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Meditation 205
Gaps in the Record
Not a valid argument for disproof

by: JT

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A lot of people have an interest in genealogy, taking in interest in their ancestors, knowing where they came from, and perhaps finding someone famous or infamous in their past.

But I have not gotten anywhere in researching my own genealogy. The registry entry for my birth shows a blank under father, and I have never found any record, other than in that entry for my birth, for the name listed as my mother. So there is no proof outside that single form field that she was a real person.

A mere 60 years ago there is a gap in the record; beyond a name for an untracked mother, there is nothing to show that I am descended from any human in the past. Clearly, the gap in the record shows that genealogy does not work - at least for me. Consequently, I reject the theory of genealogy and conclude an opposing theory is true - that I was left on Earth by space aliens. The lack of documented human ancestors proves it.

Most[1] of you would consider that conclusion to be ludicrous. But at heart, it is no different than the argument made by those who claim that gaps in the fossil record disprove the theory of evolution, and thus consider creationism to be valid. Yet instead of a mere 60 years ago, those gaps exist 600,000 years ago, 6 million years ago, 60 million years ago, 600 million years ago.

If you can justify that missing records from a mere 60 years ago do nothing to undermine the inherent logic of genealogy, then is missing data from the distant past at all relevant?

Considering the natural processes required to create fossils, the extremely small proportion of life which gets fossilized upon death, and the limited proportion of fossil bearing rock that is actually accessible, it is surprising the amount of evidence that exists clearly demonstrating evolutionary trends. The existing data overwhelmingly supports evolution. The fact that there are gaps proves nothing, except that there were times that were not amenable to fossil production.

But suppose for one moment that tomorrow a remarkable series of fossil bearing layers of rock were to be discovered, a series which showed a complete history of life from the very first life form in the distant past up to modern humanity. Suppose every single generation was represented in an unbroken chain. Still, those who deny evolution would not be convinced. They would find some other excuse.

It is not the gaps in the record that are the problem.

Footnote:

  1. 99.9% of you anyway. There's always a few who might consider the logic convincing.