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Archaeopteryx: Bird or Reptile? Or Not?

Archaeopteryx is arguably the most famous fossil ever discovered. It has a mixture of bird-like and reptile-like traits, and was first reported only two years after Charles Darwin published his book, The Origin of Species. Since then, another eleven Archaeopteryx specimens have been recovered from the limestones near Solnhofen, Germany.

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Preservation of Dinosaur Soft Tissue: An Update

“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” This verse from Genesis 3 captures very well the fate of beautifully designed organisms after the entrance of sin into the world. But how long does it take for the organic molecules we are made of to break down after death? In general, the longer the time from death, the larger the amount of decay that should be observed. This is particularly true for soft…

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Homo naledi: An update

Two important papers were published in May 2017, warranting an update on the subject of Homo naledi.

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What Is the Evidence for a Large Asteroid Impact at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) Boundary?

The hypothesis of a large meteorite impacting the surface of the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous was introduced almost four decades ago. In the ensuing years, the geologic community gathered a large body of data in support of this hypothesis, elevating it to the status of a universally accepted fact of Earth history. However, competing models and lively discussions are still unfolding over the dynamics and environmental consequences of this large impact.

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A Review of the Documentary Film “Is Genesis History?”

Is Genesis History? asks a question that many Christians struggle with. Is the first book of the Bible comprised of pious myths? Is it an allegory designed to teach important lessons about God, but not actually a record of the history of life on Earth? Or is it a reliable record of events that actually occurred in the past? In other words, is Genesis the oldest book of history available today, one…

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The Geological Story Told by Iceland

Iceland is a volcanic island in the North Atlantic Ocean, slightly below the Arctic Circle. The island is situated on a mid-ocean ridge at the boundary between the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. In Iceland, we find evidence of horizontal movements, in which two plates spread apart as the crust dilates with intrusion of new magma. Iceland, however, is also associated with a mantle plume (a narrow stem of upwelling of magma from deep in the mantle) that has maintained volcanism high and vigorous.

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Alpine Ophiolites: Remnants of a Lost Ocean

In 1813, French geologist Alexandre Brongniart published a paper on the mineralogical classification of rocks where he introduced the new name “ophiolite” for a suite of dark rocks rich in the mineral serpentine. The name was coined from the Greek words for “snake” and “rock,” which seemed fitting, given the smooth dark green appearance of ophiolites, vaguely reminiscent of snake-skin.

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Fossils of the Galápagos: A Review with Implications for Creationist Models

Volcanic outcrops in the Galápagos Archipelago do not appear to provide the wealth of specimens found in other fossil-rich localities around the world. However, fossils are indeed present in the Galápagos Islands. This brief review addresses the where, what, when, and why of fossils in the Galápagos Islands and closes with a discussion of their potential contribution to the development of models on…

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The Cenozoic

The term Cenozoic (or Cainozoic) means “recent life,” implying that the fossils encountered in these layers are more similar to modern species.

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The Mesozoic

Few things in science evoke more interest in children than dinosaurs. Books, films, toys, etc. continue to fuel kids’ interest in the very alien world of our past, yet few Christians know how to respond to their children’s curiosity in a way that is both biblically sound and scientifically accurate. Although a full discussion of the fossils in Mesozoic rocks would require several volumes, a brief synopsis is presented here along with some creationist reflections for those who are interested – parents or otherwise.

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The Paleozoic Rock Record: A Broad Overview of Features and Trends

The rocks of the Earth are like pages of a history book containing information about the past. Geologists who enjoy reading this “book” have found that it consists of two “volumes:” the first, named Precambrian, is mostly devoid of macroscopic fossils. The second, named Phanerozoic, contains layers and sediments providing a rich archive of past forms of animal and vegetal life. The Phanerozoic “volume”…

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The Precambrian: Part 3 of 3

This third part of a series on the Precambrian provides two perspectives suggested by creationists on how to interpret this portion of the rock record.

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The Precambrian: Part 2 of 3

This second part of a series on the Precambrian describes Precambrian rock exposures, as well as the atmosphere, climate, and Precambrian life. Many illustrative pictures are included, and design examples and creationist ideas are interspersed throughout.

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The Precambrian: Part 1 of 3

This first section of a 3 parts series on the Precambrian summarizes the standard model for formation of the Universe, Solar System and Earth, Moon, oceans, continents, and plate tectonics. Brief references to the Universe, Sun, and Moon are included because what happens beyond Earth sets the stage for what happens on Earth during the Precambrian and in the Genesis 1 account.

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Mineralogy: A World of Law and Beauty

This article provides an introduction to mineralogy and outline the different mineral categories, discusses some interesting features about minerals, describes the formation of minerals in different environments, and mentions some minerals referenced in the Bible.

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Is Homo naledi Your “Relative,” “Ancestor,” or “Part of the Human Family Tree”?

The aim of this article is to use the example of Homo naledi to illustrate the distinction between data and interpretations, and to discuss some of the questions a biblical creationist might have in relation to this new discovery.

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Patterns in the Fossil Record, Part 2

A general note of caution is necessary in the discussion of patterns in the fossil record. As with many other aspects of the natural world, the complexity that we find in this field of study tends to transcend our idealized categorizations.

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Patterns in the Fossil Record, Part 1

Fossils are remains of organisms or traces of their activity preserved in the rock record. The scientific significance of fossils is truly remarkable, because they represent the only available archive of past forms of life. Through fossils, not only can we reconstruct the morphology of extinct creatures but also infer aspects of their ecology and environment. Fossils are also very relevant in discussions…

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Annotations from the Literature

A collection of short commentaries on scientific papers published in 2015, covering topics such as phylogeny of moths, beak variations in species of Galapagos finches and scrub jays, functional synthetic chromosomes, horizontal gene transfer, Jurassic fossil snakes, stasis, trace fossils of swimming tetrapods, and habitat diversity in the fossil record. Published in Origins, n. 64.

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The Cambrian Explosion

Texbooks describe the fossil record as the ‘best evidence’ for evolution. They claim that the fossil record proves evolution because there seems to be a succession from simpler to more complex life forms, and a succession from marine to terrestrial forms. Charles Darwin suggested that all life has a common ancestor. “All the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth may be descended from some…

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