Does The Geologic Column Prove Evolution? | The Institute for Creation Research

Does The Geologic Column Prove Evolution?

Probably every textbook in use in America which in any way deals with evolutionary subjects includes a presentation of the "Geologic Column," or the "Geologic Time Scale" as it is sometimes called. This vertical display of the various geologic eras, periods, and epochs supposedly illustrates the nature of the fossil record, with recent fossils on the top and older ones on the bottom. By following the fossils from bottom to top, one can "see" evolution.

Single-celled organisms evolve into marine invertebrates, which in turn evolve into fish. The fish eventually produce amphibians and then reptiles, which give way to birds and mammals and finally man. Surely, evolution is true if the fossils are arranged in such an order.

Furthermore, each basic body style (phylum) has been present right from the start. In the lowest level of abundant multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian Period, fossils of each phylum has been found, including vertebrates! Many fossil organisms are found which have gone extinct, but no new body plans from the start. Did evolution stop at the start?

Among the vertebrates, a case can be made for some change. Fish fossils are found in the Cambrian and people are not. However, people are vertebrates, as are dinosaurs and birds. In many ways, our skeletal features are comparable to that of a fish. We are certainly a whole lot more like a fish than we are to a coral, a clam, or a jellyfish.

In addition, when you look at the geologic column in the textbook you will notice that is mainly a statement of vertebrate evolution, it has very little to say about the other fossil types. However, it is very constructive to look at all the fossils and then conclude.

As it turns out, 95% of all fossils are shallow marine invertebrates, mostly shellfish. For instance, clams are found in the bottom layer, the top layer, and every layer in between. There are many different varieties of clams, but clams are in every layer and are still alive today. There is no evolution, just clams! The same could be said for corals, jellyfish, and many others. The fossil record documents primarily marine organisms buried in marine sediments, which (as discussed elsewhere) were catastrophically deposited.

Of the 5% remaining fossils, 95% of them are algae and plant fossils (4.75% of the total). In that left over 5% of the 5%, insects and all other invertebrates make up 95% (0.2375 % of the total). **

All of the vertebrate fossils considered together, (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals), comprise only 0.0125% of the entire fossil record, and only 1% of these, or .000125% of the total, consist of more than a single bone! Almost all of them come from the Ice Age. Surely, the vertebrate fossil record is far from complete.

Where we have a good record, no evolution can be seen. For the very scanty vertebrate record, an evolutionary story can be told, but the facts do not support it, and certainly do not prove it.

*Dr. John Morris is the President of ICR.

** Paleontologist Dr. Kurt Wise provided these figures.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 1994. Does The Geologic Column Prove Evolution?. Acts & Facts. 23 (7).

The Latest
NEWS
Human Genome 20th Anniversary—Junk DNA Hits the Trash
The first rough drafts of the human genome were reported in 2001 (one in the private sector and one in the public sector).1-2 Since then, after...

NEWS
Bacterial Proteins Use Quantum Mechanics
Researchers have found a dimmer switch inside a protein. It tunes the protein’s configuration to take advantage of quantum mechanics during photosynthesis....

NEWS
Dr. Bill Cooper, ICR’s Adjunct Professor, Now in Glory
Earlier last month on March the 9th, Dr. William R. Cooper, ICR’s Master Faculty (known to ICR-SOBA’s faculty as “Dr. Bill” since...

NEWS
Inside April 2021 Acts & Facts
How will ICR expand biblical creation education this year? How do fossilized fish and land creatures confirm Genesis history? Does recent research support...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Bees
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

ACTS & FACTS
Pleasure in Our Purpose
Eric Liddell was one of the most famous athletes of the 20th century and perhaps the greatest that Scotland ever produced. An international rugby player,...

APOLOGETICS
Beware Sinkholes and Other Failing Foundations
The sudden falling of some Christian schools can be compared to tiankengs, the geological term used for sinkholes that are at least 300 feet deep.1,2...

ACTS & FACTS
The Painted Desert: Fossils in Flooded Mud Flats
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. The Painted Desert stretches across 120 miles of northern Arizona. Its sedimentary rocks show bright...

ACTS & FACTS
Does Recent Research Support Human Evolution?
In 1997, the Institute for Creation Research ran an Acts & Facts article on the lack of compelling evidence regarding our supposed evolution from...

ACTS & FACTS
Building a Perfectly Optimal Flying Machine
For thousands of years, people have dreamed of flying because they witnessed birds and knew it was possible. Inspired by a study of birds, the Wright...