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Dinosaurs and Fossils The Name Game: Living Fossils

The Name Game: Living Fossils

I don’t know just how popular the 1964 Shirley Ellis hit song the Name Game is today. I am certain that, like many fades, this too has lived well beyond its original release date. What many people do not know is that modern evolutionary science has their own version of the “name game.” It is really a very clever ploy that allows them to deceive the public. It is used to make people think that extinct organisms were really quite different than their modern day evolutionary counterparts.

Have you ever wondered why so many extinct species of plants and animals look almost exactly like their modern-day counterparts?

Many insects entombed in amber seem to be identical to those we see in our own backyards every day. Those who reject the biblical account of special creation attempt to connect existing lifeforms with their evolutionary ancestors.

When they find a fossil that they deem to be prehistoric, they give it a name. What they never ever do is acknowledge that many of these discoveries closely resemble the creatures they allegedly evolved into. While making the case for common descent, evolutionists fail to state the obvious. That the modern organisms are the same as their evolutionary ancestors, because there has been no evolution taking place.

Because Darwinian evolution rests heavily on a tautological argument, a claim that evolutionists vehemently object to, it should be questioned. The tautological objection is clear. Darwin’s theory relies heavily on the mechanism of natural selection or “survival of the fittest” to explain the evolutionary changes we observe in nature. The tautological nature of the argument goes like this:

Natural selection is the survival of the fittest, therefore it is the fittest that survive. Therefore, evolution by natural selection is a tautology (a circular definition).

Living Fossils

The textbooks are filled with examples of these “living fossils.” What we find is nearly, if not completely, identical organisms remaining virtually unchanged.

These fossils are supposed to be really, really, really old, but they look nearly identical to the ones that live today.

In the case of cyanobacteria, they are unchanged for 3.5 billion years. Sponges have been unchanged for 580 million years (ma), while jellyfish for 505 ma, the horseshoe crab for 450 ma, the coelacanth for 405 ma, ginkgo biloba for 270 ma, the nautulis for 235 ma, the horseshoe shrimp and the sturgeon for 200 ma. Among the insects, the ants chime in with Martialis heureka which roughly translates to “From Mars! Wow!” for 100 ma.

Evolutionists have done contemporary studies analyzing rates and modes of phenotypic evolution, and they are leaning towards eliminating the term “living fossils’ altogether. I can certainly understand why they would like to do so. Living fossils are evidence of stasis. These fossilized creatures did not evolve, and they are certainty not millions—or billions—of years old. This is one more indication that God has pre-programmed every living organism to “reproduce according to its own kind.” This is strong evidence demonstrating the accuracy of the biblical record.

Lazarus Taxon

So how does the name game come into play with regard to evolutionary biology? Whenever a fossil is discovered that is supposed to have gone extinct disappearing from one or more periods from the fossil record reappearing sometime later it is placed into the Lazarus taxon. This category is derived from the story of the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead in chapter 11 of the gospel of John.

There are over 130 organisms identified as belonging to the Lazarus taxon. They range over almost every category of life from bacteria to mammals. Rather than admit that these are examples of stasis, and that each one of these organisms has remained unchanged, these phenomena have inspired evolutionists to be creative. They have now included an Elvis taxon for look-alikes that have supplanted an extinct taxon through convergent evolution. Convergent evolution is the highly unlikely hypothesis that there has been an independent evolution of similar features such as sight in species of different lineages. The Zombie taxon contains specimens that have been collected from strata younger than the extinction of the taxon. Rather than admit that this is evidence that they are wrong about the origin of such organisms they conclude that such fossils were freed from the original seam and refossilized in a younger sediment.

Name Gamers

When discoveries are made that don’t make it into the Lazarus taxon, but they are almost identical to organisms living today, evolutionary paleontologists will give them different names. One of many examples of this practice is the naming of mammals found alongside dinosaur fossils using completely different names that are unrelated to their modern versions. Hence, a recently discovered mammal very similar to a modern southern Chinese hedgehog was discovered in Australian dinosaur layers. They named the dinosaur layer mammal Ausktribosphenos nyktos. Upon comparison with a modern European hedgehog named Erinaceus europaeu, you would not know that these two mammals were nearly identical. If not the exact same animal, they are surely the same species.

This same name game has been used to muddy the waters around a possum-like mammal named Gobiconodon that was also found in a dinosaur layer. Of the three museum reconstructions available, we have three different interpretation of what Gobiconodon looked like. Two of the three illustrations made it look strange and unfamiliar. One of the artist’s renditions even had stripes running the entire length of the body, a completely arbitrary feature unsupported by the fossil evidence. The third representation looked identical to a modern ringtail possum, but true to the name game, it was given a completely unrelated classification Pseudocheirus peregrinus.

Just remember that Darwinian Evolution is a philosophical worldview of hyper materialism masquerading as a scientific theory. You cannot challenge the basic premise of molecules-to-men evolution. At CSI, we strive to hold science up to its own historical standards. We are unwilling to allow the environment of brainwashing and censorship that have become the pillars of modern evolutionary thought. We would very much like you to prayerfully support us in this endeavor.

Submitted by Steven Rowitt, Ph.D.