Some scientists believe that camels originated in North America around 20 million years ago and migrated from there. Paleoecologist Guy Robinson, a professor at Fordham University, told ABC World News, "The original camel was North American. And it gave rise to all the camels you find throughout the world."1
According to this theory, some of these camel-kinds migrated to South America to become llamas. Other clans migrated across the then-existing Bering land bridge into Asia 13 million years ago and developed into the familiar dromedary camels of the Middle East. The ABC news story declared that "the fossil record, from over 20 million years ago, shows that every camel came exclusively from |North America|."1
However, what the fossil record really shows are…fossilized camels. The reported migratory patterns and dates do not come from the fossil record, but from a set of assumptions that are used as a framework to interpret the data. Robinson is quoted on the Fordham University website as saying, "I don't deal with direct evidence, but with proxy evidence. If you find a kill site, it just tells you that this particular animal was killed, but that doesn't necessarily lead to extinction. Indirect evidence can show a profound change in the population.…Science is detective work."2
Robinson's final statement is true of forensics, geology, or paleoecology, but not all science is detective work. Empirical science relies on fewer interpretive concepts and is more strictly based on observation of repeatable phenomena. Origin science, on the other hand, does involve detective work. Since history is not repeatable, a good detective ought to avail himself of the most reliable historical framework. Unfortunately, many scientists automatically use the unproven concepts of billions of years and evolution in their interpretations instead of, and in contrast to, the plainly understood history given in the Bible.
Probably two individuals3 of the camel kind began their journeys across the newly sculpted surface of the post-Flood earth. They started not in North America, but in "the mountains of Ararat."4 During the post-Flood Ice Age, some of these camels evidently migrated across the Bering land bridge into the Americas, while others migrated west and south. While there may not be a fossil record of camels in Turkey,5 there is a reliable eyewitness-written record right under our noses. The question of the origin of the first camels is better understood from the Genesis account of creation than from a long line of non-existent transitional forms.
- Krulwich, R. Camels Are Original American Emigrants. ABC World News, posted online July 4, 2008, accessed July 7, 2008.
- Renner, P. Guy Robinson, Ecological Sleuth. Interview posted on Fordham University website, accessed July 7, 2008.
- Genesis 7:2
- Genesis 8:4
- The absence of camel fossils in Turkey is not an indication that camels were not there in ancient times. If, as many creation scientists believe, fossils largely resulted from Noah's Flood, then animal migrations after the Flood could not be traced through the fossil record. See "Are Fossils the Result of Noah's Flood?" (John Morris, 2004, Acts & Facts, 33 |11|). See also "Ten Misconceptions about the Geologic Column" (Steven Austin, 1984, Acts & Facts, 12 |11|).
*Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.
Article posted on July 18, 2008.