Unusual Fossilized Creatures

on May 15, 2010

BBC News: “Fossil Find Resolves Ancient Extinction MysteryOnce again, scientists have discovered the “remarkably well preserved” fossilized remains of creatures that, it would seem, shouldn’t have fossilized in the first place.

The fossils were discovered in Morocco and are now described in Nature by Yale University geologist Derek Briggs. They are all that’s left of soft-bodied marine creatures that are very similar to remains found in British Columbia.

Of special interest to creationists is the “remarkable” preservation of the fossils.

Of special interest to creationists is the “remarkable” preservation of the fossils. (In normal conditions, soft-bodied creatures are destroyed completely before they can fossilize.) According to Briggs, unique historical conditions at the site permitted the preservation: thick marine muds laid down and trapping the creatures during turbulent storms. Indeed, there were many turbulent storms during the one-year long global cataclysm—the global Flood of Noah’s day—that buried these and most of the other creatures in the fossil record.

The discovery also alters scientists’ appraisal of when the creatures lived. Previously, “there was an anomaly in the fossil record,” explained Yale’s Peter Van Roy (who discovered the fossils), because “most of these animals just seemed to disappear at the end of the Middle Cambrian” geologic period. But the team places the remains in the Ordovician period, suggesting to them that the animals lived later than was believed. The team’s interpretation is that poor fossil preservation accounts for the confusion over when the creatures died out. As creationists, however, we interpret the fossil record not as a record of hundreds of millions of years of creatures living and dying, but as (largely) the record of the mass death and burial of creatures in a single watery cataclysm in earth history—one that included a multiple sequence of merging smaller local-to-regional catastrophes.

Meanwhile, Van Roy and his colleagues expect to find even more “spectacular” fossils as they continue studying the Moroccan site—discoveries we look forward to reporting on.

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