You are on page 1of 3

We have a war on our hands, 44% of Americans belive that the world is no more

than 10,000 years old. It has been proven countless times that world is 5.6 Billion
years old and that a variety of species have walked its land yet still this error is
made. In the worlds of British Biologist Richard Dawking "Evolution is a fact and it
is the Greatest show on earth" and the fossil record is one of the many things that
clearly points to the truth.
In the early part of the 1900’s disagreements were flying across Scientific debates
about the immense theory of evolution contradicting many of the things we know
today. Around this time the rediscovery of Gregor Mendels work had begun and it
was severely unsettling for Anti-Evolutionists how well it fit with Darwin’s Theory.
Yey they weren’t sure that there was enough genetic variation for the Darwin’s
Theory of evolution to create a new species. Yet 1902 George Simpson was born,
he would become the missing link between Genetics and evolution, he was the
father of modern planetology. Most palaeontologists at this time belived that the
fossil record was best described as directed variation of species, yet Dr Simpson
disagreed, he saw fossil patterns were something more they had no need for
unrealistic explanation or a totally implausible mega mutation to form a new
species. Other palentoligists saw what was a horse Simpson saw the path of a
unique tree on the path to extinction.
Simpson argued strongly howthe evolution of diffrent mammals as he clearly
observed in their fossilized remains fit perfectly well with the new concept of
population genetics being studied around the same time the he was making his
discoverys. He used these new found concepts to mathmatically analyze fossils
which was somthing unheard of in palentology at the time. This is how the fossil
record first started making a major contribution to the theory of Evolution and
Natural Selection.
But to understand what Simpson was arguing we must understand Natural
Selection as a whole the Oxford Dictionary refers to it as;
"The process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend
to survive and produce more offspring. The theory of its action was first
fully expounded by Charles Darwin, and it is now regarded as be the main
process that brings about evolution."
Natural selection is not 1 process that has defined species as a whole. It is simple
context that the weak will perish and the strong will thrive. Dmitri K. Belyaev,
deomonstrated this, beginning in 1959 he turned Russians viscious silver fixes into
almost border collies. Starting with a young fox and petting it with the offering of
food. Once the foxes reached sexual maturity they had their final test which was if
the fox approached the human at the front of his home pen and upond being pet
did not attempt to bite the scientist. These foxes were then chosen to breed,the
next generation followed the same process and a reasult that came to fruiton in
2000 showed a group of domesticated foxes, chosen on a single criteria these
foxes had near oppoite physcological traits compared to their counterparts still
out in the wild, these foxes wagged their tails when happy, sniffed and licked their
caretakers and theirs ears began to droop. This shsows that species do change
physically and physcologically over time if exposed to certain condition
The piece of the puzzle where the fossil record fits into this is highliy intersting. It
documents Dr. Belyaev's experiment on a globabl more survival orientented scale,
it shows how animals are willing and can adapt to their circumstances. It records
each change in a rock hard piece of art. These artworks constucted by the master
sculptor of nature are windows to the past, and through these windows we see a
world very diffrent to that of our own. There are millions of discovered fossils in
museums,labs and private collecting and new disvoveries keep being made. This
gives us so many windows to look through to see how the worlds changed, and
through these windows we see Natural Selection and Evolution. You can watch
the world change completly there is no sudden burst of change. This is what Dr
Simpson observerd, the fact that the world didnt 'snap' and change, he observed
that species changed and some died out due to their circumstances, such as if the
world were to enter a nuclear winter people such from places like the Yukong
would have a far better chance fo surviving then Australians, we wouldnt be
imediatly wiped out but Australians with Yukong based ancestors could possibly
survive for longer and then if they bred their offspring would have a higher
chance of surviving till the human race simply adapted to evolve and this new
breed of human would all have relations to a ancestor who adapted to deal with
the cold. The fossil record demonstrates this, it shows this change as it occurs
slowly through time as the dinosaurs began to die out as their food source
worked out ways to avoid them and eveolved to deal with their situation, a tree
changed the way it grew so it could access more light to allow it to survive an ice
age. This is seen through the rock windows of the fossil record. You can see the
world change and it is this which allows it to make a significent contribution to the
idea of natural selection.

Natural selection also covers a diffrent end of the spectrum of things not being
able to adapt and dieing out. This again is clearly depicted in the artwork of
fossils. An evolutionary trail just dies out and no similar living animal or fossil can
be found. This shows a point where somthing was not "selected" to continue. We
can use other methods or other fossils to determine what was going on at this
time which may allow us to find the point and reason as to why this stopped, the
species may not of been able to change to deal with an extreme weather change
or somthing of that calibar.
To conclude the Fossil record is one of the most important contributors to the
concept of Evolution as it allows us to see how our world has changed and shows
us this very processs through the great windows of nature

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/06/2/l_062_02.html