Fossils are fascinating, and they give us a glimpse as to what happened in history. You can see what kind of plants and animals used to be on the earth. My favorite fossils in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History are the dinosaurs. When you walk past the signs, they say that they are millions of years old and that it took just as long to form their fossil. But is that true?
The Natural History Museum states that the most common way fossils form is via petrification (1). The animal dies, but before the body disappears, it’s buried by sediment – “usually mud, sand or silt” (1). Then, “[m]any more layers of sediment build up on top. This puts a lot of weight and pressure onto the layers below, squashing them. Eventually, they turn into sedimentary rock.” (1) While the animal is being covered by all this mud, “water seeps into the bones and teeth, turning them to stone”. (1) They conclude by commenting that “[t]his process can take thousands or even millions of years.” (1)
The Australian Museum concurs that “most [fossils] are formed when a plant or animal dies in a watery environment and is buried in mud and silt.” (2)
So, everyone concludes that for a fossil to form, they die in a watery environment and they get buried and covered by mud and muck. That part isn’t up for debate. But does this take millions of years?
Have you ever seen a dead animal? Is it possible for it to die and take a very long time to get buried in mud – before the body parts rot or get eaten by scavengers? No, it’s not. “The petrified fossils must form quickly, before the body parts have time to decay.” (3)
The 7-feet thick layer in the Redwall Limestone of the Grand Canyon contains billions of fossilized marine creatures, and it stretches for 180 miles, covering 10,500 square miles (4). It has been calculated that you would need “24 cubic miles (100 km3) of lime sand and silt, flowing in a thick-soup-like slurry at more than 16 feet (5 m) per second…to catastrophically overwhelm and bury this huge, living population of nautiloids.” (4)
That’s a lot of water in a short period of time to fossilize these marine animals in the Grand Canyon. How could that have happened? There would have had to have been a flood, right? And it would have had to have been a very large and very swift one to bury all of these creatures. These creatures are also fantastically preserved. There is even detail of fins and eye sockets…no time for the body to decay at all (4). Billions of marine creatures buried quickly…in Arizona. It was a swift fossilization, not a bajillion year fossilization. Even the fossil of a jellyfish (of all things!) was discovered in South Australia (4).
If you are still determined to believe that there was not swift fossilization of these creatures, then how can you explain how an ichthyosaur was fossilized while birthing her baby or how others were fossilized while eating their last meal (4)? It would have had to have been a catastrophic avalanche of mud that instantly buried them and preserved their bodies as fossils…it would not have taken millions of years.
Evidence that the flood occurred is shown in the fossils – the bones of the animals themselves. For such detail to be shown in the fossils and the fact that both marine and land animals are found together, a worldwide flood would have had to jumble them about and then rapidly fossilize them, preserving their delicate details. These are only some of the many pieces of evidence of a worldwide, catastrophic flood.
Many Christians and churches regard the Biblical version of the flood as a fairy tale. But if this is just a fairy tale, then you could doubt the rest of the Bible – it could all just be a story. Many cultures (spaced so far apart) have ancient stories of a massive flood, and the earth and fossils themselves testify to the truth. The evidence shows that this did, in fact, happen. Be assured that the rest of the Bible is true as well.
So now I have a question for you…what do you believe?
If you’re not 100% sure that you’ll go to Heaven when you die, now is the time to repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ. If you have any doubts or questions about your salvation, click here to learn how you can be saved.
- Hendry, Lisa. “How Are Dinosaur Fossils Formed?” Natural History Museum. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/how-are-fossils-formed.html#:~:text=David%20says%2C%20’It%20can%20take,that’s%20where%20you%20should%20look. (accessed July 31, 2020)
- “How are fossils formed?” Australian Museum. https://australian.museum/learn/australia-over-time/fossils/how-are-fossils-formed/#:~:text=Fossils%20are%20formed%20in%20different,top%20and%20hardens%20into%20rock. (accessed July 31, 2020)
- Bruce, Heather. “Experiment: Fast-Formed Fossils”. Answers In Genesis. https://answersingenesis.org/fossils/how-are-fossils-formed/experiment-fast-formed-fossils/ (accessed July 31, 2020)
- Snelling, Andrew. “What Are Some of the Best Flood Evidences?” Answers In Genesis. February 13, 2015. https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/what-are-some-of-the-best-flood-evidences/ (accessd July 30, 2020)