Fossils and Rock Layers: The Flood, not Millions of Years and Evolution
Topic: Midweek Sermons
What I wanted to say in opening is that a few weeks ago when I spoke on Sunday morning, we laid out the scriptural basis for understanding that the Scriptures clearly teach the flood is global. What I want to do tonight is to look at the realities of the world that we observe. I mean, God expects us to examine the world around us, he's given us a dominion mandate. It's important for us to understand that what we see in God's world will never conflict with what we read in God's word, but we don't always have the tools to use, or the understanding or insights, and I guess that's where God allows some to have the training in some areas that will help the church body to understand those issues and not be ashamed, that we can stand tall on these issues.
Now we see this in textbooks, you see it in museums. It's a common diagram and it's got all these labels on it and it's got all these fossils. Everyone understands what a fossil is, it's an animal or plant that has existed and then buried, well, we assume it had existed, we certainly see it buried today, and many of the fossils look very similar to creatures that are alive today and the reason, of course, is obvious as we'll come to in a moment. But when we see this diagram, many people shrink back at it and say, "Is the rock layer sequence and all those fossils you see in that diagram, is it real or is it simply contrived?" Because, you see, many people might think that it's contrived to support the idea of evolution and millions of years, and it doesn't really show an evolutionary development of life over time in the so-called geologic column, that's the name of the diagram, and does that diagram date the rocks as millions of years old according to the geological time scale that the geologists use, millions of years.
Another concept we often see in textbooks and students in public schools are taught, that life developed from simple chemicals; we all go back to a common ancestor eventually; we're all originally pond scum; and life diverged through millions of years through multiple changes until, hey, presto, here we are today. Of course, as Bible-believing Christians, we know God said in the beginning he created and that settles the matter and Jesus confirmed that when he said God created. But we have to face these issues because that's the culture that we live in and these are the ideas that are being presented to us in so many ways. Every day in the newspapers, on the television screen, these ideas slip in. This is the so-called geological time scale. There are men and women who dedicate their lives to constructing that and refining it and getting all the millions of years dates in the order that they expect them to be. So we need to think about these issues and this is what I want to do tonight, answer these questions and show you how we can reconcile what we see in the rock layers, in the fossils, with what we read in God's word.
Now the first thing I want to say might shock you but the rock layers are real. In case you don't believe me, run your car off the road on the 275 and hit the rock wall. You know, you bang your head against it, you're going to get a bloodied head. You all agree the rock layers are real but what you might not understand because you haven't taken the time to look, is the local rock sequences generally follow the order depicted in that geological column diagram. We can go here from Cincinnati and head South down the 75 and you're actually going up the sequence of layers because Cincinnati isn't a high area where the rock layers have been arched up. You can go North and you'll go up the sequence a little bit as well. In fact, geologists started by just looking at the layers in their local region, they didn't talk to the guy next door to compare notes, but now we're able to compare notes, we find that you connect the local rock layer sequences across regions. So North of here, you can trace layers all the way up to Niagara Falls and beyond, and I'm going to show you some examples, and some of these layers you can trace from continent to continent, and that shouldn't surprise us, if you start to think about where I'm heading with this.
Now if the rock layers are real and the order in those rock layers are real, then the order of fossils in those rock layers is real as well, and so what we see on the diagram does represent the fossils we see in those layers except often there are many more fossils than they depict on those diagrams. You see, they chose those to show from marine creatures developing up to land creatures. What they don't usually show on those diagrams is that you find marine creatures all the way through all the rock layers. A bit more of that in a moment.
Now, one of the reasons we go out to the Grand Canyon area, the whole area to the North of the Grand Canyon is actually called the Colorado Plateau. It's 250,000 square miles. It covers four US states. The Grand Canyon is an enormous slice through the earth's surface. There are other canyons that are wider, deeper, longer, but none as spectacular as the Grand Canyon, and you can actually walk from the bottom of the Grand Canyon, if you scale the walls of the canyon, once you get to the top, you're only partway up the sequence of rock layers that are found there in Northern Arizona going up into Utah. You see a sequence of cliffs that is called the Grand Staircase, and you can actually walk up these layers all the way up through Zion Canyon up to Bryce Canyon and you've gone through 15,000 feet of rock layers.
So Catherine will remember this view. This is in the Western Grand Canyon. That's the narrowest part of the Colorado River there, and at the base of the river level there we've got crystalline basement rocks that are the foundation rocks of every continent. We regard those as rocks that go back to the time of creation and everything else is built on that foundation.
So we see here this sequence of rock layers. There are a few sedimentary layers with no fossils in them until we get to an erosion surface and then we start to see fossils. The horizontal layers up there higher in the sequence are what we call the flat layers.
This is in the Western Grand Canyon. Let's go to the East where we start our river trips, where we launch our rafts and head down into the Grand Canyon. On river left, we're looking downstream on the Colorado River in that scene, and on the left at river level is the rock layer that's found at the top of the Grand Canyon when you go to the Grand Canyon village, which means the layers to the right are cliffs that are higher in the sequence. They're stacked higher in the sequence. These represent further flood layers. In fact, up until that level where the river is, you don't have anything other than marine fossils. It's only when you get into these layers you can see there on the right of the screen, that you start to get the land creatures, the dinosaur fossils etc., that so many people like to talk about. You get to the top of that sequence and the top layer you can see on the screen there, is the same layers that we see at Zion National Park, the Navajo sandstone in Zion National Park. It's 2,000 feet thick. That's a lot of sand. You can travel further North and eventually get to the top of the sequence at Bryce Canyon. Actually it's not a canyon. It's actually the eroded edge of a plateau but that's another story.
So you can actually physically walk this rock layer sequence. It does exist and there are fossils in these layers. So we go to the very bottom of the sequence again because we always, geologists always start at the bottom and work up because the layer at the bottom was formed before the layer stacked on top of it usually, and the earliest layers that go back to the time before the flood, we hardly find any fossils in it at all. We only find microscopic fossils, trace fossils, which is what you'd expect. In the calm conditions before the flood, you would expect that creatures would be slithering around and algae, which are microscopic, could easily get buried, but nothing more.
Then we reach that line across the screen there near the bottom of your screen where we find an erosion surface which goes right across the continent. A massive erosion surface and I'll show you that in due time. But that marks the beginning of the flood and suddenly you get all the fossils. In fact, that was the most problematical thing for Stephen Jay Gould. Whenever he was asked a question about what happened at that boundary, he refused to comment. Why? Because above that boundary is found every body plan of creature fossilized. Nothing new happens after that. Isn't that what you'd expect as the flood began, all the creatures that God had created, all the different plans, body plans were going to be then starting to be buried and that's what we see, different creatures. But notice in the layers, that these are the ones that form the walls of the canyon. You can see on the screen they've got names and notice there's a jewel naming scheme because there's more than one limestone. You know what a limestone is, don't you? It's lime turned to stone and sandstone is sand turned to stone. Well, there's more than one of each so you've got to give each layer a different name and each of these layers are recognizable, as you'll see from the photographs in a moment.
Now looking at the fossils, we find in this sequence through the walls of the Grand Canyon all we ever find are only marine creatures, shallow water marine creatures, some fish scales but corals and clams. The only exceptions, we find some vertebrate animal footprints. Then when we go higher in the sequence above the Grand Canyon, the top of the Grand Canyon through the layers further up into the plateau, now we start to find land creatures and dinosaurs. But by the way, if you notice the layers, the fossils that are listed there, marine fossils continue and occur up through the whole sequence and that is significant and that's what people often are not told. Then we get to the top of the sequence up around Bryce Canyon and we're getting into the end of the flood when things are starting to quieten down and, of course, the erosion that we see in that area with the canyons and everything, is due to waters retreating at the end of the flood and beyond.
So in broad scope, we've established that this diagram is real. The layers are real. The fossils are real. The order is real. So how are we going to understand this? We don't have to be embarrassed about the reality of what God has left in the rock layers with the fossils. Not at all. All we have to do is go where? To God's word. Because God doesn't lie, if the rock layer sequences and the fossils that are in them are real, then there ought to be an explanation that is thoroughly consistent with what God's word tells us. It's our authority. We need to use God's word. It's the lens through which we look at the world. We often talk about putting on biblical glasses and looking at the world around us based on what God's word says, and so we need to remind ourselves, then, go back to God's word and remind ourselves what God's word tells us about the history of the earth and the creatures and the plants that God created because, you see, the Bible is the history book of the universe. Actually, I like to emphasize that it's his story. It starts with Jesus as the Creator, we get to the climax where he's the Redeemer, and it ends with him as the coming King.
So really it's his story and it's woven right through the Scriptures, and where does it begin? At the beginning, "In the beginning God created," and we know, we read Genesis 1 and we don't have to go through all the details but I want to highlight just a few things that are relevant to what we're dealing with here tonight. We read on day three that God made the dry land, he commanded the waters to be gathered together in one place, and the dry land appeared and it's brought forth vegetation, and the fruit tree bearing fruit. Notice that? God knew that Adam and Eve would need food three days later. He didn't plant just seedlings, he provided lavishly. Then on day five we read that he put the birds, the flying creatures in the air, and the sea creatures in the water. And on day six, he made the land animals and then the pinnacle of his creation was to create man. And we're left in no doubt when we compare Scripture with Scripture what these days were. I just get flabbergasted by so many biblical scholars who can't simply read what the text says. In Exodus 20, "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy." Now remember the context. Who's speaking? God is, and by the way, it's repeated in Exodus 31 and we're told these words were written with the finger of God. So if God can't be trusted to write and say what he means in Exodus, how can we trust any other part of the Scriptures? It's all or nothing. As Pastor Don reminded us on Sunday morning, the capstone authority is Jesus Christ himself, who is spoken of as the Creator, and he should know, therefore, because he was there. And he says in Mark 13:19, the creation that God created. He deliberately referred back to Genesis where God had created.
Furthermore, in Mark 10:6 and Mathew 19:4, he said from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. Notice that? It wasn't after billions of years of cosmic and geologic and biological evolution. No, from the beginning God made them male and female. But you see, the secular time line has man at the very end. You got back 13.7 billion years for the so-called Big Bang, which is actually a misnomer, it's not an accurate description of what they claim, but it changes every time you hear more said about it, and the earth was supposedly formed 4 ½ billion years ago. Man is just a recent arrival on the scene according to the secular timescale. Well, guess what? They're wrong because Jesus was there and he tells us from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female, and looking back from today, man was created on day six and the earth on day one, that's back at the beginning.
So we don't have to have any doubt and, furthermore, God tells us what it was like when he created it. "He saw everything that he had made and, behold, it was very good, and the evening and the morning was the sixth day." By the way, what measure does God use to pronounce goodness? Didn't Jesus say there is none good but God alone? So if God says it's very good, he's marking it, his assessment is based on his own holy character. So when God had finished creating, there was everything. It was complete. Everything was fully functioning. There was no blemish. It was perfect just as he wanted it to be. In fact, the text says, "And it was so." Everything happened just as God spoke and ordained it.
However, we all know that it isn't like that today at all because what happened? Corruption came into the world when our first parents decided to doubt God's word. Satan's been doing the same thing. Paul reminded us not to be caught by the same subtly of Satan in the way that he had tempted Eve, and what was it? "Did God really say?" And people are falling for it today left, right and center, and because of that we read that the whole creation now groans in travail and pain together until now. So the next time there's an earthquake and people die, or a hurricane and people die, let's remind ourselves it's a consequence of our sin. It's not what God intended in the first place. We live in a broken corrupt world and that's why we need a Savior to rescue us from it.
So what do we see in the fossil record, in the rock layers with these fossils? The fossils are actually a record of death. You know, the evolutionists like to tell us it's a story of the development of life when in actual fact all you find are dead things. They're dead. Dead and buried. And furthermore, there's evidence of connivery, animals eating other animals. There's evidence of broken teeth and broken bones. There's a whole field now called paleopathology where they look at cancer in dinosaurs and brain tumors, and it's a study in itself.
So the fossil record is full of death and violence, disease, bloodshed, and it's also got thorns in it. Here we see fossil thorns that are proclaimed to be 400 million years old. Now can you see automatically there's a problem here? Because what does our authority say? Well, there were no thorns and thistles in the garden of Eden, were there? When did thorns come into existence? "Cursed is the ground for man's sake. From now on thorns and thistles," Genesis 3:18. You see, they've got it all wrong. They're saying thorns came before man, the Bible says, no, thorns came after man. So they can't be 400 million years old. Do you see the point?
This is how we have to be very careful how we think through these issues, how easy it is to get sucked into the way the world thinks. No, when we remember the Scriptures are quite clear that death, suffering and disease resulted from man's sin. Satan likes to turn everything on its head and turn it 180 degrees and try to tell us that death and suffering brought you and I into existence. That's what evolution is all about, mistakes, blind chance, random accidents, nature rent in tooth and claw. No, that's not what the Scriptures teach us. It teaches us a paradise that God created measured by his own holy standards, but we cause that corruption to come and as a result of our sin, it brought death into the world.
So that means you can't have a garden of Eden with Adam and Eve walking over fossils. There could have been no fossils in the ground when Adam and Eve were walking in the garden of Eden? Why? Because the fossils are a record of death, disease, and God said the world was good. No death. No suffering. Do you see how carefully we've got to think through these issues. Do you know what surprises me? Every year we take Old Testament and biblical scholars and various church leaders on a trip through the Grand Canyon and we deal with these issues, the theological as well as the geological. You know, many of those haven't even considered and realized the significance of that point, when did death begin, but the fossils are a record of death so it has to be after man, not before. It would have to be after man, not before, and as soon as you do that, the whole idea of millions of years of geological development evaporates because how do you then explain the fossils in the rock layers? What happened after the fall? A catastrophe came. Why? Because the Lord saw the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. I mean, you think how bad things are now, but imagine what it must have been like in Noah's day, and it grieved God so much that he had to command Noah to build a boat, an ark, and we don't have to go into the details here, but it was an ocean-going vessel that was capable of the function that God designed it for with the instructions and blueprints that he gave to Noah and his family to build. And what happened? Well, we read that the flood came. In the 600thyear of Noah's life, the fountains of the great deep broke open, and we read, and the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered, and the waters prevailed above the mountains covering them 15 cubits deep, and we went into the details about that when I spoke about it on a Sunday morning some weeks ago.
Now, can you imagine that local floods would cover all the hills under the whole of the heaven? The problem for many of these Old Testament scholars that want to try and add what man says to God's word instead of letting God's word judge what man says, they want to tell you that it was only a local flood in the Mesopotamian Basin. Well, what happens when the water rises to cover the hills in the Mesopotamian Basin? It's going to spill over into the next valley until it rises and keeps on spilling and it's going to keep on rising. Furthermore as I said, when the floodwaters drain, where are they going to drain from in the Mesopotamian Basin? Out in the Persian Gulf. Where did the ark land? On a mountain, the mountains of Ararat. Alright, having established then as we did before that the flood was global and we read the details, it wasn't just some tranquil flood. All the fountains of the great deep broke up. The waters prevailed mightily to all the high hills under the whole of the heaven and the mountains were covered.
What would you and I predict based on what we read in Scripture? You see, it's important, Jesus often in answering a skeptic's question, he asked a question in return. You know, a lot of people say, "Oh, there's no evidence for Noah's flood." The next time someone says that to you, you should stop them in their tracks and say, "Well, wait a minute. Let me read you what Genesis says. Now if that really occurred, what evidence do you expect to find? If everything perished, that's what it says, all land-dwelling, air-breathing life that wasn't on the ark perished, and the floodwaters swept over the continents covering all the high mountains, wouldn't we expect to find billions of dead things buried in rock layers all over the earth?" That's exactly what we find, billions of dead things called fossils buried in rock layers, laid down by water, deposited by water, all over the earth.
Well, stop and think about it for a minute. How does a fossil get like this, a fish get fossilized like that? You often get told that these things take a long time to form. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there's just been a recent scientific experiment and it's been reported in the newspapers about them forming fossils in less than 24 hours. Well, duh, of course. Think about it. This fish is about to have his dinner, he's in the process of eating it, and suddenly he's buried in tons and tons of sand and mud, and that's how you form a fossil like that. He didn't get time to finish his lunch before the two of them were buried and fossilized.
How do you explain a fossil like this? This is a marine reptile six feet long fossilized in the process of giving birth to a baby. One minute mother was giving birth to a baby, split second later buried in tons and tons of mud.
Or what about this fossil here? It looks like a flower but it's not, it's a jellyfish. Jellyfish are soft. They melt in the sun or get ripped apart by the wind and the waves. The man who discovered those said they have to form in no time at all, in less than a day. These are Crinoids or sea lilies. You don't find them looking like that in many of the roadcuttings around the 275 loop, they're all smashed up and broken. You have to have special conditions to bury them rapidly and preserve them like that, just like you do with a wasp. Look at the delicate preservation of the wings. Or a flower. I mean, these are not unique in the fossil record. There are plenty of fossils like this that indicate the fossilization had to be rapid. Why? You leave a fish out on the beach, it ain't long before it starts to rot and stink and so you know very well that you have to cover it up quickly to preserve it.
So what do the fossils show? Evidence of death, disease and destruction; evidence of rapid burial in a catastrophic flood; and they also show evidence of sudden appearance. The creatures appear in the fossil record fully formed, complex, without any ancestors in the layers below them. You see, many people forget, you know, in Charles Darwin's day, they didn't have the ability to look inside the cells, the little units that make up our bodies. Now we can go down even to the atomic scale looking at things and even a simple cell is complex, our bodies are made up of billions of them. You know, it's been said that the cell is as complex as a city the size of New York or London. Why? Because it has a transport system, factories, communication system. It's all miniaturized there on less than a pinhead. You know, when life appears in the fossil record, we find fully formed cells. Nothing in between or part way there. Life appears fully formed, functioning and mature, ready to live the way it was intended to by the Creator, and that makes sense, doesn't it? Did Jesus take millions of years to turn water into wine? No. He could make life instantly, fully complex, fully functioning.
We find flatworms suddenly in the fossil record and Trilobites. This is one of people's favorite fossils. It's a creature that's extinct as far as we know now but it probably lived on the seafloor and scurried around. You see down the left hand end it's got two knobs. That's it's head end and those two knobs are the eyes, and unlike our eyes that have an organic tissue, when we die it all rots out and we're left a hole there in our skull, the Trilobite eye is made up of lime, calcite, the mineral calcite which makes up lime, so that the lenses of the Trilobite are actually preserved for us and we now know that they are very very complex. There are multiple lenses all built to make each eye, multiple lenses that could look in every direction and focus automatically at different distances so that they could see life, see under the ocean perfectly. They were designed equipped for the life that God created them for and yet if you go to rock layers beneath them, you find no evidence of any potential ancestor, supposed, that would evolve into the Trilobites. No, it forms fully functioning, it's formed suddenly and it's found suddenly in the fossil record fully functioning and complex.
That's why Stephen Gould was baffled, but you and I don't have to be baffled. These are creatures that were buried rapidly during the flood. They all lived at the same time before the flood and then they became buried, because you and I, we don't have to look at Mount Rushmore and interpret that as millions of years of wind and water, and yet that's the stupidity, the foolishness, of the one who says there is no God. To rule God out of the equation is absolutely foolishness. We all can see the evidence of intelligent design in the world around us.
So the fossil record shows evidence of death, disease and destruction; rapid burial during the flood; sudden appearance fully formed and complex; evidence of an intelligent Creator; and evidence of no evolutionary transition. You see, when a creature was partway evolving, say from a reptile to a bird, which is the common one that's being talked about now, when it's halfway there, it's got half-formed legs and half-formed wings so how well does it walk and how well does it fly? How can it survive? Now as Stephen Jay Gould said, what uses half a wing or half a jaw? And archaeopteryx which was touted as the ancestors to birds, was a true bird with true feathers. Sure it had teeth in its bill and it had claws on its wings, but so do living birds, some living birds have those features as well.
Here's another transition that's being touted from fish to amphibians, changing from fins to legs, but again, half-fin, half-legs, how well can the creature swim or how well can it crawl? And this was the specimen that was touted as the missing link. Notice what's missing: the half-fins, half-legs. How do we know? The rest of it is filled in by imagination. In fact, after they found this particular fossil, in layers below they found footprints so they knew that this creature couldn't be the ancestor of those whose fins had changed into legs because the legs were already in layers below. So when you find a whole skeleton, it either has fins or it either has legs. Nothing in between.
You see, that's why I like to remind you of what the different scientists have said. Charles Darwin admitted in 1859, "Why then is not every geological formation, every stratum, full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record." So in Charles Darwin's day, he couldn't find any of these missing links and he said, "Well, we haven't discovered enough fossils yet. Given enough time, given enough scientists, we'll eventually find the fossils." Well, Stephen Jay Gould, arguably the leading evolutionist of the 20thcentury, wrote this, "The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualist accounts of evolution." Do you hear what he's saying? Not only don't we find them, we can't even imagine what they look like. That's not a very good start.
David Raup was the leading paleontologist of the 20thcentury at the University of Chicago and in their field museum, they have the largest collection of fossils in the world and so he should know, and this is what he wrote, "Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded." This was in 1979. "The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transitions than we had in Darwin's time." Wait a minute, how many did Darwin have? None. He's saying, "We have fewer than that." "Some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information."
And Colin Patterson at the British Museum wrote a book about evolution and he was challenged and he wrote this, "I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. Yet Gould and the American museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. I will lay it on the line, There is not one such fossil for which one might make a watertight argument."
And these are the leading fossil experts. As another paleontologist said, "This is the trade secret of paleontology that most people don't know. They keep it to themselves. They don't have the fossils and they don't want the general public to realize that."
Ernst Mayr wrote in 2001, "Given the fact of evolution," that's his dogmatism, "one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from one ancestral form to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series." And so on.
So they don't have the missing links. That's why they're called missing because they're still missing. If they really had these fossils to show us, they'd be in every textbook and every museum and every newspaper. The surprising thing is they make these announcements but usually a month or so later, they withdraw those announcements.
So what do the fossils show? Evidence of sudden appearance in the fossil record, fully formed and complex; evidence of design by an intelligent Creator; evidence of no evolutionary transitions; and evidence of many varieties of basic kinds reproducing after their kind because, you see, the Scriptures don't talk about species. When God created, he told them to reproduce after their kind. The word "species" is a man-made term. It's not in the Bible and based on what the Scriptures say, God created original kinds of creatures and he told them to go out, reproduce and multiply and fill the earth and, therefore, we would expect to find groups of creatures that could reproduce with one another, lots of variety, and so we'd have many varieties of dogs from Great Danes down to Chihuahuas, and they all could interbreed with one another and with wolves because they're probably like the foxes and can all interbreed, and all the different horses can interbreed. We have at our Creation Museum, we have a zonkey and a zorse because they can interbreed. You can interbreed a tion with a liger, that is a cross-breed on either side. And so on with panthers and cheetahs, the cat kind. You see, the scientists call them different species but they could actually interbreed. So they can reproduce after their kind as God commanded so they must belong to the same kind.
So in the normal classification system that's in the textbook, most of the kinds represent the families that they refer to. Some of you will remember the classification system down from phylum down to order to family to genus to species. Well, the family level is probably the level of the kinds in Scripture. You see, when we look at Trilobites in the fossil record, they're always Trilobites. They have different ornamentation, they're different sizes, but they're always Trilobites. Brachiopods or lamp shells have different grooves but they're still the same body plan and they're all the same. They're different sizes but they remain the same. They don't change into something else.
So we find evidence of basic kinds that stay the same. In fact, Stephen Jay Gould admitted that not only do creatures appear in the fossil record suddenly fully formed and fully functioning, but they stay the same. They don't change. Isn't that what we'd expect? God created them and made the basic kinds and those basic kinds have stayed the same ever since he created them. Lots of variety. God loves variety. He loves beauty. He loves colors. Think of all the varieties of flowers and you'll understand how much God loves variety and filled the earth with such beauty.
Now down at the bottom of the Grand Canyon were these domes. That's actually a fossil. It's layers of mud that have been pasted together by mats of slime, blue-green algae. DO you know what? They're supposed to be a billion years old in the secular way of reckoning. We find the same creatures, the same bacteria doing the same thing on the coast of Western Australia today and they haven't changed. They're the same. You go to the coast of Moreton Bay, Brisbane, where we moved from to come here, and you find this lamp shell called lingula on the shores and it's doing exactly, it's exactly the same as one of the oldest lamp shells or Brachiopods in the fossil record that's supposedly over 500 million years old. It hasn't changed.
There was a fossil fish called a cilocanth that was said to have died out 65 million years ago. In 1938, we found it swimming off the coast of Madagascar, since been filmed swimming off the coast of Indonesia and off the coast of Japan.
When we find Ginkgos in the fossil record, they're the same as living Ginkgos. In 1994, an off-duty national park ranger West of Sydney, in the mountains West of Sydney went into a remote canyon and found a pine tree that had supposedly died out 165 million years previously and the fossils are only 60 miles away from a living one, the Wollemia pine. And the scientists were astonished. What was it doing for 165 million years that it never got fossilized anywhere else? Well, I'll tell why: the 165 million years never existed. The fossil was buried in the flood and the living one here survived through until after the flood and grew again.
Fossil crabs and crayfish, we recognize them because they're the same as ones today. Beetles are the same in the fossil record. You find them in amber, the earliest beetles are exactly the same as beetles alive today. They haven't changed at all. They've been reproducing after their kind, doing exactly what God commanded them to do.
So what do the fossils show? Evidence of rapid burial in a catastrophe, the flood; evidence of death and extinction; evidence of destruction and burial on a global scale in a catastrophe, the flood. Because, you see, when we find the fossils, we don't find them in their ones and twos. No, we find them by their thousands and by their billions. We call them graveyards. Just like we have a graveyard where we put lots of people buried together, when we find creatures and plants buried together we call it a graveyard.
You may not realize that every time you drive around the 275, you're driving through a fossil graveyard. These are the limestones in those roadcuts and they're absolutely chock full of shallow water marine creatures: corals, clams, lamp shells or Brachiopods, and Crinoids or sea lilies.
Here we can see the lace coral, the stems of the lace corals, the Bryozoas and the Brachiopods or lamp shells. I don't suggest you pull up on the roadcut on the sides of the 275 as the highway patrol will come up and make you move on, but there are ways and means to see these layers in some of the side streets around the Cincinnati area.
If we go to the Grand Canyon, we find in the limestone there all these broken up, smashed up Crinoids by their millions. And corals by their millions.
Here's a cliff on the North coast of the island state of Australia called Tasmania off the Southern tip, and this cliff is called Fossil Bluff. It's an 80 foot high cliff. Why? Because it's full of these fossils, broken up, smashed up shells of clams particularly and snails, and it's got lots of pebbles and other rubble in it. It was a mass burial. In this cliff are also the remains of a toothed whale and we've found also the remains of a marsupial possum. By the way, when was the last time you saw whales and possums living together? Yeah, you go to museums and they show you a photograph of a fossil deposit and they've got a diagram of the environment that was there. No, no, no, no, no, you see the dead things in the rock. The only thing we know for sure is the creatures were buried there. We don't know whether they lived there, we don't know whether they died there, we only know that they were buried there because we can see them there.
So when was the last time you saw a whale and a possum living together? Whales live in the deep ocean and possums on land so it couldn't have been a living environment. They were washed together and buried together and only a catastrophic flood will do this.
In Southern Israel in Makhtesh Ramon, there is this fossil graveyard. It's a tilted up layer. Do you see the boy there for scale? Let's zero in on all the knobs on that wall and there are these huge fossilized ammonites, coiled ammonite shells. Yeah, it's named after the Ammonites in the Bible.
And here's an interesting fossil graveyard. The White Cliffs of Dover. That's a fossil graveyard. Chalk is a type of limestone and under the microscope we can see that it's made up of trillions of microscopic shells. Trillions. We'll come back to the chalk again in a minute. It's a type of limestone, remember that.
So we find evidence of rapid mass destruction and burial on a global scale as a result of the flood. That means the order of the fossils and the order of the layers represents the order in which things happened during the flood. Do you see how you have to think logically? If the layers that formed first had marine creatures in them, wait a minute, where did the flood begin? The fountains of the great deep broke open. Ah, the great deep is the ocean. So which creatures would have been affected first by the flood? The ocean creatures. Which creatures do we find first buried by the flood? The ocean creatures.
The order of fossils represents the burial order of the flood, so we get these Stromatolites, these mounds made up from fossilization binding together by these mats, they're in the layers formed before the flood. In fact, if you hike into the back country up from the Colorado River into one of the back canyons, you actually find these mounds are stacked side-by-side in a restructure. It makes sense that when the flood came over the ocean floor and up onto the land, what's it going to do? It's going to progressively bury groups of creatures that live together or pick them up and carry them and bury them together somewhere else, and the fact that we find this as a reef-like structure suggests that there may have been a reef structure like this in the pre-flood world that enclosed a lagoon around the coastal areas of the pre-flood continental areas and jellyfish and worms lived in that lagoon. Why? Well, because they're the first fossils that are found in the fossil record. The jellyfish and the flatworms would have lived in that lagoon in the pre-flood world and they were overwhelmed first as the floodwaters came in and started to bury that reef and then started to bury those creatures in the lagoon.
We have this diagram in the relevant section of the Creation Museum. Why? Because we want to show people that the vertical sequence of fossils in the rock layers represents the horizontal sequence of the different communities at different elevations that were progressively buried as the floodwaters rose. So the floodwaters, first of all, start progressing over the ocean floor, starts to then migrate over the shallow water areas where you've got the clams and corals, and then finally it starts to rise up onto the land, and so you would expect to find mainly marine creatures in the lowest part of the fossil record, these Trilobites, Brachiopods or lamp shells, Crinoids or sea lilies, Bryozoans or lace corals, and that's what we do find.
In fact, a little bit of statistics here. It's been estimated that by volume and number, 95% of the fossil record is made up of these shallow water marine creatures, these clams and corals. Ninety-five percent of the fossil record, and less than 5% are the trees, the plants. When you consider that black stuff we call coal, c-o-a-l, I spell it so you can understand my pronunciation, but Will knows what coal is because he comes from West Virginia, and we dig it up, don't we? And that's fossilized plant material. There is seven trillion tons of it in the USA alone and that represents less than 5% of the fossil record. It puts the perspective on the 95%. Shallow water marine creatures, do you know what that tells me? When God said that he was going to fill the waters, it says it swarmed. When he created all the sea creatures, he said swarmed and it must have swarmed. The present world is a desert by comparison to what the pre-flood world might have been like. By the way, notice that less than 1% of the vertebrates and less than 5% of the 1% are the dinosaur fossils. They make a lot of noise about the dinosaur fossils but most dinosaur fossils consist of only one bone. It's very rare to get a whole skeleton.
The other thing we notice is that marine fossils are found all the way up through the fossil record and the higher you go, you get more and more living creatures, fossils that are the same as the creatures that are living today. Then as we get higher in the record, we have evidence that there may have been floating forests in the pre-flood world; that the shallow ocean waters might have been covered with floating plants just like you get in some swamps today, you get quaking bogs, you get plants that float. Many of the tree fossils associated with the coal bins in North America were hollow, hollow trunks and hollow roots. Hollow roots can't penetrate soil but they're good for floating and so God may have provided a lush amount of vegetation covering large parts of the ocean surface with its own habitat of animals as well because we find certain fossils only associated with these plants that are buried in the coal bins.
And so now we see that we're rising from the coastal areas, we're starting to rise up onto the land and we start to get the vertebrate fossils and, again, you go from those, the lower layers and we find mainly those that are extinct, as you go up through the record, you find more and more fossils that are the same as living creatures today.
Now what most people don't realize is that dinosaurs are only found with certain types of plants. Dinosaur fossils are only found with naked sea plants or gymnosperms like pines and Cycads. That suggests that they may have lived together; that the mammals and the flowering plants only occur together in the fossil record means that mammals and flowering plants might have only lived together. There are lots of dinosaurs that they like to talk about but there are probably only about 60-80 basic types of dinosaurs and then as we get to the highest areas, we probably have the mammals and the flowering plants. By the way, I can tell you on the basis of Scripture that the garden of Eden was at a high elevation. Did you realize that? How do I know? The Bible says that the river flowed out of Eden. Does water flow uphill? No, it flows downhill so Eden had to be a high elevation. Do you see how little details are there if we just glean them from the text correctly? By the way, if you were to go to an area like the Grand Canyon today and to flood it and to bury the creatures that are there, you wouldn't expect to find cacti buried with Ponderosa pine. Why? Ponderosa pine are up at the rim at 7,000 feet elevation, the cacti are a mile down further in the system in the biological zoning. So when we've got mammals and angiosperms buried together and dinosaurs not buried with mammals and angiosperms, guess what? That suggests that dinosaurs may not have lived in the same habitats as mammals and humans, which is why they're not buried together.
So the fossil record represents the burial order of the flood. Now furthermore, just a few more quick things, we also find traces in the fossil record of what animals were doing while the floodwaters were rising. So here, for example, we see these u-shaped borrows made by worms who were going down and suddenly realized they were getting buried and did a u-turn to escape. We call them escape burrows and there are trails showing the worms were moving around and other creatures were scurrying around. Even Trilobites were scurrying around but the interesting thing is we find the evidence of the Trilobite trails on the sandy surfaces millions of years before we find their bodies. Well, that's the secular view. Many rock layers later, we find the bodies separated from the footprints. That doesn't make sense if it's millions of years. If it's during the flood, the animals scurrying along to escape from the water and the layers are piling up and within hours it's buried up a little bit higher. In fact, that's a common feature in the fossil record that they don't like to tell you about. The tracks are usually found before the bodies. We find dinosaur tracks in the fossil record 15-20 million years before we find their bodies. So how could the same dinosaur have been living around for 15-20 million years before it got buried after leaving its tracks?
We find tracks like this, for example, in the Grand Canyon where you can see the claw marks where creatures were leaving their trails, but we always find, in the Grand Canyon we find the footprints but it's only in layers higher up that we find the animals that made the footprints supposedly millions of years later. It's the same with the dinosaurs. And we also find fossilized dinosaur eggs and they'll tell you that the dinosaurs must have made nests. By the way, when was the last time you saw a dinosaur made a nest? Do we know that dinosaurs ever made nests? No. Have you seen a dinosaur make a nest? No. And they say, "See, look, we find these eggs together, the mother had to lay them, that represents a lot of time. You can't have a flood with these eggs like this. Or these footprints, how do you get animals making footprints during the flood?" Well, the answer is simple. Let's think about it. The waters progressively rose from the ocean basins to cover the land. During the flood, the water level continued to fluctuate daily. Why? Because there was still tides. In fact, the tidal fluctuation would have been greater. Why? Because when you've got a global ocean, you haven't got any land barriers to stop the rise and fall and because the high tide is almost 24 hours behinds, they actually catch up with one another and get higher and higher. We call it resonance. Furthermore, the intense earthquakes were producing tsunamis. You know what a tsunami is, don't you? You say it on real-time tv in March, 2011 off the coast of Japan. Earthquakes, earth movements going off all the time. So you could have had tidal and fluctuations of the water level hundreds or even thousands of feet.
What does that mean? Well, animals would be picked up by the surges and would begin to swim. Yes, dinosaurs can swim like elephants can. They've been known to swim from island to island, elephants have. Yes, and camels. Go and Google it and you'll see camels swimming in the ocean. Until the water level drops and what happens? The water level drops, they start to move around on land and do you know what? They'll leave behind their footprints and lay their eggs. We know that many animals like reptiles, the mother will hold onto eggs if necessary if she hasn't found anywhere to lay them, and as soon as she gets somewhere to lay them, out they come, and if she's been carried around for a month or so in the floodwaters, what's going to happen? Some of those eggs are just about to hatch and they might hatch as soon as she drops them, and the scientists come along and say, "See the nest?" No, no, she just had to drop them in a hurry and then the water level comes up again, she gets swept away, the mud and sand buries the footprints and buries the eggs and the embryos etc., and then mother gets tired and eventually drowns and gets buried in layers above.
You see, when you start to think about what was going on in the flood, you can explain all these details. It's not magical.
So finally and very quickly and we're going to take this up again next week: what do the rock layers show? Well, the rock layers show that the ocean waters flooded the continents. Do you realize that the marine fossils are found in rock layers up on the continents? That's very profound if you stop and think about it because where do marine creatures live? In the ocean. They don't live up on the continent, so how come they're buried up on the continents? You don't find the marine creatures fossilized in the ocean, you find them fossilized on the continents. Isn't that rather interesting? In other words, the ocean waters had to flood over the continents to bring the marine creatures from their normal habitat in the ocean and carry them and bury them up on the continent. What would have done that on every continent even as high as Mt. Everest?
Wouldn't you expect to find widespread rapidly deposited rock layers? Yes. Rock layers that can be traced all the way across continents and between continents. Let me give you some examples. If we go to the Grand Canyon, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the first layer formed during the flood is called the Tapeats Sandstone. Remember, sand is turned to stone in sandstone, well, there's another sandstone called the Coconino Sandstone, but this is the Tapeats Sandstone so you've got to give an extra name so you know what sandstone I'm talking about. And if you've been to the South rim and looked down, that is it right there, there at the bottom. That's the view from the South rim. It's that little cliff at the bottom before you plunge into the inner gorge. Now if you get up close to it, it's actually a cliff that sometimes is 300 feet high and it's made up of multiple bands or layers of this sandstone and it sits on an erosion surface, at the base of that cliff is an erosion surface where the layers underneath have been eroded and they're crystalline basement rocks, the foundation rocks of the continent, the North American continent. Do you know what? You can trace that Tapeats Sandstone layer right across North America. I can take you to a roadcut in Missouri where you can see it. I can take you to Chippewa Falls in Wisconsin where you can see the same crystalline basement, the same erosion surface, and the same sandstone. That sandstone can be traced across North Africa to Southern Israel. I can take you to Timna in the Negev in Southern Israel, the same Tapeats Sandstone that's called Solomon's Pillars here, that feature at Timna. The same erosion surface, the same crystalline basement rocks. Isn't that interesting? The same rock layer traced across both those continents.
The Redwall Limestone. Why do we call it the Redwall Limestone? It's halfway up the Grand Canyon there. It forms a cliff from 400-800 foot high and geologists think logically, they call it the Redwall Limestone because it looks like a red wall. Isn't that really intelligent? And there it is. Well, do you know what? I can find the same limestone in Killarney in Ireland. The same features, the same fossils, at the same level in the fossil record. I find the same limestone in the Yorkshire Dales of England. I can trace it right across Europe up into the Himalayas. The same limestone with the same fossils 180% halfway around the world across those two continents.
The chalk beds. I told you we'd come back to the chalk beds and we're reaching the finale. It's a fossil graveyard. Remember we looked inside and we saw all these microscopic shellfish, trillions of them. The same chalk beds, we can go West across to the Northern Ireland. Here they are at Ballintoy near Antrim, near the Giant's Causeway. We can trace the same chalk beds across France, Germany, Poland, all the way down to Israel, Egypt and Kazakhstan. In fact, at the base of this cliff is a brook from which a shepherd boy picked up five smooth stones and that's the Valley at Elah and that's the chalk beds in Israel, the same chalk beds as the White Cliffs of Dover.
The same chalk beds are found in the Midwestern United States from Alabama to Colorado, from Nebraska to Texas. In Kansas it's called the Niobara Chalk. It's the same chalk. By the way, the same chalk beds can be found in Southern, Western Australia. Exactly the same fossils, exactly the same layers above and below. Isn't that interesting? All the way across Europe, across the middle of the US and over there in Australia. That's a global scale fossil graveyard.
Now, what do the evolutionary geologists tell us? They tell us that the chalk beds formed over millions of years as lime grain by grain, and tiny shell by tiny shell, slowly fell to the ocean floor because, you see, their philosophy is the present is the key to the past. You only can interpret what happened in the past based on what you see happening today. What don't we see happening today? The global flood. So they have deliberately ruled out what God's word says. That's what it says in 2 Peter 3, "The last days, there will come scoffers who will be willingly ignorant and they will say all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." Nothing's changed. So where do they go? They go to the ocean floor today and what do we see on the ocean floor? Lime grain by lime grain, shell by shell forced to the bottom of the ocean and it takes thousands of years to accumulate a fraction of an inch. So they say if it takes that long to form on the present ocean floor, how long did it take to form the chalk in the past? A fraction of an inch in a thousand years, you've got chalk beds that are a thousand feet thick, that's millions of years. Do you see where they got their millions of years from? It has nothing to do with radioactive dating, by the way. That's where they got the original idea of millions of years from. But here's the question: what other fossils do we find buried in these chalk beds? Furthermore, these chalk beds today are found on the continents, not on the ocean floor so how can what happens on the ocean floor explain the burial up on the continents?
So what other fossils do we find? This is eye-opening. Here's the chalk beds in Kansas, Niobara Chalk. In the same chalk beds we find Crinoids, sea lilies. Yes? Not very astounding but look, we find a fish 12 feet long with an undigested fish in its stomach. How long did it take to form that fossil if it was thousands of years for each fraction of an inch? He would have finished digesting his lunch, wouldn't he? And in the same deposit, same chalk we find Pliosaurs, 16-18 foot long; turtles 12 feet wide. We find dinosaurs and bird fossils in this chalk deposit. Large creatures. How could they be buried a fraction of an inch every thousand years, land and air dwelling and sea creatures, large ones all buried together? How would gradual grain by grain deposition on the ocean floor over millions of years explain how you got these creatures, these large sea, land and air dwelling creatures buried together on the continents? The only way is if the ocean waters rose and swept across the continents catastrophically burying these creatures in this global scale fossil graveyard called the chalk beds.
Do you see how easy it is? By the way, if you want that information, just go to the Answers in Genesis website and in the search engine put "chalk beds" and you get all that information in an article I wrote in our layman's Answers Magazine, including some of those photographs.
Well, it's time to wrap up. What have we learned tonight about the rock and the fossil record? Is the rock layer and fossil sequence real? Yes. Is it simply contrived to make it support evolution and millions of years? No, it's real. It exists. Does it show evolution and development of life in the geologic column? No. Do the fossils date the rock layers as millions of years old according to the geologic timescale? No, not at all. We don't find labels on the fossils saying, "Hi, I'm millions of years old." Do we find marine creatures buried and fossilized on the continents? Yes. Were the creatures buried rapidly and thus the rock layers formed rapidly? Yes. Do some rock layers have a global extent? Yes. Are the rock layers and fossils consistent with a global flood cataclysm as described in the Bible? Absolutely yes.
So you see, when we start with God's word as our authority and eye-witness account of earth history, he was there, he never makes mistakes and never tells lies. He's told us about the history of the earth and so we can understand the earth's history, the fossil record, the rock layers, and they are consistent with what we read about in the global flood cataclysmic flood in Genesis. It explains the sudden appearance of fossil creatures. It explains their design, complexity and varieties. It explains their death and their extinction and the burial order of the pre-flood biological communities and creatures occurred progressively during the progressive inundation in the global flood, the burial order of the flood, and rock layers with marine fossils covering the continents are a result of the global flood.
So the rock layers and fossils remind us of the consequences of our sin and God's judgment and you think about it: God had to go to that extent. He said he was going to destroy man with the earth. That was a total renovation. That's how bad our sin is in God's sight that he went to that extent to produce the rock layers and the fossils that we walk on today. But of course, they're still fun to study, to understand, and we do so when we explore God's world in the light of God's word.
Well, let's just bow for a word of prayer.
Father, we thank you for the excitement we can have as we look at the world that you created. We can look at it in the light of your word and we can understand it. Father, we've touched on so many topics tonight. We pray that this little glimpse will encourage everyone here and everyone listening in to know that they can truly trust God's word from the beginning. Help us, Father, to affirm that daily in our walk with you so that we will always turn to your word as our rock and as our authority to keep us walking close to you day by day until you take us to our heavenly home. So thank you for this time. Refresh our hearts and our minds as a result of what we've learned and we pray these things in our Savior's name. Amen.
More in Genesis and the Flood
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August 28, 2018Jesus and Genesis
August 21, 2018The Flood: The Big Picture of its Mechanism and the Resulting Evidences