Also Available in:
This article is from
Creation 41(2):20–21, April 2019

Browse our latest digital issue Subscribe

Sea Pens

‘Extreme’ living fossils shout ‘after their kind’


The Bible says that God created living things to reproduce ‘after their kind’ (Genesis 1). We tend to take this for granted; a dog begets a dog, a parrot begets a parrot, an apple seed produces an apple tree. It is a well-established principle of biology that even young children understand.

Figure 1. A fossil sea pen (Charniodiscus arboreus) from the South Australian Museum, Adelaide, © AVC Inc., photo by Dr Carl Werner and a living sea pen (Sarcoptilus grandis), from Doubtful Sound, New Zealand, © OceanwideImages.com

The story of evolution asserts that one ‘kind’ of creature can change into another ‘kind’—and that this happened countless times, over hundreds of millions of years. In this story, fossils, which are the remains of once-living organisms, are said to record these changes of one kind into another. However:

  1. The transitional forms, or in-between kinds, are notable for their scarcity in the fossil record, whereas they should be abundant. Prominent evolutionary fossil specialists have admitted this.1 To resolve this inconsistency, some have imagined that creatures could change from one to another so rapidly as to leave no fossil evidence of such change.2 Is this the paleontologists’ version of ‘the dog ate my homework’?
  2. Living-fossils
    Figure 2. The book, Living Fossils, by Dr Carl Werner, contains many more examples that defy evolutionary dogma. It is available at creation.com/s/10-1-536.
  3. The fossils persistently show lack of change. Many of today’s organisms can be found as almost identical fossil forms throughout the rock layers—‘living fossils’. In fact, virtually every kind of organism alive today is a ‘living fossil’.

Dr Carl Werner has studied living fossils in depth, visiting museums around the world to find them, and recording many examples in the book Living Fossils, with beautiful photos taken by his wife Debbie. As Dr Werner says, “Living fossils are in museums everywhere and their significance cannot be overstated. They give evidence that life has not changed over time.”

Carl points out that many living fossils are not recognized because paleontologists tend to give the fossil forms quite different names to the living ones. Because of their evolutionary beliefs, most of those working on them do not expect to find ‘old’ fossils of living creatures—evolution should have changed them beyond recognition. Also, many people are unfamiliar with the living marine creatures that feature so prominently in the fossil record.

The sea pen presented here, a type of ‘soft coral’, is an ‘extreme’ living fossil, because the evolutionists assign it an ‘age’ of 560 million years! This is a common fossil in rocks labelled as Ediacaran (which is ‘pre-Cambrian’). Yet it is clearly a sea pen. The Museum of South Australia acknowledges this with their label. The features are clearly those of a sea pen, with the prominent ‘holdfast’ clearly visible at the base, the stem (rachis), and ‘polyp leaves’.

Figure 3. The label at the Museum of South Australia. Photo © Carl Werner.

If any creature can remain unchanged over such an unimaginably long period, how can anyone seriously believe that some worm has changed into all the diverse creatures with a backbone (fish, crocodiles, snakes, dinosaurs, birds, mice, elephants, kangaroos, apes, humans, etc.)—supposedly in less time?

Note that most paleontologists speak of the Ediacaran fossils as other-worldly, and say that the organisms represented were wiped out and replaced by entirely different ones found in the ‘Cambrian’. However, the sea pen still lives today. I wonder what other Ediacaran fossil creatures are also still living today, but have remained unrecognized because of evolutionary bias that does not expect to find them.

The fossil record matches the Bible’s description of God creating things to reproduce true to their different kinds (Genesis 1:11–12). And the fossil record can be understood generally as a record of burial sequence in the world-wide Flood of Noah (that is, not over eons of time).

Posted on homepage: 28 January 2019

References and notes

  1. Sarfati, J., Refuting Evolution, chapter 3: The links are missing; creation.com/re-3. Return to text.
  2. Batten, D., Gould grumbles about creationist ‘hijacking’, J. Creation 16(2):22–24, 2002; creation.com/gouldgrumble. Return to text.

Helpful Resources