David Tyler replies:
There has long been debate regarding the nature of the fossil record. Darwin found it necessary to argue for the incompleteness of the fossil record, because it did not provide the evidence for gradualism that he would have liked to have found. Eldredge and Gould gave the record more credence than their Darwinian predecessors, and found it necessary to assert that stasis is as much data as the evidence for change (the appearance and disappearance of different fossil organisms).
A new book has recently been published: "The Adequacy of the Fossil Record", edited by Stephen Donovan and Christopher Paul. Wiley. It is reviewed by Douglas Palmer in New Scientist, 3rd October 1998, page 48.
According to the book, the fossil record is not a bad representation of past life forms. "So any palaeontologists suffering from feelings of inadequacy should seek reassurance in this stimulating collection of essays. For the price of a few tabs of Viagra, you can have a permanent reminder that the fossil record is more respectable than it might seem. For example, in groups that leave easily fossilised remains, such as mammals and molluscs, more than 60% of species, 80% of genera and 90% of families have been discovered.... So cheer up. As Chris Paul proclaims in his introductory essay, the fossil record is perfectly adequate as a record of past life on Earth." (from Palmer's review).
I think I know who will find this book a welcome addition to the literature - but I wonder what Darwinists will make of it?
2010 Arthur V. Chadwick, Ph.D.