'Dinosaur Plant' Evolution Stories Conflict | The Institute for Creation Research

'Dinosaur Plant' Evolution Stories Conflict

Cycads, also called "sago palms," are cone-bearing plants with long leathery shoots that often adorn dinosaur dioramas. Though there are about 11 living cycad genera, which further divide into about 300 species, many more once existed but are now known only from fossils.1

The oldest rock layers that contain cycads are supposedly about 250 million years old. However, in a study published in Science, a group of scientists compared the similarities between cycad DNA sequences and did not find the many DNA differences that should have resulted from a quarter-billion years' worth of mutations and evolution.2

Even after applying evolutionary assumptions to make their molecular clock work, most likely including a very slow mutation rate, the researchers' results showed that almost all of today's cycads "only began diversifying 10 million years ago," the study's lead author, Nathalie Nagalingum, told LiveScience.3

So, did cycads emerge suddenly 250 million years ago, according to the evolutionary age assignment given to their first appearance as fossils, or did they suddenly diversify only 10 million years ago, according to the evolutionary age assignment given to their DNA differences? Is either story even close?

Surely this vast age discrepancy cannot be the fault of fossils or DNA, because they were the same in both studies. Instead, the assumption of vast age produces the confusion.

However, the creation model's young age explains these data with no conflicts. Rocks with dinosaur fossils also contain many fossils of animals and plants—including cycads and Wollemi pines—that are essentially the same as their living counterparts.4 They look so similar to living creatures because they were only deposited thousands of years ago after being swept up in one of a number of catastrophic watery surges associated with the year of Noah's Flood.

According to Scripture, which provides eyewitness accounts that go back to the very beginning, there is no such thing as a dinosaur age—at least, not one without people, cycads, birds, marsupials, and other "modern" creatures.5

The molecular clock-based 10-million-year-old cycad divergence described in Science may actually reflect the rapid diversification into many species of those few genera of cycads that survived the Flood and pioneered the post-Flood world only four thousand or so years ago.

Cycads are living reminders that dinosaurs and modern plants and creatures recently shared living space. And the recent cycad dating mismatch is a reminder that evolutionary dates are all based on broken clocks.6

References

  1. This pattern of greatly reduced species diversity over time is common to most living things, yet it is the opposite of evolutionary dogma, which asserts that all of today's living varieties emerged from a single kind.
  2. Nagalingum, N. S. et al. 2011. Recent Synchronous Radiation of a Living Fossil. Science. 334 (6057): 796-799.
  3. Choi, C. Q. Endangered Plants Not 'Living Fossils' After All. Live Science. Posted on livescience.com October 26, 2011, accessed October 31, 2011. 
  4. 1995. Sensational Australian tree … like 'finding a live dinosaur.' Creation. 17 (2): 13. 
  5. See Thomas, B. More Proof that Dinosaur Lived with 'Later' Creatures. ICR News. Posted on icr.org June 8, 2011, accessed November 1, 2011. 
  6. Morris, J. 2007. The Young Earth. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on November 14, 2011.

The Latest
NEWS
'Prehistoric' Paddlefish?
Evolutionists consider the freshwater paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) of the class Actinopterygii to be a prehistoric creature, a primitive bony fish “50...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Earth
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation...

ACTS & FACTS
To the End of the Earth
The book of Acts recounts the apostles’ journeys across the Roman Empire from Jerusalem and Judea “to the end of the earth,” preaching...

APOLOGETICS
Lightning, Soil Bacteria, and God’s Providence
Nitrogen is vital for human survival, yet few appreciate how lightning and soil bacteria contribute to Earth’s nitrogen cycle. That Earth’s...

ACTS & FACTS
The Bobtail Squid's Living Cloaking Device
Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) live among the sand flats and sea plants of the Hawaiian archipelago. Along with other bobtail squid, these...

ACTS & FACTS
Seeing Distant Starlight in a Young Universe
Many see distant starlight as an unanswerable objection to recent creation. Both creationist and evolutionist astronomers agree that distant galaxies...

ACTS & FACTS
Yellowstone National Park, Part 2: Canyons and Catastrophe
by Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, Ph.D.* About three million visitors tour Yellowstone National Park’s 3,440 square miles each year.1...

ACTS & FACTS
How Did the Bat Get Its Wings?
Where did bats come from? Evolutionists presuppose that some kind of rodent received just the right mutations to over “a few million years”...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Insights into Today’s Violent Mob Mentality
Some scenes from the evening news get etched into our memories. I recall seeing a college professor step outside his building and become suddenly surrounded...

CREATION PODCAST
Are Dinosaurs in the Bible? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 26
If the Bible is true, wouldn't it mention dinosaurs? If God made dinosaurs, when did He make them? Did they live with humans? What ultimately happened...