*by Wes Moore
Have you ever seen a dinosaur “fossil” at a museum? Have you ever wondered exactly what a fossil is or where it came from? That’s what I’d like to explain to you in this article.
What is a fossil?
A fossil is what is left of a dead plant, animal, or even a person. Fossils are buried in the ground, most often in layers of rock.
Many fossils are the impressions or casts of things that were once alive. With these kinds of fossils, the actual living thing is no longer present, only the form of it as it was pressed into the dirt, clay, or other material that surrounded it.
Imagine if you took some Silly Putty and pressed it down on a quarter. When you pulled it off, you would see the quarter in the Silly Putty, but the quarter itself would not be there. This is how this type of fossil is formed.
In other types of fossils, like those of bones, the living thing is still there, but not in the same form it was when it was buried. Over time the bone (we’ll use this as our example) is slowly replaced by things in the soil called minerals. These minerals harden in place of the bone and keep its shape.
How do fossils get into the ground?
We’re all curious, aren’t we? We want to know not only what a fossil is, but how it got into the ground in the first place. What happened to kill these plants and animals (and sometimes people) and bury them in such a way that we would find them later as fossils?
Some people believe the living things that make up fossils died many millions of years ago. The fossils we find were buried in the ground by slow processes that still go on today. They believe the layers of dirt we find in the ground around the fossils can tell us how long ago these living things died.
To their way of thinking, each layer of dirt in the ground took one year to be formed. So, as we go deeper into the ground, we are, in a sense, going farther back in time. As we find fossils deeper and deeper in the ground, they believe we are finding animals and plants that lived farther and farther in the past.
This whole way of looking at fossils and rock layers is a part of the theory of evolution. In this theory, there is no God. Everything in the world, including stars, planets, people, and animals, came about over long periods of time on its own.
Is this the best way to understand how the fossils got there?
This way of looking at fossils doesn’t really make sense. The ways these people determine how old these fossils are don’t always match up. Also, many fossils, like those of many sea creatures, won’t last long enough to be covered by hundreds of years of dirt layers (remember, they believe each layer is only one year). How long do you think a jelly fish would last on the beach?
Finally, there is something missing from between these layers of dirt. What is it? Erosion. You’ve seen erosion before. It’s when the water from a storm or steady rain cuts little paths through the dirt. It makes the dirt uneven, and puts little valleys through the soil.
Well, in so many places around the world, we don’t see any erosion in the layers of soil that make up the rock layers in which we find fossils! How can that be if it took them many thousands or even millions of years to be laid down? If this is true, there should be signs of erosion everywhere. But there isn’t.
It doesn’t make sense, does it?
The Truth about Fossils
The Bible tells us what happened in the past to give us most of the fossils on the earth. The book of Genesis describes a flood that covered the entire earth, broke up the bottoms of the oceans, and caused volcanos to erupt. We call this Noah’s Flood.
This flood would have buried many creatures very quickly all over the earth. It would also have laid down many layers of soil just as fast, leaving time no time for erosion to happen.
This flood would also have buried the sea creatures first (in the lower rock layers) and then the land animals, which is what we see in the ground today.
Fossils are frozen records of things that lived in the past. Though many people believe they are the result of millions of years of evolution, there are many reasons to believe this isn’t true.
The Bible gives us a better explanation for fossils: Noah’s Flood. This flood explains what we see in our world better, and we should not be surprised because it is the Word of our Creator!
*Wes Moore is a conservative Christian author and speaker, and the founder of Evidence America, an apologetics and evangelism training ministry. Wes is the author of Forcefully Advancing, a book designed to equip the average Christian to engage the lost; The Maker, a futuristic apologetics novel; and The Spiritual Top 50, a non-fiction apologetics book designed to help Christians answer the questions their lost friends are asking. You can learn more about him at www.wesmoorenow.com and https://www.trustedapologetics.com/!
By Ryan Jaroncyk
Illustrated by Lisa Sodera
Join Arkie the Archaeopteryx as he flies through an ancient jungle and meets many unique creatures that are also not missing links. This delightful adventure helps children look at the natural world through a biblical lens, giving glory to God.
Hardback, 48 pages