The Fossil Record: Another Confirmed Creationist Prediction

We should actually call it a “retrodiction,” not a “prediction” (see my article on Karl Popper and retrodictions), but very few people know what a “retrodiction” is, so call it what you will. The interesting thing is that within the Creation/Flood paradigm, one would expect that …

1) Most fossils would be marine fossils. And they are. See the chart above (from The New Answers Book by Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, 2006, p. 179)
2) Most mammals would escape fossilization because of their mobility and ability to escape rising floodwaters for a long time. When they finally get drowned, they would not normally be buried by sediment, but would float and be eaten by scavengers. See link in (3) below.
3) Marine fossils would be sorted hydrodynamically. See Hydraulic Engineer Henry Morris’ discussion on this in The Genesis Flood, quoted HERE. Search the page (CTRL-F) for “hydrodynamic”.
4) Most of the supposed evolutionary history of life would be missing entirely from the fossil record. And this is exactly what we find …

Furthermore, useful fossils are either rare or totally absent in rocks from Precambrian time, which constitutes more than 87 percent of Earth history.

Note also this quote from Richard Dawkins …

Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W. W. Norton, 1987).
p. 229-230
The American palaeontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould, when they first proposed their theory of punctuated equilibria in 1972, made what has since been represented as a very different suggestion. They suggested that, actually, the fossil record may not be as imperfect as we thought. Maybe the ‘gaps’ are a true reflection of what really happened, rather than being the annoying but inevitable consequences of an imperfect fossil record. Maybe, they suggested, evolution really did in some sense go in sudden bursts, punctuating long periods of ‘stasis’, when no evolutionary change took place in a given lineage.

“”Before we come to the sort of sudden bursts that they had in mind, there are some conceivable meanings of ‘sudden bursts’ that they most definitely did not have in mind. These must be cleared out of the way because they have been the subject of serious misunderstandings. Eldredge and Gould certainly would agree that some very important gaps really are due to imperfections in the fossil record. Very big gaps, too. For example the Cambrian strata of rocks, vintage about 600 million years, are the oldest ones in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists.

Evolutionists of all stripes believe, however, that this really does represent a very large gap in the fossil record, a gap that is simply due to the fact, for some reason, very few fossils have lasted from periods before about 600 million years ago. One good reason might be that many of these animals had only soft parts to their bodies: no shells or bones to fossilize. If you are a creationist you may think that this is special pleading. [Yes, we do, Prof. Dawkins] My point here is that, when we are talking about gaps of this magnitude, there is no difference whatever in the interpretations of ‘punctuationists’ and ‘gradualists’. Both schools of thought agree that the only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animals types in the Cambrian era is divine creation, and both would reject this alternative. “

2 Responses to “The Fossil Record: Another Confirmed Creationist Prediction”

  1. lordkalvan says:

    You make four points that you claim support the creationist/flood paradigm. I would suggest that they support this paradigm only because they have either been deliberately stated or deliberately contrived in such a way as to apparently support this paradigm.

    1. Can you think of another reason why marine fossils would predominate in the fossil record, a reason that has nothing whatsoever to do with the likelihood or otherwise of a global inundation? I can: the oceans, comprising some 300 times the habitable volume of the land, sustain a much greater range of biodiversity.

    2. So rabbits run faster than velociraptors, which is why rabbits are found exclusively higher in the fossil record than velociraptors. And what are the hypothetical scavengers that what eat the countless millions of terrestrial corpses before they could fossilize? Why wouldn’t they eat the marine corpses at the same rate?

    3. Demonstrably false.

    4. And is there another reason why fossils could be rare? Would it have anything to do with (a) the conditions required to form them and (b) the active geology of the Earth?

  2. lordkalvan says:

    To elaborate the point I made at (4) in my first post: it is the case that the predominant source of fossils is in sedimentary rocks which, because of natural processes of erosion are in a process of continually being recycled. The ‘gaps’ that you regard as ‘special pleading’ are an inevitable consequence of an imperfect record that has been built up over hundreds of millions of years of active geology and erosion. What is ‘special pleading’ is the idea that the incompleteness of a fossil record that, according to a young Earth creationist timescale was laid down in less than a year and is also less than 5,000 years old in total, is so sparse because land mammals (but not land dinosaurs, or even flying dinosaurs, for that matter) were spritely enough that they could outrace a catastrophic global flood and then, after eventually drowning, be eaten by an innumerable host of, apparently, flood-immune scavengers.

    If the creationist ‘model’ is correct, why are there no anachronistic fossils? Why are there no primate fossils found with dinosaur fossils? Why are there no dolphin fossils mixed in with trilobite fossils? Where indeed, to echo J.B.S. Haldane’s famous retort, are those fossil rabbit remains in the Precambrian?

    It also remains the case that, even if there was not a single fossil available for scientists to study, the other scientific evidence in support of evolution is overwhelming – from molecular genetics, through nested hierarchies, to geographical distribution.

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