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The study of fossils is a major part of the work of geologists who see in them evidence of life forms which existed in the distant past. The existence of fossils, with the apparent progression from simple to more complex, is also taken to be evidence that living things evolved from simpler life forms. But Charles Darwin, though a proponent of this idea, had severe doubts about it because of the absence of the thousands of viable intermediate forms which his theory of evolution required. He thought that more intermediates would be found as geologists uncovered further beds of fossils. The position is unchanged, however, and the intermediate forms in the quantities required are elusive in the extreme. Confusingly, for Darwin’s theory, the fossil record shows the sudden appearance of new life forms with no obvious ancestors. Dr Stephen Meyer’s book, Darwin’s Doubt, (HarperOne, 2013) is a thorough and devastating exposition of the massive problem fossils pose for Darwinian evolution.
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