Table of Contents

Refuting Evolution 2, revised and expanded edition, 2011

Index

Introduction

Unit 1

Chapter 1

Argument: Creationism is religion, not science

Chapter 2

Argument: Evolution is compatible with Christian religion

Chapter 3

Argument: Evolution is true science, not ‘just a theory’

Unit 2

Chapter 4

Argument: Natural selection leads to speciation

Chapter 5

Argument: Some mutations are beneficial

Chapter 6

Argument: Common design points to common ancestry

Chapter 7

Argument: ‘Bad design’ is evidence of leftovers from evolution

Chapter 8

Argument: The fossil record supports evolution

Unit 3

Chapter 9

Argument: Probability of evolution

Chapter 10

Argument: ‘Irreducible complexity’

Chapter 11

Argument: Evolution of sex

Chapter 12

Argument: Evolution of mankind

Appendix 1

Common arguments for evolution that have been rejected

Appendix 2

Common arguments for creation that should not be used

Refuting Evolution 2

A sequel to Refuting Evolution that refutes the latest arguments to support evolution (as presented by PBS and Scientific American).

by with Michael Matthews

Argument: The fossil record supports evolution

Evolutionists say, ‘Paleontologists have found many examples of transitional fossils for creatures such as birds, whales, and horses.’

First published in Refuting Evolution 2, Chapter 8

This chapter discusses the fossil record, how interpretations are strongly influenced by one’s assumptions, how it lacks the transitional forms evolution predicts, and discusses in detail some of the common evolutionary claims. Note: the human fossil record is not covered in this chapter, but in chapter 12.

The fossil record: prediction of evolution?

Scientific American claims that the placement of fossils in the geologic record was predicted by evolution and is strong evidence for it. But it can’t even keep the ‘facts’ straight.

But one should not—and does not—find modern human fossils embedded in strata from the Jurassic period (65 million years ago). [SA 80]

Of course I don’t believe the millions of years in the first place (see The Young Earth1 for some reasons), but I know enough to know that Scientific American made a blooper even under its own perspective. Evolutionists assign the date of 65 Ma to the K–T (Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary), not to the Jurassic period. Instead, the Jurassic is dated after 208–144 Ma. After I first posted a rebuttal on our website, Scientific American corrected their error on the web version of the article.

Actually, even if they found human fossils deeply buried in the earth that contradicted their assumptions about the geologic column and the fossil record, evolutionists could easily accommodate such ‘out of place fossils,’ as they have with living specimens of the ‘ancient’ Coelacanth fish and ‘dinosaur era’ Wollemi pine. These recent finds are just as sensational—from an evolutionary paleontologist’s perspective—as finding a living dinosaur. Since the materialistic paradigm (interpretive framework) is all important, evolutionists would be able to explain an ‘old’ human fossil by ‘reworking’ (displacing from the initial burial depth), or maybe even reassigning such bones to another creature, since after all ‘we know’ that humans can’t be that deep in the fossil record!

A good example of reworking is the famous fossil footprints at Laetoli, Africa, of an upright walking biped—the University of Chicago’s Dr Russell Tuttle has shown that these are the same sorts of prints as made by habitually barefoot humans. But since they are dated at millions of years prior to when evolutionists believe modern humans arrived, they are regarded as australopithecine prints, by definition, even though australopithecine foot bones are substantially different from human ones. And then in an amazing twist, the same prints are held up as evidence that australopithecines walked upright like humans—regardless of the fact that other aspects of their anatomy indicate otherwise.2

In spite of evolutionists’ assumptions to the contrary, the fossil order can be explained in a creationist framework, which actually avoids some of the contradictions of the evolutionary view.3 The ‘fountains of the great deep’ (Gen. 7:11) would logically have buried small seafloor creatures first. Water plants would generally be buried before coastal and mountain plants. Land creatures would be buried last, especially the mammals and birds that could escape to higher ground. The more intelligent creatures would find a way to escape until the very end, leaving their bodies nearer the surface, where post-Flood erosion would destroy most evidence of their existence. Humans would have been most resilient of all, clinging to debris and rafts, before they died of exposure; their floating bodies would have made easy meals for scavenging fish, so would not have fossilized as readily. Most mammal and human fossils are post-Flood.

Multitudes of transitional fossils exist?

Evolutionists recognize a serious threat to their whole argument—evolution predicts innumerable transitional forms, yet all they have are a handful of debatable ones. Yet they are unwilling to admit to the magnitude of the problem. Scientific American states the problem in this way, and it answers with an unsupportable claim that there are numerous intermediate fossils.

13. Evolutionists cannot point to any transitional fossils—creatures that are half reptile and half bird, for instance.

Actually, paleontologists know of many detailed examples of fossils intermediate in form between various taxonomic groups. [SA 83]

Actually, Charles Darwin was worried that the fossil record did not show what his theory predicted:

Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.4

More recently, Gould said:

The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.5

But modern evolutionists, including Gould, have asserted that there are nevertheless some transitional forms, but they always seem to name the same handful of disputable ones, instead of the many that Darwin hoped for. It’s the same with Scientific American below.

Bird evolution

One of the most famous fossils of all time is Archaeopteryx, which combines feathers and skeletal structures peculiar to birds with features of dinosaurs. [SA 83]

Archaeopteryx

The fossil bird known as Archaeopteryx is among the most prized relics in the world.
[Artist’s impression of Archaeopteryx, by Steve Cardno.]

This hardly qualifies for a fossil ‘intermediate in form’; it is more like a mosaic or chimera like the platypus. Alan Feduccia, a world authority on birds at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an evolutionist himself, says:

Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of ‘paleobabble’ is going to change that.6

Archaeopteryx had fully-formed flying feathers (including asymmetric vanes and ventral, reinforcing furrows as in modern flying birds), the classical elliptical wings of modern woodland birds, and a large wishbone for attachment of muscles responsible for the down stroke of the wings.7 Its brain was essentially that of a flying bird, with a large cerebellum and visual cortex. The fact that it had teeth is irrelevant to its alleged transitional status—a number of extinct birds had teeth, while many reptiles do not. Furthermore, like other birds, both its maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) moved. In most vertebrates, including reptiles, only the mandible moves.8 Finally, Archaeopteryx skeletons had pneumatized vertebrae and pelvis. This indicates the presence of both a cervical and abdominal air sac, i.e., at least two of the five sacs present in modern birds. This in turn indicates that the unique avian lung design was already present in what most evolutionists claim is the earliest bird.9

Scientific American hurls more elephants without examples.

A flock’s worth of other feathered fossil species, some more avian and some less, has also been found. [SA 83]

But our website has documented that two famous alleged feathered dinosaurs are ‘dated’ younger than their supposed descendant, Archaeopteryx, and more likely to be flightless birds (Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx). Another famous example, Archaeoraptor, was a fake.

Horse evolution

The horse sequence is another popular evidence of a fairly complete series of transitional fossils. Scientific American boldly claims:

A sequence of fossils spans the evolution of modern horses from the tiny Eohippus. [SA 83]

Like the Archaeopteryx, however, this doesn’t hold up. Even informed evolutionists regard horse evolution as a bush rather than a sequence. But the so-called Eohippus is properly called Hyracotherium, and has little that could connect it with horses at all. The other animals in the ‘sequence’ actually show hardly any more variation between them than that within horses today. One non-horse and many varieties of the true horse kind does not a sequence make.10

Mollusks

Scientific American makes another false claim:

Fossil seashells trace the evolution of various mollusks through millions of years. [SA 83]

Again, what does this mean? One must wonder if the author of the article believes the old Ostrea/Gryphaea story, i.e., that a flat oyster evolved into more and more coiled forms till it coiled itself shut. Once this was regarded as a key proof of an evolutionary lineage in the fossil record. But now it seems that the coiling was the oyster’s built-in programming to respond to the environment, or ecophenotypic change.11 So the anti-creationist neo-catastrophist geologist Derek Ager wrote:

It must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student, from Trueman’s Ostrea/Gryphaea to Carruthers’ Zaphrentis delanouei, have now been ‘debunked.’ Similarly, my own experience of more than twenty years looking for evolutionary lineages among the Mesozoic Brachiopoda has proved them equally elusive.12

Scientific American closes its argument about transitional fossils with these mocking words about their demands for a truly transitional fossil:

Creationists, though, dismiss these fossil studies. They argue that Archaeopteryx is not a missing link between reptiles and birds—it is just an extinct bird with reptilian features. They want evolutionists to produce a weird, chimeric monster that cannot be classified as belonging to any known group. [SA 83]

Actually, as stated, of the few transitional forms usually touted, most are actually chimeras. No, creationists have long simply requested a sequence of creatures with certain characteristics consistently following a series, e.g., 100% leg/0% wing → 90% leg/10% wing → … 50% leg/50% wing … → 10% leg/90% wing  → 0%leg/100% wing.

Even if a creationist does accept a fossil as transitional between two species, he or she may then insist on seeing other fossils intermediate between it and the first two. These frustrating requests can proceed ad infinitum and place an unreasonable burden on the always incomplete fossil record. [SA 83]

First, this again charges creationists with believing in fixity of species, which is rather a belief held by compromisers like Hugh Ross. Instead, creationists ask for transitions between major categories, such as between non-living matter and the first living cell, single-celled and multicelled creatures, and invertebrates and vertebrates. The gaps between these groups should be enough to show that molecules-to-man evolution is without foundation.

Second, this is hardly a new charge when made of fossils transitional between two phyla, for example, and it is hardly unreasonable for creationists to point out that there are still two large gaps rather than one even larger gap.13

Whale evolution?

Whale evolution is a topic that deserves special attention. Scientific American claims:

Pakicetus: ‘evidence’ for whale evolution?

Pakicetus reconstruction and actual bones found

Left: Gingerich’s Pakicetus reconstruction.
[J. Gingerich, Geol. Educ. 31:140–144, 1983]

Right: Actual bones found (stippled). Note nothing below skull.
[Gingerich et al., Science 220:403–6, 1983]

Whales had four-legged ancestors that walked on land, and creatures known as Ambulocetus and Rodhocetus helped to make that transition [see ‘The Mammals That Conquered the Seas,’ by Kate Wong, Scientific American, May]. [SA 83]

Here is an especially serious example of ‘hurling elephants’ by completely ignoring the fragmentary nature of the evidence.

This was a tricky problem for Darwin, but nevertheless he still had faith that whales evolved from land mammals. The paleontologist Phil Gingerich of the University of Michigan has publicly said, ‘It’s a real puzzle how whales originally evolved.’ But on the PBS Evolution series, he gives the impression that his fossil finds have gone a long way toward solving this puzzle.

Gingerich discovered in Pakistan a few skull fragments of a wolf-like creature that allegedly had an inner ear like a whale’s. But this is far from conclusive. There wasn’t any post-cranial skeleton found, so we haven’t the faintest idea how it moved. However, this didn’t stop Gingerich from writing an article for schoolteachers with an illustration of an animal that had splashed into the sea and was swimming and catching fish, and looking convincingly like an intermediate between land animals and whales. He also claimed, ‘In time and in its morphology, Pakicetus is perfectly intermediate, a missing link between earlier land mammals and later, full-fledged whales.’14 The diagram right shows the glaring contrast between reconstruction and reality.

New research since the PBS series was produced has blown away this reconstruction. This demonstrates an oft-repeated phenomenon in evolutionary paleontology. Many of the alleged transitional forms are based on fragmentary remains, which are therefore open to several interpretations, based on one’s axioms. Evolutionary bias means that such remains are often likely to be interpreted as transitional, as with Gingerich, and is also prevalent in ape-man claims. But when more bones are discovered, then the fossils nearly always fit one type or another, and are no longer plausible as transitional. It’s also notable that alleged intermediate forms are often trumpeted in the media, while retractions are usually muted or unpublicized.

Pakicetus

Pakicetus
[Illustration: Carl Buell, <www.neoucom.edu/Depts/Anat/Pakicetid.html>]

A prominent whale expert, Thewissen, and colleagues unearthed some more bones of Pakicetus, and published their work in the journal Nature.15 The commentary on this paper in the same issue says, ‘All the postcranial bones indicate that pakicetids were land mammals, and … indicate that the animals were runners, with only their feet touching the ground’ (see illustration left).16 This is very different from Gingerich’s picture of an aquatic animal! But the evolutionary bias is still clear, describing Pakicetus as a ‘terrestrial cetacean’ and saying, ‘The first whales were fully terrestrial, and were even efficient runners.’ But the term ‘whale’ becomes meaningless if it can describe land mammals, and it provides no insight into how true marine whales supposedly evolved.

Also, ‘solid anatomical data’ contradict previous theories of whale ancestry. A Reuters news article reported in September 2001:

Until now paleontologists thought whales had evolved from mesonychians, an extinct group of land-dwelling carnivores, while molecular scientists studying DNA were convinced they descended from artiodactyls [even-toed ungulates].17

‘The paleontologists, and I am one of them, were wrong,’ Gingerich said.

Ambulocetus: missing link?

Ambulocetus

Top: Ambulocetus skeleton, as drawn in Miller’s book.

Middle: Ambulocetus reconstruction, as drawn in Miller’s book.

Bottom: Actual bones found (shaded). Note missing pelvic girdle.

Such candor is commendable, and it shows the fallacy of trusting alleged ‘proofs’ of evolution. Pity that Gingerich is still committed to materialistic evolutionism.

Ambulocetus

Ambulocetus is another popular example of a ‘missing link,’ featured prominently in anti-creationist propaganda, such as the book Finding Darwin’s God, by Kenneth Miller—the ‘Christian evolutionist’ who starred in PBS 1. In his book, Miller claimed, ‘the animal could move easily both on land and in water,’ and presented a drawing of a complete skeleton and a reconstructed animal.18 But this is misleading, bordering on deceitful, and indicative of Miller’s unreliability, because there was no indication of the fact that far fewer bones were actually found than appear in his diagram. Crucially, the all-important pelvic girdle was not found (see diagram at right). Without this, it’s presumptuous for Miller to make that proclamation. His fellow evolutionist, Annalisa Berta, pointed out:

… since the pelvic girdle is not preserved, there is no direct evidence in Ambulocetus for a connection between the hind limbs and the axial skeleton. This hinders interpretations of locomotion in this animal, since many of the muscles that support and move the hindlimb originate on the pelvis.19

Basilosaurus

This serpentine and fully aquatic mammal has been known since the 19th century, but Gingerich discovered something new in some specimens in the Sahara. The PBS narrator pointed out that this desert area was under water once, and he described a 100-mile stretch of layered sandstone called the ‘valley of the whales’ allegedly 40 million years old. The narrator theorizes that this valley was once a protected bay where whales came to give birth and to die. Here Gingerich discovered what he alleged were a pelvis, leg bones, and a knee cap, so he said they were evidence of ‘functioning legs’ and ‘dramatic proof that whales were once fully four-legged mammals.’

But this contradicts other evolutionists, including Gingerich himself! For example, the National Academy of Science’s Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science claimed, ‘they were thought to be non-functional’ (p. 18), and Gingerich himself said elsewhere ‘it seems to me that they could only have been some kind of sexual and reproductive clasper.’20 So these bones can be explained as a design feature, while the interpretation as ‘legs’ reflects evolutionary wishful thinking.21

Whale evolutionary sequence?

Alleged sequence of land mammal to whale transition

Alleged sequence of land mammal to whale transition
[From Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science]

The PBS program claims that there is a series including Ambulocetus, Rhodocetus, etc., where the nostrils supposedly migrate to the back of the head. Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science contains a diagram (see right) on page 18. But when the mammal-to-whale series is examined, the sequence is not as smooth as they imply. For instance, this diagram failed to indicate that Basilosaurus is actually about ten times longer than Ambulocetus (and the fragmentary nature of the remains has been discussed already).

Another problem is that Basilosaurus has a number of features that mean it could not possibly have been ancestral to modern whales, e.g., body shape, skull structure, and tooth shape.

There is certainly no support for the program’s claim, ‘front legs became fins, rear legs disappeared, bodies lost fur and took on their familiar streamlined shape.’ Waving the magic wand of mutation/selection is hardly sufficient without an observable mechanism that would effect these changes.

Recently, John Woodmorappe <www.rae.org/johnw.htm> analyzed the alleged transitions and found that their various characteristics did not change in a consistent direction. Rather, they are chimeras—non-whales with a few minor cetacean ‘modules,’ inconsistent with the evolutionary prediction of a nested hierarchy but consistent with a common Designer.22

Locomotion

PBS 2 also claims support for a transition from the way the mammal-to-whale fossil links moved. Marine mammals move through the water with vertical undulating movements of the spine, just as many fast-running mammals do on land. Fish move with sideways undulations instead. But this could be another common design feature of mammals, like milk or hair. It’s also doubtful whether this is a unique prediction of evolution; if whales used side-to-side movements, evolutionists could presumably have ‘predicted’ this because the tails of land animals also swish sideways.

My book, Refuting Evolution, written to rebut Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science, has a chapter on alleged whale evolution that covers all this section in more detail, with full documentation. It is also available on the Creation CD-ROM produced in answer to the PBS series.

Tetrapod evolution?

Tetrapods are animals with four limbs, i.e., amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. In 1995, Niel Shubin and Edward Daeschler found in Pennsylvanian cliffs a shoulder bone of a tetrapod allegedly 370 million years old.

Cambridge University paleontologist Jenny Clack found an early tetrapod hand in Greenland, called Acanthostega. Supposedly, this creature had gills, a fish-like tail, paddle-shaped fins, and a hand with fingers.

On PBS 2, Clack said this refuted the usual textbook theory that fish evolved limbs for a selective advantage because they were being stranded in drying pools. Rather, the limbs evolved before they crawled on the land, while they were still aquatic. The selective advantage was the ability to escape the weird and wonderful predatory fish that lived during this time (called the Devonian Period).

Shubin stressed that ‘evolution wasn’t trying to do this,’ and later the PBS program claimed, ‘we’re here through chance coincidences.’ This should make it clear that evolution, as believed by evolutionists, is not ‘progressive’ and shows no sign of a divine guiding hand.

Shubin also highlighted the common limb pattern between tetrapods, illustrated by fish and humans having the sequence one bone/two bones/small bones/rods (digits). But this fails to explain the totally different developmental sequence, as previously explained (chapter 6).

Cambrian explosion

During his appearance on PBS 2, Cambridge University paleontologist Simon Conway Morris explained that the Cambrian explosion was ‘one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of life.’ Essentially all the different animal phyla (major groups) appeared abruptly, without any known transitional forms preceding them. According to evolutionary dating methods, this was about 500 million years ago. Morris acknowledged that Darwin recognized this as a problem for his theory, with animals appearing out of nowhere. Morris said, ‘To a certain extent that is still a mystery.’ Darwin predicted that animals diverged gradually from a common pattern, so there should be fossil examples of this divergence, while instead we see that the major differences arose abruptly at the beginning. Again, this is according to the evolutionary time frame; biblical creationists see the fossil record not as a time sequence but a sequence of burial by Noah’s flood and its after-effects.

Then the PBS program shifted to the Burgess Shale, with lots of bizarre creatures, e.g., one with five eyes, another worm-like creature with large spines, and still another with prongs around its mouth. But none of this showed what the Cambrian animals could have evolved from. Supposedly the evidence shows that evolution tinkered with a few basic body plans, but provides no evidence for their origins.

It should also be noted that, when geologists say life appeared suddenly during the Cambrian explosion without transitional forms, they’re making a backhand admission of the paucity of transitional fossils.

Extinction!

The whole emphasis on extinction, such as PBS 3 on ‘Extinction!’ is rather strange. It hardly tells us anything to prove evolution per se. Rather, it says a lot about species dying out, which is hardly news to anyone, but it doesn’t itself shed any light on how species arose in the first place. The PBS program makes plenty of assertions about new species diversifying to take the place of the old ones, but it offers no evidence of any mechanism by which this could occur. It’s just another example of how vacuous words can become when survivors of extinctions are called ‘evolution’s big winners.’ How exactly does the word ‘evolution’ explain anything here? The only purpose seems to be to further the indoctrination of the public with the idea that it does. But really, saying ‘history’s big winners’ or ‘winners of the lottery of life’ would be just as informative.

Have most species become extinct?

PBS 3 repeated the common claim that 95–99 percent of species have become extinct. However, the known record of extinct and extant species does not support this. The number of fossil species actually found is estimated to be about 250,000, while there are about three million living ‘species,’ or even more, depending on who’s telling the story. But if this >95% claim were correct, we would expect many more fossil species than living ones.

The only plausible explanation is evolutionary bias. For evolution to be true, there would have been innumerable transitional forms between different types of creatures. Therefore, for every known fossil species, many more must have existed to connect it to its ancestors and descendents. This is yet another example of evolutionary conclusions coming before the evidence. Really, the claim is an implicit admission that large numbers of transitional forms are predicted, which heightens the difficulty for evolutionists, given how few there are that even they could begin to claim were candidates.

Mass extinctions

Supposedly there were five mass extinctions in earth’s history, caused by planet-wide catastrophes. The greatest was the Permian extinction about 250 million years ago, where 90 percent of species became extinct. The period allegedly represented by rock layers above the Permian, the Triassic, was almost void of life. But later, in the upper Triassic, the dinosaurs supposedly evolved. Alongside them were the mammal-like reptiles that supposedly evolved into mammals.

The best-known extinction was alleged to be that of the dinosaurs, at the end of the Cretaceous, dated at 65 million years ago. Supposedly the small mammals, who kept out of sight when dinosaurs were around, managed to survive the catastrophe by hiding in burrows, while dinosaurs couldn’t hide or protect their eggs. In the next period, the Tertiary, mammals are supposed to have diversified and filled the vacant niches.

The PBS program presents the usual meteorite impact theory as fact, i.e., a chunk of rock the size of Mt Everest hit earth at 25,000 mph. The many problems with this idea are ignored. For example:

  • The extinction was not that sudden (using evolutionary/long-age interpretations of the geological record). But the spread in the geological record makes sense if much of the sedimentary deposits were formed in Noah’s flood.

  • Light-sensitive species survived.

  • Extinctions don’t correlate with crater dates, even given evolutionary dating assumptions.

  • Modern volcanic eruptions don’t cause global extinction patterns, even if they cause a temporary temperature drop.

  • The iridium enrichment, supposedly a key proof of meteor impact, is not nearly as clearly defined as claimed.

  • Drill cores of the apparent ‘smoking gun’ crater on the Yucatán peninsula in southeast Mexico do not support the idea that it is an impact crater.

  • It seems that some scientists didn’t speak out against the idea for fear of undermining the ‘nuclear winter’ idea, and being grouped with ‘nuclear warmongers.’23

In general, mass extinctions are explained as a house of cards collapsing, where each card represents a species. One species may collapse, but then all other species that depend on it, either directly or indirectly, will also collapse. Even without a catastrophe, there are many factors that can cause a ‘bottom card’ species to die out, e.g., a new predator or climatic change.

Why bother preserving species?

All of this talk about fossils and extinctions causes a problem for evolutionists who are also rabid environmental extremists. The PBS episode on extinction exposes this problem: first, it asserts that humans are just another species, then it insists that extinction is simply part of earth’s history, and finally it moralizes that humans should try to preserve other species. The narrator says that humans ‘may be the asteroid that brings about the next mass extinction,’ and that we ‘competed with other species and won.’

But if we’re just another species, then why shouldn’t we act like one? Why should we aid our competitors for survival, when other species act in self-interest? The only reason might be a practical one, that we might lose some species that are beneficial to us. But this is very different from a moral obligation to care for them. If we are all rearranged pond scum, then talk of moral obligation is meaningless. Under a consistent evolutionary worldview, our moral sentiments are merely chemical motions in the brain that happened to confer a survival advantage in our alleged ape-like ancestors.

Creationist explanation

As elaborated earlier, the Bible teaches that death is the ‘last enemy,’ the result of Adam’s sin, and is an intruder into God’s very good creation. This is a problem for those who want to add millions of years to the Bible, and this program demonstrated just how much death is entailed by millions-of-years belief, because of the record of death (and disease, violence, etc.) the fossils portray.

Biblical creationists would explain much of the fossil record by the global flood of Noah’s day. However, this didn’t directly cause any land vertebrates to become extinct, because each kind was represented on the ark.24 But many became extinct in subsequent centuries, because of factors already well known to conservationists.25 But the Flood probably did cause many marine species to become extinct.

Creationists and evolutionists interpret the geological layers differently because of our different axioms. Evolutionists interpret the sequence of layers as a sequence of ages with different types of creatures; creationists interpret them as a sequence of burial by a global flood and its after-effects. This makes better sense of phenomena such as ‘living fossils’ and finding creatures such as the coelacanth, which isn’t found in rocks ‘dated’ younger than 70 million years.

References and notes

  1. John D. Morris, The Young Earth (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, Inc., 1994).
  2. Another good example of how a researcher’s presuppositions can lead to all sorts of special pleading is the explaining away of clear evidence for a fossil belemnite. See T. Walker, Fossil flip-flop, Creation 22(1):6, December 1999–February 2000.
  3. See Where Are All the Human Fossils? and John Woodmorappe, The fossil record: becoming more random all the time, Journal of Creation 14(1):1002116 (December 1999–February 2000).
  4. C. Darwin, Origin of Species, 6th ed. 1872 (London: John Murray, 1902), p. 413.
  5. S.J. Gould, Evolution’s Erratic Pace, Natural History 86(5):14, 1977.
  6. Cited in V. Morell, Archaeopteryx: Early Bird Catches a Can of Worms, Science 259(5096):764–65, 5 February 1993.
  7. A. Feduccia, Evidence from Claw Geometry Indicating Arboreal Habits of Archaeopteryx, Science 259(5096):790–793, 5 February 1993.
  8. See D. Menton with C. Wieland, Bird Evolution flies out the window, Creation 16(4):16–19, June–August 1994.
  9. P. Christiansen and N. Bonde, Axial and Appendicular Pneumaticity in Archaeopteryx, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B. 267:2501–2505, 2000.
  10. See J. Sarfati, The non-evolution of the horse, Creation 21(3):28–31, June–August 1999.
  11. M. Machalski, Oyster Life Positions and Shell Beds from the Upper Jurassic of Poland, Acta palaeontologica Polonica 43(4):609–634, 1998. Abstract downloaded from <www.paleo.pan.pl/acta/acta43-4.htm#Machalski>, 1 September 2002.
  12. D. Ager, The Nature of the Fossil Record, Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 87(2):131–160, 1976; see also D. Catchpoole, Evolution’s oyster twist, Creation 24(2):55, March–May 2002.
  13. J. Woodmorappe, Does a ‘Transitional Form’ Replace One Gap with Two Gaps? Journal of Creation 14(2):5–6, 2000.
  14. P. Gingerich, The Whales of Tethys, Natural History (April 1994): p. 86.
  15. J.G.M. Thewissen, E.M. Williams, L.J. Roe, and S.T. Hussain, Skeletons of Terrestrial Cetaceans and the Relationship of Whales to Artiodactyls, Nature 413:277–281 (20 September 2001).
  16. C. de Muizon, Walking with Whales, Nature 413:259–260, 20 September 2001, comment on reference 15.
  17. Fossil Finds Show Whales Related to Early Pigs, Reuters, 19 September 2001, <www.spectrum.ieee.org/news/cache/ ReutersOnlineScience/­09_19_2001.romta1708-story-bcsciencesciencewhalesdc.html>.
  18. Kenneth R. Miller, Finding Darwin’s God (New York, NY: Cliff Street Books, 1999), p. 265.
  19. A. Berta, What Is a Whale? Science 263(5144):180–181, 1994; perspective on J.G.M. Thewissen, S.T. Hussain, and M. Arif, Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Aquatic Locomotion in Archeocete Whales, same issue, p. 210–212; see also D. Batten, A Whale of a Tale? Journal of Creation 8(1):2–3, 1994; the online version, includes the addendum addressing claims of subsequent Ambulocetus bones and their (ir)relevance to evolution.
  20. Press Enterprise (1 July 1, 1990): A-15.
  21. Another urban myth about whales found with legs is punctured in C. Wieland, The strange tale of the leg on the whale, Creation 20(3):10–13, September–November 1998.
  22. J. Woodmorappe, Walking Whales, Nested Hierarchies and Chimeras: Do They Exist? Journal of Creation 16(1):111–119, 2002.
  23. See my analysis in Did a meteor wipe out the dinosaurs? What about the iridium layer?; after Charles Officer and Jake Page, The Great Dinosaur Extinction Controversy (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1996), reviewed by C. Wieland, Journal of Creation 12(2):154–158, 1998.
  24. J. Sarfati, How Did All the Animals Fit on Noah’s Ark? Creation 19(2):16–19, March–May 1997; J. Woodmorappe, Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study (El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research, 1996).
  25. K. Ham, The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved! details the history of the dinosaurs from a biblical perspective (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, Inc., 1998).

Note about citations: Quotations from the Scientific American article by John Rennie will be labeled ‘SA,’ followed by the page number. Quotations from, and other mentions of, the PBS-TV series ‘Evolution,’ will be labeled ‘PBS,’ followed by the episode number, e.g. ‘PBS 6’ refers to Episode 6. Return to article.


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