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Students ask: “Has the ‘missing link’ been found?” – Caleb LePore

In his book Origin of Species, Darwin wrote, “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous…Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” 1

"Lucy" as she appears on pages 14-15 of 6th grade California textbook History Alive! The Ancient World.

Over a century after Darwin, evolutionary paleontologist David Raup wrote, “In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general, these have not been found — yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks.” 2

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Examples of this “pure fantasy” can be seen throughout the pages of 6th, 7th, and 10th grade California textbooks. Pages 14 to 23 of the 6th grade history textbook History Alive! The Ancient World illustrates the supposed progression from ape-like creatures to humans, claiming evidence from various fossil discoveries around the world, including “Lucy” (Australopithecus afarensis), Homo habilisHomo erectusNeanderthals, and Homo sapiens (modern humans).Likewise, the 10th grade textbook Miller & Levine Biology teaches students that fossils linking whales to land mammals4birds to dinosaurs5, and land-dwelling animals to fish6, have all been unearthed. Such claims are accompanied by flashy drawings fleshing out what these ‘in-betweens’ might have looked like (see picture above).

However, all of these supposed ‘links’ have been questioned on scientific grounds by other evolutionists. As Senior Paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, Colin Patterson, wrote, “I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.”7

Some may imagine, based on similarities between these creatures and those to which they supposedly link, that these fossils really are Darwin’s ‘intermediate varieties.’ “But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test,” Patterson responds.7 Just as someone could line up a fork, ‘spork’, and spoon, and claim to have found an evolutionary progression, such stories about fossils are only imaginative speculation based on a prior commitment to evolution.

So, even after 150 years of fossil discoveries since Darwin’s book, “the most obvious and gravest objection” to evolution still stands, and the ‘missing link’ is still…well, missing!



1Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (1859; rep., New York: Avenel Books, Crown Publishers, n.d.).

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2Raup, D. M. “Evolution and the Fossil Record.” Science 213.4505 (1981): 289. Print.

3Frey, Wendy, John Bergez, and Amy Joseph. History Alive!: The Ancient World. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, 2004. 14-23. Print.

4Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 467-467. Print.

5Ibid, 762-767.

6Ibid, 760-761.

7Colin Patterson, quoted from personal communication in Sunderland, Luther D. Darwin’s Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems. San Diego, CA: Master Book, 1984. 88-90. Print.

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Written by Caleb LePore

Caleb LePore serves as Research Associate for Genesis Apologetics in Northern California. A former public school student, he understands the conflict between what students learn in Sunday school and science class about the origin and history of the universe. Thankfully, God opened his eyes to the truth of biblical creation and has given him the opportunity to reach hundreds of people with the creation/Creator message through his speaking and writing. He is a homeschool graduate, and an Eagle Scout.

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  1. You seem to have forgotten the rest of Darwin’s quote… “The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record. ” which completely nullifies your article. Especially your concluding sentence. Cherry pick much?

  2. So, Ben, by quote you mentioned, Darwin himself is, whether he realized it or not, admitting to the flaws in the theory of evolution.
    And by adding on to his quote used by the article author, which says basically the same thing as the one you mentioned; this is enough for you to deny and write off any of the other facts in this article?

    Talk about cherry-picking!

  3. Ben,
    The last I saw published, the human body is comprised of about a trillion cells. Surely the geologic record should have an abundance of evidence of the evolution from single cell organisms (asexually self replicating) to complex organisms such as ourselves (sexual replication which would require that two distinct sexes had to evolve simultaneously). That said, where is the evidence of those single cells evolving from a relatively self supporting cell to a complex organism comprised of a trillion interdependent cells? How did the digestive system evolve from single cells? Where is the evidence of the evolution of the heart and circulatory system that distributes the digested components of food to the cellular level? Where is the evidence of the evolution of single cell organisms to incorporate the pulmonary system? How did the endocrine system evolve? If some hormone levels are even modestly out of balance, the result is death, it surely took billions of years just to evolve that single aspect of living organisms. How did the circulatory system evolve to create a scab over an injury from components of the blood without becoming a scab during “normal” circulation ? Certainly billions of creatures bled to death during this evolutionary process. How did the skeletal system evolve? And even more, how did the skeletal system evolve to create the three bones within the inner ear to permit hearing? How did the skeletal system evolve to permit the space for eyes and the olfactory system. How did the skeletal system evolve to heal a broken bone? How did all these cells evolve to grow to a certain size in proper proportion to each other system? How did all these things evolve to integrate the brain and nervous system? How is it that all organisms have evolved in such a way that reproduction produces basically identical organisms every time rather than some random variation of organism? Statistically some recessive gene from our evolution would have to emerge with a predictable frequency.
    Even Darwin expressed concern about how his theory addressed the evolution of the eye. How did the brain evolve to invert the image shown on the intricately evolved retina at the back of the eye through an adjustable lens that compensates for light and distance? How did the brain evolve to accommodate voluntary and involuntary body functions? Surely during the evolution process billions of creatures from the evolutionary process died because they didn’t remain awake to consciously breathe, or they involuntarily breathed after running to hide from a predator. How did the esophagus evolve to accommodate breathing, swallowing and conversation? I’ve only scratched the surface of all of the single cell evolution that would have to occur to comprise a human being. Surely with all the evolution necessary for a mere human being, there is ample evidence that should have been discovered by now, especially since scientists know now what we are looking for. I’m amazed how one single cell organism evolved into humanity, while another evolved into the food that we eat, how one cell evolved into an elephant, one to a frog, another a snake, one to a fish and another a mosquito and another to a giant redwood. How is it with all of these hundreds of trillions of steps of evolution over billions of years that there is not one shred of evidence? Do you want to consider the evolution that led to photosynthesis? Anaerobic organisms? Bacteria? Viruses?
    Seems to me like evolution requires a very vivid imagination to contemplate and the end result is not a plausible answer. Darwin may prove that a dachshund evolved into a Saint Bernard or a house cat evolved into a lion, but it doesn’t prove that an amoeba evolved into algae, or vice versa, let alone that primordial ooze evolved into my grandson. Could that be why it is still called the theory of evolution and not the law of evolution? The theory of evolution is a wonderful fairy tail for those who are determined to find any way to deny the existence of God. Everything around us is so intricate and precise that there is no way it could have come from an imprecise series of random events. Order never comes out of chaos, all of nature is going the other way. Consider the study entropy as it would relate to evolution before you finalize your decision on evolution.

  4. Hello Ben,

    I am well aware of the rest of Darwin’s quote, and of the argument from the imperfection of the geologic record. I would refer you to my article “Does the fossil record support evolution or creation?,” ( in which I address both Darwin’s (and many modern Darwinist’s) explanation of the lack of transitions from the imperfection of the record, as well as Prof. Stephen J. Gould’s ideas about ‘rapid evolution’ (punctuated equilibria). Thanks!


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