Early one morning, out of the blue, before any other students arrived, I had a student, (we will pretend his name was Tim) ask me, “Mr. Glazier, do you believe in God, or are you more of an agnostic?”
I looked up from a paper I was grading and trying to make sense of and replied, “Oh, I definitely believe in God, and have quite a few reasons for my belief.”
He announced, “Not me, I am leaning toward being an agnostic, for two reasons.”
“What are those?” I asked.
Tim replied, “Well you have the Big Bang that explains where it all started, and genetic mutation. All we need to do is find the missing link.”
“Well.” I said, “Let’s start with the Big Bang. If the Big Bang started it all, what started the Big Bang? In other words, if you have a Big Bang, you need a Big Banger.” (I happily borrowed that from Greg Koukl). He laughed and replied he had no idea who could have started it.
We chatted some more and I explained how time cannot go infinitely back, or we never would have reached today. I shared an example with him that has helped others wrap their head around such a concept.
I described a scene where he was walking along a park and as he approached a man sitting on a park bench he heard the man counting up from negative numbers, “negative four, negative three, negative two, negative one, zero!” When the man reached zero he leaped up from the bench and began jumping up and down exclaiming, “I did it! I did it!” Of course you would ask, “Did what?” He replied grinning, “It took me a long time, but I finally counted up from negative infinity to zero!”
I asked Tim, “What would you think?”
Tim replied, “I would think he was crazy.”
“So would I, Tim. You and I both know you can’t count up from an infinite negative number any more than you can write the smallest negative number. The first time someone said ‘this’ is the smallest negative number, someone else would walk up and add a zero making it smaller still.”
I explained how time is no different; you can’t go back infinitely in time, or we never would have reached today. That simply means time, the universe, must have had a beginning. I did not bother to explain the Kalam Cosmological Argument, but it would go like this.
1. Everything that has a beginning, has a cause outside of itself.
2. The universe has a beginning.
3. The universe has a cause outside of itself, (we call God).
I like to think Tim walked away with something to think about, because shortly after that some other students arrived and they began talking about the zombie apocalypse and I returned to grading papers.
The truth was, I was no longer grading papers, but mulling over his comment about finding the missing link. “All we need to do is find the missing link.”
In 1974, archeologists discovered what we now know as Lucy, a 3.2 million year old Australopithecus. The BBC reported on this find with the title, “The ‘Lucy’ fossil rewrote the story of humanity”1
Humans start off with 270 bones at birth and by the time we are adults it has reduced to 206 due to fusion of some. You can see for yourself how many bone, or bone fragments made up Lucy.
In 2011, Time magazine reported on a archeological site where a total of 220 bones have been found belonging to five individuals. Kluger reports in the article, “Australopithecus — the genus that includes little Lucy — was the top-of-the-line model from 2 million to four million years ago. She gave way to Homo habilis — or “handy man,” named for its sophisticated grip and toolmaking skills — about 1.9 million years back. Habilis, in turn, gave way to Homo erectus, from 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago. Homo sapiens got into the game comparatively late, just 200,000 years ago. The tight fit between Homo habilis and Homo erectus didn’t seem to leave a lot of room — or suggest a lot of need — for another transitional species.”2
Breaking this down we have obviously have some very large gaps in time and samples that would prove the theory of macro-evolution.
Australopithecus 2-4 million years ago
Homo habilis 1.9 million years ago
Homo erectus 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago
Homo sapiens about 200,000 years ago
Dr. Johanson, the paleontologist who discovered ‘Lucy’, said the estimated age was 3.2 million years. He also reluctantly admitted in a lecture that the various samples of Lucy had been discovered 200′ lower and over a mile apart from each other. His reasoning for believing the samples were from the same creature was ‘Anatomical similarity’. Anatomical similarity is simply the similarity between the parts found. A weak reason at best to believe all the fragments were from the same creature.
The dates of Lucy were under question by creationists, and Dr. Johanson would not share the previous and multiple carbon dates results. When asked when and if they will ever be published, Dr. Johanson replied, “There is no reason to publish them because they are obviously erroneous.”3
More recently, National Geographic reported on ‘Ida’, a missing link discovered in Germany. Jorn Hurum, the paleontologist who led the team said, “The fossil, he says, bridges the evolutionary split between higher primates such as monkeys, apes, and humans and their more distant relatives such as lemurs… This is the first link to all humans, the closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor.” 4
Really? Just to be clear here, we will never find ‘The Missing Link’, not because there is not one, but because if macro-evolution is true, we are discussing millions upon millions of small, incremental changes within a species over very large periods of time. There will never be one find that explains the changes that took place from Australopithecus 2-4 million years ago to the arrival of Homo sapiens, 200,000 years ago. The term ‘missing link’ sells magazines and newspapers, when the media has nothing new to report on the economy, ISIS, and Obama Care. And the media will continue to use it to a misinformed public who will never ask, “So explain to me how this one fossil confirms all of the macro evolutionary time scale from 4 million years ago to the present?”
Yes, I have serious doubts about macro-evolution and have addressed my reasons in other posts.
Brian Palmer put it this way, “In this sense, though, every fossil is a missing link. There’s no single intermediate point between, say, opposable and nonopposable thumbs. Rather, a wide variety of fossils seem to resemble both hand structures. No one can say which version is directly related to the two. It is entirely possible that all, or none, of the fossils are steps along the way.”5
Popular culture, has coined the term missing link to mean something it was never intended to be. Missing link is used in evolutionary terms especially by laymen or people on the street, who really don’t know what they are talking about. We will never find a fossil that will completely explain evolutionary transition from Australopithecus to Homo sapiens.
Darwin himself did use the ‘intermediate link’, but one of the earliest use of the term missing link can be found from a creationist who was mocking Darwin and his theory. “The lecturer has described Mr. Darwin as of so mean and degraded a presence as to justify the hypothesis that he may himself be the veritable missing link of his own philosophy.” 6
There are three hundred and fifty thousand described species of coleoptera [beetles] in the world, more than any other order in the animal kingdom; when a later British biologist, J. B. S. Haldane, was pressed by a clergyman on the nature of God, he reportedly said, “He has an inordinate fondness for beetles.
1. Hogenboom, Melissa. “The ‘Lucy’ fossil rewrote the story of humanity.” BBC. BBC.com, nd, Web. 7 March 2015
2. Kluger, Jeffrey. “Rethinking Human Origins: Fossils Reveal a New Ancestor on the Family Tree.” Time. Time.com, 8 Sept. 2011. Web. 7 March 2015.
3. Rogers, Dave. “Lucy Fails Test As Missing Link.” The Forerunner. Forerunner.com 22 December 2007. Web. 7 March 2015.
4. Handwerk Brian. “Missing Link Found: New Fossil Links Humans, Lemurs?” National Geographic. National Geographic.com, 28 October 2010. Web. 2 March 2015.
5. Palmer, Brian. “How Many Times Will Paleontologists Find the ‘Missing Link’. Slate. Slate.com, 21 May 2009. Web. 7 March 2015.
6. Wyhe, John ed. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online darwin-online.org.uk 2002. Web. 7 March 2015
All we need is the missing link by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.