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The Fossils

The Fossils

Darwin acknowledged that the fossil records did not support his evolutionary theory of gradual progression from one species to another. However, he believed that, as time passed, the fossil records would prove his theory to be correct. But, they have not. Over 100 million fossils have been catalogued and there is still no evidence of progressive evolution from one species to another. Darwin said in his book, “The Origen of the Species“, that if future finding did not support his theory that his assumptions were not valid. History has not proven his assumptions to be true; however, unfortunately, his theory is being taught as a fact in our schools.

The following is a quote from the last chapter of Darwin’s book. “With respect to the absence of fossiliferous formations beneath the lowest Silurian strata, I can only recur to the hypothesis given in the ninth chapter. That the geological record is imperfect all will admit; but that it is imperfect to the degree which I require, few will be inclined to admit. If we look to long enough intervals of time, geology plainly declares that all species have changed; and they have changed in the manner which my theory requires, for they have changed slowly and in a graduated manner.”

“We clearly see this in the fossil remains from consecutive formations invariably being much more closely related to each other, than are the fossils from formations distant from each other in time.”

“As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favorable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modification; it can act only by very short and slow steps. Hence the canon of `Natura non facit saltum,’ which every fresh addition to our knowledge tends to make more strictly correct, is on this theory simply intelligible. We can plainly see why nature is prodigal in variety, though niggard in innovation. But why this should be a law of nature if each species has been independently created, no man can explain.”

“If we admit that the geological record is imperfect in an extreme degree, then such facts as the record gives, support the theory of descent with modification. New species have come on the stage slowly and at successive intervals; and the amount of change, after equal intervals of time, is widely different in different groups.”

Wikipedia states the following about fossils, “(from Latin fossus, literally ‘having been dug up’) are the preserved remains or traces of animals (also known as zoolites), plants, and other organisms from the remote past. The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous (fossil-containing) rock formations and sedimentary layers (strata) is known as the fossil record.” The previously living tissue has been replaced by minerals thus transforming the object into a rock hard copy of the previous animal or plant. Merriam-Webster definitions a fossil as “a remnant, impression, or trace of an organism of past geologic ages that has been preserved in the earth’s crust.”

Some fossils are classified as index fossils because they are found in a narrow time range and wide spatial distribution and are used in the identification of related geologic formations. Fossils are usually found in sedimentary rock, tar pits, peat bogs, paraffin deposits, and volcanic ash. “Sedimentary rock is a type of rock that is formed by sedimentation of material at the Earth’s surface and within bodies of water.” Seventy percent of all the rocks on earth are sedimentary rocks. Some geologists claim that these layers of sedimentation have been laid down in layers under high pressure over a period of millions of years. They have labeled these layers as geological ages and within these layers we find many of the fossils.

It is interesting that in the past, biologist dated the fossils by the age of the rock and the geologists date the rocks by the age of the fossils. We all know that this results in circular reasoning and does not prove anything. At one time, someone created a chart showing the age of rocks and fossils. This chart showed estimates which were based on some ones belief system. Today, dating of fossils is done by radioactive methods which are based upon many assumptions. They may be correct or they may not. It has been said that radioactive dating is most reliable when the approximate date of the object is known. In summary, the dating of rocks and fossils are based on assumptions which may or may not be true.

If evolution were true and the geological ages were correct then we would expect that the fossils would be laid down in layers following the birth of the animal or plant species. We would not find a fossil of a species at a lower geological age that the date of the evolution of that species. The microscopic animals would be found at the bottom and mammals would be in the top layers. This is not necessarily where fossils are found. Fossils are found bunched up in what is call fossil graveyards. Fossils of fish have been found on top of mountains instead of in depressed areas. Many of the fossils are in unlikely places. It is also interesting that a lot of the fossils were laid down in a relativity short period of time call the Cambrian Explosion (during the Cambrian geological age).

Wikipedia has this to say. “The Cambrian explosion or Cambrian radiation was the relatively rapid (over a period of many millions of years) appearance, around 530 million years ago, of most major phyla, as demonstrated in the fossil record, accompanied by major diversification of other organisms, including animals, phytoplankton, and calcimicrobes. Before about 580 million years ago, most organisms were simple, composed of individual cells occasionally organized into colonies. Over the following 70 or 80 million years the rate of evolution accelerated by an order of magnitude (as defined in terms of the extinction and origination rate of species) and the diversity of life began to resemble today’s.

“The Cambrian explosion has generated extensive scientific debate. The seemingly rapid appearance of fossils in the “Primordial Strata” was noted as early as the mid 19th century, and Charles Darwin saw it as one of the main objections that could be made against his theory of evolution by natural selection.”

“The long-running puzzlement about the appearance of the Cambrian fauna, seemingly abruptly and from nowhere, centers on three key points: whether there really was a mass diversification of complex organisms over a relatively short period of time during the early Cambrian; what might have caused such rapid change; and what it would imply about the origin and evolution of animals. Interpretation is difficult due to a limited supply of evidence, based mainly on an incomplete fossil record and chemical signatures left in Cambrian rocks.”

Creationist take issue with the long time periods and the many assumptions made about dating. Perhaps, if the long time periods were much shorter, it would explain at lot about how fossils were laid down. Creationists say that “complex life forms appear suddenly in the Cambrian Explosion, with no ancestral fossils.”

To understand the fossils records, we must first understand how fossils are formed. As plants and animals die the tissue decays. Even if they are buried, they will decay. Then how do some of these plants and animals become fossils? Fossils are created when plants and animals are buried alive quickly during a great catastrophic event such as a great flood, earthquake, volcano eruption or a large meteorite hitting the earth. The landscape is forever changed during these great catastrophic events.

The following quote from a web site will add insight. “The term ‘fossilisation’ refers to a variety of often complex processes that enable the preservation of organic remains within the geological record. It frequently includes the following conditions: rapid and permanent burial/entombment – protecting the specimen from environmental or biological disturbance; oxygen deprivation – limiting the extent of decay and also biological activity/scavenging; continued sediment accumulation as opposed to an eroding surface – ensuring the organism remains buried in the long-term; and the absence of excessive heating or compression which might otherwise destroy it.”

“Fossil evidence is typically preserved within sediments deposited beneath water, partly because the conditions outlined above occur more frequently in these environments, and also because the majority of the Earth’s surface is covered by water (70%+). Even fossils derived from land, including dinosaur bones and organisms preserved within amber (fossilised tree resin) were ultimately preserved in sediments deposited beneath water i.e. in wetlands, lakes, rivers, estuaries or swept out to sea.”

“Fossilisation can also occur on land, albeit to a far lesser extent, and includes (for example) specimens that have undergone mummification in the sterile atmosphere of a cave or desert. However in reality these examples are only a delay to decomposition rather than a lasting mode of fossilisation and specimens require permanent storage in a climate controlled environment in order to limit its affects” (see web site: Discovering Fossils).

Ultimately, if there are long periods of time without great catastrophes, then, few fossils will be laid down. This could help explain the The Cambrian Explosion. The great turbulence, created from these catastrophic events, would definitely move the plants and animals into bunches which would create what is known as fossil graveyards.

The Bible records a worldwide flood during the time of Noah. Some consider the story a myth, however, before man took on a matter-first (evolutionary concept) mentality geologists believed that geology could be explained in terms of this great flood. The Bible is not the only source of a previous great world-wide flood. The record of the flood is recorded in culture histories around the world.

Consider the following quote from the web site: “Native global flood stories are documented as history or legend in almost every region on earth. Old world missionaries reported their amazement at finding remote tribes already possessing legends with tremendous similarities to the Bible’s accounts of the worldwide flood. H.S. Bellamy in Moons, Myths and Men estimates that altogether there are over 500 Flood legends worldwide. Ancient civilizations such as (China, Babylonia, Wales, Russia, India, America, Hawaii, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Peru, and Polynesia) all have their own versions of a giant flood.”

“These flood tales are frequently linked by common elements that parallel the Biblical account including the warning of the coming flood, the construction of a boat in advance, the storage of animals, the inclusion of family, and the release of birds to determine if the water level had subsided. The overwhelming consistency among flood legends found in distant parts of the globe indicates they were derived from the same origin (the Bible’s record), but oral transcription has changed the details through time.”

“Perhaps the second most important historical account of a global flood can be found in a Babylonian flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh. When the Biblical and Babylonian accounts are compared, a number of outstanding similarities are found that leave no doubt these stories are rooted in the same event or oral tradition.” (See web site: “ Flood Legends from around the World“.

We should keep in mind that most legends are based some element of truth. Therefore, secular legends may have become distorted over the years but they are based upon a common source.

Most of us do not understand what the Bible says the world was like before the flood. We read, “For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground” (Gen. 2:6). Most Biblical scholars believe that it had never rained before the flood and that there was a canopy of vapor which surrounded the earth. This canopy served as a green house thus keeping the temperature at tropical levels. A mist went up and watered the plants. With these conditions, the whole earth was covered with tropical vegetation.

When we study the Biblical account of the flood, we see that it turned the surface of the earth upside down. The flood’s mass destruction could have resulted in a major change in the world’s hydrologic system, and the physical features of the earth’s surface could have been drastically changed. There were now high mountains and deep oceans where there was once a relatively flat surface dotted with shallow seas. A desolate land eroded by water and wind now replaced vast stretches of rich, tropical vegetation.

Many early geologists believe that the buried animals and vegetation later became the fossil fuels of oil and coal. However, evolutionists believe that they accumulated over millions of years.

These fossil fuels are grouped in deep pockets of oil and veins of coal. The fossils were bunched together because of the activity of a catastrophic event.

However, creation scientists have been able to create coal in the laboratory in a very short period of time by using high pressure and high temperatures.

The Worldwide Flood

Now let us examine the Bible’s story of the worldwide flood and the family of Noah as they were on the ark.

We usually think of the flood as a period of time when it rained for forty days. But we read in Genesis verse eleven of chapter seven that: “The fountains of the great deep burst open” (NASB). The word “deep” is translated from the Hebrew word “T’hom” which means an abyss of a surging mass of water such as a subterranean sea or underground reservoirs. Before the flood, there may have been as much or more water under the land surface as there was on or above it. Simultaneous with the rain from above, the surface of the earth was broken up by earthquakes and volcanic activity. Giant tidal waves rolled across the surging waters. With the earth being turned inside out, the lush vegetation and abundant animal life would have been turned under thus forcing out present day fossil fuels.

We read in Genesis verse two of chapter eight: “The fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed” (NASB). God stopped the water from coming forth out of the ground, and from above at the same time. We need to realize that there was a lot of water standing upon the earth’s surface when God stopped the flood and there were also large, relatively empty, depressurized areas under the surface. What if the earth’s surface collapsed due to the weight of the water above it? Is it possible that the waters returned to their original containers – this time on top of the surface with the waters exposed thus forming our great oceans of today?

You may also have the same question that I have had for many years. How could the water rise high enough to cover all the highest mountains of the world? Before the flood, mountains may not have existed or they may have been much lower than they are today. After the flood and the resulting disturbances, they may have continued to rise for many years as the earth settled into its new form. It appears that numerous regional catastrophe events followed for many years after the worldwide flood.

Is there any physical evidence that these events may have taken place? Why do we find fossils of fish high on mountaintops, and fossils of other animals deep under the surface of the earth? Why have so many animal fossils been preserved from decay as scavengers usually destroy all of the remains? Have you ever considered that the Grand Canyon has many features that indicate it was created by an earthquake? Could the stark features of southern Utah be the result of wind and water erosion – water from shallow seas rushing into a new opening in the earth’s surface that we now call the Grand Canyon? We know that, at some time in the past most of the area in the southwestern United States was covered with shallow seas. The destruction which was caused by the flood could be the solution to many of the unanswered questions that are raised by both scientists and evolutionists. We know that, in past times, geological evidence was based upon the acceptance of this great flood. Even today, there is excitement when a man-made object is found in a vein of coal. The remains of an up-right tree have been found in a coal vein in Tennessee.

On May 18, 1980, Mount Saint Helens, an inactive volcano, erupted with a massive explosion in southwestern Washington. The explosion snapped the pine trees on the mountain and dropped many of them, as if they were toothpicks, into Spirit Lake which is located at the bottom of the mountain. When you looked upon the site, many of the trees were impaled in upright positions, with most of the bark stripped off, which gave you the impression that you are looking at a very old forest. During the past 30 years, the mountain and lake have become a key environment for the study of the effects of catastrophic events. Today, the peeled bark at the bottom of Spirit Lake is turning into peat, the main material from which coal is made. It is taking a short period of time for the peat to form in the Spirit Lake thus we now know that peat can accumulate very rapidly. Scientists have said, regarding laboratory experiments, that once peat is buried its takes only a small amount of pressure and heat to turn peat into coal, thus, at a temperature of 150 degrees C and a little bit of pressure you create coal rapidly.

Before we close the discussion regarding fossils, we need to look at the assumptions used to date the fossils. When dating fossils you have to make a lot of assumptions.

Listed below are some of them.

    • What the conditions were like at the beginning.

    • That nothing has changed.

    • That the sample which was used had not been contaminated.

    • That some of the radioactive particles that were extracted were not added at a later time.

    • You have to assume that the radiation clock has consistently ticked the same throughout the whole time period.

    • That if every one of your assumptions is true, you can rest assured that your clock is reliable.