Don’t Fossils Prove Evolution?

In my last article I talked about the problems with using the rocks in the geologic column to date fossils, then using the “age” of the fossils to date the rocks, and finally turning around and cherry-picking from widely varying radiometric dating methods on the rocks to date the fossils. The whole thing starts out with a story of the earth that assumes great age and evolution, and then uses that story to pick “facts” that fit the theory. In science, we are supposed to let the data verify or disconfirm the theory, not cherry-pick facts that fit our theory and dispose of those that don’t. Otherwise all we are doing is reasoning in circles. This time I’m going to talk about how fossils form—and how they don’t—and what that means for the evolutionary model.

Fossils are a record of the past. They can tell us much about the long ages that have passed beyond human memory and most human records. But they don’t come with dates stamped on them, so exactly when they were formed and how is a matter for investigation. Fossils are found all over the earth, but especially in sedimentary rock layers. There are a number of ways fossils form and many kinds. Some fossils are remains of living things that were buried, preserved, and that left impressions in the rock around them. There are petrified things like wood, where the original living material is replaced with minerals in a process called permineralization. They look much like the original but barely a trace of organic matter is left. Third, there are also traces, which are impressions like footprints that are left behind by the living thing and are preserved by lava flows or mud slides.

In the evolutionary view, all of today’s land masses were once covered by water, just not all at once. Living things died and fell into swamps or other bodies of water, sank to the bottom, and were eventually buried and preserved as other sediment settled on top of them. Perhaps an earthquake below them causes sediment to quickly cover the remains. Eventually the pressure from all those sediment layers hardens them into rock, the water seeps down into the earth or otherwise evaporates, or earth movements thrust the fossil bed up above the water. Fossilization is supposed to happen extremely rarely, and only when the conditions are exactly right. And it must happen very gradually over hundreds of millions of years or longer.

In the evolutionary view fossilization is extremely rare, and it must happen gradually over millions of years.

In the creationist view, living things were overtaken quickly by a destructive worldwide flood around six thousand years ago that violently deposited layers of minerals and sediment over them, and they were preserved as impressions before they had a chance to rot or even move. The sediment layers hardened into rock quickly because of the tremendous weight of many layers above them that were also deposited quickly. Those living things that didn’t get immediately covered died, rotted, and their bones were scattered into huge fossil beds that were eventually buried in sediments from later stages of the flood, perhaps a few years later.

Which view is correct? Well, think about what would happen if you took a fish or chicken carcass and threw it in a swamp, or a lake, or even just your back yard. Would it get covered in sediment and eventually become fossilized? Or would it float on the top, rot, get eaten by scavengers, and eventually disappear, bones and all? The process of rotting naturally produces gases in the tissues that make the carcass lighter than water, so it is very hard to keep it on the bottom unless it is very quickly buried. The evolutionary view requires that the process must happen slowly and accidentally, but slow processes simply cannot provide the special circumstances needed to produce fossils. Unfortunately the evolutionary view requires many separate special circumstances like preservative chemicals, intact remains somehow being mysteriously swept out to sea, or local tremors to naturally to preserve remains of living things. This must happen separately for every fossil bed we have. But these imaginary methods are not able to produce a single fossil, ever. They lack the violent, rapid sedimentation required to preserve creatures or their bones over the long times they require.

In the creationist view fossilization happened very rapidly as living things were suddenly and violently covered by flood sediments.

But what about the creation model of fossil formation? Well, as Ken Ham is fond of saying, if a global flood really happened we’d expect to see, “billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth” (https://answersingenesis.org/kids/geology/evidence-flood/). There’s even a sing-along version: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KUraR6rRwBM. The flood happened when the “fountains of the great deep” (Genesis 7:11) ripped open the land and carried off miles of rock and soil that were violently deposited in layers by the fast moving waters of the global flood. This happened so quickly that we have fossils of fish buried in the act of eating other fish or giving birth. When fish die, even if they should sink to the bottom somehow, their fins immediately retract naturally. But in every fossil, their fins are fully extended, like they were swimming along peacefully when they were suddenly buried in sediment. Often they were violently carried along by the flood waters and deposited far inland, leaving us with fossils of fish and land animals side-by-side. Fish fossils are found even on mountain tops all over the world.

So, which view makes the most sense? Even evolutionists realize that you must bury things quickly or they won’t fossilize. They do not explain why remains that normally float on top of the water should survive long enough to get waterlogged and fall to the bottom. I personally cannot understand why evolutionists use fossils to prove their claims when their model requires special accidents to produce every single fossil. When you have to make extraordinary stories to explain your beliefs it is called the fallacy of special pleading. It makes much more sense that the layers we see and the fossils we find were buried as a result of a single, global flood.

Evolutionary methods methods are not able to produce a single fossil, ever.

Next time I’ll share some more about natural “clocks” evolutionists use to try to prove the long ages they require to explain our universe without God. It really is tragically funny how many special circumstances they require to make their case look reasonable. The history is all recorded in the Bible, but they are running from God, and they are terribly afraid to consider that the history in the Bible could be true. For us, the Bible makes sense of the universe with plausible explanations and records of historical people. But for them, the Bible simply cannot be true. If it was, they would have to face up to the existence of God and the reality of their sin, and they simply won’t do it.

References

  1. John D. Morris, Where are Fossils Found? http://www.icr.org/article/where-are-fossils-found
  2. Oxford University Museum of Natural History, How do fossils form? http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/fossils/intro/form.htm