Sunday, January 6, 2013

Is it an issue for evolution when modern animals are found fossilized?

If you happen to run into someone who claims that there are modern animals in the fossil record that date back millions of years ago...and this person is trying to use this as evidence against evolution...don't worry! By the end of this blog you will be see that they are either lying, ignorant, regurgitating, or are a combination of all three. 

This is not meant in an insulting way as we all regurgitate information because it is the way we learn, but this makes passing on false information easy...causing us to become ignorant. Most creationists regurgitate anti-evolution claims that are said to be valid by the people who are closest to them; their churches, families, and friends. This makes the claims easier to accept as true and even harder to accept as false. This causes people to become ignorant to the actual scientific evidence as well as to the fact that the claims, if traced to their sources, are originally based on someone else's lie. We all get lied to but we must do our best to not voluntarily remain ignorant. We must investigate our own knowledge bases and discover if our sources' evidence is valid, and if we find that it isn't then we should do our best to assist others who still remain blinded.

If you ask yourself the following questions and apply the concepts, any claim will fall apart instantly:

1.) When they say the fossil is of a modern animal do they mean  the fossil looks LIKE a modern animal or it literally IS a modern animal?

Lets look at the difference between those claims using the modern Anole and the fossil Orobates:

~~The modern Anole lizard looks LIKE the 290 million year old fossil Orobates because they are both lizard looking. This means that the fossilized Orobates and the modern Anole must be the same animal!

 ~ VS.~

~~The modern Anole resembles the 290 million year old fossil Orobates because they are both similar size and have a lizard-like skeletal structures. This means that the Anole has probably maintained a similar lizard-like form to Orobates and they might share a distant common ancestor.

290 Million years old - Orobates
Modern Anole

Many creationists think they can just look at a fossil and if it looks similar it must be the same thing! Imagine a robin and a mocking bird both fossilized. Would you be able to tell the difference? They are obviously both bird-like as well as having similar sizes but beyond that most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference.


Mocking bird
Paleontologists spend years examining the details of fossils and are aware of the differences between species, especially species separated by 300 million years. Something can be lizard looking but no matter what...300 million years of evolution will change things, though it often requires a trained eye to see those changes. A creationist will say "this fish today is just like this fish that's fossilized" when the two fish have been separated for 250 million years and actually do have small differences between them. This is a claim based on ignorance.

2.) When an old form is still working today, why change it? 

Now it's possible for someone to hear that an animal is fossilized as well as alive but this still doesn't cause an issue for evolution. Often these claims are made by creation scientists who then spew it out to the public where it gets passed on as something evolutionists cant explain... Below are a modern Queensland lungfish and a fossilized Devonian lungfish from 410-400 million years ago. They look similar and scientists have said they are both lungfish...but none of that is bad.

Dipnoi - Lungfish 400 million years old
Modern Queensland lungfish

Imagine that a species develops in a calm river system 400 million years ago and after all this time they are still not forced to change their way of life because they have no new predators and no environmental changes. Even after 400 million years...this species can remain almost the same physically. You must have natural selection pressures for changes to happen. There were many more lungfish species 300-400 million years ago but their environment drove them to extinction. The lucky Queensland lungfish just happened to settle in the right spot that has maintained a low selective pressure and it has been safe ever since (until recently).

This is why we still have fish, amphibians, and reptiles. They can look similar to their ancestral forms but that's because they have maintained the forms through time, keeping varying parts that work well and inventing new ones! And even though they look similar...changes have occurred, they may just not be easily seen by the average person. We can find these changes genetically...but that's for another day.

This misunderstanding is also linked to the famous "If we came from monkeys, why are monkeys still here?" Monkeys have retained our common ancestor's forms in ways we have not. All of the primates have pieces of our ancestor's form, but some parts work better for different populations than for others. We still have our primate ancestors color vision, fingernails, and large brains but the squirrel monkeys still have long tails and graspable toes. This is a claim based on ignorance and regurgitation.
3.) If you determined they mean a truly modern animal in the fossil record, where is their evidence?

If someone is claiming there are true modern animals in the fossil record, they have no scientific evidence. Every time a claim is made like this, like there being literal parrots fossilized with dinosaurs (way before parrots evolved) there never seems to be any scientific journals about them, or even any organized documentation of the site in which they were found.

When I dig at the Archosaur site, once a fossil is found it is thoroughly documented. Pictures are taken of the layer, orientation, the direction it is facing (N,S,W,E). Notes are taken of everything previously mentioned along with every other tiny detail possible. The fossil must be maped out and compared to every other fossil found in that area. Then all the dirt that was removed from around the fossil must be put into separate pans and sifted through to find any small pieces, including bones, teeth, and seeds. In the end after many years of work, everything is put together in a scientific journal that can be verified by anyone.

If an organism is found in a layer it is not supposed to have been in, the documentation of it would have been beyond thorough and there would be no issue in determining its legitimacy…but alas, this is not what we see with creationist claims! This is a claim based on lying, but it can be also regurgitating depending on the source.

4.) If they truly mean a modern animal fossilized, and they claim that their source said there is evidence, who is the original source for the claim?

Most people that don't know a lot about the fossil record but still claim to know it goes against evolution have been reading or watching unscientific creationist nonsense or have been told this by their church, family, or friends...who also probably read or watched creationist nonsense. Ask them where they heard about these fossils that are misplaced and every time they lead back to the creationist nonsense online or in the creationism science videos.

I say creationist nonsense because these claims usually go back to old 80s and 90s creationist science videos that today creationists are telling people not to use anymore. And if they are newer they are usually just the same things being repeated. A great example is Kent Hovind...who's arguments are widely used (even from my 12 year old relative who watched the videos in private catholic school).

They quote the same fossil names when they don't know what the fossil actually is, and they use the same wording of the claims but don't have a response if you challenge them. Those claims are always traced back to someone who knows nothing about the site or specimen. There are a few unique people who believe they have evidence and try to use science to defend it but time and time again they are shown to be completely wrong.

A local example of this are the dinosaur and "human tracks" on the Paluxy Riverbed in Glen Rose, Texas. Young earth creationists have set up a museum and tourist site that is advertised on billboards all over Texas claiming they have evidence for man and dinosaurs coexisting...

Bipedal dinosaur tracks and "man tracks"
The so-called "man tracks" were actually just the impressions of a bipedal (upright) dinosaur that stepped in mud balancing on it heels and soles, and once the mud flowed back it ended up looking like a pseudo foot to the people who wanted to see it. So though a few creation "scientists" have visited the site and supported the claim with "evidence", no qualified paleontologist agrees. They have thoroughly disproved it for almost 40 years and yet people are still claiming that Glen Rose is evidence for creationism. This is a claim based on a combination of everything. The creation "scientists" at Glen Rose are lying and the public are ignorantly regurgitating lies.
Metatarsal tracks
Glen Rose Fraud

No matter where you go, you will find people who say there are modern animals (including humans) in the fossil record that are in the wrong place and wrong time, and that it proves that the fossil record doesn't show the evolution of animals…

Just remember everything you just read and you will soon find that either they are lying, ignorant, regurgitating, or are a combination of all three. Once you find out which, help them out!


  1. Rachel,

    You sound like you think you are quite intelligent. Tell me about Piltdown Man. Will you please?



  2. Wow I thought this was an ad for evolution and used every twisted fact you could employ. Actually there are fossils that are modern---the gila monster, the desert collared lizard, the texas horned lizard, the pacific horned lizard, the tuatara. Where the rub comes is some of these are actually a sub-species but the variation is almost negligible, the other issue is that taxonomists live by certain evolutionary assumptions so of coarse they give it a new name. Comparative studies on anoles, wall lizards, sand uta's, and others show that amber encase lizards are indeed the same species or a very close relative that may have went extinct, but this does not level with your articles implications. First of all you have no clue as to how cell to animal biology could exist. You have no clue as to the information contained in the DNA of all life. This information was not made by nature (as you well know), and implies a designer.... MY point is the flying geckos, geckos, and other animals are indeed shown to be part to the fossil record. Your denying this does not make this a viable inference on your part.
    So let me ask you a question back: Lets look at the T-Rex Dino, something like 700 Skeletons in existence in museums across the world. Right? Can you give me the ascending line of evidence or links of ancestral wanna be T-rex line that inculcated the existence of the T-Rex. Now we all here know it was a Theropod....there hundreds of known theropods. Correct? So my question to you, why is that every time we dig up a T-Rex, A mammoth, a Bison, these animals are the same of its species for the whole existence we have been able to determine its existence until it went extinct. Every single "living fossil" I have researched has not changed its body plan. DNA is fixed and the latest discoveries in epigenetic is now even pressing this fact and so while you assume evolutionary, non-guided mechanism as a basis for change, the fact of the natter the fossil record doesn't show change. Every single species extinct or modern still retains its body plan, its children are a copy of the parents. This is observable and factual. What you imply above is absurd in the light of the DNA discoveries and the fossil evidence. Please do not be fooled by this persons post, as each and every body plan in existence was due to DNA which determined its habits, its symbiotic relationships, its specific eco-niche, there is nothing in the world that implies a non-guided mechanism could even remotely be responsible for the complexity of each and every known specie. The argument is false and the burden if proof should rely on this poster to explain how the information in DNA can change body plans over "any" period of time. Body plans do not change unless Hybridization or some other infusion of new DNA is included. And while there is great variation in species with respect to color and other such known and observable evidences, these are still the exact same species?

    1. Before you write a huge reply that there is no evidence for transitional forms, maybe you should do some of your own research.
      And the fact that you think there would be a plethera of fossils to study from also shows that you are misinformed about how rare fossils actually are. Science has plenty of evidence to go from one species to the next by an "unguided mechanism" you talk as which is Natural Selection.

      The term "species" means that it can no longer mate with its original ancestor. Men cannot mate with monkey, ergo, two different species. Just because something is a different color does not make it a new species.

      thank you.

    2. You mean like calling Darwin's Finches separate species when they are interbreeding and producing fertile offspring right in front of your eyes? When DAN tests could tell no difference between them?
      That they call everything a little different a separate species just shows how desperate they are. Half of what is labeled a separate species in the fossil record is just incompetence. Most are in reality just like dogs, cats, etc - different breeds of the same species, not separate species.
      If they had never seen a dog and found fossils of the Husky and Mastiff and then later in the record found fossils of the Chinook - we would hear all about how the Chinook evolved from the Husky or Mastiff. Of course all of them would be wrong, but it wouldn't stop them from claiming it as fact.
      But then that's why all observations of how life propagates is ignored when classifying the fossil record.

      Asian mates with Asian and produces only Asian. African mates with African and produces only African. Only when African mates with Asian is variation in the species observed - Afro-Asian.

      Husky mates with Husky and produces only Husky. Mastiff mates with Mastiff and produces only Mastiff. Only when Mastiff mates with Husky is variation seen in the species - Chinook.

      But they ignore the large variation that occurs right in front of their eyes for a fabled process never once observed.

      The Asian remains Asian and the African remains African - neither evolved into the Afro-Asian and there were no missing links. Husky remains Husky and Mastiff remains Mastiff - neither evolved into the Chinook.

      Now start applying what we observe in real life to the fossil record and half of those species will go away for what they really are. Different infraspecific taxa in the species to which they belong.

  3. Please post here: