Contradictions between evolutionary fossil dating and the dating implied by evolutionary cladistic analyses are common. Therefore, one dating scheme must take precedence over the other. The vagaries of fossilization are well-known, with fossil ranges commonly being extended by tens and hundreds of millions of years by new discoveries.1Consequently the ‘evolutionary history’ deduced from cladistics analyses takes precedence over fossils. This means many taxa are inferred to be much older than the evolutionary fossil dating indicates. To accommodate this, evolutionists have invented ‘ghost lineages’, which are lineages that have no fossil evidence.

The irony is that this auxiliary hypothesis (a hypothesis needed to explain some first-look contradiction to a core theory, such as evolution) is needed to plug a hole in another auxiliary hypothesis—cladistics. Cladistics was designed to support evolution despite the striking paucity of clear-cut lineages in the fossil record, which Darwin originally recognised but predicted would be filled with new finds. Because these dating discrepancies are common, ghost lineages are commonly invoked:

The sequence of branching events in a morphological cladistic hypothesis is often harmonized with the fossil record of the ingroup through the creation of ‘ghost lineages’, artificial extensions of a taxon’s range beyond its observed first appearance in the fossil record (Norell 1993). This approach essentially erases any discrepancy between the observed order of appearance events and the order implied by the hypothesis. Insofar as ghost lineages explain away discrepancies between (stratigraphic) observation and (cladistic) hypothesis, they may be considered appeals to ad hoc support, analogous to the way homoplasy is invoked to explain away morphological data that are incongruent with a cladistic hypothesis….

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