Statesboro, GA, USA
concerning the fossil record:
"The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory" (Darwin, The Origin of Species)
"The fossil record of evolutionary change within single evolutionary lineages is very poor. If evolution is true, species originate through changes of ancestral species; one might expect to be able to see this in the fossil record. In fact it can rarely be seen. In 1859 Darwin could not cite a single example." (Zoologist Mark Ridley, The Problems of Evolution)
"We are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species, but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time." (Paleontologist David Raup, from Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology, Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, January 1979).
"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of palaentology." (Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, Evolution's erratic pace, Natural History, 86, 1977)
"When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the fossil did not evolve elsewhere. Evolution cannot forever be going on somewhere else. Yet that's how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn palaeontologist looking to learn something about evolution.
... We palaeontologists have said that the history of life supports [gradual adaptive change] knowing all the while it does not." (Paleontologist Niles Eldredge, Time Frames: The Evolution of Punctuated Equilibria, 1985)
"The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with the idea that they gradually evolved:
1. Stasis) Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking pretty much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limted and directionless
2. Sudden appearance) In any local area a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and 'fully formed'." (Stephen Jay Gould, The Episodic Nature of Evolutionary Change, The Panda's Thumb, 1985)
"Forms transitional between species can be observed today, and can be inferred to have existed in the past. Nevertheless, the net result is very far from a seamless tapestry of form that would allow an investigator to read the Tree of Life simply by finding the intermediates- living and extinct- that in principle connect all species. On the contrary, biologists are much more impressed by the discreteness of organic form, and the general absence of intermediates." (paleontologist Simon Conway Morris, The Crucible of Creation, 1998)
"That (extrapolating small biological changes, back through geological time) to my paleontological eyes is just not good enough. Simple extrapolation does not work. I found that out back in the 60s as I tried in vain to document examples of the kind of slow directional change we all thought ought to be there ever since Darwin told us that natural selection should leave precisely such a tell-tale signal ...
I found instead that once species appear in the fossil record, they tend not to change very much at all. Species remain imperturbably, implacably resistant to change as a matter of course- often for millions of years." (Niles Eldredge, Reinventing Darwin 1996)
"...I fully agree with you comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be used to visualize such transitions, but where would he get the information from? I could not honestly provide it, and if I were to leave it to artistic license, would that not mislead the reader? ...
I will lay it on the line- there is not one such fossil (a fossil ancestral or transitional) for which one could make a watertight argument." (paleontologist Colin Patterson, in a personal letter responding to comments made by Stephen Jay Gould)
These are just a few of the quotes by scientists (paleontologists, zoologists, or biologists), many of whom nonetheless support the theory of Evolution, to demonstrate that the fossil record is pretty much vacuous as regards to providing evidence for the Theory of Common Descent.