By Lynn Trapp
During the second semester of my stay at Texas Tech University, I took a course in Historical Geology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a laboratory science. The textbook for the course was Geological Evolution Of North America by Thomas H. Clark and Colin W. Stearn. All authors of books on historical geology must from time to time attempt to make explanations of the problems, inconsistencies, and lack of evidence in the theory of evolution. This problem also confronted Clark and Stearn in their introductory chapter on the evolution of life.
To enlighten those who know very little about geology and the theory of evolution, Webster defines a phylogeny as "the evolution of a genetically related group of organisms as distinguished from the development of the individual organism." What this means practically is that a phylogeny is the listing of certain plants or animals which have similar physical characteristics and are thus supposed by the evolutionist to have evolved one from another. For instance, the apes have five fingered appendages and stand erect, and man has five fingered appendages and stands erect; therefore, they conclude, man evolved from the ape or at least they evolved from the same creature.
The problem which exists on the face of this is that there is no "visible, direct, lineal relationship" which exists between the different species. The Phyla says that the modern man evolved directly from the "cromagnon man" who evolved from the infamous "Neanderthal man." Yet, this is drawing more from the chart than is scientifically allowable. I could just as easily, and correctly, say that modern, man belongs between "cromagnon" and "Neanderthal" or any other combination which can be made.
In trying to answer this problem Clark and Stearn put themselves in hotter water than they would have been in had they simply failed to answer it. As Curtis Porter used to say, they would have been better off to have observed the "passover" on this point. Their statement shows their lack of evidence for the theory of evolution. Our authors say, "Two chief criticisms have for some time been leveled at such charts and phylogenies. First, the lack of a visible, direct, lineal relationship makes the charts hypothetical. With this we cannot quarrel; but we can say that a certain group of fossils shows characteristics that undeniably indicate its descent from some other group." (all emphasis mine L.T.) Now, it would appear that the authors have granted that the charts and phylogenies are hypothetical when they say, "with this we cannot quarrel." The question that must then be asked is, How can there be an undeniable indication of descent from other forms? An hypothesis is "a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences," while "undeniable" is that which is "plainly true." (Definitions from Webster) Those two statements are as opposite as North is from South. If something is hypothetical it cannot be undeniable and vice versa.
The evolutionist is always finding himself in problem situations. Thomas H. Clark and Colin W. Steam have added one more to the list of many.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:23, p. 10
April 11, 1974