Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits

Natural History

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This museum boasts the largest and most diverse collection of extinct Ice Age plant and animal fossils in the world and offers a working excavation of a tarpit.

Overview

Los Angeles, California

What time period (Tertiary, Cretaceous, Jurassic, etc.) did these fossils supposedly come from? What caused all these animals to die at the same time? What is the biblical timeframe to counter the evolutionary story? These are just a few of the questions that you might ask yourself when visiting one of the world´s largest and most famous fossil sites—Rancho LaBrea, located in the heart of Los Angeles, California.

Situated in the middle of this fossil haven is the Page Museum which boasts the largest and most diverse collection of extinct Ice Age plant and animal fossils in the world. While most of the fossils are claimed to be from 10,000 to 40,000 years (during the last Ice Age), a visit here provides a perfect opportunity to discuss the fossil order from the biblical standpoint of the creation model. Bring along the Planet Earth issue (Oct.–Dec. 2008) of Answers magazine, and refer to the charts on p. 49, which describe how to read the rock record from a biblical standpoint. The Ice Age issue (April–June 2013) would also be helpful.

Here, visitors can explore and discover over three million fossils of animals such as sabertoothed cats, giant mammoths, and large ground sloths that once roamed this area known as "Tar Pits" because of the asphalt deposits that seeped through the earth and trapped and buried vast amounts of Ice Age creatures. Of the million fossil bones collected from this spot since 1908, over 650 species of plants and animals have been identified. A trip here provides opportunities to discuss how scientists interpret their findings based on their beliefs about the past and the age of the layers in the rock record.

As you peer into the windows at the Page Museum´s famous "fish bowl" laboratory and watch scientists examine and clean the fossil discoveries, use this time to talk to your family or friends about the different ways fossils are interpreted based on a person´s belief about the past.

Points of Interest

La Brea Tar Pits

The Page Museum at Rancho La Brea Tar Pits provides a stunning look into the ice-age inhabitants of North America, with a working pit excavation and great displays. Visitors can explore the million fossil bones that have been collected from the area rich in asphalt deposits that bubbled up from the earth and buried animals like sabertoothed cats and giant mammoths from the Ice Age. A trip here provides opportunities to discuss how scientists interpret their findings based on their beliefs about the past and the age of the layers in the rock record.

Tar Pits

Fishing for the Truth

The Page Museum's famous "fish bowl" laboratory allows visitors to watch scientists examine, identify, clean, and catalog the fossil discoveries. Use this time to talk to your family or friends about the different ways scientists determine the facts about these fossils. Is it based on fallible dating methods or on the Bible's inerrant record of the past?

Excavation

Additional Resources

Faith, Reason, and Earth History by Leonard Brand

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