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This evolutionary fraud is simple enough: Evolutionists date the fossils by the rocks they are in, and they date the rocks by the fossils that are in them! Here are the facts. Evolutionary theory is a myth. God created everything; the evidence clearly points to it. This is science vs. evolution—a Creation-Evolution Encyclopedia, brought to you by Creation Science Facts.

CONTENTS: Fossils and Rocks: Circular Reasoning

What is Circular Reasoning?: It is a fundamental principle of evolutionary logic
Evolutionists Do Not Know How to Avoid the Problem: They have no other way to support their position
Going in Circles: Round and round we go
Conclusion: It cannot be denied that it is all one big circle

Page numbers without book references refer to the book, FOSSILS AND STRATA, from which these facts are summarized. An asterisk ( * ) by a name indicates that person is not known to be a creationist. Of over 4,000 quotations in the set of books this Encyclopedia is based on
, only 164 statements are by creationists.


It is a fundamental principle of evolutionary logic.

"Circular reasoning" is a method of false logic, by which "this is used to prove that, and that is used to prove this." It is also called "reasoning in a circle." Over a hundred years ago it was described by the phrase, circulus in probando, which is Latin for "a circle in a proof."

There are several types of circular reasoning found in support of evolutionary theory. One of these is the geological dating position that "fossils are dated by the type of stratum they are in, while at the same time the stratum is dated by the fossils found in it." An alternative evolutionarily statement is that "the fossils and rocks are interpreted by the theory of evolution, and the theory is proven by the interpretation given to the fossils and rocks."

Elsewhere in this Encyclopedia, we will find that circular reasoning is also used in regard to other evolutionary "proofs,' such as the origin of life, genetics, and mutations. The theory of natural selection is almost totally dependent on curricular reasoning.

As we will see below, geologists admit that this circular reasoning exists as a fundamental pillar of geological faith. For example, in a 1979 interview with *Dr. Donald Fisher, the state paleontologist for New York, Luther Sunderland, asked him: "How do you date fossils?" His reply: "By the Cambrian rocks in which they were found." Sunderland then asked him if this were not circular reasoning, and *Fisher replied, "Of course, how else are you going to do it?" (Bible Science Newsletter, December 1986, p. 6.)

"The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately. Stratigraphy cannot avoid this kind of reasoning . . because circularity is inherent in the derivation of time scales."—*J.E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism vs. Materialism in Stratigraphy," American Journal of science, January 1976.

The paleontology director of the Field Museum in Chicago admits the problem exists.

"The charge that the construction of the geologic scale involves circularity has a certain amount of validity."—*David M. Raup, "Geology and Creationism," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, March 1983, p. 21.


They have no other way to support their position.

*Ager bemoans the problem:

"It is a problem not easily solved by the classic methods of stratigraphical paleontology, as obviously we will land ourselves immediately in an impossible circular argument if we say, firstly that a particular lithology [theory of rock strata] is synchronous on the evidence of its fossils, and secondly that the fossils are synchronous on the evidence of the lithology."—*Derek V. Ager, The Nature of the Stratigraphic Record (1973), p. 62.

But the experts have no clear-cut answer for extricating themselves from this dilemma, which *Kitts says is caused by an acceptance of evolutionary theory:

"But the danger of circularity is still present. For most biologists, the strongest reason for accepting the evolutionary hypothesis is their acceptance of some theory that entails it. There is another difficulty. The temporal ordering of biological events beyond the local section may critically involve paleontological correlation, which necessarily presupposes the non-repeatability of organic events in geologic history. There are various justifications for this assumption but for almost all contemporary paleontologists it rests upon the acceptance of the evolutionary hypothesis."—*David G. Kitts, "Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory," in Evolution, September 1974, p. 466.

No solid replies to the dilemma have been forthcoming:

"The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling the explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. This is supposed to be hard-headed pragmatism."—*J.E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism vs. Materialism in Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, January 1976, p. 48.


Round and round we go.

*West explains that the theory is based on the interpretation of fossils, and the fossil interpretation is based on the theory:

"Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so, we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory."—*Ronald R. West, "Paleontology and Uniformitarianism," Compass, May 1968, p. 216.

The theory explains the rock strata and their contents, and they in turn explain the theory:

"Material bodies are finite, and no rock unit is global in extent, yet stratigraphy aims at a global classification. The particulars have to be stretched into universals somehow. Here ordinary materialism leaves off building up a system of units recognized by physical properties, to follow dialectical materialism, which starts with time units and regards the material bodies as their incomplete representatives. This is where the suspicion of circular reasoning crept in, because it seemed to the layman that the time units were abstracted from the geological column, which has been put together from rock units."—*J.E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism vs. Materialism in Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, January 1979, p. 49.

The sequences of which creatures are ancestors and which are descendants both prove—and is proven by—the theorized age and sequence of rock strata.

"The prime difficulty with the use of presumed ancestral-descendant sequences to express phylogeny is that biostratigraphic data are often used in conjunction with morphology in the initial evaluation of relationships, which leads to obvious circularity."—*B. Schaeffer, *M.K. Hecht and *N. Eldredge, "Phylogeny and Paleontology," in *Dobzhansky, *Hecht and *Steere (Ed.), Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 6 (1972), p. 39.

According to *North, first came the theory that the strata had to be in a certain order, thus deciding the age of the fossils in it. Then came the theory that the fossils in the rocks decided the age of the strata they were in.

"The paleontological time scale rests squarely on the law of superposition [which fossil strata is placed on top of which]. From this unassailable foundation, the paleontologist became, for more than a century, the arbiter of all stratigraphic organization. But for geologists, the law of superposition presupposed the existence of decipherable geological sections, and every geological section must have a top and a base. [Every fossil strata must be identifiable and have a top and a bottom.] The paleontological succession was pieced together from hundreds of such sections, the tops and bases of which had been established by geologists on the ground.

"The paleontologist's wheel of authority turned full circle when he put this process into reverse and used his fossils to determine tops and bottoms for himself. In the course of time he came to rule upon stratigraphic order, and gaps within it, on a worldwide basis."—*F.K. North, "the Geological Time Scale," in Royal Society of Canada Special Publication, 8:5 (1964). [The order of fossils is determined by the rock strata they are in, and the strata they are in are decided by their tops and bottoms—which are deduced by the fossils in them.]

The ages are dated by the fossils which is the basis for evolution, which is the determinate of the ages:

"The geologic ages are identified and dated by the fossils contained in the sedimentary rocks. The fossil record also provides the chief evidence for the theory of evolution, which in turn is the basic philosophy upon which the sequence of geologic ages has been erected. The evolution-fossil-geologic age system is thus a closed circle which comprises one interlocking package. Each goes with the other."—Henry M. Morris, The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth (1972), pp. 76-77.


It cannot be denied that it is all one big circle.

"It cannot be denied that, from a strictly philosophical standpoint, geologists are here arguing in a circle. The succession of organism as has been determined by a study of theory remains buried in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the remains of organisms that they contain."—*R.H. Rastall, article "Geology," Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 10 (14th ed.; 1956), p. 168.

Strata dating cannot avoid reasoning in a circle (because, at the heart of it, the dating comes from a theory instead of facts!).

"The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately. Stratigraphy cannot avoid this kind of reasoning, if it insists on using only temporal concepts, because circularity is inherent in the derivation of time scales."—*J.E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism vs. Materialism in Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, January 1976, p. 53.

*Azar utters a cry of help.

"Are the authorities maintaining, on the one hand, that evolution is documented by geology and, on the other hand, that geology is documented by evolution? Isn't this a circular argument?"—*Larry Azar, "Biologists, Help!" Bio-Science, November 1978, p. 714.


To the next topic in this series:

PALEONTOLOGY CLASS DISCUSSION: A student explains some facts to his university professor.