Creation Vs. Evolution: Paleontology
Misunderstood...or Missing Link?
For decades, evolutionists taught that coelacanths (SEE-la-kanths) became extinct about the same time dinosaurs did (supposedly 65 million years ago). We were told that these fish gradually developed legs and began to live on Earth, and then sometime later became extinct. Evolutionists thought that these fish were the “the missing link” between water and land animals. Similar to the ape-like creatures that allegedly evolved into humans, these fish were said to have evolved into land animals millions of years ago. In fact, evolutionary scientists used the coelacanth as a part of their “index fossil” system, meaning that any rocks that contained coelacanth fossils were considered to be at least 65 million years old (with other fossils in those rocks assumed to be at least that old as well).
Until 1938, evolutionists believed that men and coelacanths could not possibly have lived at the same time. These creatures were known only from the fossils that evolutionists claimed were millions of years old. But then, on December 24, 1938, the scientific world was “rocked” when an unidentified fish five feet long and over 100 pounds was brought to shore in South Africa. It was caught in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. The fisherman who netted the fish (having no idea what the creature’s proper name was) called it “the great sea lizard” because its pectoral fins looked more like little fringed legs. Once scientists examined this strange creature, however, they confirmed what formerly was thought impossible—a coelacanth had been caught in modern times!
Since 1938, over 100 additional coelacanths have been caught. In 1952, they were seen swimming near the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean. Another population was found in 1998 off the coast of Indonesia. Surprisingly, local Indonesian fishermen were quite familiar with this fish, having been catching them for years; though scientists were totally unaware they lived in that region.
Modern-day coelacanths look exactly like their fossil counterparts (which are mistakenly dated as being millions of years old). The fact that these modern-day creatures have stayed the same as their fossilized ancestors is no surprise to Christians. The Bible teaches that animals produce “after their kind” (Genesis 1:21,24), and the fossil record proves that this is exactly what has happened. Fish never gradually developed over millions of years into land animals, any more than ape-like creatures developed into humans.
The “living fossil” known as the coelacanth is a thorn in the side of evolutionists. It makes a mockery of evolutionary dating methods, provides further proof of the myths of missing links, and exposes their “facts” for what they really are—unproven assumptions.