Does the Fossil Record Support Evolution?
When Darwin introduced his theory of evolution in 1859 with his celebrated publication, “On the Origin of Species,” he knew that a geological record of fossils would be essential to tell his story. His basic proposal of natural selection won him much acclaim. Darwin predicted that organisms with better traits would adapt to their environment and succeed over many generations, changing slowly over long periods of time and moving up the evolutionary tree of life from microbes to human beings. This slow biological change would become significant over a long period of time, producing all the diverse living forms we observe today. He challenged the prevailing theory during the 1800s that species were immutable and reproduced after their kind, as is written in the biblical account of Genesis.
According to Darwin’s theory, species were not static but would keep changing over time, becoming more complex. Therefore, he proposed that the first life forms would be simple and found in the lower rock layers, and the upper layers would be more complex animals. Interestingly, fossils in the lower layers represent all kinds of marine organisms with individual traits and incredible diversity worldwide. The more we study these supposedly bottom dwelling creatures found on the lower rock layers, the more we see colossal complexity on the biomolecular level today with the electron microscope. We also see evidence of rapid burial of these creatures as an effect of a worldwide flood.
Fact 1: Failed Expectations
The Fossil Record of Darwin’s time was incomplete; today, it is still bankrupt.
Darwin studied how animals and plants changed biological traits by selective breeding. He speculated that the traits he saw change would change dramatically over long periods of time producing new kinds of animals and plants. His hope founded on minuscule changes would eventually produce diversity of all kinds of life forms in the background of unlimited time.
It would provide the mechanism for the branching of his tree of life. Creationists observe that the change that takes place within a kind is due to genetic variation, as seen in dog breeds. Even though there are many differences between a chihuahua and a Great Dane, they are still dogs as the Word of God predicts = “kind after kind.”
There had to be a convincing argument written in the fossil record found in the rock beds to support Darwin’s claims. These small changes from one species evolving into a new species should be found in the fossil record. It would be the hard evidence he needed to make his grand theory of origins compelling and difficult to disprove. Darwin knew that this was one of the biggest challenges of his theory because the geological record of fossils was severely deficient.
Darwin honestly admitted this paramount problem in “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” (ed. 1870) as he stated,
“I look at the natural geological record as a history of the world imperfectly kept and written in a changing dialect; of this history, we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved, and of each page, only here and there a few lines.”1
Darwin designated a chapter in his “Origin of Species” to give a thoughtful and thorough critique of the problems as evidenced in the incomplete fossil record.
Darwin began the chapter with the “absence of intermediate varieties” which are the essential branches to see evolution at work. He described how poor the collections were of his time, and they still are today. Even with many more fossils, the same problem exists.
Darwin also mentioned many other issues with the formation of fossil rock layers appearing and disappearing and the inexplicable finding of a burst of fossils that represents the introduction of different kinds of complex life forms suddenly appearing. The problem persists today in the modern fossil record as exemplified in this Zoology textbook:
“Many species remain virtually unchanged for millions of years, then suddenly disappear to be replaced by a quite different, but related, form. Moreover, most major groups of animals appear abruptly in the fossil record, fully formed, and with no fossils yet discovered that form a transition from their parent group.”2
All these different living forms, microbes, plants, and animals that lived in the distant past going through these numerous changes in the background of millions of years should be represented with many fossils left behind that today would give us a clear picture of Darwinian evolution. Instead, the fossil record is bankrupt and vacant. We see this today, and evolutionists need to be honest with their broad claims. To replace God and His Word unfortunately requires lies, deceit, brainwashing, censorship, and indoctrination which they masterfully accomplished over this century.
Fact 2: The Invention of Deep Time
Deep time in the forms of hundreds of millions of years of evolution was invented on conjecture and cannot be verified by direct observation.
James Hutton (1726-1797), a Scottish geologist considered the Father of Geology, believed that the rock record told a story that the earth was old. He proposed a theory that rocks and their structures were slowly changing by the same geological processes that we can observe today, like erosion, weathering, volcanism, earthquakes, and other forces that could change the face of the earth. He called this prolonged process Uniformitarianism, which persists today in textbooks and is taught in our classrooms.
Uniformitarianism proposes the earth to be as old as 4.6 billion years old. Hutton’s famous theory was filled with assumptions of the past that could not be proven, as exemplified by his missing rock layers, which represent millions of years of evolutionary time mysteriously absent. When the geological column is missing layers, it is termed unconformity.
At Siccar Point, on the east coast of Scotland at least 60 million years is missing between rock layers.
When unconformity occurs on the earth’s surface, it is usually caused by erosion of a large-scale event. This points to a catastrophic event that the Biblical Flood could have initiated without the need for millions of years of deep time.
The geological column that covers the continents is made of sedimentary rocks. This kind of rock is made of small sediments cemented together and driven by water. The fossils embedded in these sedimentary layers are 95% marine invertebrates found everywhere on the earth’s land masses, including mountain terrain. The earth’s continents are 16 – 43 miles deep, are primarily above water, and are covered with about 70% sedimentary rocks. These continents contain most of the earth’s fossils, pointing conclusively to a catastrophic worldwide flood event. The Biblical Flood Model mentioned above negates the need for Hutton’s uniformitarianism.
Hutton’s theory of deep time had drawn little scientific attention except for devout evolutionists as exemplified by French Botanist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who introduced one of the first formal theories of evolution in 1802. He introduced the idea that evolution would occur over many generations, where organisms would inherit acquired characteristics to succeed in their environment. This is best exemplified by the long neck of a giraffe being modified over many generations originating from a shorter neck creature to the present length.
Lamarck thought that the original short-necked giraffe kept stretching its neck to reach leaves higher up on the tree, gradually extending it until the neck reached greater heights.
Lamarck needed deep time (millions of years) to pave the way for his theory to be successful. He suggested that nature had at her disposal the agent of time with its miraculous power to produce the necessary evolutionary changes on organisms to produce the diversity and biological complexity observed today. Lamarck wrote,
“Time is unimportant and never difficult for nature. It is always at her disposal and represents an unlimited power in which she accomplishes her greatest and smallest tasks.”
As revealed by Lamarck, the God he worshiped was nature’s deep time. It replaced the God of the bible and the true history of man and the world he was created in as stated in Genesis. Instead, the history of mankind would be written in the fossils and rock layers occupying the top of the crust of continents, as suggested today in millions of years of evolutionary time. This idea assumes that rocks are old and mysteriously laid down slowly over millions of years in the strata we see today.
Instead we see just the opposite. The fossils tell us a different story of a rapid burial by water, layered rock strata on the continents by a catastrophic event that the Genesis flood caused. For Lamarck’s evolution to be persuasive, it failed because both the fossil and rock record were broken. They both spoke loudly of a Biblical, historic catastrophic event, not Hutton’s uniformitarianism.
Fact 3: The Fossil Record and Catastrophism
The Fossil Record, with its billions and millions of creatures buried rapidly, primarily marine animals, with its enormous variety and complexity, does not give testimony of Evolution but a recent catastrophic worldwide flooding event.
A Scottish lawyer and geologist, Charles Lyell (1797-1875) resurrected Hutton’s uniformitarianism. He methodically presented his deep time argument explaining that the earth was ancient and removed the catastrophic Genesis Flood in a three-volume treatise titled, Principles of Geology, published in 1830-1833. When Lyell reintroduced Hutton’s uniformitarianism, the field of Geology was still in its infancy.
Today, there is agreement among geologists that significant catastrophic events were affecting the earth’s crust, opposing Lyell’s gradual change over long periods of time. As discoveries were made, Lyell’s ideas of the past were challenged.
Thousands of fossil graveyards worldwide have been exposed today, with millions of fossils indicating rapid burial. Numerous fossil sites represent sudden death, exemplified by dinosaurs found with contents in their stomachs, fish in the action of eating another fish, animals dying of suffocation, and so many other examples suggesting a horrific event taking hostages to their quick burial. The cause appears to be flooding or volcanic ash spreading over the earth. Most paleontologists today believe in some form of catastrophism because of what they observed in the fossil record without giving up on deep time.
The cambrian explosion event is defined as an inexplicable abrupt appearance of fossils representing various creatures found at the bottom layer of rocks identified in the Cambrian period. The sudden arrival of the major animal groups representing different forms of body parts defies evolution’s slow change over deep time.
These organisms are complex in form, as evidenced in a trilobite, an ocean-bottom dwelling creature that walked on legs that appeared during this Cambrian event. It had a pair of compound eyes, like insects we see today, with rigid crystalline lenses with some numbering astoundingly up to 15,000.
They are classified as arthropods which is a group of living things which contain insects and ocean crustaceans (shrimp, crabs, and lobsters) that occupy more than half of all the species known to man. Eyesight requires the need to process data which requires a complex nervous system. The trilobite, a bottom-crawling creature dating back to 541 million years ago when early life began according to the evolutionary time frame and being part of the Cambrian Explosion, demonstrates a monumental problem for evolution.
In conclusion, the process of slow and gradual change marked by the antiquity of time measured in billions and millions of years finds itself in dreadful danger. We have discovered catastrophic events that leave an indelible mark on a record of fossils buried quickly. Filled with all their complexity and unmatchable variety, animals were brought to their demise in a flicker of time. What has been observed in the fossil record is essentially composed of marine creatures covering the continents deposited in sedimentary rocks, pointing to a biblical event in the Genesis account as a judgment of God—a worldwide flood. The fossil record supports evolution, representing deep time, is a deliberate myth. It is set out to cover the truth about the judgment of God and His hope and grace for mankind shown through the story of Noah and the ark in Genesis 6-9.
1. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Darwin, 1860, NY, 1963; p298
3. Translated by Albert V. Carozzi, Hydrogeology, Chapter 3 (p. 61)