By Editorial Staff
Published December 22, 2007
The geologic layers of rocks and fossils they hold pose a perplexing problem to the evolutionist. Many books have been written in an attempt to address the problem of a lack of solid evidence for total organic evolution found in the geologic column. When you compare the findings of these scientists to what is being taught in the classroom, you may be surprised to find that many professors and textbook authors fail to discuss this problem at all.
An interesting part of the story about the geologic layers is how the term “geologic column” originated. Did you know that there isn’t one place in the whole world where you can see this column? But virtually all textbooks in geological science show you this column from the bottom to the top without explanation that it is an imagined ordering of the rock strata.
One of the deepest surface exposures to the geologic rock layers is found in the Grand Canyon. This break in the earth’s crust exposes more layers than any other place in the world; yet, less than half of the geologic systems are included! There are major gaps in the “ideal” or imagined geologic column sequence that is pictured in textbooks. If we are to understand the geologic column better, we must keep this fact of science in mind.
Index Fossils and Circular Reasoning
There are twelve major layers that form what is called the standard geologic column. Each of these layers is identified by the fossils that are found in it. But, strangely enough, most often the fossils are dated by the strata in which they are found. Can you see the faulty logic in that approach? Let us read what some evolutionary geologists say. Dr. J. E. O’Rourke, writes about this in “Pragmatism Versus Materialism in Stratigraphy,” for the American Journal of Science. (1976)
“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.”
This is amazing! Fossils are used to date the rocks and the rocks date the fossils. What can be the value of such a chronology? Professor of geology, D. Ager, writes about his disappointment when physicists say that strata are dated radiometrically. He said that he could think of no cases where radiative decay methods are used to date fossils. (Ager, 1983)
This dating process for layers and fossils is called the index fossil system. For example, if a rock layer contains mostly fossils of sea animals called trilobites and lampshells, then these layers are part of the Cambrian system. Using this system, the different layers of the strata can be given a label and with this label comes a length of time that the index fossils is assumed to have evolved.
What Do Fossils Really Tell Us?
The Cambrian and the Pre-Cambrian fossils have always brought on a storm of criticism. Axelrod (1958), a paleontologist, said:
“One of the major unsolved problems of geology and evolution is the occurrence of diversified, multi-celled marine invertebrates in the lower Cambrian rocks on the continents and their absence in rocks of greater age.”
Addressing the absence of fossils in rocks of greater age, he went on to say:
“However when we turn to examine the Pre-Cambrian rocks for forerunners of these early Cambrian fossils, they are nowhere to be found. Many thick (over 5,000 feet) sections of sedimentary rock are now known to lie in unbroken succession below strata containing the earliest Cambrian fossils. These sediments apparently were suitable for the preservation of fossils because they are often identical with overlying rocks which are fossiliferous, yet no fossils are found in them.”
This evolutionary paleontologist was willing to ask some hard questions about transitional forms showing how one organism turned into another. Ager, an evolutionary geologist who was quoted earlier, seems to think this is a problem all the way through the fossil record. He predicted that no matter where we searched we would find “not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.”
This is what the creationist model predicts. Creationists are saying that if instantaneous creation took place then we should see evidence of complex, fully developed organisms in the geologic layers as a record of this explosion of life. Many scientists say that a “falsifying test” for creation and evolution lies in the fossils themselves. The fossil record as well as living organisms show no transitional forms. Does this falsify the evolutionist of the creationist claims?
The Punctuated Equilibrium Theory
Knowing about significant gaps in the fossil record, evolutionists have come up with an explanation called “punctuated equilibrium.”
Professors Stephen Gould and Niles Eldredge (1980) introduced a hypothesis which they feel could explain gaps in the fossil record. Certain species appear in the fossil record fully formed and persist for a long time; they then disappear from the record looking very much as they did in the beginning. Later, other species appear in the fossil record fully formed. The change to a different species occurred suddenly. These fossils, they say, are the offspring of the ones that had disappeared. In other words, evolution had been going on all the time, but the evidence can’t be observed. (Stanley, 1979; 1981)
Assumptions are not facts of science. The gaps are there and there is no scientific principle that will help to bridge them. Creationists point out that everything we know about the genetic mechanisms excludes this idea from rational scientific thought.
Jellyfish and Fish
What is the evidence from the fossils for the origin of invertebrates (animals without backbones) and vertebrates (animals with backbones)? Evolutionists say that vertebrates evolved over 100 million years from invertebrates. This, of course, is a major jump, outside known biological processes, and one that brings strong counter arguments from the creationists. Could an organism such as a jelly fish evolve into a bony fish? The evolutionary hypothesis from this idea is somewhat complex. Evolutionists claim that the transition from invertebrate to vertebrate passed through a simple chordate (animals with a soft spine or notochord) state.
“How this earliest chordate stock evolved, what stages of development it went through to eventually give rise to truly fish-like creatures, we do not know. Between the Cambrian, when it probably originated, and the Ordovician, when the fish fossils of animals with really fish-like characteristics appeared, there is a gap of perhaps 100 million years which we will probably never be able to fill.” (Ommaney 964)
It seems that even the well-known advocate and teacher of evolution, Dr. A.S. Romer, believes that all of the major fish classes are clearly and distinctly set apart from one another. There are no transitional forms. He said:
“In sediments of the late Silurian and early Devonian age, numerous fish-like vertebrates of varied types are present, and it is obvious that a long evolutionary history and taken place before that time. But of that history we are mainly ignorant.” (Romer, 1966)
The conclusion – Not one single transitional form between invertebrates and fish has ever been found!
A Fish Story
According to the evolutionary scenario the fish gave rise to the amphibia (frogs, salamanders). As Carl Sagan suggested in his Cosmos television series, during a drought in the Devonion, when the swamps were drying up, some fish would have found it very convenient to have evolved feet and legs for walking overland (Sagan, 1980). This idea is that a lobe-finned fish (crossopterygian) was supposed to have evolved into an amphibian (ichthyostegid) about 500 million years ago.
Do we have any evidence of fossils that indicate such a transition between fish and amphibians? No! Not one fossil has ever been found showing part fins and part feet. The ichthyostegid amphibian had your basic amphibian limbs. When Dr. Colin Pattersen, an Associate at the British Museum of Natural History, and author of the test Evolution, was asked whether he thought the crossopterygian was the ancestor of the ichthyostegid, he answered, “I have questions about that … It is futile to be looking for answers to questions which we have no way of answering.” (Sunderland, 1988)
Again there is no fossil evidence. The following are just a few of the serious flaws in the fish-to-amphibian theory:
1. The bone pattern in the lobe-finned fish appears abruptly and complete in the fossil evidence. No fossils connect this bone pattern to the fins of the other fish.
2. There is no elbow joint in the fin. No fossils of fish with jointed fins have been found.
3. The pelvic (hip) bone of the fish is small. This bone is loosely attached to muscle and does not connect to the back bone.
4. Other orders of amphibians appear in the same geologic layers.
5. The “living fossil” lobe-finned fish, coelacanth, is adapted for life in the deep sea, and does not use its fins for walking.
As we have seen, the data suggests abrupt, sudden appearance of fully developed, complex organisms. Only imagination in the realm of science fiction can create evolutionary scenarios from the fossil data.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Science
Your comments are welcome!
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)