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Topic: GSA Evolution and Creationism Position Statement

Lack of evidence

From Letters, GSA Today, January 2002

As a longstanding member of GSA and several other professional geological organizations and as a practicing geological scientist with over 30 years experience and a strong interest in paleontology, I have finally become annoyed and now insulted by the panel-generated statement of position on the issue of evolution ("Council Approves Two Position Statements," GSA Today, October 2001, p. 32). Webster's dictionary defines evolution as "a process of change" and I have no problem with that concept because it is readily apparent all around us and in the fossil record.

The panel's conclusion apparently is that they are better scientists than am I, and therefore their conclusions are the only ones to be accepted because they are following conventional wisdom and that which is politically correct. Let me simply remind you of the problems Galileo found himself in when he went against the conventional wisdom of the arrangement of our solar system with the earth at the center. I would suggest that it is easy to teach geology and biology within the context of change and adaptation without muddying the water by adding the concept of evolutionary change. Charles Darwin's 142 year old idea of one species giving rise to another is not a provable hypothesis and has apparently risen out of one man's anger toward God. Where is there any evidence that something simple has "evolved" into something more complex?

I suggest that Mr. Darwin has become the god of those misled scientists who simply cannot merge the created order of the universe and the Creator God. Are we as scientists smarter than God Almighty? No, however the only way many scientists justify their professional credibility and reason for scientific study and free teaching in our society is to deny the role of the Creator God in the process because God cannot be proven to their satisfaction. I am offended that my views are put down as trivial and non-scientific. If the facts prove beyond reasonable doubt the validity of the evolutionary species progression concept, then why are we still debating the subject and why are organizations like ours and others putting out official statements 142 years later?

My evaluation of the fossil record shows that we see only a small portion of what life has lived on this planet. In fact Simpson (1952) estimated 982 million species have existed since the beginning of the Cambrian, Grant (1963) estimated at least 1.6 billion species since the beginning of the Cambrian and Durham (1967) estimated 10 million species of marine organisms alone compared to the total known fossil species of 130,000 in 1971. Regardless of which estimate we accept, we must agree that paleontologists have discovered only a tiny fraction of the species that have lived. Furthermore, if the fossils that we have to work with reflect a random sample of the plants and animals that have lived our study would be somewhat less difficult, however we know that it is not a random sample but rather a record of those most likely to be preserved or represented by the largest population. It seems obvious to me that we see the past life record through a mere pinhole (or through a glass darkly) and from that limited viewpoint have made major leaps in our understanding and explanation of the story of life.

My point in closing: "Get off the divisive evolutionary bandwagon and let's teach the joy of the study of science, the gathering of information, the formulation of hypotheses, within the understanding that science is nothing more than the accumulated knowledge of man (how small an accumulation) and is always subject to change as new information is revealed." Mr. Darwin's ideas are still nothing more than a theory and let's not be so closed minded to other possible scientific conclusions. If this organization or anyone else wants to assert that I (we) "evolved" from nothing more than pond scum, then we really have created a breach of the public trust (ethics?) and have been deceived by the educational system that taught us since Mr. Darwin showed up as we continue to deceive our education system and the public. Is this possibly one of those geological hazards that we need to protect the public from? The teaching of evolution in fact does nothing to improve the human condition or contribute any substance to society as a whole! Evolution cannot even begin to explain why we have males and females throughout the animal kingdom. Using legal jargon, Acquit and Drop the Position Statement due to lack of evidence.

— Mark Hostetter
Onalaska, Wisconsin


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