To develop forensic theories about the life forms of the ancient past, paleontologists turn to the fossil record. Almost all “prehistorical” evidence is contained in the fossil record. And almost all fossils are contained in various types of water-deposited rock (rare exceptions being those found in amber, peat, etc.). This sedimentary rock was distributed and laid down by water. And that water-deposited rock is all over the planet—even at the tops of mountains. How is the fossil record of benefit to creationists?
How the Fossil Record Debunks Evolution
In order for evolutionary scientists to demonstrate that simple life forms have changed into more complex life forms over time, they must demonstrate it historically by producing examples of such changes, often referred to as “transitional” forms.
If indeed the changes occurred slowly over “billions” of years through mutational accidents, then there ought to be many, many transitional remains available for scientists to uncover and observe in the fossil record.
But what do we really see in the fossil record?
There ought to be an easily observed progressive order to the fossil record.
That is, down at the deepest level of the water-deposited rock layers (supposedly the most ancient deposits), there should be very “simple” life forms like algae and other single-cell organisms.
Further up in the layers (and supposedly nearer to our time), there should be more complex marine invertebrate creatures, with plenty of evidence of the transitional forms that changed from one-cell life to increasingly complex ocean life.
Those creatures should have “evolved” into fish (and they should be found “higher” up in the water-deposited rock layers), and fish into amphibians, and amphibians into reptiles, etc.
That’s what the evolutionary theory predicted would be found in the fossil record of our ancient past.
However, the reality is far from what was expected.
Fossil Record Evidence
- Ninety-five percent of all fossils are marine invertebrates.
These highly complex creatures (trilobites, starfish, coral, sponges, jellyfish, clams, ammonites, etc.) are found on the tops of mountains, in the middle of deserts, on all land masses on the earth—in every layer of the various “eras” of the proposed evolutionary time.
The so-called geologic column is full of these marine invertebrates. These fossils are so abundant that the evolutionists themselves have named the era the “Cambrian Explosion.”
The organisms all appear fully formed, with absolutely no hint that they evolved from anything else.
This layer of “first life” seems to “explode” in the fossil record, with no incontrovertible observable history prior to their existence.
That’s a real problem for an evolutionary scientist. But it’s exactly what would be expected by one who believes the information found in the Bible.
- Of the remaining five percent of all fossils, 95 percent are plant fossils, typically part of coal beds and seams found everywhere on earth, including the well-known mountain ranges. These coal beds are even found in Antarctica.
- Ninety-five percent of what is left is comprised mostly of insect fossils (about .02 percent of the whole).
- And only about .01 percent of all fossils are the so-called “higher order” fossils.
This provides very little evidence to work with, and many of these remains are merely pieces of fossilized bone—or are so jumbled together that it is almost impossible to tell which bone goes to which creature.
Scientists have very little historical evidence to work with when trying to reconstruct the “later” life forms.
The animals that do exist as complete fossils (mostly marine creatures) are fully formed. The rare larger animals like the dinosaurs and extinct mammals are, in most cases, fragmented or crushed and broken so much that it is very difficult to tell what they really looked like.
But in no case is there evidence for “transitional” forms—other than the fanciful stories invented by theorists and artists for museums and National Geographic specials.
Some fossilized creatures once thought to be extinct for “millions” of years are still in existence today, the famous Coelacanth fish being the best-known example.
There are, in fact, a profusion of such living fossils found in exactly the same form as in the fossil record.¹
In addition, there are many life forms that are alive and prospering whose ancestors are found in the fossil record in essentially the same shape and size as we know them (e.g., the crocodile, the turtle, the bat, many fish, many insects).
None of these has “transitioned” into anything else over the supposed millions of years of their existence, and there continues to be no fossil evidence (alive, extinct, or unique) that shows the slightest hint of them becoming another kind of creature.
Of course, speculation abounds about how they “could have” done this or that, or how the unusual features of some fossil “might have” developed into a leg or a wing or some other enormous structural change from what is observed on the fossil. But there is no evidence of such change.
There is no observed transitional form.
What certainly exists in huge quantities is faith—faith in a worldview of unobservable evolutionary development that excludes any supernatural intervention or direction of natural processes.
[Review: 95 Reasons Why the Genesis Flood Was Global—A Comprehensive Study Guide on the Genesis Flood]
Faith in an evolutionary worldview, however, does not depend on evidence.
The theory of evolution is a means to an end. The sole and stated purpose of a naturalistic or mechanistic cosmogony is to provide an atheistic explanation for the existence of all things.
Repeatedly in the scientific literature, proponents of evolution insist that God—or any other supernatural force—cannot exist; materialism alone solves the needs of the soul.
Harvard professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist, biologist, and social commentator, wrote an article published in The New York Review some years ago that explained why he and his peers were so committed to an atheistic and materialistic worldview:
Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment to materialism.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover that materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.² (Emphasis added.)
The story of evolution does not have the scientific evidence to support its assertions. What it does possess is an unyielding resolve to erase God’s authority over creation.
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1. Morris, H. M. 2000. The Profusion of Living Fossils. Acts & Facts. 29 (11).
2. Lewontin, R. C. 1997. Billions and Billions of Demons: Review of The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. The New York Review of Books. 44 (1): 31.
[Post adapted from 5 Reasons to Believe in Recent Creation.]
Want to dig deeper into the study of the creation week? Click on the links below:
- What Happened on the First Day of Creation?
The Days in Genesis 1 Were Literal 24-Hour Days
- God Made the Stars Also
Starlight and Time—Day 2 through Day 4
- God Created Life
Birds, Dinosaurs, Humans, a Day of Rest, and a Mandate from the Creator