RE: [asa] AIG blurb of the week

From: Steven M Smith <>
Date: Thu Dec 14 2006 - 14:36:11 EST

I was catching up on my ASA email when I read this blurb from AiG (posted
by Burgy and attached below).

Pim & Michael correctly pointed out the false strawman assumption that
underlies this argument ... "Most people believe it takes millions of
years for a fossil to form". We've talked about the variability of
fossilization rates two or three times in the past few years here on the
ASA list. Geologists may determine that a fossil is 'millions of years
old' but that is not equivalent to 'it takes millions of years for a
fossil to form'.

Jon Tandy also noted the absurdity of the argument by saying that
catastrophic burial has "nothing to do with whether the fossil was ancient
or modern" and that YEC doesn't have sole claim on catastrophic
occurrences in nature. There are indeed several catastrophic situations
that can quickly bury living organisms without calling for the global
catastrophic Flood of Noah (e.g. flooded rivers, submarine turbidity
flows, land slides, mud flows, volcanic ash eruptions, sand storms,
hurricanes, tsunami, etc.)

However, as I read this blurb one statement stood out that may suggest a
less catastrophic and even more mundane reason for this ichthyosaur fossil
caught "in the process of giving birth to a fully formed baby." Note the
description of the fossil given by AiG ... "The baby, except for the head,
appears to have emerged from the body of the mother." Now growing up on a
farm and having been present at the birth of numerous calves (and other
animals), it has been my observation that births go best when the baby is
delivered head first ... not head last. When an unassisted animal gives
birth tail first, usually the baby dies and frequently the mother does
too. Now I wouldn't claim any expertise as an ichthyosaur natal
specialist but if this fossil represents a tragic breach birth incident
then we don't even have to assume that some catastrophic burial event
caught these ichthyosaurs precisely at the second before the birth was
completed. We may just as reasonably propose that these two marine
reptiles died naturally in the course of a difficult birth and were
subsequently buried hours or even days afterwards by processes that may or
may not have been overwhelmingly catastrophic.

 Steven M. Smith, Geologist

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Carol or John Burgeson
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2006 10:07 AM
Subject: [asa] AIG blurb of the week
This is AIG's blurb of the week. I really don't understand their argument.

Q: What do fossils have to do with giving birth?
A: Most people believe it takes millions of years for a fossil to form,
that it only takes a short period of time for a mother to give birth. But
knowing that birth is such a brief process shows us that fossils don't
millions of years to form! Consider this startling example:
A museum in Germany has a beautifully detailed fossil on display. It shows

an ichthyosaur in the process of giving birth to a fully formed baby. The
baby, except for the head, appears to have emerged from the body of the
This fossil presents a problem for those who think such fossils were
over millions of years. It's obvious that the mother and baby ichthyosaur
must have been buried instantly to capture the birth while it was
Also, the tissues of the baby ichthyosaur would have been more susceptible

to decomposition, and yet they were preserved in nearly perfect detail.
When we study the events of Genesis such as the Flood of Noah, and the
destruction it would've caused we shouldn't be surprised to find such
fossils as an ichthyosaur caught in the act of giving birth. Such fossils
make sense when you start with the Bible.

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Received on Thu Dec 14 14:36:55 2006

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