Powder River coal seams run remarkably thick and unsullied by other material. Usually, unwanted sediment such as clay washes over a deposit before coal seams can get very thick. But Power River coal is packed in immense strips, some more than 200 feet thick. These seams stretch vast distances up and down the basin. "They're hundreds of miles long. They're fifty miles wide." says James McClurg, a geologist at the University of Wyoming. "They're not little pods of an acre or two. They're immense things." McClurg, who has studied the basin for more than a decade, says "No other place in the world has as many seams 50 feet or more thick. But, the Powder River basin is not only an economic resource. To geologists, it's also an intriguing scientific enigma. Geologists have been studying the basin for more than a century, largely to answer a baffling question: How did the seams get so massive? Or more precisely, why weren't the seams diluted by influxes of clay and other impurities before they thickened?" He adds, "It would be like blindfolding yourself, spinning around, and hitting the center of a dartboard one-hundred times in a row."5 (Click on Video Below)
One one more post to give you a basis for understanding the fossil record and THEN we discuss the way we take the evidence and analyze it. Richard Dawkins and Jonathan Sarfati do not have evidence the other cannot discover. They differ greatly in the interpretation stage.
If "evolution" meant simply that existing species can undergo minor changes over time, or that many species alive today did not exist in the past, then evolution would undeniably be true. But "evolution" for Coyne means Darwinism -- the theory that all living things are descendants of a common ancestor, modified by unguided natural processes such as DNA mutations and natural selection.
Why Evolution Is True reads like a recycled old biology textbook that shamelessly exaggerates the meager evidence for Darwinism, blatantly ignores the mounting evidence against it, and lamely falls back on theological arguments to make its case. Students with access to the evidence and freedom to think critically might nevertheless find Coyne's book useful -- as an example of how not to do science.
In the next few days I will post a series here at ENV detailing the problems with Coyne's book.