Intermediate Fossils

It occurred to me that the usual anti-evolution protest of “There are no intermediates in the fossil record!” is kind of like looking at a spectrum cast out of a prism:

Optics-Denier:  “Well, I see red and I see blue, sure, but there are no transitional colors.”

Optics-Proponent:  “How about yellow?”

OD:  “Well, see, now you’ve actually made the problem worse.  Now there’s a gap between red and yellow and a gap between yellow and blue.”

OP:  “Okay, well, how about green?  Look, there’s green right there.”

OD:  “What green?  Where?  I see yellow and blue.  There is no such thing as green light coming from white light.  Show me a blue light that reflects red, and then I’ll believe what you claim about optics.”

OP:  “Arrgh!”

Now, the analogy isn’t perfect.  Each individual color has a “common ancestor” with the others — the white light hitting the prism.  But we can’t really say that green is a closer relative to blue than is red, since the colors all diverged from the white light at the same time.  But aside from that, dealing with deniers of evolution is a lot like this.

It wouldn’t matter if this was fringe stuff.  But lots of folks claim to disbelieve evolution.  It’s like disbelieving gravity — how long can you listen to someone say something like that without speaking out?

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.