VIDEO The Fossils Still Say No: The Surly Cenozoic Flood Finale

BY JEFFREY P. TOMKINS, PH.D. *  | THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2021

The Cenozoic is the major upper system of the geologic column. It represents the last global Flood layers that were produced from violent Flood runoff as the newly separated continents and their mountain ranges were being uplifted in the final stage of the global Flood. Many unique types of mammals, birds, insects, and plants make their first appearances in the Cenozoic with no evolutionary precursors in lower rock layers. While this unique mix of catastrophically buried fossils is difficult to explain in an evolutionary scenario, the global Flood model of progressive burial by ecological zonation closely fits the data.

Darwin’s Abominable Mystery Accelerates

As mentioned in the previous article in this series, about 20 years after Darwin published his famous book on evolution, he penned a letter to his close friend, the renowned botanist Joseph Hooker, griping, “The rapid development as far as we can judge of all the higher plants within recent geological times is an abominable mystery.”1,2

The primary reason for Darwin’s claim of an abominable mystery was the sudden and massive appearance of numerous kinds of flowering plants known as angiosperms, which first began showing up in the Cretaceous and then exploded in the Cenozoic. In a recent paper, British botanist and evolutionary expert Richard Buggs showed that Darwin mainly considered the mystery to be abominable because the leading paleobotanists of his time such as his friend Oswald Heer and his evolutionary critic William Carruthers saw it as evidence for the work of a Creator.3 This glaring problem deeply bothered Darwin because the fossil record did not support his theory.

A 2016 research paper assessed the current extent of angiosperms in the paleontology databases. The authors claimed, “The Cenozoic angiosperm macrofossil record is extraordinarily rich” and “the diversification of angiosperms during the Cenozoic, and the causes of such changes in diversity, remains unclear.”4 In other words, Darwin’s mystery is more abominable for evolution today than it has ever been.

Abominable Cenozoic Coal Seams

Powder River Basin Coal Seam Image credit: Copyright © Peabody Energy. Used in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holder.

Another powerful piece of evidence for the final receding phase of the global Flood involves the presence of huge Cenozoic coal beds formed from mostly angiosperm (flowering) plants.5 This is directly related to Darwin’s “abominable mystery.” Coal beds are formed by enormous amounts of plant material being ripped up, transported en masse, and then buried rapidly before the material has a chance to decay—exactly the type of catastrophic processes that occurred in the global Flood. Compared to the Carboniferous coal beds formed earlier in the Flood that contained tropical coastal vegetation, the larger Cenozoic coal layers were formed from plants and trees growing at higher elevations in the pre-Flood world. Like the many other Cenozoic fossils, these coal beds had a propensity to form in large sedimentary basins that formed late in the Flood year where the plant material would have been easily trapped and buried.

A spectacular example of Cenozoic coal in North America can be found in the Powder River Basin, which extends from the center of eastern Wyoming up into the lower third of Montana.6 This large region contains some of the largest known reserves of low-sulfur subbituminous (black lignite) coal in the world, making it economically important. In fact, about 42% of United States coal production comes out of the Powder River Basin, and at least six coal seams in this basin exceed 100 feet in thickness, with some more than 200 feet thick (e.g., the Big George coal layer). Other extensive, but thinner, Cenozoic coal deposits are located across regions in the midwestern and southern states.6

Huge Cenozoic coal deposits can also be found in other parts of the world such as South America, which comprise the thickest and most extensive across that continent as well.7 It has been estimated that these make up about half of all coal in South America with the total tonnage estimated to be greater than any other geologic system or combination of systems in that continent.

Cenozoic coals are also found in the ocean. Oil-well drilling in the South China Sea off the coast of Borneo has revealed a huge region of bedded Cenozoic coals that, according to evolutionists, “is both thick and rapidly deposited.”8 The only explanation for them is that the intense energy of the receding phase of the Flood transported and buried these land plants in late Flood continental runoff.

Mammal Fossils

The Cenozoic is often called the Age of Mammals due to the fact that many kinds of mammals make their first fossil appearances in these sediments. As in the lower parts of the rock record, the fossils in these layers that have living counterparts look the same, showing no sign of evolution (stasis). Cenozoic mammal fossils came from creatures living at higher, more temperate elevations than dinosaurs and thus would have been buried in the uppermost Flood layers. The mammal fossils found in these layers that are extinct likely would have been represented aboard Noah’s Ark but have since died off due to habitat loss or human hunting. Some examples of land mammal creatures making their first appearance in Cenozoic sediments include rodents, horses, rhinoceroses, elephants, dogs, cats, pigs, cattle, sheep, antelope, and gazelle.

One particular group of mammals that illustrate the global concordance of Cenozoic strata are monkeys whose fossils have been found across multiple continents. Monkey fossils of the same type have been found in the same Cenozoic rock layers of completely separate continents (South America and Africa).9 To explain this, evolutionists have actually proposed the absurd idea that monkeys rafted back and forth between continents on the open ocean.

While the intercontinental monkey fossil data give no credence to the idea of evolution, they do show that late Flood runoff destroyed similar ecosystems on the newly separated continents as monkeys and other higher-elevation creatures were buried late in the Flood.

While many Cenozoic mammals are still with us today, a number of bizarre and intimidating-looking types have gone extinct.10 For example, paleontologists recently discovered the fossil of a ferocious-looking mammal bigger than any lion or tiger living today known as a Hyainailourine hyaenodont.11 This creature was even larger than a grizzly bear, with a skull as big as a rhinoceros’ and huge canine teeth. The creature was found in upper Cenozoic strata, and as the evolutionary story goes, “hyaenodonts arose in Asia in the late Paleocene and quickly spread across the northern continents in the early Eocene” (Paleocene and Eocene are lower Cenozoic layers).10 The magic words “arose” and “quickly spread” are typical evolution-speak, meaning that these creatures appeared suddenly around the world with no evolutionary precursors.

Figure 1. Global occurrences of Cetacea (whale) fossils using data from the Paleobiology Database posted on paleobiodb.org

In addition to land mammals, many kinds of whales and other marine mammals make their first appearance in Cenozoic sediments. This can be explained by the fact that the large, bloated, buoyant carcasses of dead marine mammals like whales would have been some of the last marine creatures to have been buried in the Flood. In the global mapping of whale fossils, they are located along the coastal margins of nearly every continent and are also found across the entirety of Europe (Figure 1).12

Late Flood Runoff Explains Cenozoic

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Canadian Rocky Mountains

The paleontological evidence indicates that many of the diverse plants and mammals inhabiting higher and temperate pre-Flood elevations were buried in the late runoff phase of the global Flood. The megasequence representing this late Flood deposition is known as the Tejas and corresponds to the majority of the Cenozoic era (prior to the Pleistocene) in the geologic column and accounts for about 30% of the total volume of the sedimentary rock record.13,14 Thus, the end of the global Flood is defined at the upper margin of the Neogene system (just before the Quaternary at the top of the Cenozoic) where it meets the Quaternary. It is called the N-Q Flood Boundary.13-16

The floodwaters peaked in height, covering all the highest hills by at least 23 feet (15 cubits), during the deposition of Cretaceous system.13 The Cretaceous system also included the final phases of continental separation. Afterward, during the deposition of the Cenozoic, the newly separated continents and their mountain ranges were rapidly uplifted, causing the floodwaters to violently recede. This recession carved canyons out of the soft sediments (e.g., Grand Canyon) and buried massive amounts of plants and animals in large basins that had formed at the base of the mountains (e.g., Rocky Mountains).17 In addition, the continental runoff also formed massive Cenozoic sediments offshore such as the Whopper Sand in the Gulf of Mexico.18 While evolutionists have extreme difficulty in explaining Cenozoic geology and paleontology, the global Flood model fits the data perfectly.

References

  1. Tomkins, J. P. 2021. The Fossils Still Say No: Capping a Cretaceous ConundrumActs & Facts. 50 (9): 8-11.
  2. Darwin, F. and A. C. Seward. 1903. More letters of Charles Darwin. A record of his work in a series of hitherto unpublished letters. London: John Murray, 20-21.
  3. Buggs, R. J. A. 2021. The origin of Darwin’s “abominable mystery.” American Journal of Botany. 108 (1): 22–36.
  4. Xing, Y. et al. 2016. Testing The Biases In The Rich Cenozoic Angiosperm Macrofossil Record. International Journal of Plant Science. 177(4) DOI: 10.1086/685388.
  5. Tomkins, J. P. and T. Clarey. 2020. Paleontology Confirms a Late Cenozoic N-Q Flood BoundaryActs & Facts. 49 (11): 11-13.
  6. Fact Sheet from U.S. Geological Survey. Scott, D. C. and J. A. Luppens. 2013. Assessment of Coal Geology, Resources, and Reserve Base in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana. USGS, 2012–3143.
  7. Weaver, J. N. and G. H. Wood, Jr. 1994. Coal map of South America. U.S. Department of the Interior, USGS, Coal Investigations Map, C-145.
  8. Lunt, P. 2019. A new view of integrating stratigraphic and tectonic analysis in South China Sea and north Borneo basins. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 177: 220–239.
  9. Tomkins, J. P. Monkey Fossil Reveals Diversity and Flood Boundary. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org June 11, 2019, accessed April 27, 2020.
  10. Prothero, D. R. 2017. The Princeton Guide to Prehistoric Mammals. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  11. Borths, M. R. and N. J. Stevens. 2019. Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, gen. et sp. nov. (Hyainailourinae, Hyaenodonta, ‘Creodonta,’ Mammalia), a gigantic carnivore from the earliest Miocene of Kenya. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 39 (1).
  12. Tomkins, J. and T. Clarey. 2019. Whale Fossils Confirm Post-Flood BoundaryActs & Facts. 48 (12): 9.
  13. Clarey, T. L. 2017. Local Catastrophes or Receding Floodwater? Global Geologic Data that Refute a K-Pg (K-T) Flood/Post-Flood Boundary. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 54 (2): 100–120.
  14. Clarey, T. 2020. Carved in Stone: Geological Evidence of the Worldwide Flood. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 312–353.
  15. Clarey, T. L. and D. J. Werner. 2019. Compelling Evidence for an Upper Cenozoic Flood/Post-Flood Boundary: Paleogene and Neogene Marine Strata that Completely Surround Turkey. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 56: 68–75.
  16. Clarey, T. 2019. Rocks Reveal the End of the FloodActs & Facts. 48 (5): 9.
  17. Clarey, T.C. 2018. Grand Canyon Carved by Flood RunoffActs & Facts. 47 (12): 10-13.
  18. Clarey, T. A Whopper Mystery for Nearly 20 YearsCreation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org April 22, 2020, accessed June 5, 2020.

* Dr. Tomkins is Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.

Cite this article: Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. 2021. The Fossils Still Say No: The Surly Cenozoic Flood FinaleActs & Facts. 50 (10).

https://www.icr.org/article/the-fossils-still-say-no-surly-cenozoic-flood/

VIDEO The Fossils Still Say No: Jostle in the Jurassic

BY JEFFREY P. TOMKINS, PH.D. *  | FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2021

The Jurassic system of the geologic column is an enigma to evolutionists because it represents a continuance of many life forms found buried below in Triassic strata, combined with yet another alleged and convoluted mass extinction at the onset. In addition, many unique life forms make mysterious sudden appearances in the Jurassic with no prior evolutionary ancestry.

This massive and enigmatic fossil assemblage is also accompanied by the clear signs of the accelerating breakup of a once-existent mega-continent, Pangaea. However, the evolutionary convolution of this quandary of catastrophically buried fossils and tectonic anomalies makes perfect sense when we apply a model of sequential burial by ecological zonation and rapid plate tectonics interpreted within the global Flood of Genesis.

Triassic-Jurassic Extinction Not So Clear

As I mentioned in my previous two articles in this series, one of the chief enigmas that evolutionists have at the beginning of the Triassic is an apparent mass extinction event at the Permian-Triassic (P-T) boundary.1,2 But these ongoing mysterious and convoluted so-called extinction events throughout the geological record continue to be a recurring problem that’s difficult to explain from evolutionary assumptions.

The Triassic-Jurassic (Tr-J) extinction, which may also be called the end-Triassic extinction, marks the boundary between the Triassic and Jurassic periods supposedly 201 million years ago.3 It’s also considered to be one of the major extinction events of the Phanerozoic. In the oceans, it’s estimated that about 23 to 34% of marine genera disappeared at this level. On land, a large variety of reptiles dropped from the fossil record, but crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, and dinosaurs somehow magically avoided extinction.

Among evolutionists, there’s a great deal of confusion regarding a clear connection between the Tr-J boundary and the terrestrial vertebrates that either disappeared or went on to thrive. Another confusing aspect for evolutionists is the fact that plants and mammals also seemed to be relatively unaffected and that the dinosaurs and pterosaurs became the dominant land animals for the next 135 million years of the evolutionary timescale.

Dinosaur Fossils Amaze

Brachiosaurus

Dinosaurs are often held up as proof of deep evolutionary time and have even been popularized in movies like the famous Jurassic Park series. As I noted in my previous installment in this series, this diverse group of reptiles make their first sudden appearance (without evolutionary ancestors) in the Triassic.2 In the Jurassic, even more fantastically designed dinosaur kinds make their first appearances, utterly defying evolution.

One of the most well-known, awe-inspiring, and evolution-defying dinosaurs is the Brachiosaurus, which was popularized in a jaw-dropping scene in the first Jurassic Park movie. Brachiosaurs make their initial appearance in the upper Jurassic sediments along with other types of large long-necked sauropods, such as Apatosaurus.4 Brachiosaurus had longer front legs than back legs compared to many other sauropods, which gave it the high upward-angled neck and head characteristic of its type.

Not only is this unique dinosaur body type especially distinctive, but the massive size of these creatures also befuddles evolutionists. Brachiosaur fossils found in North America indicate that these creatures weighed about 30 to 60 tons. Another massive Jurassic sauropod was Diplodocus. It had a much longer tail and shorter front legs and could get up to 105 feet long and 12 to 18 tons in size. The sudden appearance of such massive and uniquely engineered sauropod creatures with no evolutionary precursors is a strong testimony to the Creator God.

Allosaurus

Another popular dinosaur of note in the Jurassic was Allosaurus, which was a large bipedal reptile found in Upper Jurassic sediments.4 Its name means “different lizard,” giving reference to the fact that it was unique and unexpected at the time of its discovery and also had unusual concave vertebrae. Based on fossil evidence, it averaged about 33 feet in length, with some specimens as large as 39 feet. It had large and powerful hind limbs and small three-fingered forelimbs. Its well-designed body was perfectly balanced by a long and heavily muscled tail. Allosaurus would have been a fierce and intimidating creature, weighing about 2.5 tons. Like the Jurassic sauropods, Allosaurus appears suddenly in the fossil record with no evolutionary precursors.

Yet another popular dinosaur from the Jurassic is the unusual Stegosaurus (“roof lizard”), characterized by the distinctive upright plates along its back and tail, along with an array of spikes at the end of its tail. Stegosaurus was a four-legged armored dinosaur that was a plant eater. It had a formidable array of plates that grew along the back that could have been used to appear bigger to predators. Alternatively, its back plates may have been used for sexual display and/or for providing some sort of thermoregulatory function. Stegosaurs were also quite large and could get up to 18 feet long and up to 9.5 feet tall. Stegosaurus may have lived alongside other dinosaurs such as Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, and even Allosaurus. Needless to say, this highly unique creature also appears suddenly in the fossil record with no trace of evolutionary ancestors.

Pterosaurs and Mammals Galore

Pterosaurs are a diverse group of flying vertebrates that do not meet the definition of a dinosaur but show up in Triassic rocks at the same time as the first dinosaurs and then increase and persist throughout the sedimentary layers of the Jurassic. While evolutionists consider them to be early evolved flying vertebrates, their sudden appearance without any evolutionary precursors supports the biblical account of their creation along with other flying creatures during the Genesis creation week. Pterosaurs had wings formed by a membrane of skin similar to a bat, with the muscle and other tissues stretched from the ankles to an extremely long fourth finger. Their unique design would have made them powerful and efficient flyers, even having the capacity to dive into water to snag fish

.

Maiopatagium Image credit: University of Chicago

What isn’t commonly known is that in addition to dinosaurs and pterosaurs, Jurassic rock layers also contain a large array of mammals.4 Jurassic mammals were diverse and generally fairly small, although some have been found up to three feet in length. Many resemble squirrel and beaver-like creatures. Not only were there many mammals adapted to life on land, including semiaquatic forms, but there were also several flying mammal kinds (Maiopatagium and Vilevolodon). These aerial mammals mystify evolutionists because they not only occur suddenly but also very early in the fossil record of mammals with no viable ancestors. In fact, these mammal fossils clearly show gliding membranes, along with limb, hand, and foot proportions perfectly suited to aerial locomotion and behavior.

Explaining the Jurassic Puzzle with the Global Flood

As I mentioned in my previous article,2 global megasequence research at the Institute for Creation Research indicates that the initial rifting in the breakup of the pre-Flood mega-continent referred to as Pangaea began in the Triassic. This breakup involved a progressive increase in global tectonic activity. This caused more extensive plate motion and rapid subduction of the pre-Flood ocean crust along the West Coast of North America. As I noted in my previous article, the East Coast had already exhibited significant rifting in the Triassic, breaking away from what is now recognized as Africa. Essentially, the Jurassic witnessed the rapid injection of new, hot, buoyant ocean crust between the separating continents, creating the seafloor of the Atlantic Ocean.

All of this increasing tectonic activity would have accelerated the violence of the Flood by pushing tsunami-like waves higher and farther inland, transporting physically bigger marine reptile creatures (e.g., Plesiosaurus) and deeper-water ocean fish onto the rapidly dividing continents—mixing them with land creatures living at higher elevations. This activity is reflected in the more extensive Jurassic rocks found spread across the continents as the water inundated even higher elevations than before.5

 

Image credit: Davis J. Werner

The land life entombed in Jurassic rocks represents not only an increase in water height and depositional violence, but the progressive burial of ecosystems farther inward on the pre-Flood Pangaea mega-continent. In fact, there’s evidence that the extensive Jurassic Morrison Formation in North America represents animal and plant life ripped off what ICR geologist Dr. Tim Clarey refers to as Dinosaur Peninsula.6,7 In this model, the dinosaurs were able to survive through the early part of the global Flood in western North America simply because their habitat was not yet fully flooded, which occurred during the deposition of the Zuni Megasequence of which the Jurassic was merely the start. Other Jurassic dinosaurs may have been able to evacuate their lower-elevation pre-Flood habitats and flee to higher remnants of land as the floodwaters advanced.

The Lower Jurassic represents the last part of the Absaroka Megasequence, with the remainder of the Jurassic belonging to the Zuni.8 The Jurassic layers must have been very violently deposited to bury the huge dinosaurs found within them. The Jurassic system was also the final leadup to deposition that peaked on the continents later in the Cretaceous. Keep in mind also that this was occurring at the same time as the Pangaea mega-continent was increasing its breakup and plate separation. Within this overall scenario, the dinosaurs were buried in a definable order as the waters progressively inundated more and more land.6,7

The ICR model of a Dinosaur Peninsula shows a hypothetical landmass extending down through the United States from Minnesota to New Mexico. This represented a low-lying land area below the pre-Flood uplands. It would have been full of all kinds of dinosaurs, large and small, as found in the rock layers.

As the Flood’s waters advanced up over the peninsula, the outer edges and the southern tip likely flooded first, producing the Triassic system rocks and trapping many dinosaurs that couldn’t escape. As the Flood progressed higher due to increased tectonic activity, larger and possibly more mobile sauropods and theropods that had lived at or had escaped to higher ground were buried in the Jurassic layers. This scenario eventually reached its peak in the Cretaceous (Zuni Megasequence).5

References

  1. Tomkins, J. P. 2021. The Fossils Still Say No: Global Flood Solves Permian Perplexities. Acts & Facts. 50 (6): 10-12.
  2. Tomkins, J. P. 2021. The Fossils Still Say No: Tumultuous Triassic TussleActs & Facts. 50 (7): 10-12.
  3. Tanner, L. H., S. G. Lucas, and M. G. Chapman. 2004. Assessing the Record and Causes of Late Triassic Extinctions. Earth-Science Reviews. 65: 103-139.
  4. Clarey, T. 2015. Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
  5. Clarey, T. 2020. Carved in Stone: Geological Evidence of the Worldwide Flood. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 282-311.
  6. Clarey, T. 2015. Dinosaur Fossils in Late-Flood RocksActs & Facts. 44 (2): 16.
  7. Clarey, T. Solving the Missing Tropical Dinosaurs Mystery? Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org July 9, 2015, accessed June 9, 2021.
  8. Clarey, Carved in Stone, 234-255.

* Dr. Tomkins is Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.

Cite this article: Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. 2021. The Fossils Still Say No: Jostle in the JurassicActs & Facts. 50 (8).

https://www.icr.org/article/the-fossils-still-say-no-jostle-in-the-jurassic/

VIDEO The Fossils Still Say No: Tumultuous Triassic Tussle

BY JEFFREY P. TOMKINS, PH.D. *  | WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 2021

The Triassic system of the geologic column is an enigma to evolutionists because it represents both a continuance of many life forms found buried in lower strata combined with an alleged and unexplained recovery from a convoluted mass extinction. In addition, many unique life forms make mysterious sudden appearances in the Triassic without any previous evolutionary ancestry. And this massive convoluted fossil assemblage is also accompanied by signs of the initial breakup of a once-existent mega-continent.

However, the evolutionary confusion over this curious quandary of catastrophically buried fossils and tectonic teasers makes perfect sense when we apply a model of progressive burial by ecological zonation and plate tectonics associated with the global Flood of Genesis.

Permian-Triassic Extinction Not So Clear

As I mentioned in my previous article in this series, one of the chief enigmas evolutionists have at the base of the Triassic is an apparent mass extinction event at the Permian-Triassic (P-T) boundary.1 The enigma lies in the fact that the timing or the order of buried plants and animals is very convoluted and drawn out in evolutionary deep-time thinking. Many Permian marine organisms were abundant right up to the P-T boundary, but land life was much less represented in the sediments—especially land plants that allegedly exhibited a more extended extinction, with their fossils extending well into the Triassic.

In other words, why is there a more sudden and extensive marine creature extinction compared to the spread-out land extinction? And why is the timing different between land animals, land plants, and marine creatures regarding the overall event, which according to evolutionists took about 15 million years? Furthermore, why did this event occur in the middle of a global megasequence (Absaroka) and not at one of its boundaries?

Dinosaurs Appear

Coelophysis

Dinosaurs are clearly the rock stars of fossil land creatures, and this diverse group of reptiles makes their first appearance suddenly in the Triassic with no evolutionary precursors.2-3 The alleged first of such reptiles is the unique Eoraptor, a small and lightly built bipedal creature that was about five feet long. A nearly complete Eoraptor fossil was found in northwestern Argentina. Eoraptor had a variety of different tooth shapes, which led scientists to suspect that it was omnivorous. Although it’s claimed to be about 230 million years old (Ma) and from the Late Triassic, it actually occurs in sediments smack dab in the middle of the Triassic.

In nearly the same strata, but in a Triassic quarry in New Mexico known as Ghost Ranch, another notable complete bipedal dinosaur known as Coelophysis was found. (It’s New Mexico’s state fossil.) In fact, the Ghost Ranch site has produced one of the world’s largest collections of dinosaur fossils. Coelophysis is believed to have been carnivorous because it had curved claws on its hands and a slim head with lots of sharp teeth. It was about twice the size of Eoraptor, growing to 10 feet long. Because many Coelophysis fossils have been dug up in the same locations, scientists think they may have lived together in herds, although their rapid burial en masse points to the global Flood.

Plateosaurus

In slightly higher Triassic strata dated about 210 Ma, another interesting type of dinosaur called Plateosaurus was found. This was yet another bipedal dinosaur but even more massive in size than Eoraptor or Coelophysis. This creature was up to 23 feet in length and was thought to weigh about three tons. It had a thick, powerful, long tail and coarsely serrated teeth for chewing plants. Interestingly, it had a curved claw on its thumb that may have been used to grasp branches or even for defense.

Fossils for this creature have been found in diverse places in Central and Northern Europe and Greenland. One Plateosaurus bone was even found 70 miles offshore of Norway below 1.5 miles of Flood sediment.4 As with Coelophysis, large numbers of Plateosaurus skeletons have been found in the same location, suggesting herd behavior and a catastrophic burial en masse.

Dicynodonts

Dicynodontia is a very broad and diverse taxon of different kinds of creatures called therapsids that I introduced in my previous article.1 They first appear in the mid-Permian and then become more numerous in the upper Permian and continue on through the Triassic. The dicynodonts are not fully part of the great P-T extinction enigma because they selectively survived the extinction that wiped out other creatures.

Dicynodonts are considered to have been herbivorous and had two tusks, hence the name, which means “two dog tooth.” Evolutionists have classified them as non-mammalian therapsids, having traits that are mostly reptilian with some mammal-like features. Their diversity is emphasized in over 70 genera, with the different types varying in size from as small as a rat to as large as an elephant.

One of the most unusual dicynodonts buried in the Triassic is Placerias. Some have speculated it looked like a cross between a hog, a cow, and a turtle. Like other dicynodonts, it is believed to have been a herbivore. It had a horny beak and a pair of downward-pointing tusks. Paleontologists speculate that it ate low-growing plants and used its tusks and beak to grub roots and tubers out of the ground.

Lisowicia

Yet another unusual dicynodont is called Lisowicia. It had an estimated length of more than 14.7 feet and a height of 8.5 feet, yielding a body mass of an incredible nine tons. Not only does its massive size baffle paleontologists, but it has forelimbs indicating an erect gait (upright limb posture) completely different from other dicynodonts that were characterized with sprawling forelimbs giving a posture like extant reptiles. Its massive size and unique form appeared suddenly in the fossil record of the Triassic and utterly defied the preconceptions of evolutionists.

Marine Reptiles

The Triassic also contains a whole host of creatures known as marine reptiles. Most of them looked like ocean-adapted lizards, with long bodies, necks, and tails.2-3 One well-known type is Keichousaurus, which had a very long neck and is often found as complete articulated skeletons. This makes them very popular among fossil collectors.

Another sea-lizard type of creature was the thalattosaur, which had a long, paddle-like tail and slender body. Interestingly, a thalattosaur was found in the belly of another creature claimed to be a marine reptile called an ichthyosaur, which looked more like a dolphin than a lizard.5 Truly, the diversity of marine creatures buried in Triassic sediments is mind-boggling and also contains many different types of fish, reptiles, arthropods, and gastropods.

Breakup of Pangaea and Dinosaur Tracks

The Institute for Creation Research’s global megasequence research has shown that the Triassic system also represents the beginning of the breakup of the pre-Flood mega-continent Pangaea. This was accompanied by massive pulling apart (rifting) of the outer rocky part of the earth’s crust (lithosphere), creating deep basins where material from the continental edges and Flood sediments broke off and collected. One striking example is known as the Newark Supergroup, which contains an assemblage of Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic sedimentary rocks that protrudes (outcrops) in various places along the East Coast of the United States.5 These rift basins were formed as North America began to separate from Africa during the Flood.

While evolutionists like to claim the Newark Group is non-marine and formed over millions of years, the rocks are composed of rapidly deposited material, as evidenced by the fact that the breccia (angular fragments), sandstone, siltstone, and shale are poorly sorted. In other words, they were buried so quickly and violently that gravity and water transport had little time to sort the material by particle size or round off the edges.

Furthermore, even the fine-grained red beds of the Newark Group feature ripple marks, mud cracks, and even raindrop prints that are best explained by the ebb-and-flow nature of the global Flood. But even more revealing are the numerous dinosaur footprints that are found without fossilized body remains.6 While this conundrum of lots of tracks and no bodies mystifies evolutionists, a Flood-based interpretation indicates that dinosaurs and other creatures were fleeing en masse to higher ground and left tracks as they traversed these freshly filled, soft sediment basins.

Explaining the Triassic Enigma with the Global Flood

The global Flood involved the formation of increasingly more new seafloor and plate activity, escalating the inundation of the land with tsunami waves and marine sediments. As I mentioned in my previous article, Permian strata leading up to the alleged mass extinction of marine life actually represented the increasing accumulation and systematic burial of the offshore ocean ecosystems.1

The land life later entombed in the Triassic rocks represented the increasing water height and subsequent burial of tropical and semitropical forest biomes farther inward on the Pangaea mega-continent. This is why we see such a rich diversity of plant-eating creatures that were living in these lush forests, along with a rich diversity of reptile-like creatures in general that would have been well adapted to such environments.

In the global Flood model of progressively higher water levels and deposition of megasequences, the Triassic represents part of the deposition of the Absaroka Megasequence.7 The Absaroka began in the Late Carboniferous, continued through the Permian, and is responsible for the entire deposition of the Triassic.

Also, according to the Flood model the pre-Flood mega-continent Pangaea would have started to break up in the Triassic. The breakup is primarily visible where modern North America and Africa first separated from each other. This is why global maps of the oceanic lithosphere show Triassic strata along the ocean edge at these points of separation along the continental margins of North America and Africa.8

While the prolonged and out-of-order extinctions coupled with plant and animal life that never went extinct across the P-T boundary make little sense in light of evolution, they integrate seamlessly with a model of progressive burial over the year-long global Flood of Genesis.

References

  1. Tomkins, J. P. 2021. The Fossils Still Say No: Global Flood Solves Permian PerplexitiesActs & Facts. 50 (6): 10-12.
  2. Benton, M. J. 2015. Bounceback: Tetrapods of the Triassic. In Vertebrate Paleontology. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  3. Prothero, D. R. and R. H. Dott. 2009. Evolution of the Earth, 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  4. Clarey, T. and J. J. S. Johnson. 2019. Deep-Sea Dinosaur Fossil Buries Evolution. Acts & Facts. 48 (8): 10-13.
  5. Jiang, D.-Y. et al. 2020. Evidence Supporting Predation of 4-m Marine Reptile by Triassic MegapredatoriScience. 23 (9): 101347.
  6. Wicander, R. and J. S. Monroe. 2016. Historical Geology: Evolution of Earth and Life Through Time, 8th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
  7. Clarey, T. 2020. Carved in Stone: Geological Evidence of the Worldwide Flood. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 234-255.
  8. Müller, R. D. et al. 2008. Age, spreading rates and spreading symmetry of the world’s ocean crustGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 9 (4): Q04006.

* Dr. Tomkins is Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.

Cite this article: Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. 2021. The Fossils Still Say No: Tumultuous Triassic TussleActs & Facts. 50 (7).

https://www.icr.org/article/the-fossils-still-say-no-tumultuous-triassic/

VIDEO A Literal Adam Is a Gospel Issue

Was there a literal Adam? Does it matter? Many academics and even Christians claim humans descended from apes through an evolutionary process over millions of years. This contradicts the biblical account of mankind’s unique creation in God’s image about 6,000 years ago. A key problem with the evolutionary position is that there’s no evidence of an ape-human transition in the fossil record.

Australopithecus are ape-like fossils thought to represent the first precursor to the genus Homo, or human. However, nothing has been found to bridge the gap between the two groups. In a 2016 Royal Society paper titled “From Australopithecus to Homo: the transition that wasn’t,” two secular paleontologists state:

Although the transition from Australopithecus to Homo is usually thought of as a momentous transformation, the fossil record bearing on the origin and earliest evolution of Homo is virtually undocumented.1

Even the field of human-ape DNA similarity research has come up empty in this regard. Both creationists and evolutionists recently documented that the human and chimp genomes are no more than 85% similar.2 For humans and chimps to have evolved from a common ancestor over an alleged period of three to six million years, a 98 to 99% similarity is required. The scientific data from both paleontology and genetics demonstrate a chasm of discontinuity between humans and apes, a situation that is clearly on the side of the Bible’s account of human history.

Many Christians think they should not be overly concerned about the veracity of a literal Adam because it’s not directly related to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But this is simply not true. Not only are humans created uniquely in the image of God, but the story of a historical Adam is foundational to the gospel.

Through a literal Adam and Eve, sin entered the picture, along with death, misery, and corruption. This curse accounts for the central problem of evil in the world. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” This foundational gospel truth is repeated in 1 Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” And the pervasive and disastrous effect of mankind’s sin on the whole creation is stated in Romans 8:21-22: “Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption….For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”

The Lord not only confirmed the Genesis account of humanity’s creation but also affirmed this occurred at the very beginning of Earth’s time frame.

Jesus Christ clearly affirmed the historicity of a literal human couple during His earthly ministry. In Matthew 19:4 He tells us, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female.” The Lord not only confirmed the Genesis account of humanity’s creation but also affirmed that this occurred at the very beginning of Earth’s time frame. And we know from detailed genealogies throughout the Bible combined with scriptural data on times of birth and death3 that Earth is approximately 6,000 years old.

The idea that after billions of years of primeval Earth history, followed by millions of years of evolution, humans somehow magically emerged from apes is completely unbiblical and is also unsupported by sound science. There truly is no need for Christians to compromise on this important issue. Adam was a real person.

References

  1. Kimbel, W. H. and B. Villmoare. 2016. From Australopithecus to Homo: the transition that wasn’t. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 371 (1698): 20150248.
  2. Tomkins, J. P. 2018. Separate Studies Converge on Human-Chimp DNA Dissimilarity. Acts & Facts. 47 (11): 9.
  3. Johnson, J. J. S. 2008. How Young Is the Earth? Applying Simple Math to Data in Genesis. Acts & Facts. 37 (10): 4.

* Dr. Tomkins is Director of Life Sciences at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.

Cite this article: Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. 2019. A Literal Adam Is a Gospel IssueActs & Facts. 48 (6).

https://www.icr.org/article/a-literal-adam-is-a-gospel-issue/

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