This error is reminiscent of the criticisms made by Alfred Russell Wallace, who independently discovered the concept of evolution around the same time as Darwin. Wallace maintained that some of Darwin’s conclusions concerning man were fundamentally flawed because his more famous counterpart had not spent any time among primitive peoples to observe them closely as did Wallace. Wallace felt that, especially when it came to man’s intellect, this lack of human observations caused Darwin to make a number of faulty assumptions.
Those who have read BTCV know my personal opinion on the subject: however impressive the theory of evolution is, scientists try to assume too much from it, and attempt to extend its concepts farther than the available evidence can justify. Aside from the problems in a number of its details, evolution falls short on two major issues. First, it does not have an expression for how life “evolved” from inanimate matter—any accurate model of a process must have as its beginning statement an accurate description of the initial state of that process. Second, it fails as a scientific theory because it does not make testable predictions. If it did, evolution would be able to predict how a given creature might look one million years from now, or be able to predict what a present day creature would look like from studying its million-year-old fossilized remains alone (no fair peaking at the finished creature of today!). Nor does it predict well into the past—how many times do we hear of a new fossil discovery where the experts exclaim “we never expected to see these features in this creature” or “we never expected to find such a creature in that location,” let alone “we never expected to find this creature at all?”
I believe that when it comes to explaining the rise and progression of life, evolution is an incomplete picture. The fossil record does not reflect the cause, but only the effect of a much deeper process for which evolution has no expression. Something very fundamental is still lacking. That, to me, is the true missing link.