“Living Fossils” and a Dead Theory

The term “living fossil” sounds like an oxymoron. You might be wondering what an oxymoron is. An oxymoron is when words are put together that sound like they are opposites or can’t both be true. For instance, if you have a small giant or a jumbo shrimp or a fast sloth, then you have an oxymoron. A jumbo shrimp might be big compared to other shrimp, but compared to many other animals, it is still very small. So, why would a living fossil sound like an oxymoron? A fossil is the preserved remains of an organism that once lived in the past. By definition, it cannot be alive because then it would not be a fossil. If that is true, then what is a living fossil? A living fossil is an animal that is alive right now, but it matches fossils that are considered by evolutionists to be millions of years old. In many cases these animals were thought to have been extinct. For instance, if a Tyrannosaurus Rex were found alive today, it would be called a living fossil. There are lots of examples of these living fossils that you will read about in this issue of Discovery.

Living fossils are a huge problem for those who believe in evolution. First, they show that the way evolutionists date fossils cannot be proven to be true. If fossils of an animal are said to be 60 million years old, and that animal is said to have been extinct at that time, but then a living one shows up, the date is now wrong by 60 million years. [Of course, there never have been millions of years. The Earth is only about 6,000 years old. The evolutionary time frame is not even close to right.] If we know the animal is alive today, could it be the case that the fossils considered to be 60 million years old are much younger than we were told? Absolutely.

Also, if evolution were true, then animals that are supposed to be millions of years old should change over time. When we find a living fossil that looks like the fossils of the same animal that was supposed to be millions of years old, we see that the animal has hardly changed at all. It certainly has not evolved into another kind of animal. This fact confirms that the animal is not evolving. In addition, if evolution were true, animals should evolve into other animals and cause the “less evolved” animals to go extinct. When we find living fossils, however, we see that they did not go extinct, thus adding more weight to the fact that evolution is false.

Furthermore, living fossils show how the theory of evolution changes so much it cannot ever be proven to be true. Let me explain. Suppose your friend claims to be able to run a mile in 8 minutes. You do not believe that, so you challenge him to prove it. He runs a mile and it takes him 10 minutes. You then tell him you were right and he was wrong. He explains that he really was right because he meant 8 minutes plus 2 minutes. You protest that he did not say that, and ask him again how long he claims it will take him to run another mile. This time he says he can do it in 10 minutes. He runs, you time him, and it takes him 11 minutes. Again, you claim that you are right and he is wrong. He disagrees and says that he meant to say it would take him 10 minutes plus 1. Looking at this illustration you can see how frustrating that would be.

Now, let’s apply that to living fossils. Those who believe in evolution claim that animals in the fossil record went extinct when their fossils stop being found. For example, there is a fish called the coelacanth that is a great example. It was said to have gone extinct 65 million years ago. Then researchers found several of them alive. What did those who believe in evolution say? “Oh, well it didn’t really go extinct. It is a living fossil. Meaning, we thought it was extinct, but it is not, so we needed to make up a term that lets us say we are right even when we are not.”

Coelacanth Nautilus Fossil

Let’s think about that. Any animal that evolutionists claim is extinct, or that supposedly proves something about evolution, could still be alive. If evolution is really a scientific idea, then such information can be used to disprove it. But instead of admitting the fact that it is impossible to prove that any animal lived millions of years ago, or went extinct millions of years ago, or evolved into another animal millions of years ago, evolutionists claim to know these things for a fact. Then, when we find an animal alive that they claim evolved into another animal, they simply call it a “living fossil.”  They are doing exactly what your friend was doing. When we find living fossils evolutionists should admit that they were wrong. As a matter of fact, it would be much better to call evolution a dead theory and admit that God created the world and all the living creatures in it. “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Exodus 20:11).


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