Truth That Matters

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus Christ

FOSSILS

One of the main features of the fossil record is that it lacks the millions of transitional forms required by evolutionary theory. Here we look at other features. To understand the significance of these features, we need to know the two theories about fossil formation.

The formation of fossils

There are two theories about how and when fossils formed.

  1. The uniformitarian theory adopted by evolutionists is that fossils were formed as animals slowly got buried in sediments over millions of years during the course of the earth's evolutionary history.
  2. The Bible implies that most fossils were formed during Noah's Flood.

Evolution theory predicts the following about fossils:-

  • The order in which the fossils appear in sedimentary layers should reflect evolutionary history. This is because the lower layers were evidently laid down first, and hence should be the older ones.
  • Fossils should not cut across several layers. Such a tree or animal would be exposed for millions of years and so would not be fossilized.
  • Since fossils take millions of years to form, fossils of modern or medieval objects should not exist.
  • Huge fossil graveyards are unlikely to be found because there was no global catastrophic fossilization event.
  • Since change has been the theme for the last 3.5 billion years, we should expect modern organisms to be significantly different from their cousins who lived millions of years ago. There should be no "living fossils". 
  • We don't expect to find the unfossilized tissue of ancient animals such as dinosaurs since they were extinct millions of years ago, and tissue cannot last that long.
  • Soft animals such as jellyfish are unlikely to be fossilized. They would be scavenged. In fact, this was a specific prediction made by Darwin in his Origin of Species.

Let's examine the predictions of the Biblical model.

What do you expect to happen to plants and animals when parts of the crust are turning upside down? Plants, trilobites, shell fish and so on would be more or less helpless, and so would get buried first. Reptiles would be next. Mammals, especially apes are smarter than other animals, and would perhaps rush to the mountains to escape the flood waters. They would get buried on top of the reptiles and lower animals. It is worth noting that the "lower" organisms have higher density (specific gravity) and hence will have a tendency to settle at the bottom. There will be tall trees that would cut across various layers. There would also be certain animals that break the above pattern. For instance, a sick gorilla on the bank of a river would get buried with crabs and snails. Finally, humans would probably try to survive on makeshift rafts. The corpses of those who died on the rafts would end up floating on the water and being eaten by scavenging organisms.

Now let's look at the observations from the fossil record.

The General Pattern

All over the world, we find layers of sedimentary deposits (which is what should happen when water and mud settle down). The lowest layers usually contain clams, trilobites, and so on, with higher layers containing smarter animals. Human fossils are few and far between. This is in general agreement with both theories. However the paucity of human fossils seems to fit the Biblical model better. Another problem for the evolutionary/uniformitarian theory is that some of the "lower/older/simple" animals are actually "complex".
"The eyes of early trilobites have never been exceeded for complexity or acuity by later anthropods." - Stephen Jay Gould, "The Ediacaran Experiment", Natural History, February 1984, 22-23.
Yet another problem for evolutionary theory is the Cambrian Explosion, the phenomenon of every phylum of fossil occurring in the "Cambrian Era" (according to evolutionary dating) suddenly with no "ancestors" and no new phyla in the subsequent "later" strata.

Fossils of soft animals

Well preserved jellyfish fossils have been found! Evolutionary researcher James Hagadorn says: "When people find a T-rex, that doesn't excite me that much because a T-rex has bones and teeth - really easy to fossilize. But to preserve a jellyfish, that's hard, because it has no hard parts. Something is there that we don't understand." [Impressions of Ancient Jellyfish, Geotimes, February 2003]

That "something" is that fossilization does not take place the way evolutionists speculate. Fossils were formed in the sudden burial that accompanied Noah's Flood.

Unfossilized tissue

Unfossilized dinosaur tissue has been found that could not have lasted for millions of years! Such tissue is no surprise to Biblical creationists. Dinosaurs died in Noah's Flood which was only a few thousand years ago, so we can expect unfossilized dinosaur tissue to be preserved.

Fossil graveyards

Deposits have been found with thousands of fossils; many of these animals are in awkward positions, suggesting that they were buried suddenly, just what you would expect in Noah’s flood. The image shows one such fossil graveyard.

Living Fossils

These are modern animals that have remained virtually unchanged in supposedly hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history. Evolution theory states that random genetic changes in organisms selected by the struggle for survival have forced organisms to change enormously. Frogs have become princes, and goo has become you. But living fossils prove that animals that supposedly lived very long ago had all it takes to survive millions of years of environmental change. This casts serious doubts on whether massive change took place at all. Fish can survive as fish - there is no need for fish to turn to people in order to survive. This suggests that fish have always been fish, and people have always been people. Note that every major category of organisms has its living fossils. Examples include the coelacanth fish (fossil coelacanths are believed by evolutionists to be 340 million years old), Gingko trees (125 million years), crocodiles (140 million years), horseshoe crabs (200 million years), the Lingula lamp shell (450 million years), Neopilina molluscs (500 million years), and the tuatara lizard (200 million years).

The following are the excuses given by evolutionists to explain away living fossils:-

  • Perhaps some organisms experienced a static environment. So there was no need for them to change. But according to evolutionists, the earth has sustained several global catastrophes, so no species could have enjoyed a static environment over millions of years.
  • Some animals like the tuatara have long generation times (15 years) and this slows down evolution. But this excuse fails with cockroaches and archebacteria. 
  • Evolutionary theory does not say that animals have to change - it may have happened that some animals were so versatile in their adaptability that they could cope with changing environments as they are. But random mutations cannot be prevented.To say that some old organisms were so good that they didn't have to go along with all the mutations in hundreds of million of years while others were so bad that they ended up changing from frogs to princes is preposterous. The only reason/basis for evolutionists to make such a claim is that it is necessary to save their theory. If evolutionists are committed to rationality, they should justify such claims separately.

Famous evolutionists Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge have admitted: "the maintenance of stability within species must be considered as a major evolutionary problem" [Gould, S. and Eldredge, N., Punctuated equilibrium comes of age, Nature 366 (6452):223-224, 1993]

Note that the Biblical model naturally accommodates living fossils. Learn more

Polystrate fossils

This is exactly what evolutionists thought could not happen - a single fossil jutting out through several layers. Such fossils show that these layers were deposited within the space of a few weeks (as the Flood model would suggest) and not millions of years. This is because a tree stump can’t protrude out of the mud for millions of years, waiting for the subsequent layers to be deposited!

Misplaced fossils

These are fossils that occur in a layer that was supposedly deposited long before these organisms evolved. A couple of examples follow.

Precambrian Pollen: Evolutionists believe that pollen producing plants evolved during the late Devonian period or later. However, pollen has been found in Precambrian layers; these layers were supposedly deposited 1.3 billion years before the Devonian period, when there were only bacteria and algae! The original source is Stainforth, R.M. Occurrence of pollen and spores in the Roraima Formation of Venezuela and British Guiana, Nature 210: 292-294, 1966. Stainforth rules out contamination (which is the usual excuse offered  by evolutionists to explain away misplaced fossils) because the rocks are dense and impermeable, compressed by an overburden of hundreds of feet. He concludes by saying: "We offer no solution to the paradox ... a highly intriguing geological problem."

Mammals and birds during the "dinosaur era": Evolutionists claim that mammals arrived on the scene about the time dinosaurs went extinct. The same applies for modern birds. But ducks, squirrels, platypus, beaver- and badger like creatures have been found in dinosaur era rock layers. It happens with human nature that you tend to find what you believe in, and vice versa. Because of their evolutionary bias, researchers did not bother about mammals found in dinosaur dig sites. It's only recently that these fossils have got attention. 

Marine fossils have been found on mountain tops far away from the sea. Again, this suggests a worldwide flood. 

Note that the Biblical Flood Model naturally accommodates these fossils.  

Ephemeral markings

Ephemeral markings: Prints of raindrops, water ripples, bird tracks, etc. are present all through the rock layers. These markings are been easily washed or weathered away and must be captured and buried quickly to be preserved. Therefore, their existence suggests that fossil layers formed in the rapid burial associated with a catastrophic flood. Incidentally no hail marks have been found in the column, again suggesting rapid burial.

Quick fossils

In medieval times, butter used to be stored in peat bogs. Sometimes, the butter would be unused, and thus remained in the bog. In modern times, this butter has been recovered - fossilized. This fossilized butter proves that fossils take only a short time to form - millions of years of evolutionary history are not required.

Conclusion

You’ve probably thought of fossils as evidence of evolution. A closer look reveals that fossils refute the grand theory of evolution and make perfect sense in the light of the Bible.