Don't the Fossils Prove Evolution? | The Institute for Creation Research

Don't the Fossils Prove Evolution?

For decades students have been shown a representation of the fossil record appearing as a vertical column with marine invertebrates on the bottom, overlain by fish, then amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, with man on the top. The column is a column of time, they are told, with the long ago past on the bottom and the present on top. The fossil column (or similar figure) is presented without question as if it were true—as if it were real data. Students are led to believe that the order of first appearance of the fossils over time proves evolution.

I suggest that it does no such thing, for several reasons. First, the fossils do not occur in this order, simple to complex from bottom to top. The fossils at the bottom (i.e., long ago) are equally as complex as any animal today, and are essentially the same as their modern counterparts. In reality, the fossils appear abruptly in the record, fully formed and fully functional without less adapted ancestors in lower levels that would have preceded them in time. To be honest, the entire fossil record consists of predominately marine invertebrates (animals without a backbone, like clams, jellyfish, coral). The column is nothing more than a statement of evolutionary thinking. A case can perhaps be made for the order of first appearance of vertebrates (i.e., fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals), but vertebrate fossils are exceptions to the rule and usually quite fragmentary, with the lower range of each often being extended downward with new discoveries. Most come from Ice Age deposits which sometimes contain human remains also.

Second, the evolutionary presentation in the textbook column implies that all life has come from one (or perhaps a few) common ancestor(s). But the Cambrian System, the lowest (i.e., oldest) level containing extensive multicellular fossils, exhibits a virtual explosion of life. Suddenly (by this I mean without the necessary ancestors lower in the column), every phylum of life is found—every basic body style, including vertebrate fish. The abrupt appearance of diverse forms of life does not match with evolutionary predictions of one form descending into many.

Third, these diverse forms continue up the column (i.e., throughout time) with much the same appearance possessed at the start. The term stasis describes the tendency to "stay" the same, remain "stationary" or "static." Some body styles go extinct as you come up the column, but no new basic styles are introduced.

Summarizing:

1) Abrupt appearance
2) Diversity at the start, and
3) Stasis.

Certainly the fossil record does not prove evolution. On the other hand, its character fully supports creation of multiple "kinds" at the start with no evolutionary lineage, and continuance of those rather static kinds with limited adaptations into the present, or else going extinct. This is the creation idea.

The fossils further support the Flood. While no evolutionary trends can be seen bridging the basic kinds and producing new ones, we do see a transition from totally marine at the bottom to more terrestrial toward the top. At every level the dominant fossil is marine, but more and more land-dwelling fossils creep in. What more persuasive testimony to the Biblical model could there be?

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 2003. Don't the Fossils Prove Evolution?. Acts & Facts. 32 (4).

The Latest
NEWS
Has Real Evolution Unfolded in Puerto Rican Lizards?
“We are watching evolution as it’s unfolding,” said an evolutionist at New York University. She was referring to “The Puerto...

NEWS
Dubious Views on Octopus Evolution
The octopus is one of the most amazing animals in God’s creation.1 Now, A new paper in Genome Biology and Evolution indicates...

NEWS
Microraptor Ate Mammals But Was Not a Dinosaur
The recent claim of a nearly half-inch mammal foot in the stomach of a ‘dinosaur’ is tainted by evolutionary dogma.1 The fossil...

NEWS
Dr. John Morris Is at Home with His Lord
Dr. John Morris passed peacefully away on January 29, 2023, at the age of 76. He was deeply respected and dearly loved by family, friends, and colleagues....

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Scripture Memory & Archaeological Evidence | Creation.Live Podcast:...
"Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11 NKJV). Scripture memory was important thousands of years...

NEWS
Webb Telescope Continues to Challenge Big Bang
Data obtained by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) continue to challenge expectations of Big Bang proponents.1,2 The JWST is designed...

CREATION PODCAST
The Truth About the Chimp Genome (Humans & Chimps: Part 2) |...
Have scientists proven human evolution from a "common apelike ancestor," or are we being told a clever, confusing story filled with farcical...

NEWS
World's Oldest Meal
The Ediacara biota is a sporadic faunal (animal) stage containing unique soft-bodied fossil creatures in sandstone from the Ediacaran System dating...

NEWS
No Microbes on Mars
Mars is a lifeless world. But those holding to a naturalistic worldview continue to have hope—even faith—that the Red Planet was at...

NEWS
Flood Explains Grouping of Ichthyosaurs
The discovery of dozens of ichthyosaur fossils in Nevada was announced in the journal Current Biology.1 Seven 50-foot long ichthyosaurs of...