The missing link argument is a common challenge raised by students to evolutionary theory; it notes that the majority of evolutionary transitions are not represented in the fossil record. A typical response is to present examples of fossils that have a combination of ancestral and derived traits, but I argue that this approach is largely ineffective because it does not address the broader question of whether the fossil record accords better with evolutionary theory than with creationist narratives. A better response is to agree that the fossil record is largely incomplete because fossilization is rare, and to direct the conversation toward addressing how a rich, yet incomplete, collection of evidence can be reasonably interpreted. Evolutionary theory and creationism pose starkly different expectations about trends in fossil diversity, and evolution is strongly supported while creationism is not.

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