Saturday, May 13, 2006
Traces Preceding Actuals, Fossil Poop as Evidence
Distribution of Footprints and Body Fossils
When debating flood geology, the lines of evidence that I concentrate on are those that point out that the sorting of the fossil record seems to not be based on time properties, and therefore another set of properties needs to be investigated (obviously the one I think is appropriate is the flood).
For example, when you look at the comparison of fossil footprints with body fossils, you find a massively disproportionate fossil distributions in amphibians, reptiles, and dinosaurs, with footprints concentrating in the lower strata (Triassic and Jurassic), and body fossils concentrating in the upper strata (Cretaceous).
While evolutionists don't seem to think anything of this, Creationists think this is evidence of fleeing behavior from rising floodwaters. After the K/T boundary, which is where many Creationists put the zenith of the flood, there are very, very few footprints found.
Trackways Preceding Body Fossils
It's interesting that in many cases, our earliest evidence of an animal is from its trackways, not body fossils. For instance, this paper in Geology points out that arthropod trackway fossils precede arthropod body fossils by 40 million years according to the geologic timescale. This isn't unique, either.
Dinosaurs Pooped Grass Before it Existed
Really interesting data comes from fossilized poop. This paper makes some interesting points about grass:
- Grass is known only in poop in the late Cretaceous
- Grass is known only in pollen in the Paleocene
- Real grass fossils don't exist until much later in the Paleocene
That's about 50 million years between when grass was pooped out to when it actually became a full-fledged member of the fossil record.
Obviously, evolutionists simply view this as pushing back the time when grass came into being. But creationists think that it should cause pause for people when grass is showing up in poop 50 million years before it shows up anywhere else. If the fossil record for grass is off by 50 million years, what else is off by 50 million years? And what makes us so certain that we simply lack the evidence for its existance well before that? Of course, it could be that time is not the dominant factor in fossil sorting.
The Coelacanth and Others Presumed Dead
Finally, it is interesting to see fossils presumed long-dead are still alive and well. The Coelacanth has not left a fossil in almost a hundred million years according to the geologic record. In fact, it's position in the fossil record is so steady that it was long used as an index fossil. However, the Coelacanth is still alive and with us today. On page 4 of the issue of Creation Matters linked above, it has graphs of three animals long presumed dead which are very much with us. The Neopilina has been missing from the fossil record for 350 million years, and yet still lives.
The evolutionists use terms such as "ghost lineages" and "lazarus taxa" to preserve their suppositions. Obviously, if the fossil record did represent millions of years, it would be imperfect. However, this is more than imperfection. These are systematic problems that occur over and over again. If the fossil record is a record of millions of years, it is so spotty that really nothing of interest can be gleaned from it. However, I believe that it is a record of something much different -- a record of death from the flood.
You have ocean bottom dwellers at the bottom. Amphibians above that. Trackways of amphibians and reptiles (in many places, such as the grand canyon, they are almost all going uphill). Body fossils of reptiles. And then a period of few or no fossil tracks. After that, you start getting a more-or-less modern assortment of land animals. Now, why so few mammals in flood rocks? Because dead mammals and birds float (reptiles suspend and amphibians sink).
I think the facts of the fossil record point to a physical process. While the process of the flood is not fully elucidated yet, I look forward to future research which will do just that.