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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Fossils and Fossil Rocks Kill Off Evolution! Part Two! essay by the author in 2006
Because this is an article I wrote in 2006 I am not using my normal font coloring.  It is a good introduction to the now-falsified concept of Uniformitarianism, which does not hold water (pun) any longer and yet is the basis for dating sedimentary layers by Darwinists ANYWAY!
Some people...

A precept of evolutionary teaching has been Uniformitarianism. Basically, that the rock formations found layered around the globe are the result of the debris of long ages of the earth, millions of years. Three layers of rock could have taken 180 million years to be deposited. Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875), at first a lawyer without a scientific degree, popularized the Uniformitarian concept proposed by George Cuvier.

Creationists agree with the Bible, that there was a world-wide catastrophic flood and that flood is responsible for the rock layering we see today. Genesis 7:4 (NIV) "Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made." Alan V. Jopling, Dept. of Geology, Harvard; "it is reasonable to postulate a very rapid rate of deposition; that is a single lamina would probably be deposited in a period of seconds or minutes rather than in a period of hours. ...There is factual evidence from both field observation and experiment that laminae composed of bed material are commonly deposited by current action within a period of seconds or minutes." 

Careful studies of the sedimentary layers of the earth point to layering caused by flood. The fossil layers are generally distributed as one would expect in a flood, the bottom dwelling sea life at the bottom, the fish at another level, shore-dwellers at another layer and the largest land animals near the top. (Particularly the ones capable of recognizing danger and able to run to higher ground). Although Uniformitarianism calls for gradual layering, in the real world there are consistently sharp and obvious contrasts between layers. This would be the expected result with layering that would result from a worldwide flood.

One trouble with this Uniformitarianism concept is that the rock layers worldwide do not conform to the idea. Layers thought more ancient are consistently found above those expected to be more recent. Darwinists blithely explain that entire mountains were somehow turned upside down and/or transported 30-3,000 (!) miles or more in order to try to explain disorder in the rock layers. Also in nature you sometimes see mixed layers (like younger, older and then younger) or skipped layers (somehow going from 120 million years old to 280 million years old with no middle layers.) 

Evolutionists have a great deal of trouble explaining bent and twisted rock formations such as these. It is obvious that this rock must have been convoluted while it was not yet entirely hardened. Now how do millions of years of nice, hard rock get folded like this without snapping? We aren't just talking small areas of rock, either!

Provided and copyright by: Russell Agostaro, Newburgh Enlarged City School District

Genesis 7:17-24 (NIV) "For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days."

Polystrate fossils are another overwhelming problem to evolutionists. These are fossils that extend through two or more sedimentary layers of rock. Fossilized trees extending through layers of coal were common discoveries for coal miners of the 19th and 20th centuries. N.A Rupke, the geologist who coined the polystrate term, collected descriptions and pictures of hundred of such fossils around the world. In one case, Rupke produced a photograph of "a lofty trunk, exposed in a sandstone quarry near Edinburgh [Scotland], which measured no less than 25 meters and, intersecting 10 or 12 different strata, leaned at an angle of about 40 [degrees]". Polystrate fossils, not limited to trees but also animal fossils, are found in abundance in the real world. Megabreccias, giant boulders surrounded by many layers of strata, are another common occurrence. Evolutionists suggest that in those particular cases the surrounding accumulation must have happened quickly. That is exactly what Creationists would say, however, crediting the Noahic flood described in the Bible as the source for the worldwide layers of fossil-bearing sediment. 

Certainly the specific gravity of some of the remains comes into play in the deposits and there are fossils in which animals are “caught” in an onslaught while eating another animal or giving birth! The sedimentary layers often exhibit ripples or signs of “turbidity current deposits” or sediments resulting from flood conditions. The layers are usually quite defined, with no signs of wear between them.

In short, what is found in the real world does not agree with what is taught in the classroom. Uniformitarianism is a fantasy when less than 1% of the rock formations found world-wide agree with the geological column that is taught in school.

Sean Pittman's Fossil series continues:

Oriented Dinosaur Bones

As far as the fossilized bones of large animals, such as the dinosaurs and large mammals, they are also generally oriented in the same direction for any given layer, and this is true the world over.  Did these animals position themselves in the same direction as they died?  This does not really sound too likely.   Even the legs and tails of these animals are oriented in the same direction for a given sedimentary layer.  How does this happen?  If you think this is strange, consider also that huge masses of large bones are found matted together in places like Bighorn Wyoming.  Did these animals choose to die in the same location and in the same general orientation? Some have argued that the bones from Bighorn, Wyoming (pictured to the right) are not really oriented since they obviously pictured as pointing in different directions. However, water flow orients long thin objects in two ways - perpendicular and parallel relative to the flow of the water.  There are many places where literally thousands of fossilized skeletons can be found all mixed up together in mass burial.  In many of these places the bones are severely damaged, fractured, and mangled - yet oriented.  It is all quite interesting as well as very difficult for today's popular scientist to easily explain, if at all, without using a catastrophic flood model.1  

Consider also the Jurassic Morrison Formation (famous for its dinosaur fossils). It covers over 1,000,000 square kilometers - being spread from Canada to Texas.  It has been suggested that it was distributed by widespread flowing water. The fossils found within it, millions upon millions of them, are generally oriented with respect to flow - confirmed by GPS mapping (Arthur Chadwick). However, ancient channels of major rivers that would help distribute the sediments over such a wide area have not been found. Jack Horner noted the same thing, orientation with respect to flow, in the Montana deposits containing tens of thousands of dinosaurs.58  (Back to Top)

The Exquisite Preservation of Large Fossils

The bodies of some very large fossils, such as dinosaurs or whales are occasionally very well preserved. Of course, the geologic layers that contain their fossilized remains are supposed to represent thousands or even millions of years of Earth's history.  However, the bodies of these large creatures take up a fair percentage of the thickness of some of these layers.  This might just pose a bit of a problem for the standard way of interpreting these fossils and the layers of sediment in which they are found.  Obviously, If sedimentation slowly buried them over the course of very long periods of time, their bodies would not have survived. For fossilization to occur, burial or some other form of preservation must be fairly rapid in order to protect the remains from significant scavenging and/or decay.  

With this in mind, it seems like the entire layer that such fossils are found in could not possibly have been formed over vast periods of time.  Rather, it seems like such fossils speak of a relatively sudden burial event or events, or some sort of rapid process of fossilization without burial - sometimes on massively catastrophic proportions covering hundreds of thousands or even millions of square kilometers.  The very high degree of preservation of fine details of some of these fossils give evidence of a rather sudden burial or preservation process, and not of a natural death with slow burial or preservation giving time for decay.  Many fossils show evidence of surprise or being startled, such as elevated dorsal fin spines or tightly close clams, or a brief struggle before death - like they were suddenly buried or rapidly preserved by other processes (like sudden crystallization) extremely quickly.  Some fossils are found with food still in the mouth of the victim (in mid chew).  Others have been found suddenly frozen in the process of giving birth and others have been found with fine soft tissue detail down to the cellular level (still turgid gills of fish preserved in the Santana Formation - indicating complete fossilization in less than 1 hour).

It is my personal opinion that such fossil evidence favors a catastrophic interpretation for much of the geologic column.  Interestingly, this notion isn't as "fringe" as it used to be just a few decades ago. Mainstream scientists are starting to lean more and more toward catastrophism. This is quite interesting because, for a very long time, mainstream scientists where "uniformitarian" in their thinking.  

"From around 1850 to 1980, most geologists endorsed uniformitarianism ("The present is the key to the past") and gradualism (geologic change occurs slowly over long periods of time) and rejected the idea that cataclysmic events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions played any significant role in the formation of the Earth's surface. In part, the geologists' rejection was fostered by their impression that the catastrophists of the nineteenth century believed that God was directly involved in determining the history of Earth. Catastrophism of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was closely tied to religion and catastrophic origins were considered miraculous rather than natural events."79

The uniformitarian notion of slow deposition over millions of years of time is no longer accepted by scientists.  It is now believed that various catastrophes, large and small and sometimes worldwide, played a key role in the Earth's history and are recorded in the geologic column. In this regard, consider the following comments from David, M. Raup of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History:

"A great deal has changed, however, and contemporary geologists and paleontologists now generally accept catastrophe as a 'way of life' although they may avoid the word catastrophe... The periods of relative quiet contribute only a small part of the record. The days are almost gone when a geologist looks at such a sequence, measures its thickness, estimates the total amount of elapsed time, and then divides one by the other to compute the rate of deposition in centimeters per thousand years. The nineteenth century idea of uniformitarianism and gradualism still exist in popular treatments of geology, in some museum exhibits, and in lower level can hardly blame the creationists for having the idea that the conventional wisdom in geology is still a noncatastrophic one."80

Also, consider the following comments by Robert H. Dott given during a Presidential Address To Society of Economic Paleontologists & Mineralogists:

"I hope I have convinced you that the sedimentary record is largely a record of episodic events rather than being uniformly continuous. My message is that episodicity is the rule, not the exception. . . We need to shed those lingering subconscious constraints of old uniformitarian thinking."81

It seems then that catastrophism is only recently being accepted by more mainstream scientists.  It seems also that significant portions of many different sedimentary layers within the geologic column are now thought, even by popular science, to have been the result of rather sudden catastrophic deposition - with the bulk of time passing in between these episodes of catastrophe. Although the notion that the geologic column might not actually representmillions of years of time is far from mainstream, mainstream thinking is actually drifting back toward a position that can actually begin to consider that catastrophes and episodicity are "the rule, not the exception." This notion is something fairly new in mainstream thinking. Even today there is strong resistance of any notion that comes to close to suggesting catastrophes of "Biblical proportions" - perhaps due to the engrained bias against literal Biblical interpretations that suggest such things as a worldwide flood.  Consider the story of J Harlen Bretz as a fascinating example of this sort of resistance. 

In this line, the fairly recent discoveries of fossil whales (Miocene/Pliocene) in western Peru are quite interesting. Leonard Brand (Ph.D. in Paleobiology from Cornell) comments, "In our survey of the area, we found the fossil remains of more than 100 whales in an area of less than two square kilometers. What was even more exciting was the well-preserved nature of the fossil remains. . .  Typically, when a whale dies at sea, the carcass falls to the bottom and becomes the source of a rich ecosystem. Many species of sea life benefit from the decaying remains at each stage of the process. Within four to six months, the whale carcass has been mostly stripped down to the bones. At that point, other species of organisms burrow both into the bones and the surrounding sediment. Within a year or two, the whale bones show much evidence of these burrowing animals."52 

So, how did the whales in western Peru meet their end? "These whales were incredibly well-preserved," Brand observes, "suggesting that they were covered quickly." Brand found that the whale remains were blanketed by a thick layer of diatomite (silica remains of diatoms). These tiny creatures, known collectively as plankton together with dinoflagellates, are part of the food source for whales. In modern times, diatomite normally accumulates on the sea bottom at a rate of a few centimeters per thousand years. "We also found beautifully preserved baleen," he adds. Baleen refers to the filtering feather-like structures in the whale's mouth that are used to strain out food (plankton) from the water. "Whales feed by gulping in water and forcing it out through the baleen, trapping the tiny plankton." Baleen is actually more akin to the human fingernail or toenail in its structure. "The well-preserved baleen supports the theory of a quick burial to an even greater extent".52 

But why did the whales die in the first place? "There is more and more evidence that red tides--blooms of diatoms and dinoflagellates--produce toxins which can kill large animals and fish," he says.52 These massive blooms were so large that they not only killed the whales, but buried them in thick layers before any significant decay could set in.

Another very startling finding that demonstrates the sudden/catastrophic burial of very large creatures is a 1971 finding in Southern Mongolia of a perfectly articulated Protoceratops and a Velociraptor frozen in a life and death struggle with each other.  Obviously these two creatures were buried suddenly by a huge catastrophe of magnificent proportions.  The dinosaurs didn't even have time to fall over. 51

Many dolphin-like ichthyosaur fossils also show evidence of rapid burial - such as those found clustered together at places like the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada.  Some ichthyosaurs that show evidence of rapid burial are buried with certain other ichthyosaurs that show evidence of rather brief exposure and/or scavenging in the same region.  Isn't it strange that creatures showing evidence of some exposure are buried closely with others that show evidence of very rapid burial?  According to scientists studying these fossils, "It is not yet certain how these large creatures died and were buried together in such a small area."  Also, at least in the Nevada location, "the skeletons are generally oriented along a north-south axis, suggesting that currents or tides played some part in deciding their final resting place."

Other evidences of rapid ichthyosaur burial include some specimens that were suddenly buried in the middle of giving birth!  A number of these partial birth fossils have been found in Germany showing baby ichthyosaurs frozen half way out of their mother's birth canals (see figure below).

Consider also the large size of adult ichthyosaurs.  In order to preserve such large specimens, in such well-preserved condition, fairly rapid burial is required. These are all indications of some sort of sudden event that resulted in the relatively simultaneous deaths of many ichthyosaurs as well as their relatively rapid burial.  

Some prolonged exposure of such large creatures as ichthyosaurs is only to be expected, but the fact that their fossil remains were preserved in an articulated fashion, often with evidence of soft tissue detail, speaks in favor of a fairly rapid burial process with little chance for significant decay and/or scavenging.   Also, many creatures may die at the same time and then be buried rapidly at slightly different times by repeated waves of sediment deposition.53 (Back to Top)

Peru's Fossil Whales Challenge Radiometric Dating Assumptions


        In 1999 Dr. Raul Esperante teamed up with Dr. Leonard Brand and others to investigate fossil whales within the Pisco Formation of Peru's Atacama Desert.  This formation is approximately 600 meters thick and consists of many layers of sedimentary rock.  It is bounded by two layers of volcanic ash with the lower ash layer dating 12 million years older than the upper ash layer (dated by potassium-argon; K/Ar).  This means that, in standard geological thinking, the 600 meters of sedimentary rock between the ash layers must have been deposited over the course of some 12 million years of time (~20,000 years per meter).  Yet, within essentially all of these layers are hundreds of very well preserved fossil whales.  In fact, many of them are so well preserved that their baleen is still intact and attached in the usual position that baleen is attached in living whales.  Usually baleen detaches within a few days (or even hours) after death.  Some of the fossilized whales and dolphins also have preserved remains of skin outlines around the fossilized bones.  The skeletons themselves are generally well articulated and show no evidence of scavenging or significant decay. 

        There are several problems that these fossil whales pose for mainstream assumptions regarding radiometric dating since these features are more consistent with a catastrophic/rapid formation of all of the fossil-bearing layers within a much much shorter period of time than radiometric dating suggests:
  • The fossil whales must have died and been completely buried by diatomaceous sediment within a very short time of death (no scavenging, decay, significant disarticulation, or loss of baleen).
  • The layers are very smooth without significant erosion or unevenness to suggest the passage of time between layers.
  • There is no significant bioturbation (very few tunnels or evidence of trace fossils or digging within the sedimentary layers) that would be expected given long periods of time between the formation of subsequent layers.
  • There are finely preserved shards of volcanic glass within all of the layers that have very sharp edges without the usual rounding that would be expected (due to the relatively rapid ability of water to dissolve silica) if long periods of time took place during the build up of these sedimentary layers.
  • These layers were deposited in shallow seas with evidence of flowing currents, which works against the potential counter-hypothesis that these layers were formed under anoxic conditions.
Would there be ANY scientists in the world today who believed in Darwinism if we knew in the 19th Century what we know now?  Bueller?  I must admit I am astounded in the large numbers of scientists, academics and others who believe in Darwinism for the sake of their Humanist worldview when the evidence doesn't even come close to supporting it!  How do they look in the mirror in the morning?   The entire hypothesis looks so ridiculous now.