Tricksy Hominin Fossils: Hobbitses are Human but Homo naledi is not

Previously we saw that Young-earth creationists (YECs) are at odds with each other about whether a large collection of  fossils found deep in a South African cave should be categorized as humans or apes.  But what about other hominin fossils that the scientific community have generally considered the remains of distant relatives of humans?   What […]

Bones of Contention VI: Young-Earth Creationists’ Continued Confusion over Homo naledi Fossils

Thousands of bone fragments have now been reported from chambers deep in the same cave system in South Africa. They belong to what has been described as a new hominid species; Homo naledi. When the first set of bones and the context in which they were recovered were revealed, young-earth creationists (YECs) scrambled to set the […]

Where’s the DNA? Young Earth Creationism and the Search for Ancient DNA

So how long can DNA or even cells survive in the environment once an organism dies?   This has been a topic of considerable debate in the scientific literature since the advent of high-throughput DNA sequencing techniques.  This growing field of scientific inquiry is fascinating to me and promises to shed new light on old questions.  I have […]

An Ammonite Fossil Leaves A Trail of Evidence of a Tranquil Jurassic Seafloor

A remarkable trace fossil has given us a glimpse into the environmental conditions of a Jurassic seafloor.   Ammonite fossils are common in Jurassic rocks but one particular ammonite is more unusual than most.  In the horizontal layer of rock where it was found a 28 foot-long line of shallow grooves was found leading right up to the […]

Young-earth Creationist’ Responses to the Homo naledi Fossils from South Africa

News is starting to leak out about what appears to be the imminent announcement of new discoveries and analyses of the perplexing bones found deep in a cave in South Africa. In addition to providing a much younger date for the fossils than expected and the revelation that there is a second chamber with additional specimens, […]

Thousands of Fossilized Elephant Footprints Preserved in the Arabian Desert

Thousands of footprints preserved in a windswept eroded rock surface deep in an isolated desert region of the Arabian peninsula tell the story of an ancient herd of elephants walking across an ancient muddy landscape.   These are possibly the longest continuous set of footprints in the world and have been described in an article in the journal, […]

Millions of Fossilized Footprints – A Global Flood Dinosaur Dilemma

Animal tracks preserved in stone are found in great abundance in many parts of the geological column.  You might be asking yourself, aren’t the chances incredibly small that any individual track made in mud would be preserved over long periods of time? You would be right.  The vast majority of footprints won’t survive the ravages of […]

A Fossil Paradox? Footprints are Rarely Preserved in Stone and yet are very Common

Billions of footprints are preserved in the rock record.  While bones get all the attention, fossil footprints likely outnumber bones. How can we make sense of this observation?  Surely, preserving a bone must be far more likely than preserving a footprint? I have written about how paleontologists use information from footprints and bones to reconstruct […]

Dinosaur Footprints, Eggs and Bones – Are Paleontologists Creating Fake History?

Dinosaur tracks and eggshells are found in great abundance in the geological column.   Many paleontologists have devoted their careers to finding, characterizing and interpreting these remains of these extinct organisms.  But is all their work to put these fossils into a historical context simply a fantasy?  If the young-earth view of earth’s history is correct, […]

Adam, Eden, and the Corruption of Nature: A Thorny Young-Earth Assumption

Are the existence of plant thorns and thistles proof that the world can only be a few thousand years old?  Yes! according to most young-earth creationists. I’ve written several times about thorns and creation (eg. The Prelapsarian Acacia and the Good Creation:  On the Origin of Thorns) but a video available at creationtoday.org – a small fringe young-earth […]

The Dangers of Poor Scholarship: A Creationist’ Take on Feathered Dinosaurs

Every month seems to bring a report of a new fossil from the Jurassic or Cretaceous period rocks that show evidence of feathers.  This deluge of new fossil finds will not end because there are as many fossils under preparation for publication as have already been published.  Just taking into account the fossils already revealed to […]

How Have Young Earth Creationists Responded to Feathered Dinosaurs?

The fossilized remains of feathers attached to a bony tail preserved in a 99 million year old amber fossil has recently captured international attention. This isn’t the first time that feathers have been found in amber but earlier feather finds were found in isolation. This time they are attached to a structure which has been […]

A Dinosaur Tale: A Young-Earth Speaker Takes on the Asteroid Extinction Theory

What happens when a speaker gives a talk about dinosaurs but doesn’t have any training in geology or paleontology? You could get a string of distortions of both of these fields of inquiry and even problems keeping facts straight.  A few weeks ago I witnessed just such a talk when I attended an Answers in Genesis […]

Historical Science: How do We Know a Fish Fossil is a Fish Fossil?

The difference between what young earth creationists like to term “operational” or “observational” science and historical science doesn’t have the sharp distinction they like to project to their audience.  I was reminded of this recently when I had an opportunity to hear Tommy Mitchell speak at a local Answers in Genesis conference a few weeks ago.  One particular talk was […]

John Ray in 1695: The Flood, Fossils, and Extinction

John Ray, one of England’s greatest 17th century natural theologians, spent much time pondering the meaning of fossils or “formed stones” as they were called then.  I have shared some of his thoughts about fossils and Earth’s history before (See:  John Ray on Flood Geology: Words that Still Apply Today).   In a correspondence with […]