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Why fossils record is gappy and crappy

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Why fossils record is gappy and crappy

Postby mith » Wed May 14, 2008 9:22 pm

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Postby Darby » Thu May 15, 2008 1:40 am

But it isn't gappy with common widely-distributed shelled marine animals; the problem is that no one cares about the record of those animals, they want the big sexy vertebrates. If you try to imagine where in the world today large vertebrates are dying under conditions that would fossilize them, you can see why finding their remains a few million years later is difficult.
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Postby Draco » Thu May 22, 2008 8:07 am

They would have needed to be buried in clay or a similar sort of material almost immediately with no oxygen present. The only example I've heard about that is really good was in the Dinosaur mummy of the Hadrosaur in the Bad Lands.
That fossil still had skin and muscle and possibly internal organs.
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Postby alextemplet » Thu May 22, 2008 5:22 pm

It depends on how you define "gappy." In studying human history, for example, we may not know exactly where a given person went or what he did on every single day of his life, but that doesn't mean we can't have a clear idea of what happened. The problem I find with the anti-evolution crowd is that they seem to expect us to know history to such an extent as to be able to tell exactly what time of day (down to the second) George Washington brushed his teeth!
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Postby Draco » Sat May 24, 2008 5:26 pm

Another possibilty is that the situation remained constant for longer periods of thime than others so there was no need to evolve.
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Postby AstusAleator » Mon May 26, 2008 5:36 am

Also take into account geological processes that may have destroyed fossils after-the-fact, or otherwise rendered them useless.

Furthermore, a great deal of fossil beds are still undiscovered, or have limited access due to funding or political reasons.
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Postby Draco » Tue May 27, 2008 6:12 pm

Good point, the sedimentary layers that make up the sea bed are put under such pressure that folding of the material occurs.

Furthermore some areas of the sea floor are also too deep for excavation work to take place because of the pressure exerted is too much for a human to survive.
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Re:

Postby February Beetle » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:53 pm

Darby wrote:they want the big sexy vertebrates.


LOL so true.
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