Part 6: Creation vs. Evolution—What does the fossil record support?
(This blog is part of a series. You can start the series by going back to the September 1, 2014 Introduction called A Case for Christianity: Why do we need one?)
If it should be determined that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. -Charles Darwin
When Charles Darwin said this he was certain that science would eventually uncover the needed evidence in the fossil layers for the theory of evolution. This type of science, known as paleontology, was more or less formalized in the 19th century and therefore it was assumed that much more evidence would soon be discovered in the layers of rock and sediment around the world, and there was. However, contrary to evolutionist’s claims we know today that the fossil record does not show numerous, successive, slight modifications of living things transitioning into other living things as Darwin theorized. What does the fossil record show? First of all we need to understand what a fossil is:
When living things die they decompose fairly rapidly. Most living things will either be eaten by a scavenger or decomposed by microorganisms which occurs quickly when exposed to oxygen. A fossil typically forms when a living thing dies and is buried rapidly in sediment, this is called permineralization. Small scale permineralization can produce very detailed fossils. The degree to which the remains are decayed upon coverage will determine the later details of the fossil. The quicker something is buried the more chance we have of finding a fully intact fossil, possibly even with soft tissue.
As of today most scientist believe that we have explored the major rock layers that contain the fossil record they say show earth’s history. Modern day paleontologists, based on the study of the rock layers and the fossils found within them, say that this information can tell us about how life evolved. They will look at what they say are the earliest layers and then make a chart that shows small living things changing into larger living things as you go up the layers. But what if they were misreading the rock layers? There are several problems here for evolutionists:
1) If fossils must be formed quickly, and it would appear that this can only happen in catastrophic events, then what if the layers of rock we see today were formed by a world-wide catastrophic flood with massive volcanic activity? The layers would not represent time periods but the torrents of water (advancing and receding); volcanic flows and earthquake activity. Scientists have observed this very thing happening with the Mt. St. Helen’s eruption in 1980. Huge canyons were formed rapidly in a matter of days (not millions of years); plants and animals were killed and buried immediately and fossils are now formed. Also, in the Grand Canyon you can find fossils of microscopic and small marine life at the top layers of the canyons—shouldn’t they be in the lowest layers? There are ancient flood stories in almost every culture but scientists will not use this information as part of their research reporting—why?
2) Secular scientists mainly hold to a uniformitarian view which means they believe there has been no major world-wide catastrophic event; the layers have been laid down in the rock formations slowly over millions of years. But, this doesn’t match the definition of how fossils are formed and a Catastrophist’s view better explains the evidence found in the layers.
3) Fossils from the supposed oldest layers of earth (Cambrian period) are fully formed and they are the same as most of the major phyla and species we have today. So the question is: Where is the evolution happening? Where are the transitional forms?
4) Supposed ancient fossils (based on dating) have been given scientific names that are different from the scientific name assigned to the same modern day living thing with identical physical characteristics. Is this a deliberate attempt to deceive? Where is the evolution? Dr. Carl Werner has headed up a project called Living fossils that addresses this apparent deception. Many of these fossils were considered extinct and only known through fossil evidence, but were later discovered to still be alive.
5) Morphology, the study of the form and structure of organisms, has shown that the fossil record does not contain the needed number of transitional forms for the major kingdoms of life. Dr. David Berlinski, Ph.D., philosophy from Princeton University and postdoctoral fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University, poses this question:
How many changes should we see if a complex life form goes, for example, from being a sea dwelling creature to a land dwelling creature?
Berlinski’s answer: Most Morphologists suggest that even with a modest estimate you would need roughly 50,000 morphological changes to make that adaptation which requires specific changes in physiological features and evolutionists hold up maybe two. What happened then, to the other 49,998 forms that we should see in the fossil record? We simply do not know, but neither do the other guys.
Charles Darwin, questioning his own theory, said: Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and greavest objection which can be urged against my theory.
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25
Let me know what you think: Should this type of information be presented so students can compare and contrast with what is taught in the public school textbooks? Why are evolutionist the only ones allowed to present in the arena of public education?
Come back next week for: Who are we, where did we come from and why are we here? Part 7: Creation vs. Evolution—What is the most reasonable answer to the question of origins?
Over the next several blogs I am going to continue to present logical reasoning and sound scientific evidence not found in the public school textbooks.
Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have in Christ Jesus as Lord.
1 Peter 3:15