This chapter is based on pp. 497-605 of Origin of Life (Volume Two of our three-volume Evolution Disproved Series). Not included in this chapter are at least 472 statements by scientists. You will find them, plus much more, on our website: evolution-facts.org.
This is the largest and one of the most important chapters in this book. Fossil remains provide evolutionists with their only real hope of finding evidence that evolution might have occurred in the past. If the fossils do not witness to evolution in the past, then it could not be occurring now either.
The only substantial evidence that evolution has taken place in past ages, if there is such evidence, is to be found, in the fossils. The only definite evidence from the present, that there is a mechanism by which evolution could occur—past or present—if there is such evidence, is to be found in natural selection and mutations. There is a chapter dealing with each of these three topics in this book (chapters 9, 10, and 12).
The subject may seem to be complicated, but it is not. We will begin this present chapter with an introduction and overview of some of the fossil problems. Then we shall give enough attention to each of those problems—and more besides—to provide you with a clear understanding of principles and conclusions.
And when you obtain it, you will be astounded at the amount of overwhelming evidence supporting the fact that there is absolutely no indication, from the fossil record, that evolution has ever occurred on our planet!
"We still do not know the mechanics of evolution in spite of the over-confident claims in some quarters, nor are we likely to make further progress in this by the classical methods of paleontology or biology; and we shall certainly not advance matters by jumping up and down shrilling, ‘Darwin is god and I, So-and-so, am his prophet.’ "—*Errol White, Proceedings of the Linnean Society, London, 177:8 (1966).
DEFINITIONS—(*#1/9 Introduction*) Most people know very little about any aspect of geology. Here are some of the major areas of geologic study. Of the geologic terms defined below, you will want to give special attention to those in bold italic:
Here are several of the major branches of Physical Geology: (1) Geochemistry is the study of the substances in the earth and the chemical changes they undergo. (2) Petrology is the study of rocks, in general. (3) Minerology is the study of minerals, such as iron ore and uranium. (4) Geophysics is the study of the structure, composition, and development of the earth. (5) Structural geology is the study of positions and shapes of rocks very deep within the earth.
Both physical and historical geology include three areas: (1) Geochronology is the study of geologic time. (2) Earth Processes is the study of the forces that produce changes in the earth. (3) Sedimentology is the study of sediment and the ways it is deposited.
Historical geology has at least four main fields: (1) Paleontology is the study of fossils, and paleontologists are those who study them. (2) Stratigraphy is the study of the rock strata in which the fossils are found. (3) Paleogeography is the study of the past geography of the earth. (4) Paleoecology is the study of the relationships between prehistoric plants and animals and their surroundings.
Fossils are the remains of living creatures, both plants and animals, or their tracks. These are found in sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock is composed of strata, which are layers of stone piled up like a layer cake. (Strata is the plural of stratum.) Sedimentary rock is fossil-bearing or fossiliferous rock.
Fossil hunters use the word taxa (taxon, singular) to describe the basic, different types of plants and animals found in the fossil record. By this they generally mean species, but sometimes genera or more composite classifications, such as families or even phyla. Taxa is thus something of a loose term; it will be found in some of the quotations in this chapter. Higher taxa would mean the larger creatures, such as vertebrates (animals with backbones).
"The part of geology that deals with the tracing of the geologic record of the past is called historic geology. Historic geology relies chiefly on paleontology, the study of fossil evolution, as preserved in the fossil record, to identify and correlate the lithic records of ancient time."—*O.D. von Engeln and *K.E. Caster, Geology (1952), p. 423.
These fossil remains may be shells, teeth, bones, or entire skeletons. A fossil may also be a footprint, bird track, or tail marks of a passing lizard. It can even include rain drops. Many fossils no longer contain their original material, but are composed of mineral deposits that have infiltrated them and taken on their shapes.
Fossils are extremely important to evolutionary theory, for they provide our only record of plants and animals in ancient times. The fossil record is of the highest importance as a proof for evolution. In these fossils, scientists should be able to find all the evidence needed to prove that one species has evolved out of another.
"Although the comparative study of living animals and plants may give very convincing circumstantial evidence, fossils provide the only historical documentary evidence that life has evolved from simpler to more complex forms."—*Carl O. Dunbar, Historical Geology (1949), p. 52.
"Fortunately there is a science which is able to observe the progress of evolution through the history of our earth. Geology traces the rocky strata of our earth, deposited one upon another in the past geological epochs through hundreds of millions of years, and finds out their order and timing and reveals organisms which lived in all these periods. Paleontology, which studies the fossil remains, is thus enabled to present organic evolution as a visible fact."—*Richard B. Goldschmidt, "An Introduction to a Popularized Symposium on Evolution," in Scientific Monthly, Vol. 77, October 1953, p. 184.
PALEONTOLOGISTS KNOW THE FACTS—(*#3/25 The Experts Speak*) The study of fossils and mutations ranks as the two key evidences of evolution: The fossil evidence proves or disproves whether evolution has occurred in the past; mutational facts prove or disprove whether it can occur at all.
This is probably why, of all scientists, paleontologists and geneticists are the most likely to publicly repudiate evolutionary theory in disgust (*A.H. Clark, *Richard Goldschmidt, *Steven Gould, *Steven Stanley, *Colin Patterson, etc.). They have spent their lives fruitlessly working, hands on, with one of the two main factors in the very center of evolution: the evidence (fossils) or the mechanism by which it occurs (mutations) and that part of the body within which it must occur (DNA).
THE FOSSIL HUNTERS—(*#2 The Fossil Hunters"). For over a century, thousands of men have dedicated their lives to finding, cleaning, cataloguing, and storing millions of fossils. The work they do is time-consuming, exhausting; yet it has not provided the evidence they sought.
NO EVOLUTION TODAY—Evolutionists admit that evolution (one type of animal changing into another) never occurs today.
"No biologist has actually seen the origin by evolution of a major group of organisms."—*G. Ledyard Stebbins, Process of Organic Evolution, p. 1. [Stebbins is a geneticist.]
EVERYTHING HINGES ON FOSSILS—Clearly, then, because no evolution is occurring now, all that the evolutionists have to prove their theory is fossil evidence of life forms which lived in the past. If evolution is the cause of life on earth, then there ought to be thousands of various partly evolved fossil life forms. For evolution to occur, this had to occur in great abundance. The fossils should reveal large numbers of transmuted species—creatures which are half- fish/half-animal, etc.
Throughout these studies, we shall refer to the basic types or kinds of plants and animals as "species." However, as discussed in chapter 11, Animal and Plant Species, biologists frequently classify plants and animals as "species," which are sub-species.
UNIFORMITARIANISM—(*#4/29 Uniformitarianism vs. Catastrophism*) A basic postulate of evolution is the concept of uniformitarianism. According to this theory, the way everything is occurring today is the way it has always occurred on our planet. This point has strong bearing on the rock strata. Since no more than an inch or so of sediment is presently being laid down each year in most non-alluvial areas, therefore no more than this amount could have been deposited yearly in those places in the past. Since there are thick sections of rock containing fossils, therefore those rocks and their contents must have required millions of years to be laid down. That is how the theory goes.
The opposite viewpoint is known as catastrophism, and teaches that there has been a great catastrophe in the past—the Flood—which within a few months laid down all the sedimentary rock strata, entombing the animals contained within them, which became fossils.
THE THEORY THAT STARTED IT—Naturalists, working in Paris a few years before *Charles Lyell was born, discovered fossil-bearing rock strata. *Lyell used this information in his important book, Principles of Geology, and divided the strata into three divisions. He dated one as youngest, another as older, and the third as very ancient.
*Lyell and others worked out those strata dates in the early 19th century, before very much was known about the rock strata and their fossils! Some strata in England, Scotland, and France were the primary ones studied. *Lyell based his age-theory on the number of still-living species represented by fossils in each stratum. If a given stratum had few fossils represented by species alive today, then *Lyell dated it more anciently.
It has since been established that *Lyell’s theory does not agree with reality; the percentage of still-living species is very, very high throughout all the strata, and varies from place to place for each stratum in different localities. Nevertheless, after quarreling over details, Lyell’s followers extended his scheme; and, though they changed his initial major strata names, they held on to his mistake and elaborated on it. Although some of the strata names changed later in the 19th century, scientists in the 20th century have been stuck with this relic of early 19th-century error. It is what they are taught in the colleges and universities.
THE ERAS—The fossil-bearing rock strata are said to fall into three major divisions, called "eras."
At the top are the Cenozoic Era rocks. Below that comes the Mesozoic Era levels. Next comes the Paleozoic Era strata. At the bottom we find the Cambrian, which contains the lowest fossil-bearing rocks. Beneath that is the Precambrian. (Cenozoic means "recent life," mesozoic means "middle life," and paleozoic means "ancient life.")
DATES WHEN GEOLOGICAL TIME SCALES ORIGINATED—This fossil/strata theory is genuinely archaic. The basics of the theory were devised when very little was known about strata or fossils. But geology and paleontology have been saddled with it ever since. Here are the dates when the various geological time scales were first developed:
Quaternary - 1829
Tertiary - 1759
Cretaceous - 1822
Jurassic - 1795
Triassic - 1834
Permian - 1841
Carboniferous - 1822
Devonian - 1837
Silurian - 1835
Ordovician - 1879
Cambrian - 1835
Cenozoic - 1841
Mesozoic - 1841
Paleozoic - 1838
Perhaps the most ridiculous part of this is that radiodating of rocks, which did not exist when the 19th-century theories were devised, is forced to fit those 19th-century strata dates! It is done by using only a few test samples which fit the 19th century dates. The rest are discarded. (See chapter 6, Inaccurate Dating Methods, for more on this.)
EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION—If evolution was a fact, we should find in present events and past records abundant evidence of one species changing into another species. But, throughout all past history and in present observations, no one has ever seen this happen. Prior to written history, we only have fossil evidence. Scientists all over the world have been collecting and studying fossils for over a hundred years. Literally millions have been collected!
In all their research, this is what they discovered: (1) There is no evidence of one species having changed into another one. (2) Our modern species are what we find there, plus some extinct ones. (3) There are no transitional or halfway forms between species.
Yes, there are extinct creatures among the fossils. These are plants and animals which no longer live on the earth. But even scientists agree that extinct species would not be an evidence of evolution.
Yet evolutionists parade dinosaur bones as a grand proof of evolution—when they are no proof at all! Extinction is not evolution!
Before proceeding further in this study, we should mention two points that will help clarify the problem:
WHY SO VERY COMPLEX AT THE BOTTOM?—As we already mentioned, the lowest strata level is called the Cambrian. Below this lowest of the fossil-bearing strata lies the Precambrian.
The Cambrian has invertebrate (non-backbone) animals, such as trilobites and brachiopods. These are both very complex little animals. In addition, many of our modern animals and plants are in that lowest level, just above the Precambrian. How could such complex, multicelled creatures be there in the bottom of the Cambrian strata? But there they are. Suddenly, in the very lowest fossil stratum, we find complex plants and animals—and lots of them, with no evidence that they evolved from anything lower.
"It remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of families, appear in the [fossil] record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences."—*George G. Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution, p. 360.
Paleontologists (the fossil hunters) call this immense problem "the Cambrian Explosion," because vast numbers of complex creatures suddenly appear in the fossil strata—with no evidence that they evolved from any less complicated creatures!
We will discuss the Precambrian/Cambrian problem later in this chapter.
What caused this sudden, massive appearance of life forms? What caused the strata? Why are all those fossils in the strata? What is the solution to all this?
THE GENESIS FLOOD—The answer is that a great Flood,—the one described in the Bible in Genesis 6 to 9—rapidly covered the earth with water. When it did, sediments of pebbles, gravel, clay, and sand were laid down in successive strata, covering animal and plant life. Under great pressure, these sediments turned into what we today call "sedimentary rock." (Clay became shale; sand turned into sandstone; mixtures of gravel, clay and sand formed conglomerate rock.) All that mass of water-laid material successively covered millions of living creatures. The result is fossils, which today are only found in the sedimentary rock strata.
When the Flood overwhelmed the world, the first to be covered were slow-moving animals, the next to be covered were somewhat larger, somewhat faster-moving animals, and so it went. Today we can dig into these rock strata and find that the lowest stratum tends to have the slowest-moving creatures; above them are faster ones. Evolutionist scientists declare these lowest strata are many millions of years old (570 million for the oldest, the Cambrian), and the topmost to be the most recent (the Pliocene at 10 million, and the Pleistocene at 2 million years).
But, in actuality, we will discover that the evidence indicates that all the sedimentary strata with their hoards of fossils were laid down within a very short time.
IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE AVAILABLE?—Before we proceed further, it is vital that we know whether there is enough evidence available to decide the fossil problem? Can we at the present time really know for sure whether or not, according to the fossil record, evolution has or has not occurred?
Yes, we CAN know! Men have worked earnestly, since the beginning of the 19th century, to find evidences of evolution in the fossil strata.
"The adequacy of the fossil record for conclusive evidence is supported by the observation that 79.1 percent of the living families of terrestrial vertebrates have been found as fossils (87.7 percent if birds are included)."—R.H. Brown, "The Great Twentieth-Century Myth," in Origins, January 1986, p. 40.
"Geology and paleontology held great expectations for Charles Darwin, although in 1859 [when he published his book, Origin of the Species] he admitted that they [already] presented the strongest single evidence against his theory. Fossils were a perplexing puzzlement to him because they did not reveal any evidence of a gradual and continuous evolution of life from a common ancestor, proof which he needed to support his theory. Although fossils were an enigma to Darwin, he ignored the problem and found comfort in the faith that future explorations would reverse the situation and ultimately prove his theory correct.
"He stated in his book, The Origin of the Species, ‘The geological record is extremely imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find intermediate varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views, on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory’ [quoting from the sixth (1901) edition of Darwin’s book, pages 341-342].
"Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track."—Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma (1988), p. 9 [italics ours].
"There are a hundred million fossils, all catalogued and identified, in museums around the world."—*Porter Kier, quoted in New Scientist, January 15, 1981, p. 129.
There are one hundred million fossils housed in museums and other collections! That ought to be enough to locate the missing links and prove evolutionary theory!
Yes, enough information is now available that we can have certainty, from the fossil record, whether evolution ever did occur in our world! The present chapter will provide you with a brief summary of those facts.
"The reason for abrupt appearances and gaps can no longer be attributed to the imperfection of the fossil record as it was by Darwin when paleontology was a young science. With over 200,000,000 catalogued specimens of about 250,000 fossil species, many evolutionary paleontologists such as Stanley argue that the fossil record is sufficient."—W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited (1954), p. 48 [italics ours].
"In part, the role of paleontology in evolutionary research has been defined narrowly because of a false belief, tracing back to Darwin and his early followers, that the fossil record is woefully incomplete. Actually, the record is of sufficiently high quality to allow us to undertake certain kinds of analysis meaningfully at the level of the species."—*S. Stanley, "Macroevolution," p. 1 (1979).
"Over ten thousand fossil species of insects have been identified, over thirty thousand species of spiders, and similar numbers for many sea-living creatures. Yet so far the evidence for step-by-step changes leading to major evolutionary transitions looks extremely thin. The supposed transition from wingless to winged insects still has to found, as has the transition between the two main types of winged insects, the paleoptera (mayflies, dragonflies) and the neoptera (ordinary flies, beetles, ants, bees)."—*Fred Hoyle, "The Intelligent Universe: A New View of Creation and Evolution," 1983, p. 43.
150 YEARS OF COLLECTED EVIDENCE—In spite of such an immense amount of fossil evidence, *Heribert-Nilsson of Lund University in Sweden, after 40 years of study in paleontology and botany, said the deficiencies—the missing links—will never be found.
"It is not even possible to make a caricature [hazy sketch] of an evolution out of paleobiological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that . . the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as due to the scarcity of the material. The deficiencies are real; they will never be filled."—*N. Heribert-Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung (The Synthetic Origin of Species), 1953, p. 1212.
More than a century ago, enough evidence had been gathered from the study of fossils that it was already clear that the fossil gaps between Genesis kinds was unfillable. Even *Charles Darwin admitted the problem in his book.
". . intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic change, and this is perhaps the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory [of evolution]."—*Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species, quoted in *David Raup, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," in Field Museum Bulletin, January 1979.
For over a century, hundreds of men have dedicated their lives, in an attempt to find those missing links! If the transitional forms, connecting one species with another, are really there—they should have been found by now!
Sunderland, quoted above, said "Our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species." Here, in two brief paragraphs, is a clear description of the enormity of this missing link problem:
"The time required for one of these invertebrates to evolve into the vertebrates, or fishes, has been estimated at about 100 million years, and it is believed that the evolution of the fish into an amphibian required about 30 million years. The essence of the new Darwinian view is the slow gradual evolution of one plant or animal into another by the gradual accumulation of micro-mutations through natural selection of favored variants.
"If this view of evolution is true, the fossil record should produce an enormous number of transitional forms. Natural history museums should be overflowing with undoubted intermediate forms. About 250,000 fossil species have been collected and classified. These fossils have been collected at random from rocks that are supposed to represent all of the geological periods of earth’s history. Applying evolution theory and the laws of probability, most of these 250,000 species should represent transitional forms. Thus, if evolution is true, there should be no doubt, question, or debate as to the fact of evolution."—Duane T. Gish, "The Origin of Mammals" in Creation: the Cutting Edge (1982), p. 76.
The above quotation provides an excellent summary of the fossil gap problem. The fossil record purportedly contains a record of all the billions of years of life on earth. If it takes "100 million years" for an invertebrate to evolve through transitional forms into a fish, the fossil strata should show vast numbers of the in-between forms. But it never does! Scientists discuss these facts among themselves; they have a responsibility to tell them to the public.
The evidence supports the information given in the oldest extant book in the world: the book of Genesis.
HOW ARE ROCKS DATED?—There are vast quantities of fossils, scattered in various sedimentary strata throughout the world. Yet how are the rocks and the fossils dated? In this section we are going to learn that the rocks are dated from theories about the fossils, and the fossils are dated from theories about the rocks!
"We can hardly pick up a copy of a newspaper or magazine nowadays without being informed exactly how many million years ago some remarkable event in the history of the earth occurred."—*Adolph Knopf, quoted in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations, p. 62. [Knopf was an American geologist.]
Let us examine this dating process more closely:
REAL HISTORY—Real history only goes back about 4,500 years. The First Dynasty in Egypt has left us records that date back to about 2200 B.C. (That is the corrected date as determined by scholars; Manetho’s account reaches to 3500 B.C. See chapter 21, Archaeological Dating. [Due to a lack of space, we had to omit nearly all of the chapter from this book, but it is on our website.]). Moses began writing part of the Bible about 1480 B.C. He wrote of events going back to about 4000 B.C.
Yet evolutionists claim that they can date this rock or that rock—going back into the millions of years! The entire geologic column—from bottom to top—is supposed to have taken 2 billion years, with millions of years being assigned to each level of strata. On what basis do they presume to think they can assign such ancient dates to the origin of various rocks? With the exception of some recently erupted volcanic lava, no one was present when any rocks were laid down. A man picks up a piece of rock from the distant past and, although he himself may be only half a century old, he claims to be able to date that rock as being 110 billion years old!
NOT DATED BY APPEARANCE—Rocks are not dated by their appearance, for rocks of all types (limestones, shales, gabbro, etc.) may be found in all evolutionary "ages." Rocks are not dated by their mineral, metallic, or petroleum content; for any type of mineral may be found in practically any "age."
NOT DATED BY LOCATION—Rocks are not dated by the rocks they are near. The rocks above them in one sedimentary sequence may be the rocks below them in the next. The "oldest rocks" may lie above so-called "younger rocks." Rocks are not dated by their structure, breaks, faults, or folds. None of this has any bearing on the dating that evolutionists apply to rocks. Textbooks, magazines, and museum displays give the impression that it is the location of the strata that decides the dating, but this is not true.
"It is, indeed, a well-established fact that the (physical-stratigraphical) rock units and their boundaries often transgress geologic time planes in most irregular fashion even within the shortest distances."—*J.A. Jeletzsky, "Paleontology, Basis of Practical Geochronology," in Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, April 1956, p. 685.
NOT DATED BY VERTICAL LOCATION—Rocks are not dated by their height or depth in the strata, or which rocks are "at the top," which are "at the bottom," or which are "in the middle." Their vertical placement and sequence has little bearing on the matter. This would have to be so, since the arrangement of the strata shows little hint of uniformity anywhere in the world. (Much more on this later in this chapter.)
NOT DATED BY RADIOACTIVITY—The rock strata are not dated by the radioactive minerals within them. The dating was all worked out decades before anyone heard or thought of radioactive dating. In addition, we learned in the chapter on Dating Methods, that there are so many ways in which radiometric dating can be incorrect, that we dare not rely on uranium and similar minerals as reliable dating methods.
The fact is that rocks are not dated by any physical characteristic at all. What then ARE they dated by?
DATED BY FOSSILS?—The strata are said to be dated by FOSSILS! Well, now we have arrived at something concrete. The strata are all mixed up, piled on top, under where they should go, or totally missing. But at least we can date by all the fossils in them.
But wait a minute! We cannot even use 99 percent of the fossils to date them by, since we can find the same type of fossils in one stratum as in many others! And in each stratum are millions of fossils, representing hundreds and even thousands of different species of plant and/or animal life. The result is a bewildering maze of mixed-up or missing strata, each with fossil prints from a wide variety of ancient plants and animals that we can find in still other rock strata.
Yet, amid all this confusion, evolutionists tell us that fossil dating is of extreme importance. That is very true, for without it the evolutionist scientist would have no way to try to theorize "earlier ages" on the earth. Fossil dating is crucial to their entire theoretical house of cards.
But if rocks cannot be dated by most of the fossils they contain,—how are the rocks dated?
ROCKS ARE DATED BY INDEX FOSSILS—(*#5/6 Index Fossils*) The strata are dated by what the evolutionists call "index fossils." In each stratum there are a few fossils which are not observed quite as often in the other strata. As a pretext, these are the fossils which are used to "date" that stratum and all the other fossils within it!
It may sound ridiculous, but that is the way it is done. What are these magical fossils that have the power to tell men finding them the DATE—so many millions of years ago—when they lived? These special "index" fossils are generally small marine invertebrates— backboneless sea animals that could not climb to higher ground when the Flood came! Their presence in a sedimentary stratum is supposed to provide absolutely certain proof that the stratum is just so many millions of years "younger" or millions of years "older" than other strata!
But then, just as oddly, the magic disappears when the index fossil is found alive:
"Most of the species of maidenhair are extinct; indeed they served as index fossils for their strata until one was found alive." "The youngest fossil coelacanth is about sixty million years old. Since one was rediscovered off Madagascar, they are no longer claimed as ‘index fossils’—fossils which tell you that all other fossils in that layer are the same ripe old age."—Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), pp. 186, 198.
In reality, within each stratum is to be found an utter confusion of thousands of different types of plants and/or animals. The evolutionists maintain that if just one of a certain type of creature (an "index fossil") is found anywhere in that stratum, it must automatically be given a certain name,—and more: a certain date millions of years ago when all the creatures in that stratum are supposed to have lived. Yet, just by examining that particular index fossil, there is no way to tell that it lived just so many millions of years ago! It is all part of a marvelous theory, which is actually nothing more than a grand evolutionary hoax. Experienced scientists denounce it as untrue.
Any rock containing fossils of one type of trilobite (Paradoxides) is called a "Cambrian" rock, thus supposedly dating all the creatures in that rock to a time period 600 million years in the past. But rocks containing another type of trilobite (Bathyurus) are arbitrarily classified as "Ordovician," which is claimed to have spanned 45 million years and begun 480 million years ago.
—But how can anyone come up with such ancient dates simply by examining two different varieties of trilobite? The truth is that it cannot be done. It is science fiction to even pretend to do so.
Add to this the problem of mixed-up index fossils—when "index fossils" from different levels are found together! That is a problem which paleontologists do not publicly discuss. As we analyze one aspect after another of evolution (stellar, geologic, biologic, genetic, etc.), we find it all to be little more than a carefully contrived science fiction storybook.
FOSSILS ARE DATED BY A THEORY—But now comes the catch: How can evolutionist geologists know what dates to apply to those index fossils? The answer to this question is a theory! Here is how they do it:
Darwinists theorize which animals came first—and when they appeared on the scene. And then they date the rocks according to their theory—not according to the wide mixture of fossil creatures in it—but by assigning dates—based on their theory—to certain "index" fossils.
—That is a gigantic, circular-reasoning hoax!
"Fossils provide the only historical, documentary evidence that life has evolved from simpler to more and more complex forms."—*Carl O. Dunbar, Historical Geology, 2nd edition (1960), p. 47.
The conclusions about which fossils came first are based on the assumptions of evolution. Rock strata are studied, a few index fossils are located (when they can be found at all), and each stratum is then given a name. Since the strata are above, below, and in-between one another, with most of the strata missing in any one location,—just how can the theorists possibly "date" each stratum? They do it by applying evolutionary speculation to what they imagine those dates should be.
This type of activity classifies as interesting fiction, but it surely should not be regarded as science. The truth is this: It was the evolutionary theory that was used to date the fossils; it was not the strata and it was not "index fossils."
"Vertebrate paleontologists have relied upon ‘stage of evolution’ as the criterion for determining the chronologic relationships of faunas. Before establishment of physical dates, evolutionary progression was the best method for dating fossiliferous strata."—*J.F. Evernden, *O.E. Savage, *G.H. Curtis, and *G.T. James, "K/A Dates and the Cenozoic Mammalian Chronology of North America," in American Journal of Science, February 1964, p. 166.
"Fossiliferous strata" means fossil-bearing strata. Keep in mind that only the sedimentary rocks have fossils, for they were the sediments laid down at the time of the Flood, which hardened under pressure and dried into rock. You will find no fossils in granite, basalt, etc.
"The dating of each stratum—and all the fossils in it—is supposedly based on index fossils, when it is actually based on evolutionary speculations, and nothing more.
"The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone."—Randy Wysong, The Creation-Evolution Controversy (1976), p. 31.
The "index fossils" are dated by the theory. Amid all the confusion of mixed up and missing strata, there would be no possible way to "date" rocks—or fossils—by the catastrophic conditions found in sedimentary strata. It is all utter confusion. So the evolutionists apply a theory to the strata.
They decided that certain water worms in one stratum are 80,000 years older than certain water worms in another stratum,—and then they date all the other fossils in those same strata accordingly! (That is a little foolish, is it not? How can you date a water worm as being so many hundred million years ago?)
"Because of the sterility of its concepts, historical geology, which includes paleontology [the study of fossils] and stratigraphy [the study of rock strata], has become static and unreproductive. Current methods of delimiting intervals of time, which are the fundamental units of historical geology, and of establishing chronology are of dubious validity. Worse than that, the criteria of correlation—the attempt to equate in time, or synchronize, the geological history of one area with that of another—are logically vulnerable. The findings of historical geology are suspect because the principles upon which they are based are either inadequate, in which case they should be reformulated, or false, in which case they should be discarded. Most of us [geologists] refuse to discard or reformulate, and the result is the present deplorable state of our discipline."—*Robin S. Allen, "Geological Correlation and Paleoecology," Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, January 1984, p. 2.
Big names and big numbers have been assigned to various strata, thus imparting an air of scientific authority to them. Common people, lacking expertise in the nomenclature of paleontology, when faced with these lists of big words tend to give up. It all looks too awesome to be understood, much less challenged. But the big words and big numbers just cover over an empty theory which lacks substantial evidence to support it.
CIRCULAR REASONING—(*#6/10 Circular Reasoning*) When we examine it, we find that the strata-dating theory is based on circular reasoning.
"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 evolutionary 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."
Evolutionists (1) use their theory of rock strata to date the fossils, (2) and then use their theory of fossils to date the rock strata!
A number of scientists have commented on this problem of circularity.
"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.
"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 versus Materialism and Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, January 1976, p. 48.
"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!" BioScience, November 1978, p. 714.
The professor of paleobiology at Kansas State University wrote this:
"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," in Compass, May 1968, p. 216.
*Niles Eldredge, head of the Paleontology Department at the American Museum of Natural History, in Chicago, made this comment:
"And this poses something of a problem. If we date the rocks by their fossils, how can we then turn around and talk about patterns of evolutionary change through time in the fossil record?"—*Niles Eldredge, Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution, 1985, p. 52.
The curator of zoological collections at Oxford University wrote this:
"A circular argument arises: Interpret the fossil record in the terms of a particular theory of evolution, inspect the interpretation, and note that it confirms the theory. Well, it would, wouldn’t it?"—*Tom Kemp, "A Fresh Look at the Fossil Record," New Scientist 108, December 5, 1985, p. 66.
A DOUBLE CIRCLE—Circular reasoning is the basis, not only of the fossil theory,—but of the whole theory of evolution!
First, reasoning in a circle is the basis of the "evidence" that evolution has occurred in the past. (The fossils are dated by the theory of strata dating; the strata are then dated by the fossils).
Second, reasoning in a circle is the basis of the "mechanism" by which evolution is supposed to have occurred any time. (The survivors survive. The fittest survive because they are fittest,—yet, according to that, all they do is survive! not evolve into something better!) (See chapter 9, Natural Selection).
Throughout this book, we shall find many other examples of strange logic on the part of the evolutionists: (1) Matter had to come from something; therefore it somehow came from nothing (chapter 2, The Big Bang and Stellar Evolution). (2) Living creatures had to come from something, therefore they somehow came from dirt that is not alive (chapter 7, The Primitive Environment).
By the use of circular reasoning, evolutionary theory attempts to separate itself from the laws of nature! Limiting factors of chemical, biological, and physical law forbid matter or living creatures from originating or evolving.
Actually, the entire theory of evolution is based on one vast circularity in reasoning! Because they accept the theory, evolutionists accept all the foolish ideas which attempt to prove it.
"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 nonrepeatability 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.
FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS—As we study the fossil record, we come upon a variety of very serious problems which undermine the strata/fossil theory. Three of the most important are these: (1) At the very bottom of all the strata (the geologic column) is the Cambrian strata, which is filled with complex, multi-celled life. This is termed the "Cambrian explosion" of sudden life forms all at once. (2) There are no transitional species throughout the column. This problem is also called fossil gaps or missing links. (3) Mixed-up and out-of-order strata are regularly found. Singly or together, they destroy the evolutionary argument from the rock strata. But there are many more problems.
SIMPLEST JUST AS COMPLEX—Because the waters of the Flood first covered the creatures which were not able to rapidly escape to higher ground, some of the "simplest animals" are found in the lowest of the sedimentary strata. Yet those creatures have complicated internal structures.
One of the most common creatures found in the lowest—the Cambrian—strata, are the trilobites. These were small swimming creatures belonging to the same group as the insects (the arthropods). Yet careful study reveals that they had extremely complex eyes. The mathematics needed to work out the lens structure of these little creatures is so complicated, that it was not developed until the middle of the last century!
Here is how an expert describes it. *Norman Macbeth, in a speech at Harvard University in 1983, said this:
"I have dealt with biologists over the last twenty years now. I have found that, in a way, they are hampered by having too much education. They have been steeped from their childhood in the Darwinian views, and, as a result, it has taken possession of their minds to such an extent that they are almost unable to see many facts that are not in harmony with Darwinism. These facts simply aren’t there for them often, and other ones are sort of suppressed or distorted. I’ll give you some examples.
"First, and perhaps most important, is the first appearance of fossils. This occurs at a time called the ‘Cambrian,’ 600 million years ago by the fossil reckoning. The fossils appear at that time [in the Cambrian] in a pretty highly developed form. They don’t start very low and evolve bit by bit over long periods of time. In the lowest fossil-bearing strata of all [the Cambrian, they are already there, and are pretty complicated in more-or-less modern form.
"One example of this is the little animal called the trilobite. There are a great many fossils of the trilobite right there at the beginning with no buildup to it [no evolution of life forms leading to it]. And, if you examine them closely, you will find that they are not simple animals. They are small, but they have an eye that has been discussed a great deal in recent years—an eye that is simply incredible.
"It is made up of dozens of little tubes which are all at slightly different angles so that it covers the entire field of vision, with a different tube pointing at each spot on the horizon. But these tubes are all more complicated than that, by far. They have a lens on them that is optically arranged in a very complicated way, and it is bound into another layer that has to be just exactly right for them to see anything . . But the more complicated it is, the less likely it is simply to have grown up out of nothing.
"And this situation has troubled everybody from the beginning—to have everything at the very opening of the drama. The curtain goes up [life forms first appear in the Cambrian strata] and you have the players on the stage already, entirely in modern costumes."—*Norman Macbeth, Speech at Harvard University, September 24, 1983, quoted in L.D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma (1988), p. 150.
Remember, we are here discussing one of the most common creatures at the very bottom of the fossil strata. Science News declared that the trilobite had "the most sophisticated eye lenses ever produced by nature." (*Science News 105, February 2, 1974, p. 72). Each eye of the trilobite had two lenses! Here is what one of the world’s leading trilobite researchers wrote:
"In fact, this optical doublet is a device so typically associated with human invention that its discovery in trilobites comes as something of a shock. The realization that trilobites developed and used such devices half a billion years ago makes the shock even greater. And a final discovery—that the refracting interface between the two lense elements in a trilobite’s eye was designed ["designed"] in accordance with optical constructions worked out by Descartes and Huygens in the mid-seventeenth century—borders on sheer science fiction . . The design of the trilobite’s eye lens could well qualify for a patent disclosure."—*Riccardo Levi-Setti, Trilobites, 2nd ed., University of Chicago Press, 1993, pp. 54, 57.
Extremely complicated creatures at the very beginning, with nothing leading up to them; that is the testimony of the strata. The rocks cry out; they have a message to tell us. Are we listening?
THOSE MARVELOUS TRILOBITES—There are enormous numbers of complex trilobites in the Cambrian strata, yet below the Cambrian there is hardly anything that resembles a fossil. As mentioned above, these little creatures had marvelously complicated eyes. But they also had other very advanced features: (1) Jointed legs and appendages, which indicate that they had a complex system of muscles. (2) Chitinous exoskeleton (horny substance as their outer covering), which indicates that they grew by periodic ecdysis, a very complicated process of molting. (3) Compound eyes and antennae, which indicate a complex nervous system. (4) Special respiratory organs, which indicate a blood circulation system. (5) Complex mouth parts, which indicate specialized food requirements.
(Another of the many types of creatures, found in great numbers in the Cambrian strata, are segmented marine worms. As with trilobites, we find that they also had a complex musculature, specialized food habits and requirements, blood circulatory system, and advanced nervous system.)
NOT SIMPLE TO COMPLEX—The evolutionists maintain that the fossil record goes from the simple to the complex. But researchers have discovered that the simple creatures were also complex. In fact, there are actually few examples in the fossil record of anything like "from simple to complex" progression. This is partly due to the fact that the fossils suddenly appear in great numbers and variety,—too much so for much simple-to-complex progression to be sorted out.
Included here are complex organs, such as intestines, stomachs, bristles and spines. Eyes and feelers show the presence of nervous systems. For example, consider the specialized sting cells (nematocysts) in the bodies of jellyfish, with their coiled, thread-like harpoons which are explosively triggered. How could this evolve?
Let no one say that the Cambrian level only has "simple, primitive," or "half-formed" creatures.
CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION—(*#7/52 The Cambrian and Precambrian Problem*) The lowest strata that has fossils is the Cambrian. Below that is the Precambrian which has no fossils, other than an occasional algae on its surface. Paleontologists call that amazing situation the "Cambrian explosion."
Beginning with the very lowest of the fossil strata—the Cambrian,—we find a wealth of fossil types. But each type—each species—of fossil in the Cambrian is different from the others. There is no blending between them! It requires evolving—blending across species—to produce evolution; but this never occurs today, and it never occurred earlier. Look at the fossils: In the ancient world there were only distinct species. Look at the world around you: In the modern world there are only distinct species.
There are vast numbers—billions—of fossils of thousands of different species of complex creatures in the Cambrian,—and below it is next to nothing. The vast host of transitional species leading up to the complex Cambrian species are totally missing!
EVERY MAJOR LIFE GROUP HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE CAMBRIAN—In the Cambrian we find sponges, corals, jellyfish, mollusks, trilobites, crustaceans, and, in fact, every one of the major invertebrate forms of life. In 1961, *Kai Peterson wrote:
"The invertebrate animal phyla are all represented in Cambrian deposits."—*Kai Peterson, Prehistoric Life on Earth, p. 56.
That means there, in the Cambrian fossil strata, is to be found at least one species from every phyla of backboneless animal. Only one phylum had been missing: the vertebrates.
At the time when Peterson wrote, it was believed that no vertebrates (animals with backbones) appeared until the Lower Ordovician (just above the Cambrian). But in 1977 that belief was shattered, when fully developed fish (heterostracan vertebrate fish fossils) were discovered in the Upper Cambrian strata of Wyoming. Reported in Science magazine for May 5, 1978,—this discovery placed every major animal phylum group in the Cambrian rocks! Although never discussed in school textbooks, this news came as a distinct shock to the professional world. For evolutionists, the situation continues to get worse.
With the "Cambrian Explosion" suddenly appears every major type of living thing. This fact totally devastates the basis of evolutionary theory. Plants and every type of animal have been found in the Cambrian strata. Although evolutionists prefer not to discuss it, the truth is that at least one representative of EVERY PHYLUM has been found in the Cambrian!
"Until recently, the oldest fish fossils known were from the Middle Ordovician Harding Sandstone of Colorado. These were of ‘primitive’ heterostracan fishes (Class Agnatha) which are jawless. The Vertebrates were the only major animal group not found as fossils in Cambrian rocks.
"[The 1976 discovery of heterostracan fish fossils in Cambrian is discussed in detail] . . This discovery of fishes (vertebrates) in the Cambrian is without question the most significant fossil discovery in the period 1958-1979. The evidence is now complete that all of the major categories of animal and plant life are found in the Cambrian."—Marvin L. Lubenow, "Significant Fossil Discoveries Since 1958," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, December 1980, p. 157.
Not only complex animal life, but complex plant life is represented in the Cambrian! Flowering plants are generally considered to be one of the most advanced forms of life in the plant kingdom. Spores from flowering plants have also been found in Cambrian strata.
"Spores attributed to terrestrial plants have been found in Precambrian and Cambrian rocks in the Baltic. Whether some of these are from bryophytes is uncertain."—*Robert F. Scagel, et al., Plant Diversity: an Evolutionary Approach (1969), p. 25.
During the Genesis Flood, plants would tend to have washed into higher strata, but their pollen could easily have been carried into the earliest alluvial layers: the Cambrian and even the Precambrian.
"Just as fossils of most of the other land plants have been discovered in Cambrian deposits, so it is with the flowering plants. In 1947, Ghosh and Bose reported discovering angiosperm vessels with alternate pitting and libriform fibres of higher dicotyledons from the Salt Pseudomorph Beds and the Dandot overfold, Salt Range, Punjab, India. These are Cambrian deposits. They later confirmed that further investigation confirmed their original report, and the same results were obtained from the Cambrian Vindbyan System, and the Cambrian of Kashmir—these Kashmir beds also contained several types of trilobites. The review articles of Axelrod and Leclercq acknowledge these findings."—Marvin L. Lubenow, "Significant Fossil Discoveries Since 1958," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, December 1980, p. 154.