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 The Theory of Evolution vs. Creation Science
Scientific
Discipline
What the Theory of Evolution Says What Evolutionists Say We Ought to See What We Actually Observe in Nature What Scientists Say Creationist Explanation
Astronomy
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Geology
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Paleontology
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Genetics
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Biochemistry
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Mathematics
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The study of stars, planets, and other heavenly bodies, and their physical properties. The study of the earth's physical nature and properties. The study of fossils, the hardened remains of prehistoric animals and plants. The study of heredity and variation in related animals and plants. The study of chemical process occurring in living plants and animals. The use of numbers, symbols and equations to study quantities and their relationships.

What the Theory of Evolution Says

In his pioneering work On The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin believed that scientists would find fossils showing transitions from one kind of animal to another.  Darwin assumed that strata (layers of sedimentary rock) are thick, continuous, and old with the oldest records in the lowest layers and the youngest in the uppermost layers.  Life forms would be preserved in those layers having the same age as the life forms; hence, similar histories of strata in different locations, species emergence, transition forms, and extinction records could be correlated.
Darwin was influenced by a geologist of his day, Sir Charles Lyell, who argued that the earth was quite old and that geology is explained by uniform gradual, not catastrophic, process currently observed.  That is called uniformitarianism.  However, Darwin argued that some geological changes occurred (in agreement with 20th century geologists) and isolated species environmentally. Darwin believed that this isolation might be important in the production of a new species. 

What Evolutionists Say We Ought to See 

Major geological changes can cause new environmental conditions, including isolated geographic regions, which might stress or favor a shift in surviving plant and animal biological populations.  We ought to observe this shift by seeing fossils of transitional forms of plant and animals.  In the 1850’s, eighty years before geologists accepted the theory of continents splitting and drifting apart, Darwin speculated that this “splitting” had occurred.  He proposed that the earth had a long history of land being “united”, and ”divided again”, with far more change than from erosion, earthquakes and volcanoes.
With so much change, species were geographically isolated in new environments.  Darwin thought these changes could have brought about new kinds of plants and animals by the “natural selection” of those that could survive.  Key animals and plants unable to reproduce in new environments would die out. If this were true, we ought to find remains or traces of the continuously changing life forms, called ”transitional life forms” by Darwin, over time in the fossil record. 

What We Actually Observe in Nature 

Observations made of large, sometimes catastrophic, geological changes have led geologists to rethink the earth’s history.  Asteroid and meteorite impact, volcanoes, floods, atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns and temperatures, glaciations and tectonic plate collisions cause the catastrophic changes usually referred to.  These events have been used to explain observations in geology and paleontology and have been cited as important in both the formation and extinction of species, especially the latter.
Dating of events in earth history is important in geology.  Modern geologists have measured the approximate age of the earth is 4.5 billion years old (much, much older than Lyell and Darwin thought) using radioactive decays of various chemical elements present when the earth’s crust was first formed.  Dating of the inverted “upside down” strata presented some special problems because fossils were used to date strata.  Usually younger layers of the earth’s crust are on the top of the older layers but not always.  For some time now, suspected upside down strata have been dated by the fossils found in the strata.  Some geologists cited by Morris say that circular reasoning may flaw this approach, because evolutionary theory was assumed to date or sequence the fossils from youngest to oldest.  Other geologists say that the process is not flawed.  They claim that occurrence of these upside-down strata is rare, not the rule.  The inverted strata are disclosed by using fossils as time markers whose sequence is already established by many examples of gradual deposited strata, not by any assumption of evolutionary theory. 

What Scientists Say 

Modern geologists have replaced Lyell’s ideas held 150 years, of the earth’s gradual change (uniformatarianism) with belief in dynamic change, incorporating both gradual and catastrophic change.  These geologists say that the deposition of sediments is a dynamic, not a continuous process.  Modern geology predicts that there will be an incomplete fossil record and that the diversity of species may be related to isolation of continents over time.
Darwin became aware that the geological record was insufficient and that its interpretation did not always support his views. As he put it, one problem, “namely the distinctness of specific forms, and their not being able to blend together by innumerable transitional links, is a very obvious difficulty.” He wrote, “ But as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?   This perhaps is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory . . . it cannot be doubted that the geologic record viewed as a whole is very imperfect.”  But Darwin recognized that not all species could be preserved.  “No organism wholly soft can be preserved.  Shells and bones decay and disappear when left on the bottom of the sea, where sediment is not accumulating.”

ON THE FOSSIL RECORD: Professor D. S. Woodruff (University of California-San Diego) writes, "But fossil species remain unchanged throughout most of their history and the [fossil] record fails to contain a single example of a significant transition" (Science, Vol. 208, 1980, p. 716)

 

Explanation Offered by Creationists

  All creationists believe that God was the first cause in the earth’s geological formation and development.  Young-earth creationists challenge the findings and sometimes the methods of geology.  They point out uncertainties in radiometric dating. Some say that the earth was created suddenly and recently with features that may appear to look old.  They indicate that the Hebrew word yom is most often translated as “day”.  They attribute many present-day geological features (such as rapid formation of coal seams) to the flood of Noah in Genesis 6-9.  Dr. Henry and John Morris, foremost advocates of the young-earth position are the founders of the Institute for Creation Research.  They label its beliefs in flood geology and six 24-hour days creation as “creation science” or “scientific creationism” although some creationists did not believe that either evolution or creation was a science that could be proved.
Old-earth or “progressive” creationists such as Dr. Hugh Ross accept current scientific dating methods.  Old-earth adherents say that the Hebrew word yom is translated as a long period of time more than 60 times in the Bible.  For example, a “day” of creation might be the Bible’s way of referring to a longer, indefinite period, suggests chemist Robert Fischer in his book, God Did It, But How?