Re: fish and the flood

Ron Chitwood (
Wed, 1 Apr 1998 22:02:42 -0600

GM>>>>First, it does exist in its entirety
in over 20 different places around the earth
(contrary to young-earth creationist claims<<<

Welcome back!

Before I begin to answer your other questions how many total places on
earth do NOT reflect the geologic column you base your assertions on? All
your data seems to be based on the assumption of huge amounts of geologic
time and that the geologic column is standard everywhere.

I am also interested in fossils that represent the gradation from fish to
amphibian to reptile and if their molecular structure represents gradation.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.. Pr. 3:5
Ron Chitwood

> From: Glenn Morton <>
> To:
> Cc:;;
> Subject: fish and the flood
> Date: Wednesday, April 01, 1998 8:55 PM
> I have several questions for the young-earth
> creationists. I recently compiled a database of
> all the living and fossil genera of fish along
> with their distribution in the geologic column.
> There are 3245 living genera of fish; there are
> 1837 extinct genera. My sources for this
> information were Robert L. Carroll, Vertebrate
> Paleontology and Evolution, (New York: W. H.
> Freeman and Co., 1988), pp596-612 for the
> paleontological data (plus a few living genera)
> and for the living genera
> was:
> every attempt was made to avoid duplications
> between these two sources. I give these data
> sources so that anyone can perform the same
> work I have and while the numbers might vary a
> bit (due to errors by both of us) they aren't
> going to vary by much. Here are the results:
> youngest
> period
> # Fish genera # living genera # extinct genera
> Recent 3245 3245 0
> Pleistocene 422 408 14
> Pliocene 416 372 44
> Miocene 496 320 176
> Oligocene 321 207 114
> Eocene 398 157 241
> Paleocene 124 53 71
> Cretaceous 340 38 302
> Jurassic 146 5 141
> Triassic 175 0 175
> Permian 86 0 86
> Pennsylvanian 106 0 106
> Mississippian 163 0 163
> Devonian 524 0 524
> Silurian 57 0 57
> Ordovician 5 0 5
> Cambrian 1 0 1
> Oldest period
> then select fishbase option from this page
> The numbers in the table will not add up to the
> 5082 genera cited in the above table because
> some of the genera live through numerous of the
> geologic periods.
> What is fascinating are the implications which
> can be gleaned from the distribution of the
> fish throughout the geologic column. I need to
> make a couple of remarks about the geologic
> column. First, it does exist in its entirety
> in over 20 different places around the earth
> (contrary to young-earth creationist claims).
> I would refer you to my web page article "The
> Entire Geologic Column in North Dakota".
> Secondly, one rule is true in geology (and it
> was set up by a man who believed in Noah's
> flood) that the highest rock layer is the
> youngest and the oldest is the deepest. This
> relative age is a logical necessity which
> follows from the fact that sediments land on
> the ocean bottom coming only from above and not
> from below. This means that even if the
> sediments were deposited by Noah's flood, the
> deepest sediment was part of the early flood
> and the last layer was deposited at the end of
> Noah's flood.
> Given this, the question now comes about
> as to why only 408 out of the 3245 living
> genera of fish have ANY fossil record at all?
> If they were in the ocean at the time of the
> flood there are two reasons why SOME of the
> modern fish should be found in the early flood
> sediments. First, fish have a limited lifespan.
> Most fish live less than 10 years with a few,
> like the hallibut living 30 years. This means
> that in the preflood population there would be
> a significant fraction of old fish, ready to
> pass on to their reward. If there were 10
> billion halibut, 330 million of them would be
> expected to die from old age during the flood.
> So during the flood year, normal mortality
> should have claimed some of the modern fish and
> the flood should have then buried and
> fossilized them. Secondly, due to the extreme
> tubulence of this global cataclysm, some of the
> fish should have been bonked on the head with
> rocks, boulders or just simply buried. Yet, as
> you can see from the above distribution, not a
> single genera of modern fish is found prior to
> the Jurassic period. Where were the 3245 modern
> genera of fish in the early part of the flood?
> Simply put, their absence is remarkable and
> clearly contradicts the predictions of the
> global flood.
> I want to emphasize that the oldest living
> genera in the Jurassic do not contain any
> living SPECIES of fish. The oldest fossil
> example of a living species of fish is that of
> a shark which is based upon the occurrence of
> shark teeth (supposedly diagnostic of each
> species) and that would show that the oldest
> living species is an Elfin shark from the Upper
> Cretaceous. (see~J.R. Norman, A History of
> Fishes, (New York: A. A. Wyn, 1949), p. 124)
> How can a global flood advocate respond to
> the above distribution of fossil fish in the
> flood sediments? They could say that the fossil
> record is incomplete. They could say that the
> modern fish lived in different habitats from
> those which were buried earlier in the flood.
> Or they could say that God created new life
> after the flood. We will examine these
> possibilities one by one.
> Could the fossil record be incomplete?
> Well, it is, but young-earth creationists often
> criticise evolutionists for making that claim.
> Gish wrote: "Sampling of the fossil record has
> now been so thorough that appeals to the
> imperfections in the record are no longer
> valid." Duane Gish, Evolution: The Challenge of
> the Fossil Record, (El Cajon: Master
> Books,1985), p. 42 (Gish makes the identical
> statement in Evolution: the Fossils say NO! p.
> 51)
> Huse states:
> "In time he [Darwin] argued, these connecting
> links would be found and the critical gaps
> filled. This convenient excuse, however, no
> longer offers any refuge for evolutionists."
> Scott M. Huse, "The Collapse of Evolution,"
> (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983), p. 42
> So, if the fossil record is complete, then
> WHERE are the modern fish?
> Could the modern fish have lived in a different
> habitat? Whitcomb and Morris would imply this
> is one of the main reasons that fish are not
> found with other animals (Henry M. Morris,
> Creation and the Modern Christian, (El Cajon,
> California: Master Book Publishers, 1985), p.
> 249). Whitcomb and Morris also state that the
> preflood sea bottoms should have been the first
> to be buried in the flood followed by the
> marine environment. So why are the early flood
> sediments devoid of modern species and genera
> PREFLOOD OCEAN! This obviously presents
> difficulties to the global flood concept.
> Could God have created the new life after the
> flood? Yes, of course God could have. Of
> course this would be adding to the Scripture
> which is warned against in Galatians and
> Revelations. In other words, there is no
> evidence from Scripture that God engaged in a
> massive creation event after the flood.
> Fish are not the only group presenting this
> challenge to the young-earth view point. The
> Mammalian distribution is as follows:
> As one goes back into the past, there are fewer
> and fewer living species found as fossils. The
> data is as follows:
> Recent 4631 species
> Pleistocene 282
> Pliocene 67
> Miocene 2
> oldest
> The two living species found in the Miocene are
> the carnivore Callorhinus ursinus and the bat,
> Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum.
> The final implication of the data is that other
> than these (aggregate 282 species), ALL species
> found in the fossil record are different from
> those living today. The number of extinct
> species found in the various epochs of the
> Tertiary are:
> Youngest
> Pleistocene 786
> Pliocene 1119
> Miocene 2988
> Oligocene 1282
> Eocene 1819
> Paleocene 604
> oldest
> The average species is only found in one of
> these epochs. This implies that the fauna
> almost entirely turns over with the passing of
> each epoch. This is another difficulty for the
> global flood--explaining why different forms
> are deposited in the various layers, inspite of
> the fact that most ecozones are represented in
> each epoch.
> On the genus level the numbers of members of
> extant mammalian genera in the various
> geological epochs is:
> oldest
> Triassic there are 4 genera--no living members
> Jurassic 43 genera-no living members
> Cretaceous 36 genera-no living members
> Paleocene 213 genera-no living members
> Eocene 569 genera-3 extant genera
> Oligocene 494 genera 11 extant genera
> Miocene 749 genera 57 extant genera
> Pliocene 762 genera 133 extant genera
> Pleistocene 830 genera 417 extant genera
> youngest
> So, as far as I can see, there is no
> explanation for this data within the typical
> creationist interpretive scheme. My questions
> for young-earth creationists are these:
> What would you tell a student who comes to you
> and asks how you explain this data?
> Why do you think it is that Christian
> apologists never mention paleontological data
> at this level of detail?
> (and if one wants to complain about my use of
> the word 'never' then please tell me where the
> distribution of the genera of fish are
> discussed in a young-earth creationist paper)
> How do you explain the data within a young-
> earth creationist framework?
> glenn
> Adam, Apes, and Anthropology: Finding the Soul of Fossil Man
> and
> Foundation, Fall and Flood