The fossil record fits best with progressive creation


This is an interesting/curious reseaech update on post Dinosaur placentals…

"…Their research also suggested placental mammals appeared after the end of the age of dinosaurs, with the original ancestor developing about 200,000 to 400,000 years after the event.

“This is about 36 million years later than the prediction based on purely genetic data,” said researcher Marcelo Weksler at Brazil’s National Museum at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro…"

These are pretty groundbreaking findings, with massive implications on the evolution narrative?

Most amazingly, another article has ‘estimated’ that the speed of speciation/evolution was three times faster than that before Dinosaur extinction.

The story of how we got here continues to surprise us


Apparently a great meteor crashing into earth was devastating enough to wipe out the dinosaurs (how?), but other life-forms survived (how?).


Why does a Christian need to explain where whales came from? I was under the impression God created them.
For that matter, why does anyone at all need to explain where whales came from? It’s hardly useful information.


According to your overly-optomistic view of the fossil record, in some ways a contiguous process of evolution does make more sense than a punctuated creation of similar creatures that also appear to evolve. But I suspect the true fossil record is not even close to the evolution playground you think it is.

And you realize of course that evolutionary diagrams like the one supplied in your post can be somewhat misleading, as they are artists’ impressions of what an evolutionist imagines these creatures looked like. I suspect more than a little wishful thinking finds its way into these illustrations. Let’s not forget that the appearance of some of these creatures is based on mere fragments of fossils or remains.


It’s not unusual for evolutionists to bury their head’s in the sand when it comes to the inconventient truths Gould reveals about all those gaps in the fossil record. For some strange reason, evolution exerts a powerful psychological hold over many people and contrary evidence can be a difficult thing for the addicted to accept.

Contrary to one of my earlier statements, I have just remembered that I do in fact have a theological objection to evolution: Genesis says God made creatures “according to their kind”. This is a mighty strange thing for God to say if each original created kind was destined to evolve into a completely different kind. My progressive creation model, on the other hand, doesn’t contradict this verse, as each separate created kind remains the same kind until it becomes extinct and is superceded by another created kind.

(A.M. Wolfe) #328

Now Edgar, if you want to be silly and ungracious, I can do that too…

It’s not unusual for anti-evolutionary creationists to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to breaking them away from their creationist quote mines and asking them to familiarize themselves with actual data. For some strange reason, anti-evolutionary creationism exerts a powerful psychological hold over many people and contrary evidence can be a difficult thing for the addicted to accept.

That doesn’t feel very good to be spoken to that way, now does it? I’m not sure calling your brothers in Christ addicts without evidence is really a very holy thing to do.

How about you just answer my question about some specific gaps, and the conversation can move forward more graciously?

(A.M. Wolfe) #329

Let’s take a representative sample of this turn of phrase in its context:

God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.

Those of us who accept mainstream science have no problem with these phrasings, because they speak of the entirety of the creation process from start to finish. That is to say, by the end of the evolutionary process, God had created every “kind” of creature that exists in the modern day.

It’s quite simple, really. I personally see no contradiction here… unless one is the kind of person that wants to manufacture evolutionary controversies just to have controversies.

(A.M. Wolfe) #330

All you can do is suspect, until you take the time to look at the data. Your turn, my friend.


Edgar, I’m afraid a rigid interpretation of “according to their kind” may preclude any further advancement of discussion on this topic. The emphasis of the passage is that Elohim is the Creator God responsible for bringing forth all creatures and this is expressed from the phenomenological perspective of the ancient Hebrews. When they saw the egg of a chicken hatch, they saw a baby chick emerge from the shell. They saw that cows gave birth to baby calves. This simplified animal taxonomy was never intended to satisfy modern scientific curiosities about speciation. Another example of ancient animal taxonomy in scripture is Leviticus 11:13-19 where bats are referred to as a type of bird rather than a mammal:

These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. Leviticus 11:13-19

The bat is not a type of bird. This is factually inaccurate by the standard of modern science. But inerrancy is context dependent and the Bible never claims to be teaching with scientific accuracy. The ancient science featured in scripture should be understood as incidental to what God really wants us to know. Once we recognize this, we can marvel at the fact that God graciously accommodates what he really wants us to know through it. I have been immensely blessed in my study of the Bible by learning this concept of divine accommodation.


Have you learned about the conditions required for fossilization? The vast majority of deceased organisms (probably over 99%) leave behind no evidence of their existence in the fossil record. For organisms to leave fossils, they must be buried quickly after death in sediment to be protected from scavenging and environmental erosion, and then preserved in low oxygen conditions for protection against decomposition from saprotrophs and oxidative damage. This is just for starters.

It’s a common and erroneous assumption that the fossil record must show some high percentage of organisms that have ever existed. Rather than parroting about gaps in the fossil record, you would do well to investigate the vast comparative genomic data which demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that we share a common ancestor with chimpanzees.

(A.M. Wolfe) #333

I’ll take this one step further.

English is not ancient Hebrew. When the Hebrew says עופ, it is only poorly translated by English “bird.” The term עופ is related to the verb “to fly” and means something more like “flying creature.” I don’t have time to do a full word study, but according to Strong’s (not the most reliable source but a good starting point), it can also mean “winged insect,” too.

In summary, the Leviticus passage you cited isn’t even inaccurate by modern scientific standards, because it never claims that bats are (English) birds. It claims that they are (Hebrew) עופ.


I stand corrected. My knowledge of Hebrew is minimal.

(Haywood Clark) #335

Reference to quote mines of Gould doesn’t count.

That’s odd, considering that we are the ones who go directly to the evidence while you repeatedly pretend to be familiar with the evidence–but in reality you keep several layers between you and the evidence.

You even came up with a ridiculous, and false, excuse for not looking at the sequence evidence.

(George Brooks) #336


So… if we tell you HOW? … will you actually retain the information? … so it isn’t such a puzzling outstanding question for you? There’s not much point in maintain a discussion with you if you have a long-standing track record for not remembering anything anyone ever shares with you about your questions concerning Evolution.

The arrival of the Dino-killing asteroid appears to have struck most heavily on creatures larger than a certain size (by weight). Generally speaking, the Asteroid theory is supported by the fact that huge forests of evergreens (in North America particularly) were replaced with deciduous trees, which were not what the vegetarian dinosaurs of North America ate.

But let’s compare 3 different large extinctions:

“Mammals and dinosaurs coexisted for approximately 140 million years, during which time dinosaurs dominated the majority of large terrestrial vertebrate niches. This extinction most likely was the result of a large meteor impact that eliminated over half of all species on the planet. Mammals survived that extinction event relatively well, probably because the majority of Mesozoic mammals were species with short generation times and large litters.” (“During the Tertiary period, mammals underwent a rapid adaptive radiation , filling niches similar to those vacated by dinosaurs.”)

“A second major extinction event occurred during the Eocene-Oligocene period, 30 to 35 million years ago. This extinction was the result of global cooling due to changes in ocean current patterns. Prior to this period modern families of mammals comprised only about 15 percent of the mammalian fauna; after cooling modern mammals made up more than 50 percent of the fauna at the family level.”

“The third mass extinction event began around 15,000 years ago and is still ongoing. Large species (mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, and lions) were more adversely impacted by the most recent extinction event than other taxa. In the twenty-first century, there are only about a dozen species of large mammals (over 100 pounds) in North America. As recently as 11,000 years ago there may have been three times that number.”

This page treats the conundrum of bird survival during the KT event:

“The survival of birds is the strangest of all the K-T boundary events, if we are to accept the catastrophic scenarios. Smaller dinosaurs overlapped with larger birds in size and in ecological roles as terrestrial bipeds. How did birds survive while dinosaurs did not?”

"Birds seek food in the open, by sight; they are small and warm-blooded, with high metabolic rates and small energy stores. Even a sudden storm or a slightly severe winter can cause high mortality among bird populations. Yet an impact scenario, according to its enthusiasts, includes “a nightmare of environmental disasters, including storms, tsunamis, cold and darkness, greenhouse warming, acid rains and global fires.”

It should be remembered that this narrative is focusing on the niche where smaller dinosaurs, the same size as larger birds, died off while the birds did not. Above this niche, the answers are easier. Large vegetarians died when their forests died. Meat-eaters wouldn’t have perished until all the large plant eaters were gone.

Housekeeping: @T_aquaticus (and @Christy) - - I have been most dutiful about respecting the presumption that there was once placental creatures on Australia that went extinct before the Marsupials arrived. But based on the article above, it appears that any “placental-like” creature that might have gone extinct on Australia was a “precursor” rather than an official Placental mammal. Now I don’t have to step so gingerly on the Australia topic!


@Edgar, as for this question:

Knowing where Whales come from is part of the refutation to the assertion at the top of this thread!: The Fossil Record does not fit best with progressive creation - - precisely because of Whales in the world’s oceans and Marsupials in Australia!


Hi Randy, thanks for your interest. Yes, i grew up here, and froman early age considered myself extremely blessed to be upon this amazing island.
I grew up spending a lot of time in the amazing National Parks and pursuing all manner of outdoor activities, from sailing to mountain top hikes and all inbetween.
I reluctantly came to faith, over a few years of deliberation, after by hanging out at a friends youth group. I couldnt ignor the truths that the bible contains, particularly surrounding the human condition/behaviors, along with personal experiences that i couldnt explain away. My faith gelled with my love for Tassie, as an incredible trstament to God’s creation.
Science is not my strong point, but i like to analyze information. More recently, iv become concerned about evolutionism/naturalism that is taught as absolute to our kids, so ive dived into this rabbit hole. I do hold high regard for science and scientists as they are ultimately seeking the truth. At the same time, ive found the Bible to be infallible as the most holistic explanation for life as we know it.
So, im here learning and attempting to betyer understand this debate. Yikes, that became a long reply!

(Chris Falter) #338

That is a very legitimate concern. Some atheist scientists and philosophers seek to make evolution the be-all and end-all for meaning and purpose in life. The “evolutionary creationists” who dwell on this forum vehemently reject this atheist metaphysic. There are even atheists and agnostics who hang out here and reject that metaphysic.

The fact that some people misuse science does not mean that you need to reject science. You just need to reject the misuse.


(Randy) #339

That sounds like fun, to grow up there; and great that you grew in relationship with God that way.

yes, I’m reading a bit more because of my children’s exposure to various things, too. Mine is a bit opposite, though–I grew up in a very Young Earth background, became convinced of evolution in college, and then finally started making more sense of the intersection in the past year. Biologos and the moderators have helped me a lot in that. My own children go to a very YEC Christian school and church (which I attend and love too), but am afraid that they will struggle with faith in the way I did after coming to better science exposure–so I’m hoping to get more insight in how to discuss the intersection with them as they grow older. “Science Geek Sam and His Secret Logbook,”, has been interesting, and my 10 year old is about ready to read it, I think. Maybe you’d enjoy that one, too (I read it before showing it to him).

It sounds like Biologos has a good role for both people from a naturalistic and YEC background (false dichotomy).

Thanks for letting us know more about you. Welcome on the Forum. I’m sure you have more to teach us. May I ask what your work background is? I’m a family physician (GP, I think you would say in your area), so not very scientific either.


Thanks Chris. My view is that rejecting this is an uphill battle. My observation is that published scientific articles are atheistic bt default, particularly within the evolutionary narrative.


Scientific articles don’t mention God by design. It is not just evolutionary biology.


You’re digressing. You’ve still not offered me any practical scientific uses for the “information” that humans evolved from a hominid, that humans and chimps share a common ancestor, or for Darwin’s “tree of life” concept.
If I were a biologist, which aspect of applied biology would fail by my rejecting evolution as an explanation for the history of life on earth?

If you cannot cite even one example of how human evolution or Darwin’s “tree of life” is useful to science, why is this irrelevant subject so important to you and why would anyone devote so much time to studying something so useless?