a fish. When one was finally discovered in the deep ocean in the 1930's, evolutionists were disappointed to learn that in reality it wasn't a "link", but another peripheral branch in the "evolutionary tree". Thus, one must be cautious in interpreting the fossil record.
The coelacanth represents what one would think a fish to amphibian should look like, nothing more, one would expect to have lobe like limbs. Current finds have found a better link, canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember the name but it looks more like a salamander. Disappointment comes with the job, just means you have to do more looking.
Even if there were a few "transitional" species in the fossil record, evolutionary theory would require thousands of them. If you look at the number of animals that have been discovered in the fossil record (I believe it's something like 20% of all living species today), and factor in the supposed millions of years of time that these fossils span, there's no way to rationally explain why there isn't a smooth continuum between the species.
From memory I think I have seen a quote that over 90% of all living things (species) have gone extinct. One should not forget that this does not mean that the linage is broken. The evolutionary tree is a very fuzzy and branches often, and has more dead ends than running, at any given point in history there is a linage to the common ancestor.
Can you imagine how many species would be required to span the gap between reptiles and birds? Simply stating that the fossil record is incomplete is a rationalization of hostile evidence.
I would imagine there would be quite a few spaced over some several million years.
Time to get specific, what hostile evidence are you referring to?
Given the number of fossils available for study, the transition of species should be obvious to even the skeptic.
Evolutionists need to face the fact that the enormous gaps in the fossil record are a serious problem.
The lack of fossils is not a problem at all, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s perfectly consistent with the known processes of fossilisation. If you are preposing that there should be more fossils than currently found, please explain why you think that it should be so?
By the way marine fossilisation is not so sparse by comparison to dry land.
Were they not a problem, then why have Gould and his colleagues proposed the "punctuated equilibrium" theory? Obviously, because they admit that the fossil record does not support gradual transition of species over long periods of time.
Punctuated equilibrium can be explained by the boom and bust nature of life in general. Plus a branch in the linage obviously starts with a small number of animals (one to start with). With a small population is it any wonder that the starting point of a species can be obscured.
One of the hallmarks of a flawed hypothesis is failure to predict future discoveries. Darwin and colleagues predicted in 1859 that the fossil record would verify the existence of innumerable transitional forms. Darwin realized that his theory was untenable if these species were not found.
In recent years, many evolutionists have become deluded into thinking that the fossil record actually shows a gradual continuum between species. All I can say is that is their opinion and that their perspective is in error. That's not how I see it at all.
And not long after his death archaeopteryx was found! Darwin may have been overly optimistic that in itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s self does not discredit the theory.
Ok My turn.
The fossil record shows a very strong evidence of evolution in the form of what you find in what layers, i.e. life becomes more complex as you get to younger layers. No you have attempted to show that there are gaps in the record, but you can only do this by zeroing in on any given species, when one looks at the big picture a very strong pattern emerges.
E.g (please excuse formatting)
Millions of years ago Mya Time period What happened
10,000ya Holocene epoch Modern civilisation
1.8 Mya Quaternary Pleistocene epoch Ice age, development of modern humans
5 Pliocene epoch First upright ape
23 Miocene epoch First ape
36 Oligocene epoch Grasslands spread, many grazing animals
57 Eocene epoch First horse, first whales
65 Paleocene epoch Giant land birds
65 Tertiary Rise of the mammals Dinosaurs go extinct as 65mya
136 Cretaceous First flowering plants.
190 Jurassic Dinosaurs dominate, first birds.
225 Triassic First dinosaurs, first mammals, Mammal like reptiles extinct
280 Permian Mammal like reptiles dominate. Major extinction of marine creatures
345 Carboniferous Great forests, amphibians, first reptiles
395 Devonian First bony fish, vertebrates on land
430 Silurian First fish with jaws, first land animals (invertebrates)
500 Ordovician First jawless fish, first land based plants
570 Cambrian First molluscs and chordates
600 Pre-Cambrian Oldest fossil animal and plants
3500 Pre-Cambrian Oldest known single cell organisms
4500 Pre-Cambrian Formation of Earth
This picture is consistent with The ToE, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s predictive qualities are such that one can confidently state that you will never find an out of place fossil! That is a lot of rock and potentially billions of fossils to falsify evolution with. Find a dinosaur in the Devonian or any relatively complex life (vertebrate) in the pre- Cambrian (3500+) or human in just about anything from 5 or deeper.