The completeness of the fossil record


  • Michael Benton

    1. Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Bristol. He works on large-scale aspects of dating the tree of life and the use of phylogenetics to assess the quality of the rock and fossil records.
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Fossils are the data for evolution. The fossil record was already well known 150 years ago, when Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, and it is central to Darwin's theories; yet it is commonly claimed that the fossil record is woefully incomplete. Creationists say that it does not show the missing links that evolution predicts. Michael Benton asks if the gaps are too big to fill in.