Geology, Fossils and Genesis

Glenn Morton (
Fri, 07 Jun 1996 06:31:28

Dick wrote:

>I don't think the order of creation is very far off the fossil record.And
>there is a danger in setting up our interpretation of the fossil record,
>which is a theory after all, as a yardstick with which to judge the
>Genesis narrative.

Sorry Dick, but this is absolutely wrong and shows that you have NOT
studied the fossil record very much and do not understand the most
elementary levels of geology. Alternatively it is possible that you have
not read the Bible. The order of the events in the fossil record are
determined by which rock are underneath other rocks. It is impossible for
a sedimentary rock to be deposited below an earlier sedimentary rock.
Thus if a sandstone is on top of a limestone, then the limestone is older.
Period. Thus the layers of rock act as successive pages in a sequence of

Genesis 1:11 the third day has God creating plants on dry land first.
This is not the first form of life found in the fossil record. The
earliest forms of life come from the Precambrian and are marine algae.
These are from the Isua group in Greenland and date somewhere around 3.4
billion years old. The first land plants come from the Silurian approx.
430 million years ago. This is way out of order.(~William Shear, "The
Early Development of Terrestrial Ecosystems", Nature, 351, May 23, 1991,
p. 285.)

Genesis 1 has the Sun and Moon created after the land plants by a strict
ordering of the events reported. This means that there was no sun for
that precambrian photosynthetic algae! Since the Bible would apparently be
saying that the Sun and Moon were created somewhere after 430 million
years ago.

Scripture then has fish and birds and whales (great sea creatures) created
after the land plants but before what are land mammals. The problem is
that sharks first appear in the Ordovician circa 470 million years ago.
Sharks are fish and this is before the plants appear. (~Ivan J.
Sansom, M.M. Smith and M. P. Smith, "Scales of Thelodont and
shark-like fishes from the Ordovician of Colorado," Nature, 379,
Feb. 15, 1996.) Whales are not found in the rocks until the Eocene period
circa 54 million years ago (in spite of the fact that the Bible says that
they were created with the fish sometime after the plants at 430 million
years ago.) see (~Philip D. Gingerich, B. Holly Smith,
and Elwyn L. Simons, "Hindlimbs of Eocene Basilosaurus: Evidence
of feet in Whales," Science, 249, July, 13, 1990, p. 156.)

Birds do not appear at the same time the fish do. Birds appear in the
Jurassic Circa 170 million years ago and there are some possible bird
tracks from the Triassic circa 230 million years ago. According to the
Bible birds should appear with the fish 400-500 million years ago.

The observed order is NOT, I repeat, NOT theory as you seem to contend.
The rock layers clearly define a sequence of events even if you through
out all radioactive dating methods and believe that the earth is 6000
years old. The sequence of events does not even come close to matching
the Biblical order.

Pictorially here is the order

Bible Fossil record (sequence only)

land plants Sun and Moon
Sun and Moon marine algae
fish birds and whales fish
land mammals birds
. land mammals
. whales

And the earliest land mammals do not look at all like anything alive
today. And nothing alive today among the mammals can be found in rocks
earlier than 30 million years ago.

This is what bothers me most about what we Christians teach. We seem
satisfied to take the most simplest approach to the data and not dig very
deep in order to get a more realistic answer. And then we teach this
"stuff" to our children who go to college and find out that we are very
wrong and they then question whether the Bible is worth studying or not.
Please, lets get our facts correct.


Foundation,Fall and Flood