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Creation Evidence: 2005-09-04

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Marine Fossil Evidence

One of the most prominent arguments against Intelligent Design (ID) is that it should be dismissed outright as being religious and not scientific. This claim is made so frequently in articles and books against ID that it leads the reader to conclude it must be true. But is ID any less scientific than evolution is?

What is meant by relegating ID to religion? Suppose a Christian who is also a scientist uses the empirical science of observations and measurements from the same microscope and slide that an evolutionist looks into. In this circumstance is the creationist practicing religion while the evolutionist is practicing science? Most people would say, "obviously no."

Then why do evolutionists charge ID with being religion? The problem is not in the empirical science of observations but in the more speculative interpretation of the observations. However, suddenly the two groups are at an impasse since both make interpretations and no one is omniscient. Interpreting the data requires filling in the gaps with summations from hypotheses, tests, extensive research and other intelligence gathering. In the case of examining fossils, interpretation requires utilizing the scientists’ biases, beliefs and world views. As a matter of fact, evolution requires filling in the gaps just as ID does. Therefore, ID and evolution are on a level playing field, they both use scientific data and they both provide evidence for their theories.

Both ID and evolution require a certain amount of extrapolation based on the factual data. No one is able to go back in a time machine and watch the history of the universe and life transpire. Therefore, scientists look at the fossil record and draw conclusions from what they see. Some evolutionists theorize Earth's geology was caused by several major catastrophes while others theorize it resulted from slow and gradual changes (This is called the "uniformitarian" view). Many Christians theorize Earth's geology is largely the result of The Flood and a single Ice Age. Now does the global flood theory make it scientifically invalid simply because it was inspired by the Bible? No, let the evidence speak. Let’s not remove a possible cause for Earth's geological layers and formations simply because it does not fit the billions-of-years-evolutionary view. To be honest, each theory has problems, and each theory has points in its favor.

Let me provide one of many facts that favor The Flood. Over 95% of the fossils found are marine invertebrates, primarily shellfish. Almost all (if not all) of the index fossils for each geologic layer are also marine invertebrates. How could a slow and gradual explanation of geology (uniformitarianism) fit this data? Even the dinosaur and mammal eras are identified by marine fossils, and marine fossils are found with these creatures or near by. Marine fossils require oceans, and since marine fossils are buried with mammals and dinosaurs this implies oceans covered them up. How can slow and gradual geology account for every layer being laid down by ocean water? In addition, fossilization requires both water and quick burial, like from a catastrophe.

In contrast the biblical description of The Flood, "the fountains of the great deep burst open",[1] "all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered",[2] "all flesh that moved on the earth perished",[3] "the water decreased steadily until the tenth month.[4] The Bible describes a world-wide catastrophe, with the source of water coming from "the great deep" as well as 40 days of torrential rains. The ubiquitous marine fossils and world-wide fossilization favors a world-wide catastrophic flood.

Is a world-wide flood theory unscientific simply because the Bible described it? That is not logical is it? However it certainly sounds like the evolutionists consider it unscientific simply because it is Biblical. For more scientific evidence of The Flood see the work by John Baumgardner a scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory who developed a computer model which shows how a global flood would produce the majority of Earth’s present geological layers and various formations. This is no insignificant accomplishment since it was written up as a major article in US News and World Report in June, 1997.

What do you think?

[1] Genesis 7:11
[2] Genesis 7:19
[3] Genesis 7:21
[4] Genesis 8:5

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Dinosaur Tissues

The dating of dinosaur fossils has recently become much more interesting. MSNBC has a fascinating story about a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil that yielded soft tissue including blood vessels, bone matrix and possibly remnants of red blood cells. The story, along with pictures and two video interviews, can be found at:

This story is not widely known to the public but it ought to be because of its spectacular nature and its possible implications on the dating of dinosaurs. Discovering soft tissues in dinosaurs is a puzzle to evolutionists who claim that dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. Therefore the obvious question is, "How can such an old creature still have soft parts which are flexible and when stretched return to their original shape?"

North Carolina State University professor Mary Schweitzer is the leader of the discovery team that found the specimens and she is in the first MSNBC video interview. The reporter asked Ms. Schweitzer, "Is that amazing to find this kind of soft tissue in a fossil this old? And what can soft tissue really tell us?" Ms. Schweitzer responded, "Ah, well it, it is very amazing. It's utterly shocking actually, because it flies in the face of everything that we understand about how tissues and cells degrade. It is not something that any one of us could ever predict or hope for." Ms. Schweitzer is careful to make clear at this point that more testing needs to be done to verify the features found, but she adds, "It looks like blood vessels. It looks like, um, bone matrix and it certainly looks like cells and acts like cells. But we haven't done the chemical analysis to let us say what it is for sure."

Now what is odd is the only variable that is mentioned for explaining this paleontology enigma is that there must be something wrong with the way scientists have understood the process of fossilization. How else could one explain a 70-million-year-old dinosaur with soft parts? Well, another variable would be to consider questioning the assumed 70-million-year age of the dinosaur. Looking at the evidence alone, wouldn't it be more reasonable for the bone material to be more like thousands of years old? But this option is completely outside of the evolutionary view of life which theorizes that birds evolved from dinosaurs. If a scientist was to publicly consider the dating of dinosaurs in the thousands-of-years range such an admission would likely be detrimental to the career of that scientist.

Later in the video interview, one of the reporters suggested, "so you have to sort of rewrite the book as far as fossilization goes" to solve this puzzle. Ms. Schweitzer responds, "And, um like I said, a lot of our science doesn't allow for this. All of the chemistry and all of the molecular breakdown experiments that we have done don't allow for this. So if this material turns out to be actual remnants of the dinosaur, then yes, I think we will have to do some, um certainly rethinking some of the basics of some of the model of fossilization."

As shown later in the MSNBC article and in the subsequent video interview, this T. Rex is not the only source for soft tissues. The article states, "Since the discovery, she has found similar samples of soft tissue in two other Tyrannosaur fossils and a hadrosaur." On the video one of the reporters commented, "You know Mary, Mary, when I was reading about the story, I was amazed that in some of the capillaries, that's when you went to pull them, they snapped right back. Are you amazed at the quality of these remains?" Ms. Schweitzer responded, "Absolutely," then a moment later added, "It, it just does not seem to be possible. But yes, you can actually take the vessels and they do have internal components, and so you can take a probe and can kind of squeeze those components out into solution and the vessels are fine. It's just, I, I can't explain it, to be honest."

The debate over evolution and Intelligent Design is a hot debate in the news these days. One of the most persistent and vocal claims is that there is no evidence for creation or its "tuxedo-wearing brother," Intelligent Design. This blog is here to present evidence for creation and to hear from you about what you think. Is dinosaur soft tissue simply a problem with how scientists have understood fossilization? Or is this an example of the media and evolutionary bias that prevents the public from seeing fundamental problems with dates in the millions and billions of years? Suppose that these dinosaurs were not 65-70 million years old but were really 4-6 thousand years old. What would be the evolutionary implications of such a fact?

For additional research on this topic see:
Sensational dinosaur blood report!

Evolutionist questions AiG report

T. rex fossil has 'soft tissues'

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