Where Are Fossils Found? | The Institute for Creation Research

Where Are Fossils Found?

Fossils are typically found in sedimentary rock, almost all of which were originally deposited as sediments by moving water. Subsequent processes hardened them into sedimentary rock, as overlying pressure squeezed the water out and the grains were cemented together. Often plants and animals were trapped, being buried in the sediments. As the sediments hardened into sedimentary rock, the dead things hardened into fossils.

The vast majority of visible fossils are marine invertebrates, animals that live in the sea and have no backbone, mostly animals with a hard outer shell. This would include clams, coral, brachiopods, ammonites, and other animals familiar to us, as well as extinct animals like trilobites and crinoids. In some locations the deposits are dominated by fish fossils and more rarely insects.

Interestingly enough, while sedimentary rocks are found in most places, fossils are not so easy to find. Lots of sedimentary rocks contain no recognizable fossils at all, other than microscopic remains such as plankton, pollen, or spores. For instance, Grand Canyon, with thick sequences of sedimentary rock, contains surprisingly few fossils. This explains the excitement over the discovery of billions of two-foot long nautiloids in the Redwall Limestone by ICR's Steve Austin. "Fossils are where you find them" paleontologists say, and these fossils were found as creationists did their research from a creationist/flood perspective. They found what evolutionist/uniformitarian seekers missed.

The sedimentary rocks in which the fossils are found usually give evidence of rapid catastrophic deposition. The Grand Canyon nautiloids were trapped and buried by an extensive underwater gravity flow of mud covering what is now portions of several states, at least. Other Grand Canyon layers like the Bright Angel Shale and the Kaibab Limestone are equally widespread and are also thought to have resulted from catastrophic processes. They contain little more than fragments of fossils in a jumble of transported pieces.

One more thing. These catastrophically deposited marine fossils, entombed as they are in regionally extensive sedimentary rock, are all found on the continents! There are hardly any marine fossils found in the deep ocean basins.

The standard evolutionary view is that from time to time over the eons, a calm and placid sea covered what is now the continents. Over the millions of years of living and dying and coming and going the fossils were preserved as sediments slowly collected on the ocean bottom. But is there a better understanding? Let's summarize.

Marine fossils are found in rock layers which give testimony to dynamic water processes having deposited them. The layers themselves cover vast areas, sometimes on a continental or hemispherical scale. And they are prominently on today's continents.

Rather than demanding the conclusion of long ages of uniformity and evolution, the fossils speak of a time when the oceans fully destroyed the continents, employing catastrophic hydraulic and tectonic forces—a flood on a scale not witnessed today. Just such a flood was witnessed in yesteryear, however, and recorded for our edification in Genesis. It was the great Flood of Noah's day.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 2004. Where Are Fossils Found?. Acts & Facts. 33 (7).

The Latest
NEWS
Was a Franken-Fish “Created”?
In 2020, Hungarian zoologists described the hybridization of a Russian sturgeon and American paddlefish.1 Some sources have reported the scientists...

NEWS
"100-Million-Year-Old" Bacteria?
Researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology have recovered what they claim are 100-million-year-old microbes. Drilling 74.5...

NEWS
Origin of Tectonic Plates Best Explained by the Flood
A new study published in Nature Communications claims to have figured out how the tectonic plates may have originated.1 It’s been over...

NEWS
Give Today and Support Biblical Creation Ministry
North Texas Giving Day is here once again! Will you help us reach the next generation? Your generosity will empower ICR and our Dallas Museum—the...

NEWS
Mammalian Brains Prove Evolutionary Disconnect
The evolutionary model of brain development predicted that the complexity of neural connectivity should have increased as brains became larger and the...

NEWS
North Texas Giving Day Next Week!
North Texas Giving Day is almost here! Will you help us reach the next generation? Your generosity will empower ICR and the ICR Discovery Center for Science...

NEWS
Celebrating One Year at the ICR Discovery Center
Thank you to all who joined us for the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History’s First Anniversary Celebration! ICR staff enjoyed meeting...

NEWS
New Evidence Hurts Feathered Dinosaur Theory
Is a dinosaur still a dinosaur if it has flight feathers? A new study points to some fascinating evidence that contradicts the idea of feathered dinosaurs...

NEWS
New Planetarium Show: Exploring Deep Space
The ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History is celebrating its first anniversary since the Grand Opening on September 2, 2019. To commemorate...

NEWS
Inside September 2020 Acts & Facts
What's the story behind ICR's new President? What milestone are we celebrating this month at the ICR Discovery Center? How do comets affirm...