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Order in the Fossil Record
Publish date: Feb 10, 2009
Summary: The belief that animals progressed from simple to complex is a monumental misconception. There is no simple generalized animal anywhere in the fossil record. If anything, the fossil record is evidence of devolution rather than evolution.
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The layers of the fossil record are divided into three main eras: Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic. These eras are characterized by different kinds of fossils.
The Paleozoic era is known for marine life, amphibians, and reptiles. In this layer of the fossil record we find extensive coal beds made up mostly of extinct plants such as giant horsetails, ferns, seedless plants, and club mosses.
The Mesozoic era is known for its dinosaurs and many other reptiles. This era is associated with massive extinctions. In a catastrophic flood model, this era is the end of the flood period, before the continents reemerged out of the waters that covered the earth.
The Cenozoic era is known for mammals and birds. Cenozoic plants are similar to the species that exist today.
Simple to Complex?
The type of fossil found in the various layers changes as one goes up the geological column, from invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and reptiles, to the mammals and birds in the upper layers. This order in the fossil record is one of the prime evidences used by scientists to establish evolution as a fact. However, the sequence is not from simple organisms to complex organisms as evolutionists suggest, but rather from marine sessile to free swimming to land dwelling.
There is no simple generalized animal in the fossil record that proves that organisms develop from simple to complex. George Gaylord Simpson, the famous evolutionist, stated in his book The Meaning of Evolution, "It has been suggested that all animals are now specialized and that the generalized forms on which major evolutionary developments depend are absent. In fact, all animals have always been more or less specialized and a really generalized living form is merely a myth or an abstraction."i
The earliest organisms in the fossil record were complex. There is no evidence for the progression from simple to complex required by the theory of evolution. Many organisms, such as trilobites and ammonites, existed in the past and do not exist today. This does not make them primitive. They were just as complex as anything living today.
The fossil record shows a staggering wealth of organisms. Surprisingly, most of the organisms of the past were much larger and more impressive than present day animals. In fact, the fossil record is evidence for devolution rather than evolution.
Layers of Fossils Explained
There are many reasons beyond progressive development that could be given for the order of fossils. The sequence from sessile to free-swimming to terrestrial indicates habitats being destroyed progressively.
Imagine a bulldozer rapidly covering a duck pond with soil. The organisms in the pond would be buried in sequence. The bottom dwelling worms and snails would be at the bottom. The fish would be somewhat higher, and the ducks would be on top. The sequence would represent where the animals lived—not the order they evolved in. The same holds true for the fossil record.
We do find groups of fossils in the same sequence in the fossil record as they occur in present-day habitats. The ability to float or not would also change where an animal would be buried. Mammals and birds float due to bloating or trapped air in feathers and hair and are thus found in higher layers.
No model provides all the answers, but the flood model does provide a very satisfactory explanation for the series found in the fossil record.
Ahead to Fossils Prove a Flood. Updated March 2010.
i. George Gaylord Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution (Yale University Press, 1949).
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