Marine Fossil Evidence

One of the most prominent arguments against Intelligent Design (ID) is that it should be dismissed outright as being religious and not scientific. This claim is made so frequently in articles and books against ID that it leads the reader to conclude it must be true. But is ID any less scientific than evolution is?

What is meant by relegating ID to religion? Suppose a Christian who is also a scientist uses the empirical science of observations and measurements from the same microscope and slide that an evolutionist looks into. In this circumstance is the creationist practicing religion while the evolutionist is practicing science? Most people would say, “obviously no.”

Then why do evolutionists charge ID with being religion? The problem is not in the empirical science of observations but in the more speculative interpretation of the observations. However, suddenly the two groups are at an impasse since both make interpretations and no one is omniscient. Interpreting the data requires filling in the gaps with summations from hypotheses, tests, extensive research and other intelligence gathering. In the case of examining fossils, interpretation requires utilizing the scientists’ biases, beliefs and world views. As a matter of fact, evolution requires filling in the gaps just as ID does. Therefore, ID and evolution are on a level playing field, they both use scientific data and they both provide evidence for their theories.

Both ID and evolution require a certain amount of extrapolation based on the factual data. No one is able to go back in a time machine and watch the history of the universe and life transpire. Therefore, scientists look at the fossil record and draw conclusions from what they see. Some evolutionists theorize Earth’s geology was caused by several major catastrophes while others theorize it resulted from slow and gradual changes (This is called the “uniformitarian” view). Many Christians theorize Earth’s geology is largely the result of The Flood and a single Ice Age. Now does the global flood theory make it scientifically invalid simply because it was inspired by the Bible? No, let the evidence speak. Let’s not remove a possible cause for Earth’s geological layers and formations simply because it does not fit the billions-of-years-evolutionary view. To be honest, each theory has problems, and each theory has points in its favor.

Let me provide one of many facts that favor The Flood. Over 95% of the fossils found are marine invertebrates, primarily shellfish. Almost all (if not all) of the index fossils for each geologic layer are also marine invertebrates. How could a slow and gradual explanation of geology (uniformitarianism) fit this data? Even the dinosaur and mammal eras are identified by marine fossils, and marine fossils are found with these creatures or near by. Marine fossils require oceans, and since marine fossils are buried with mammals and dinosaurs this implies oceans covered them up. How can slow and gradual geology account for every layer being laid down by ocean water? In addition, fossilization requires both water and quick burial, like from a catastrophe.

In contrast the biblical description of The Flood, “the fountains of the great deep burst open”,[1] “all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered”,[2] “all flesh that moved on the earth perished”,[3] “the water decreased steadily until the tenth month.[4] The Bible describes a world-wide catastrophe, with the source of water coming from “the great deep” as well as 40 days of torrential rains. The ubiquitous marine fossils and world-wide fossilization favors a world-wide catastrophic flood.

Is a world-wide flood theory unscientific simply because the Bible described it? That is not logical is it? However it certainly sounds like the evolutionists consider it unscientific simply because it is Biblical. For more scientific evidence of The Flood see the work by John Baumgardner a scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory who developed a computer model which shows how a global flood would produce the majority of Earth’s present geological layers and various formations. This is no insignificant accomplishment since it was written up as a major article in US News and World Report in June, 1997.

[1] Genesis 7:11
[2] Genesis 7:19
[3] Genesis 7:21
[4] Genesis 8:5

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Revised: May 30. 2006 12:39:57 -0500 .