The Creation Explanation
|The Primeval World -- Fossils, Geology & Earth History|
Fossils and Earth History
Once again the question we need to keep in mind is whether fossil evidence better accords with uniformitarianism or with catastrophism. It must first be pointed out that large-scale or even appreciable fossilization is scarcely ever observed today. Only rarely are modern plants and animals preserved as fossils. Why? Because fossilization will practically never occur unless the plant or animal is rapidly trapped and entombed. Without sudden entombment the creature is rapidly devoured by scavengers or decomposed by decay microorganisms. In one interesting test the corpse of an elephant was allowed to lie undisturbed by any human influence where the animal died in Africa. In three years practically nothing identifiable was left.74 Thus the very rarity or absence of fossilization in the present constitutes strong evidence that past processes in geology were catastrophic, for the sedimentary strata are rich in fossils of all kinds. Moreover, many features of the fossil record offer striking support for at least one and probably more large-scale catastrophes in the past history of the earth.
1. The Cumberland Bone Cave in Maryland was found to contain remains of dozens of mammal species together with reptiles and birds. The types represented included creatures native to Arctic, temperate, and tropical zones, and both dry and moist habitats; yet the fossils are all mixed together in one cave.75 It should be kept in mind, however, that this deposit cannot be associated with the global flood of Genesis.
2. The Baltic amber deposits have been found to contain fossil insect and plant remains which are native to all types of climatic zones ranging from near-Arctic to tropical. Competent zoologists have concluded that the Baltic amber fossils were the result of some worldwide cataclysmic process.76
3. In the region of Geiseltal, Germany, are lignite beds which contain mixtures of numerous kinds of plants, animals, and insects native to all climatic zones and geographic regions in the world. The remarkable preservation of the fine structure and even the chemical content of the creatures is a persuasive evidence of a very rapid and rather recent burial.77
4. In the region of Lompoc on the Central California coast are huge diatomaceous earth beds containing millions of fossil fish, beautifully preserved and usually in attitudes indicating sudden, violent death.78 Massive fossil fish beds are also found in Scotland. Evidence of sudden, violent death is common in such deposits.
5. In Sicily were found mass hippopotamus graves forming beds so extensive that the bones have been mined as a source of commercial charcoal.79
6. In the far north of Alaska, Canada, and Siberia large numbers of mammoth tusks, and through the years even frozen carcasses of mammoths and other animals, have been found. Some islands north of Siberia are reportedly packed with jumbled masses of fossil animal bones and vegetation.80
7. Throughout the world there are vast sedimentary formations containing billions of fossils, sometimes packed together in high concentration. These suggest anything but slow, calm conditions of deposition.
8. "Ephemeral markings" is the term given to the preserved imprints produced on the surface of sand or mud by the action of waves, raindrops, or crawling creatures such as worms. Such markings are quickly removed from the surfaces of sand and mud by subsequent water or wind action.81
Preserved ephemeral markings are rare in recent geological deposits, but they are widespread throughout the remaining geological strata. Since all evidence indicates that some kind of sudden covering and preservation is required to produce fossil ephemeral markings, the only conclusion is that the greater part of the geological strata are connected with rapid deposition processes, not with the slow processes envisioned in uniformitarian geological history.
9. In fact, with minor exceptions, all fossils require rapid deposition and burial. There is no place on the earth today in which production of fossils by slow deposition of sediments can be observed. As in the case of the elephant cadaver described above, when plants and animals die, unless they are rapidly buried, they are quickly consumed by scavengers and decay organisms. The entire fossils record points to catastrophic, global flood action.
The foregoing features of the fossil and geological records all seem to be in agreement more with the catastrophic than with the uniformitarian concept of geological processes of the past. Thus, in this respect, fossils corroborate the structural data given previously and lend themselves readily to the framework of catastrophism. One final category of fossil evidence remains to be considered briefly, that of fossils found completely out of the sequence predicted by evolutionary theory.
74. Reference, almost certainly in Nature, lost; author has copies of the published photographs of the elephant carcass decomposing during three years.
75. Velikovsky, Immanuel, ref. 62, pp. 50-60; Nicholis, Brother G., Scientific Monthly, Vol. 76, May 1953, p. 301.
76. Nilsson, Heribert, Synthetische Artbildung, Reprint from English Summary (Evolution Protest Movement of North American, Victoria, B.C., 1973), pp. 1194-1195.
77. Ibid., pp. 1195-1196.
78. Northrup, Bernard E., Creation Research Soc. Quarterly, Vol. 6, Dec. 1969, p. 129.
79. Whitcomb, John C. and Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Flood (Presbyterian and Reformed Pub., Philadelphia, 1961), p. 161.
80. Velikovsky, Immanuel, ref. 62, pp. 3-9; for a more cautious view see Coffin, Harold G., ref. 65, pp. 198-210.
81. Rupke, N.A., ref. 47, pp. 25-35.