Results rarely specify their causes unambiguously. If we have no direct evidence of fossils or human chronicles, if we are forced to infer a process only from its modern results, then we are usually stymied or reduced to speculation about probabilities. For many roads lead to almost any Rome.
Uneasily the leaves fall at this season, forgetting what to do or where to go; the red amnesiacs of autumn drifting thru the graveyard forest. What they have forgotten they have forgotten: what they meant to do instead of fall is not in earth or time recoverable the fossils of intention, the shapes of rot.Al Purdy
If it's really true, that the museum at Liberty University has dinosaur fossils which are labelled as being 3000 years old, then that is an educational disgrace. It is debauching the whole idea of a university, and I would strongly encourage any members of Liberty University who may be here... to leave and go to a proper university.Richard Dawkins
If we make this readjustment to view Homo sapiens as an ultimate in oddball rarity, and life at bacterial grade as the common expression of a universal phenomenon, then we could finally ask the truly fundamental question raised by the prospect of Martian fossils. If life originates as a general property of the material universe under certain conditions (probably often realized), then how much can the basic structure and constitution of life vary from place to independent place?stephen jay gould
There are a hundred million fossils, all catalogued and identified, in museums around the world.Porter Kier, Smithsonian Institution scientist, New Scientist, January 15, 1981, p. 129.
The intervals of time that separate the fossils are so huge that we cannot say anything definite about their possible connection through ancestry and descent.Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time—Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life (1999), p. 23.
To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time—Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life, pp. 116-117.
Geologists have discovered many unaltered Precambrian sediments, and they contain no fossils of complex organisms.Salvador E. Luria, Stephen Jay Gould and Sam Singer, A View of Life, p. 651.