The inductive v. deductive controversy continues. John has raised the objection that the fossil record is incomplete because, "[D]o you have any idea what the chances are against any animal being fossilised?"
Here's an illustration of an ocean-dwelling creature, call it Alexandra:
Here's an illustration of a land-dwelling creature, call it Rudy:
At some point over the course of 3.8 billion years, some Alexandras became something like Rudy. We've discussed the basics and the math of the lung issue. Put that aside, and focus just on the appendages. Assume that the lungs are being taken care of in the evolving Alexandras, while simultaneously, those evolving Alexandras are coming up with appendages more suitable to land-dwelling than to ocean-dwelling.
Now, remember: the "evolution" espoused by mercantilism, capitalism, eugenics, and the western banking states is nothing but an elite creed predicated on the Panglossian idea that the world is fair because it represents the elimination of the unfit and the ascendance of the superior. This process is fair because random, impartial mutations result in success for the best--e.g., survival of the fittest. Ergo these mutations are not directed or guided in any way.
During the 3.8 billion years in which Earth's life transitioned from single-celled organisms to humans with iPads, then, Alexandra had to not only change her lungs over to Rudy-lungs, but her fins over to Rudy-legs. Many readers have written expressing various types of confusion over why the lungs have to be different, since they're only extracting the same vital substance (oxygen) as air-breathing lungs anyway, to which the short answer is, "Extracting oxygen from water is a different, simpler process than extracting it from the comparatively complex chemical cocktail that is Earth's atmosphere."
To clarify the situation, though, we've introduced Alexandra and Rudy, and focused on not their lungs, but a more visible part: their appendages.
Mercantilist evolution holds that random mutations occur without guidance, and that natural selection creates everything randomly and then kills off the inferior, rather than simply creating the practical. Look, again, at the pictures:
Operating randomly, how many Alexandras, in the transition from Alexandra to Rudy, develop any of the following:
1) Sturdy limbs which extend from the torso to replace Alexandra's dorsal fin, anal fin, pectoral fins, adipose fin, and/or caudal fin?
2) Sturdy limbs which extend from Alexandra's head, mouth, back, or non-pectoral sides?
3) Mangled, partially-formed but incomplete limbs which replace Alexandra's dorsal fin, anal fin, pectoral fins, adipose fin, and/or caudal fin?
4) Mangled, partially-formed but incomplete limbs which extend from Alexandra's head, mouth, back, or non-pectoral sides?
5) Sturdy limbs that extend from the sides of Alexandra's underbelly, perfectly suited to her walking around, millions upon millions of years later, as a quadrupedal land-dweller, without correspondingly removing her fins?
6) Sturdy limbs that extend from the sides of Alexandra's underbelly, perfectly suited to her walking around, millions upon millions of years later, as a quadrupedal land-dweller, tidily smoothing her fins down to sleek nothingness like they were never there in the first place?
As we all know from studying Anglo-America's neoclassical for-profit biology (which is just as inspired and moving as Anglo-America's neoclassical architecture), the popular answer is (6). Of course Alexandra didn't go straight from fins to legs, say today's priests--that would be ridiculous. Instead, she slithered out of the water, spent some time as an amphibian, and then some of those amphibians gradually developed randomized protrusions in about the right spots that turned out to be useful, and over more millions of years, those protrusions positioned themselves even more efficiently, becoming legs.
Cute, but have you ever seen a fish out of water? How many Alexandras randomly developed air-processing lungs, and of that tiny subset of Alexandras--who developed those air-processing lungs over however many millions of years--how many of those Alexandras happened to also be the ocean-dwellers that were at the very same time developing musculature, bone structures, and neurochemistry sufficient to allow them to even contemplate shimmying in the right direction with extreme difficulty, once they had managed to ride the surf high enough to wriggle onto shore? Moreover, presuming this small subset of creatures possessed all of those abilities, of what small subset of that small subset of Alexandras would not, possessing the ability to move once having emerged from the water, immediately rush back to the familiar safety of the water, eschewing the surface death that, for millions of years prior, would have been one of the strongest flight instincts in such a water-breathing species?
And what about the first generation born after that? Having inherited millions of years of water-breathing instinct, the newborn fish suddenly finds itself hatched in a place that feels like instant death. How many baby kittens would need to be tossed into swimming pools before one of them not only knew instinctively how to swim, but also how to breathe water? A billion? A hundred trillion? Infinity plus one?
Moving along, just how valuable would those first proto-legs of Alexandra's be? Probably not very. How valuable is a stump? And what are the chances that the stump will grow in the right place? And be counterbalanced by a stump on the other side?
More importantly than those hypotheticals, though--far more important--is the observable evidence we have in Earth's fossil record. Under a regime of randomized mutations, where will Alexandra's new appendages begin to pop up? Posit that her surface area is 100--how much of that surface area represents useful space for appendages that allow mobility on land? You immediately eliminate 50, being her upper half, and you have to eliminate areas like vulnerable sensory openings closer to the upper half, and the anus, and portions of the body's sides where the future-legs would stick out at such an angle they wouldn't be of much help. As we always are when addressing randomized evolution, let's be generous, and say that a full third of her body would be an acceptable spot to begin those land-going appendages.
Remember throughout: we know that "natural selection" should weed out the inefficient mutations. Alexandras which begin to grow appendage-stumps in the wrong place will be killed off, eventually, and replaced in full by (again, eventually) Rudy.
And yet, the mutations are random. God doesn't know to put "legs" on Alexandra's underside, because God isn't creating Alexandra with a purpose in mind. The God of mercantilist evolution is a random, capricious, vengeful creature, who lays off the inferior in the interests of constant efficiency.
Ergo, if Alexandra were mutating her new land-going legs randomly, the fossil record should be composed of at least 70% of this:
...and things like it. Were evolution random, rather than integrated, more "wrong" Alexandras should have been produced than "right" Alexandras, so the fossil record should be composed more of mistakes than of successes. Yes, yes, and yes again, the biology-faith of the industrial warlords prescribes that inefficient species will go extinct--we aren't ignorant of that. And yes, yes, and yes again, the vast majority of creatures don't get fossilized. Under a scheme of random mutations, though, the unsuccessful specimens subject to potential fossilization would vastly outnumber the successful, gradually-developing, genetically-linked lineage that Earth shows us.
Consider this chart of potential Alexandras (you will need to click on it to see the entire thing):
Notice how we don't see any of specimens A, B, or C? Even though those Alexandras, in order to randomly develop suitable legs, would've had to reproduce reproductively successful offspring over long periods of time, leave behind corpses in shale and tar and ancient seabeds, and perhaps keep surviving, we don't see them. They're not there because they didn't exist.
Pop-evolutionists arguing for a long chain of failed inefficiencies might as well be arguing that a race of Pillsbury Doughboys oversaw Terra's evolution, despite an utter lack of large marshmallow deposits throughout local geological strata.
The evidence shows the occasional "transitory species," a marketing term used to apply to the comparatively tiny number of species which can be likened to more familiar "befores" or "afters" by pop-science organizations, but such species can't explain away the complete absence of millions-of-years of a majority of dead-ends that randomized evolution would've had to include in order to eventually, agonizingly, produce Alexandras that had legs. Where lies the massive trove of predecessors with legs from the upper back, legs from the ass, legs from the cheekbone, legs from the hand, or fish that proved they could survive on land with fins and scales? Randomly, they should be there. They're not.
If you want a real-world example of how this would work, start buying lottery tickets, a hundred every day for a trillion years. Throw them all into a bag, call them "fossils," then select a tiny percentage of them to remove at random for preservation in a museum. How many of the displays will be jackpot winners? Exactly. And yet, the fossil record shows us an overwhelming majority of winners--almost as though there were never any losers there in the first place. The evidence shows us that Terra has played host to a gradual, progressive evolution, from less complex to more complex species.
Rudy should "suffer" from the same conditions as his forebears, too. Yeah, sometimes there are conjoined twins and extra limbs, but that's not the same thing that market-style evolution demands. In Alexandra's case, she had to develop her legs randomly, meaning, thousands of excruciating generational cycles during which stumps appeared, slowly lengthened, adjusted position, and were essentially worthless hunks of calorie-draining flesh, up until the point that they became legs that were strong enough for shuffling to provide an advantage in the struggle for survival. Alexandra's Siamese Twins had to not only survive to reproduce, but also reproduce so powerfully that they drove the non-Siamese Alexandras to extinction. Ergo under randomized evolution, it is possible for an inefficient mutation--a mutation with a net negative effect, such as a bony protrusion suddenly appearing on the fish's underbelly--to outpace more efficient Alexandras for generation after generation, until that protrusion develops into some kind of worthwhile appendage. And in the meantime, that appendage should look "ugly" to any mates of the Alexandra with the weird thing growing out of her stomach.
Yet somehow, randomized evolution says that this must've happened in almost every single case that multi-cellular organisms advanced: organisms which developed less efficient traits managed to out-compete and out-mate organisms which continued to use the old, successful model. A lithe, graceful Alexandra A, then, with the same strength and coordination and neural chemistry that allowed it to wriggle out of the water, breathe air, exploit land-based resources, and mate, would somehow get out-mated and out-competed by some ugly Alexandra C model, which has these, like, totally gross lumps growing out of its chest and stomach.
Granted, after many more generations of mutation, those lumps might be useful legs, and Alexandra's prowess might inspire potential mates, or outrun potential competitors to food (or to sexy gametes), but up until that point, the stumps are just gross lumps that slow her down, make her need more calories to live, and look unaesthetic to her mates. Sort of like if you take an otherwise attractive person, then add a lumpy, glowing green rash across that person's torso and genital area--how much more likely is that person to get jobs and find a superior mate than the same person without the permanent lumpy rash?
And if that person was able to do so, driving all the non-mutants to extinction with his/her sexy genital radiation, why isn't there any record of him/her/it on this planet? There's not. There are creatures that appear ugly to some of us, which managed to fit into an interesting ecological niche for a while before dying out, and there are occasional weird shapes out there, but there is no overwhelming majority of in-between and/or mistaken samples. There's nothing but an almost perfectly tidy progression from single-celled energy transfer stations to the cellular networks of comparatively cataclysmic ionic currents inside a human brain, or any other simple Stage Four neurofield.
Carbon dating's proof of the too-rapid progress of Terra's evolution, and a mathematical analysis thereto, is not the only falsification of the insane religious faith so many have today in randomized evolution. Actual scientific analysis of the hard material evidence available here--the bones and the stones--demonstrates the same evolutionary principles. 2015 Earthlings don't yet understand how light creates its material conduits, so they've thrown up their hands and assumed, "Random! I believe it's random, and now I can settle those worrisome questions about my origin!" They'll figure it out in time, just like they figured out that really, really small bacteria was indeed doing stuff to them. Don't lose your hope.