The Creation Explanation
|The Primeval World -- Fossils, Geology & Earth History|
A Creation View of Earth History Correlated with the Fossil Record
Various types of formations and rocks occur in strata which have been classified as Precambrian, including rocks such as limestone, shales, and conglomerates. Either they contain no fossils at all or only a few remains of microscopic algae and bacteria, and perhaps worm tubes. In fact, because the Precambrian rocks contain so few fossils, a theoretical "time sequence" for such sedimentary rocks has never been worked out. Radiometric dating has proved of little value to evolutionary paleontologists working on the problem, because good correlations between the sedimentary and the radiometrically datable igneous rocks are scarce. Moreover, the results of radiometric dating have often proved to be erratic. Recent discoveries of fossil pollen grains in Precambrian rocks have complicated the picture. Sometimes supposed Precambrian rocks are found above as well as below fossils bearing strata. The creation interpretation assigns most underlying igneous (crystallized from a melt) rocks such as granite and other basement rocks to the period of creation. Most sedimentary rocks are in the creation model assigned to the period of the biblical flood.
The rocks classified as Cambrian contain numerous fossils of over 2,000 species of different kinds of invertebrate marine creatures. One particular community, represented by the Cambrian fossil assemblage called the Olenellus fauna, is found in various places all over the world. It consists of sponges, jellyfish, corals, starfish, worms, brachiopods, clams, and trilobites. Trilobites, are important index fossils used to classify sedimentary rocks. They were flat bottom-feeding crustaceans with jointed bodies and many legs. Comprising hundreds of species, most trilobites were small, but some were as large as modern crabs. In the creation interpretation, the Cambrian fossils represent marine communities of living creatures, most of which are now extinct, but some of which were quite similar to modern types. Fossil remains of vertebrate fishes (heterostracan) have reportedly been discovered in upper Cambrian rocks in Wyoming, so all major animal phyla have been found in Cambrian rocks.
The rock strata classified as Carboniferous contain many stratified deposits of coal, though coal is contained in strata other than Carboniferous. Coal represents the largest fossil assemblage in the world--literally billions of tons. In New Brunswick the Pennsylvanian strata (alternating layers of coal and rock) are 13,000 feet thick. Coal results when plant remains are buried and compressed and heated by the weight of overlying sediments. Most of the fossils making up the coal have lost their identity, but around the edges recognizable specimens can be found. Fossils in the sedimentary rock strata between the coal layers help complete the picture.
The communities which were trapped under the overlying sediments must have been enormous forests. Cone-bearing (connifer) trees called Cordaites were like pines except, instead of needles, they bore leaves six feet long. Some of these trees were 100 feet high, others were like our modern tree ferns, and some were like nothing growing today (seed ferns, for instance). Some were related to our little club-mosses and horsetails but grew as large as trees. A few of the trees had structures that looked like small cones on the ends of the branches. These "cones" contained spores instead of seeds.
No fossil bees or butterflies have been found in the remains of these spore-bearing forests, but the large plants provided food and shelter for many other insects. The giant cockroaches averaged larger than modern tropical species, although some present-day roaches are as large as the fossil varieties. Strange spiders, most of them apparently lacking spinnarets, stalked cockroaches and other insects. Scorpions scurried among the ferns searching for tasty spiders. Dragon flies existed with wing spans up to two feet. And some of the amphibians, including salamanders, weighed as much as 400 pounds. In addition, there were some reptiles and also some fish of modern freshwater types.
Sea shells and starfish are sometimes found in coal, and this might seem to indicate that the ocean flowed over the coal forest at some time. Another possibility is that either vast floating forests or land forests ripped up the violent flood tides were carried for some time on the surface of the ocean flood waters before being dumped and buried by sediments. Floating forests might well have associated shell fish and starfish. And vegetable material from land forests, if it floated for some time before deposition and burial, could pick up the marine tubeworm, Spirorbis, which is not uncommonly found attached in a natural position to coalified wood in coal measures. These and other features of the coal measures support the concept of a global flood.
The fossils found in rocks classified as Mesozoic represent a community which included most of the same families of plants and animals still in existence today, particularly the reptiles, such as snakes, turtles, lizards, alligators, and crocodiles. Fish and mammals also lived in these communities.
The most prominent members of the Mesozoic community were the dinosaurs. The were hundreds of different kinds, in all sizes and shapes. Some were huge, many over fifty feet long; others were no bigger that a pet cat. Early discoveries of dinosaurs were thought by scientists to resemble lizard bones of enormous size. Hence the name dinosaur is derived from two Greek words, denios meaning terrible and sauros meaning lizard. Some evidence has led some scientists to suggest that dinosaurs were actually warm-blooded and therefore are not to be classified as reptiles. Not all dinosaurs lived on dry land; many remained submerged most of the time in coastal waters or swam in the warm seas, and others could fly.
Dinosaurs are divided into two large groups (orders). One order is called the ornithischian or bird-hip type. Bird-hip dinosaurs have deep sockets for the upper leg bones with a strong attachment to the spine. Stegosaurus, Camptosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and Triceratops are examples of the ornithischian order of dinosaurs. The order of reptile-hip dinosaurs is called saurischian. Allosaurus, Brontosaurus, Diplodocus, Compognathus, and Tyrranosaurus are all examples of the saurischian order. Let us consider several of the better known kinds of dinosaurs.
The saurischian Diplodocus, the longest of the dinosaurs growing up to 87 feet in length, was nevertheless smaller than the modern blue whale which reaches 100 feet in length. The dinosaur Brachiosaurus was much heavier but not as long as Diplodocus. Apparently spending most of its time in the water feeding on plants, Diplodocus featured a small head carried on a very long neck, its long tail tailing behind. Fossils are found in the western United States.
Stegosaurus, like all the armored dinosaurs, was of the bird-hip order, ornithischia. About twenty feet long, with a small head and brain, Stegosaurus walked on all fours. Its back legs were much longer than its front legs, as was the case with most bird-hip dinosaurs, and this caused its back to arch high in the air. Sail-shaped protective plates stood up along the spine. Fossils have been found all over the world--in Wyoming, South America, England, Asia, and Africa.
Triceratops ("three-horns-on-the-face") was one of the largest of the horned plant-eaters, measuring twenty-four feet in length. Its nose resembled a parrot beak, and two horns projected forward from above the eyes. An immense frill-shaped bone on the back of the skull made the head appear very large. Triceratops was heavy, powerful, and slow-moving, somewhat resembling a modern-day rhinoceros. Fossils have been discovered in North America.
Tyrannosaurus (Rex), the "king of the lizards," was the most fearsome of all the dinosaurs, measuring twenty feet high and fifty feet long and armed with powerful jaws set with teeth six inches long. The forelegs, however, very short and spindly, were probably of little use to him. This dinosaur is thought to have been a ferocious carnivore. Fossils have been found in Europe, North America, and South America.
Cenozoic strata are those in which are found fossil remains of many extinct mammals. Just as in the case of the extinct reptiles of the Mesozoic strata, a fantastic variety of all types and sizes of mammals have been uncovered in the Cenozoic strata. These are generally extinct species but readily classifiable into the same grouping as the modern mammals. Many of the extinct mammals are most bizarre by modern standards. It seems impossible to imagine why chance evolution should be able to produce so many different kinds of mammals. In view of the difficulties with evolutionary theory, creation by a purposeful Creator appears the more reasonable explanation. The largest mammal was the Baluchitherium which stood eighteen feet high at the shoulder and was twenty-five feet long! This creature, classified with the rhinoceroses, must have weighed some twenty-five tons.