Fast Fossils

fossil fish ellimichthys

Billions of well-preserved fossil fish clash with popular belief

by Carl Wieland

For most people, the two words ‘fast fossils’ don’t seem to go together. Say ‘fossils’, and they think ‘slow and gradual processes; millions of years’. Unfortunately, even though many leading evolutionists are now conceding that catastrophic, rapid processes are needed to explain many fossils, the average person is still left with this deeply-ingrained belief.

If the fossil record did take millions of years to form, then the Bible is wrong about the history of the earth and life on it. Fossils show death; there are also many instances of disease, violence and bloodshed evidenced in the fossil record. So, if these existed millions of years before there were people, then the Bible is wrong when it indicates that these ‘bad’ things are part of the Curse on creation, which only came about because of the rebellion of the first man, Adam, against his Creator.

However, the Bible is the very Word of God, affirmed as absolutely true by the Lord Jesus Christ (e.g. John 10:35). Thus, we can expect the evidence to be consistent with what the Bible teaches, regardless of how many people believe otherwise. According to the book of Genesis, there was a global catastrophe—a world flood which by implication was capable of burying billions of creatures rapidly in sedimentary layers.

So, reasoning from Scripture, we would expect that most fossils were formed by rapid processes. What does the evidence show? … there are literally billions of fish fossils in rocks around the world, so well preserved that they still show details such as scales, fin structure, etc. In fact, most people would have seen such fossil fish at one time or another.

What do these billions of well-preserved fossils fit—the common belief in slow and gradual processes, or the biblical implications of fast burial?

The easiest way to answer this is to imagine what happens to a fish when it dies. After (for most) floating on the surface while being attacked by various scavengers, what is left (if anything) sinks to the bottom. Here, rather than lying quietly for thousands of years being gradually covered up by slowly settling sediment, it will be attacked further by fish, crabs, and many other creatures…

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image credit: © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London. Licensed under the Open Government Licence.