Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 23 August 2005
The young earth creation science magazine Creation ran an article in their September 2005 issue which tells the story of a “Kamikaze ichthyosaur,” which was found protruding through three layers of rock.1 Young earth creation science ministry Answers in Genesis ran this article as a Daily Feature for 23 August 2005, and Creation Ministries International used it as their daily feature on 12 May 2006.
The difference in age of the three rock layers was a span of one million years. Since the fossil was nose-down, in these three rock layers, young earth creation science advocates Carl Wieland and Tas Walker claim that it is a “lethal body blow” to long ages. If taken by itself, that would appear to be true. However, when you consider that this is one data point, among millions which suggest the earth is old, you realize that there must be an explanation for this fossil.
The young earth creationists mention the geologist who found and studied this fossil, and how his explanation for the phenomenon did not stack up to common sense. There are two possible explanations for this fossil.
First, given the right circumstances, it is entirely possible for the fossil to be preserved for a million years in soft mud, just as the geologist claims. It all depends on the water. If the organism was in an anoxic water environment (low oxygen), there would have been very little, if any, microorganisms to break down the fossil’s soft parts. It could easily have remained unscavenged by predators for a long time, as the lack of oxygen would prevent predators from reaching the fossil. Such anoxic water conditions are seen as a cause of such well preserved fossils in the Green River Formation in Wyoming.
Second, assuming there was no anoxic conditions…I would suspect that the one million year variance in the dates is inaccurate. I do not know if the geologist in question examined this possibility. However, given the circumstances, it bears closer examination.
One thing is for certain. The young earth creation science model, saying it was buried during the flood, would not work for this fossil. As the young earth theorist’s state, dead organisms usually float. Given the conditions of the Flood, as explained by an excellent computer simulation of currents when the entire surface of the earth is covered with water,2 it would have been impossible to preserve a skull like this. Currents would have reached 194 miles per hour…any dead animals would be torn apart, and their bones would be shattered as they were subjected to this force, and as organisms beat against one another in this global “washing machine.” Using the young earth creation science model, you would have few, if any, well-preserved fossils from a worldwide flood.
What the true answer is for this particular fossil is unknown...we can only say with certainty that it wasn't from a global flood 4,300 years ago.
This article contains my limited rebuttal. I do not have access to the article that Wieland and Walker refer to (it appears in a publication called Factum). One person who does have this publication is the geologist in question, Achim Reisdorf of the University of Basel. He emailed me, and pointed me to his online review of the Creation Magazine article. It clearly shows how Wieland and Walker use questionable tactics (misquotes, omissions) in thier article. Many of the questions they bring up are already answered in the original Factum article. Click here to read this review.
1 Creation Magazine, Volume 27, Issue 4. Published on the web at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v27/i4/ichthyosaur.asp
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.