The Fossil Record
By Detective Robert Surgenor
Anyone who knows me is aware that I look at everything from an evidentiary standpoint. I spent my career as a police officer compiling evidence in criminal cases that I felt would convince a jury beyond any reasonable doubt that the suspect was guilty of the crime. Even if my evidence was purely circumstantial, and each piece of evidence would not convict standing on it’s own merits, I pieced each bit of evidence into a mosaic that would portray a larger, more complete picture. That total picture was designed to convince the jury that all of the facts could not possibly be coincidental. Together, all of the circumstantial facts proved that the suspect committed the crime. I look at the subject of a new earth versus an old earth in the same manner.
There is something that the courts rely on in any criminal case, and that is the testimony of what is called, a “reliable witness.” This is a piece of evidence or the testimony of a person that is indisputable. There are witnesses who have been completely destroyed on the witness stand by the prosecution or defense attorneys because their testimony could not stand up under intense examination.
In contrast, there are “reliable witnesses,” whose testimony is solid because it is the truth, and there is nothing the examiner can do to shake it’s validity. During my investigation into the case of a young earth versus an old earth, I have used the Holy Bible as my reliable witness. What God has written in it’s pages have withstood the test of time, and cannot be disputed. When there is conflicting evidence between earthly evidence and the Holy Bible, I have chosen the Bible. If I find that the Bible contradicts what science has claimed, I have discarded the scientific evidence and rested on the Biblical evidence.
I have never believed in evolution, and I believe in the six literal day account of our beginnings in the book of Genesis. But I also believe that the earth is much older than 6000 years. I have never had any trouble marrying the two ideas because I believe the Bible unequivocally gives us the evidence that supports those facts. During my investigation, I have uncovered hundreds of bits of evidence that I have pieced together into the mosaic that I will attempt to present to my readers. In this session, we are going to look at the fossil record in our earth today.
The Young Earthers contend that the fossil record we find all over the globe is a direct result of the flood. They believe the fossil record was caused by the rapid burial of all living creatures not on the ark and left behind to drown. The fossils we have today of all of the dinosaurs is a result of sediment that rapidly covered the drowning creatures.
The phrase used by Ken Ham when describing the result of the flood is “Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.” There are millions of dinosaur fossils already uncovered, and there are bound to be countless more fossils to be discovered in the earth.
There are several questions that I have been unable to answer if the Young Earther's theory is correct.
If the Young Earth Creationists (otherwise known as YECs) are correct, dinosaurs were not the only creatures on the earth at the time of the flood. There were also millions of men, women, children, sheep, goats, cows, chickens, and other living creatures. If the flood caused the fossilization of the dinosaurs, there should also be millions of fossils of men, women, children, sheep, goats, cows, chickens, and other modern day creatures included in the fossil record. In fact, in Ken Ham’s presentation on this subject, he shows the picture shown on the right of people being buried under the sedimentation he claims caused the fossil record.
Conservative estimates of the number of human beings alive on earth at the time of the flood is about 3 billion people. But the ONLY fossils found in the earth are of dinosaurs. Why? If men died in the flood alongside dinosaurs, both should be found in the fossil record. They are not.
The New Earth organization, Answers in Genesis, in an effort to answer this very important question, states the following on their web site, “Answers In Genesis.org.”
“So, ultimately, the debate is not about the evidence itself—where we find human fossils and dinosaur fossils. Nobody was there to actually observe humans and dinosaurs living together. We are forced to reconstruct that history based on our existing assumptions about time and history, as well as our limited fossil evidence from the rocks. As biblical creationists, we don’t require that human and dinosaur fossils be found in the same layers. Whether they are found or not, does not affect the biblical view of history.”
I often use analogies that I draw from my experiences as a police investigator. There was a family of five that lived in a house together, consisting of four adults. There were two males, two females, and one child. Late one night, the house burned to the ground.
The fire was finally extinguished by the fire department, and investigators began sifting through the rubble trying to determine if the house was occupied at the time of the fire. The police were able to uncover three bodies, one adult male, an adult female, and one child. There were two adults missing.
If I adopt the philosophy of the experts at Answers in Genesis, then whether or not I find the two missing people in the charred remains with the three dead bodies, it “should not affect my view” of the investigation. The debate here is “not about the evidence itself.” But I have to come to this conclusion… the couple not found in the charred rubble were not present in the house when it burned down! The evidence demands that conclusion.
The fact that no human remains have ever been found in the fossil record along with dinosaur fossils demands the conclusion that when the dinosaurs were destroyed and fossilized, modern man and animals were not present on the earth living alongside the dinosaurs. You can try as hard as you like to explain why man and dinosaurs are not found together, but the fact remains that this one bit of circumstantial evidence is extremely damaging to the theory being promoted by the Young Earth Creationists.
But they still try to convince their followers that humans and dinosaurs co-existed on this earth! In an effort to convince their audience that there are good reasons why there are no bones of modern man found with dinosaur fossils, Answers In Genesis has the following on their web site.
“Think about It—Would You Want to Live with Dinosaurs? Often, people believe that if human bones aren’t found with dinosaur bones, then they didn’t live at the same time. Actually, all we know for sure is that they weren’t buried together. It is very easy for creatures to live at the same time on earth, but never even cross paths. Have you ever seen a tiger or a panda in the wild? Just because animals are not found together does not mean they do not live in the same world at the same time.”
What do they mean, “Think about it, would you want to live with dinosaurs?” The implication here is that humans were afraid of dinosaurs and lived as far away from them as possible. There are two things wrong with this theory. The first is that these same Young Earth Creationists preach that animals and man got along before the flood. The founder of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, states in one of his lectures, “God told Adam and Eve in chapter one and verse twenty-nine to only eat fruit and plants, and he told the animals to only eat plants, in fact, it wasn’t until after the flood that God said we could eat meat. Which is why we can eat meat today. Originally, Adam and Eve, and the animals, were all vegetarians.”
Then why would man be afraid of dinosaurs, or any animal for that matter? Why would you not want to live with dinosaurs? The “fear factor” theory contradicts what the YECs teach.
The second flaw in this theory is that even if humans segregated themselves from the dinosaurs, by now there should have been large populations of human fossils found in other areas of the earth. Dinosaur fossils are mostly found by accident. With millions of dinosaur fossils being found all over the earth, human fossils should have been found by accident all over the earth. It doesn’t matter whether the dinosaurs laid down next to a human to die. If they both died at the same time, although in different areas, the fossils of both should be found in the fossil record. They are not.
Along the same lines, I have to wonder why there are no marine dinosaurs alive today swimming in our oceans and lakes. When the flood came, “and took them all away,” there were millions of fish and marine mammals alive in the ocean and lakes. Every fish, from the yellow perch to the great white shark survived the flood, simply because they lived in water. Marine mammals also survived, from the dolphin to the great whales.
If marine dinosaurs were alive at the time of the flood, why are there not millions of dinosaur fish swimming in the oceans and lakes today? There should be an abundance of live dinosaur fish similar to those we have found in the fossil record. There are none. Not being able to find one ancient marine dinosaur in the water today isn’t just another “coincidence.” The YECs claim that since the flood, all dinosaurs living on land and in the water, have become extinct. Why only the dinosaurs?
And how about the dinosaurs that were saved on Noah’s ark? Where are they today? Do you mean to tell me that out of all of the kinds of animals and species that disembarked from the ark over 4000 years ago, the only kind of animals that have become extinct are the dinosaurs? Of the thousands of kinds of dinosaurs that existed, confirmed by the fossil record, you would think that at least a few kinds would still exist today! The fact that there is not one dinosaur alive today is another piece of circumstantial evidence that dinosaurs never got off the ark, because they never got on. They didn’t exist when the flood occurred.
Again, the YECs attempt to convince us that some ancient dinosaurs have survived to this day, we just haven’t found any of them. But the facts don’t support that claim. Scientists were sure they had found an ancient fish thought to be extinct when a fish thought to be a coelecanth was caught off the coast of Indonesia. But then DNA tests were run on the creature, and it was discovered that the live fish had a completely different DNA structure than the coelecanths found in the fossil record. So that fish, that looks like a marine dinosaur, is nothing of the sort.
Doctor Scott Woodward, a microbiologist and molecular biologist who specializes in genetic genealogy and ancient DNA studies, has conducted extensive studies on dinosaur DNA, and has published his findings, all of which have been ignored by the Young Earth Creationists. Dr. Woodward stated that the DNA that was extracted from dinosaur bones “is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.” The ancient creatures found in the fossil record are in no way connected with modern day animals. Dinosaurs were destroyed before God created modern day animals on day six.
The YECs also point to unsubstantiated stories of modern day dinosaurs, like the Loch Ness Monster, a creature reported to be seen by a select few in a lake in Scotland. Some people have claimed to have seen a creature with a long neck and fin-like extremities, similar to a plesiosaur dinosaur. But even after an extensive investigation by the BBC, including underwater cameras and sonar equipment, the creature has never been substantiated as real. Even with thousands of video cameras in the hands of the local residents, no real footage of the “dinosaur” has been recorded. Even if “Nessie” was found to exist, it’s doubtful that the animal’s DNA would match that of ancient creatures found in the fossil record.
And while we are discussing the fossil record, lets examine another piece of circumstantial evidence. There are no modern day fish or marine mammals found in the fossil record alongside fossils of marine dinosaurs. Here again, we have the same nagging question. If marine dinosaurs existed in the oceans at the time of the flood, and were swimming side by side with modern day fishes, then why are only marine dinosaurs found in the fossil record? Are we to believe that the massive amounts of silt that the YECs claim covered all of the fossilized animals, only covered the marine dinosaurs?
There should be millions of perch, bass, pike, grouper, snapper, catfish, and sharks, along with modern day marine mammals like whales and dolphins in the fossil record. There are none. Did they somehow avoid being covered with silt? The conclusion drawn from this evidence is that when the marine dinosaurs were destroyed and fossilized, there were no modern day fish in the water with them!
So we have four major pieces of circumstantial evidence to present here. One, there are no modern day man or animal fossils included in the fossil record. Two, there are no marine dinosaurs swimming in our waters today. Third, there are no modern day fish found in the fossil record. And fourth, there are no land dinosaurs alive today.
Four pieces of evidence, that if presented to a jury, would result in this verdict… Modern day man, animals, and fish, were not present on this earth when the dinosaurs were destroyed and formed the current fossil record we find today.
I’m going to present another bit of historical and physical evidence that seems to contradict God’s word if the theory being promoted by the Young Earth Creationists is correct. You recall my motto, “When there is conflicting evidence between earthly evidence and the Holy Bible, I have chosen the Bible.” In this case, I am going to rely on the infallible Word of God.
I recognized one such inconsistency in the Young Earth theory while listening to a presentation by Ken Ham at a convention in Columbus, Ohio. There are two main points that seriously clash with each other. Point number one, man and animal were vegetarians before Noah’s flood. Point number two, that the flood created all of the fossil record we find in the earth today.
Ken Ham cites Genesis chapter one, verses 29 and 30 to prove the first assertion that man and animals were vegetarians until after the flood. “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”
According to Ken Ham, both man and beast that existed on this earth were vegetarians before the flood. It wasn’t till AFTER the flood that man was given permission to eat meat. In Genesis chapter nine and verse three, we read that after the flood, God told Noah, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Ken Ham believes that this is the point where living creatures began eating living creatures.
There is a major conflict here that I don’t believe even Ken Ham has recognized. In the fossil record is overwhelming evidence that carnivores already existed. Animals were eating each other! In the lecture I observed, Ken Ham stated that the flood came with such force, that it caused large amounts of sediment to cover and preserve living things. In Ken Ham’s Creation Museum, he has one such fossil on display. He showed this fossil during his presentation to prove his point.
It is a fossil of a fish eating another fish. This fossil is used by Ken Ham to prove that the fossilization of these creatures was swift. The action is frozen in time.
Obviously, according to the YECs, this activity was taking place prior to the flood, because the sediment covered these two fish up quickly and froze the action in time. But how does Ken Ham explain the contradiction that all creatures were vegetarians before the flood, and then proclaim that the flood caused the preservation of fossils showing creatures eating each other? Many “fish eating fish” fossils have been found.
There are also a number of fossils of carnivorous land creatures eating each other when they were frozen in time. The following illustration shows one such discovery. You can see the larger dinosaur attempting to kill the smaller creature, who is trying desperately to push the larger dinosaur away with it’s feet.
If Ken Ham is correct in his assertion that the flood caused the fossilization of all the creatures in the fossil record, then he is wrong to claim that all creatures were vegetarians before the flood. At least ONE of his facts is incorrect.
The evidence here demands one of two conclusions. Animals were carnivorous before the flood, or the two fish he is holding in the picture were fossilized at some time other than during Noah’s flood. If I believe Ken Hams claim that animals were vegetarians before the flood, then I choose the latter.
END OF ARTICLE
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