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Students ask: “Does the fossil record support evolution or creation?” – Caleb LePore

Horseshoe Crabs. Photo by David Rives.

Everybody loves fossils. In my experience, fossils are one of the best ways to captivate an audience. Unfortunately, fossils are almost always presented within the context of evolutionary ‘history.’ In fact, California public-school students in 7th and 10th grade are taught that fossils are a major ‘evidence’ for molecules-to-man evolution.

Such claims are somewhat puzzling however, because, as the 7th grade Focus on Life Science textbook, states, “If gradualism [evolution over long periods] is correct, the fossil record should include intermediate forms between a fossil organism and its descendants. However, there are often long periods in which fossils show little or no change. Then quite suddenly, fossils appear that are very different.”1

As was highlighted in our last blog post, transitional forms are virtually absent from the fossil record, with only a few highly-disputed candidates uncovered in the 150 years since Darwin predicted them. As a result, scientists have been forced to accept one of three positions, 1) evolution did not occur,2 2) fossilization is rare, so perhaps these ‘transitional forms’ were just not fossilized,3 or 3) evolution happened in quick spurts, so that no record of change is preserved in the fossils.4

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The obvious problem with positions 2 and 3 is that they are driven by a lack of evidence. They assume that evolution is true in spite of the facts. Although fossilization is uncommon, fossils are not. A large percentage of living animals have counterparts in the fossil record,5 some of which are so similar to their fossil relatives that they are termed ‘living fossils.’

Recently-sighted ‘crusty’ type of nautilus. Nautilus fossils are found in some of the supposedly ‘oldest’ rock layers, appearing essentially the same as their modern relatives; a classic example of a ‘living fossil.’ Image source: Smithsonian.com.

Examples of ‘living fossils’ include dragonflies, horseshoe crabs, coelacanths (fish), crocodiles, tortoises, chambered nautilus, and many others.6 Living fossils are found in every part of the geologic column, a puzzle to evolutionists who maintain that evolution occurred over millions of years as a result of slow, gradual change.

In fact, the only real change observed in the fossil record is variation. For example, although paleontologists observe incredible variety in size, shape and design patterns of fossil ammonites, they are all easily recognizable as ammonites; we do not find ammonites evolving into anything other than an ammonite.

Molecules-to-man evolution is not supported by the fossil record. Instead, evolution is merely a paradigm that is imposed on the fossil record, and from which evolutionary interpretations are derived. When this paradigm is removed, however, it becomes clear that the fossil record supports that each kind of animal and plant was created separately with potential for limited variety; exactly what the Bible teaches: “And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:25)

 

References:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 240. Print.
2Many former-Darwinists, including members of the creation science and Intelligent Design movements, have been led to this conclusion.
3The position taken by Charles Darwin himself and those who favor a gradual account of evolution.
4A view of evolution known as punctuated equilibria, which was promoted by Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould.
5Werner, Carl, and Debbie Werner. Evolution: The Grand Experiment: The Quest for an Answer. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf, 2014. 86. Print.
6Werner, Carl, and Debbie Werner. Living Fossils: Evolution: The Grand Experiment Vol. 2. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf, 2009. Print.

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Written by Caleb LePore

Caleb LePore serves as Research Associate for Genesis Apologetics in Northern California. A former public school student, he understands the conflict between what students learn in Sunday school and science class about the origin and history of the universe. Thankfully, God opened his eyes to the truth of biblical creation and has given him the opportunity to reach hundreds of people with the creation/Creator message through his speaking and writing. He is a homeschool graduate, and an Eagle Scout. http://genesisapologetics.com

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