Abbie Smith recently debated Dr. Steve Kern, a pastor in Oklahoma City, on the issue of whether intelligent design should be taught in schools. Abbie's presentation is fun, but Dr. Kern just didn't get it, and everything he said is standard creationist fare. Stephen Jay Gould proposed punctuated equilibrium because there were no transitional fossils (false). The earth may not be billions of years old. It's tiresome to see so many people who just believe creationist clap trap without bothering to read anything from another point of view or even to, you know, do some basic fact-checking. So I sent a letter to Kern's church:
I recently watched the discussion that Dr. Kern had with Abbie Smith.
Age of the Earth: There's a very good article on radiometric dating written by Dr. Roger C. Wiens on the age of the Earth and radiometric dating called Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective. I do not generally advocate information posted on the internet, but this article was written by a practicing physicist who minored in geology, it contains extensive references to peer-reviewed scientific literature, and a portion of it appeared in a book published through University of California Press (The book is Evolution Vs. Creationism).
Evolution and Transitional Fossils: There are many transitional fossils that have been discovered within the past 50 years:
http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/09/fun-with-homini.html (Note that the information presented on this blog is based on peer-reviewed research you can read for yourself, and I'd be happy to send you a paper that contains a similar graph based on human fossils that have been discovered).
The Journal Nature has published some papers that document the evolutionary transition from fish to primitive amphibians:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7085/images/440747a-f1.2.jpg and there's more information on this here:
Paleontologist Donald R. Prothero published a beautiful book documenting the nature of the fossil record called Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters.
Also, I'm not sure if it was made completely clear during the debate, but the endogenous retroviruses that Abbie was talking about, which are shared between humans and other primates, are striking evidence for an ancient common ancestor: