Engage Magazine: God and The Fossil Record
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Engage exists to provide perspective on culture through the eyes of a Biblical worldview, showing how that worldview intersects with culture and engages it.

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God and The Fossil Record

Skyler Gleue
College Student

Being able to defend my Christian faith, particularly when discussing it with atheists, is of special importance to me. Most atheists claim science is the ultimate way of discovering reality, and they rely on science to defend their claims that there is no God. But even some scientists refute such incompatibilities. In an essay on religion and science, Albert Einstein, famously quipped, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Einstein's comment suggests faith and scientific understanding can both be strengthened when they meet head on.

In a similar vein, I was talking to an atheist friend and asked him if he watched the debate between creationist Ken Ham, president/CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis, and evolutionist Bill Nye, popularly known as Bill Nye “The Science Guy.” My friend said he had and was very favorable of Bill Nye’s position. Intrigued, I asked him his reasoning for favoring Nye’s position. For one example, he pointed to the fossil record as presented by Nye. However, the fossil record actually supports Creationism over atheism.

In the book, I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Drs. Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek cover this subject thoroughly. Using a quote from molecular biologist Michael Denton, they show why the fossil record cannot establish “ancestral relationships.” Denton explains, “99% of the biology of any organism resides in its soft anatomy, which is inaccessible in a fossil." Geisler and Turek also mention that the discovery of a creature’s biological makeup is out of the question by using a quote from molecular biologist Jonathan Wells, who said, "The fossil evidence is open to many interpretations because individual specimens can be reconstructed in a variety of ways, and because the fossil record cannot establish ancestor-descendant relationships."

If evolution were true, we would have found thousands, perhaps even millions of transitional fossils by now, and Darwin’s hope for fossil finds that would prove his theory would be realized. Leading evolutionists, such as late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, grudgingly recognizes this fact. He noted in Evolution’s Erratic Pace that there are two features in fossil history that are "particularly inconsistent with gradualism….Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; Morphological change is usually limited and directionless.” He went on to say, “In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and 'fully formed.’"

Geisler and Turek note, “In other words, Gould is admitting that fossil types appear suddenly, fully formed, and remain the same until extinction without any directional change—exactly what one would expect to find if creation were true.”

In his book, In the Beginning, Walter T. Brown comments, “If [Darwinian] evolution happened, the fossil record should show continuous and gradual changes from the bottom to the top layers and between all forms of life. Actually, many gaps and discontinuities appear throughout the fossil record.”

As Dr. David A. Noebel, Summit Ministries leader and founder, states, “One reason the fossil record does not support evolutionary theory is that many complex life forms appear in the very earliest rocks without any indication of forms from which they could have evolved. Creatures without ancestors cannot help but imply special creation.” And he later goes on to say, “The lack of fossils supporting the transitional phases between species is perhaps the single most embarrassing topic for evolutionists, yet their absence is undeniable.”

We must not be fooled by the evidence secular society tries to claim from the fossil record. Contrary to what many evolutionists might claim, by honest examination, we see that the fossil record does more to back up the biblical model of Creation when it claims that God created things according to their kinds (Genesis 1:25). That's what the fossils show.



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