As Young as a Fossil?

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Most of us over forty would love to look younger than we are. Although being called a fossil certainly wouldn’t make me feel young, more and more studies are coming out with evidence that fossils are younger than we think. Dead creatures are being found that are still soft and still contain organic molecules, after supposedly millions of years have passed. These discoveries are hard to explain using a long-age view of earth’s history.

The most recent line of evidence for young fossils comes from worms. At Uppsala University in Sweden, researchers have found that the tube casings of the seabed worm Sabellidites cambriensis were still soft and flexible in rock which had been dated to 550 million years ago. The scientists say the organic compounds are original and the fossils show no evidence of mineralization. They further examined the worms and concluded the structure of the fossil worm tube is consistent with the tubes of modern seabed worms, like beard worms.

So, the worms are still soft and flexible and they look exactly like worms today, but we’re supposed to believe they are 550 million years old? Why? Because that’s how old they must be to get the long time scale needed for evolution to have happened.

Could even one million years go by without complete deterioration of these organic compounds? Much less 550 million years?

I find it hard to believe. How do the scientists themselves explain this supposedly incredible preservation?

They don’t. To them, it remains a mystery.

But if the rocks are much younger than millions of years, then there is no mystery. So, why not go with the simplest explanation?

At this point, you might be asking, why are researchers finding this stuff now and not thirty years ago?

The answer is two-fold: 1) researchers today have better equipment to test for these organic molecules, and 2) they are just now looking for them. To some extent, these discoveries could have been made thirty years ago, but scientists didn’t think this type of preservation was possible.

The sad truth is that you won’t find what you don’t seek.

What do you think? Is this unexplainable? How far would this kind of evidence go to convince you of the young age of fossils?

 

 

References: Catchpoole, David. “Seabed worm fossils still soft after 500 million years?” Creation 36(4), 2014, p. 22-23.

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsjgeology/15114114118/”>jsj1771</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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4 thoughts on “As Young as a Fossil?

  1. Janice, I don’t believe anything is unexplainable. Although many things may be unexplained, which is perfectly normal in science. I would not consider this to be evidence of a young Earth. At worst I would consider it to be an anomaly… at best there is a good explanation… even if we’re not 100% certain of what the explanation is at the moment. The integrity of the scientific method is a wonderful thing and it will continue its effort to better understand that which is not understood. I think if the Earth were only 6,000 – 10,000 years old, there wouldn’t just be an potential anomaly here and there… there would be an over abundance of anomalies… which would amount to good evidence that any scientist with integrity would have to respect. But the exact opposite is true. The overwhelming evidence exists on the other side of the fence… which does not rely on anomalies.

    Having lived in Kansas and tornadoes being a common occurrence, lots of people would talk about how strong the wind is in Kansas. They would often cite the story about a straw that was found stuck in a tree trunk. At first glance, it is natural and perhaps more exciting to believe that the wind is so strong that it could cause a straw to penetrate a tree. What many people don’t understand is that there was a good explanation for a straw appearing like it penetrated a tree. The wind blows the tree in different directions, causing the trunk to split. Lots of debris flying through the air will naturally get stuck in such places. I suspect there is a good explanation for soft tissue existing where it was found. Perhaps the soft tissue is nowhere near as old as the rock… but that explanation takes all of the excitement out of the discovery… much like the wind twisting and splitting the tree trunk takes all of the excitement out of the straw discovery.

    • Thanks for commenting. So glad to see you’ve read several of my posts. As a matter of fact, there are many such anomalies that could be interpreted as pointing to a young earth (for information on the science done in this area, check out answersingenesis.org). As I’m sure you know, because you seem very well informed, in science there is data and there is interpretation. These are two different things. The data stays the same, but the interpretation of the data may change based on who’s doing the interpreting. As in your straw example, if someone wanted to continue believing the tornado stuck the straw in the wood, then they would likely do so, unless someone showed them a video of the straw blowing into the crack. In your example, scientists can view the process at work and replicate it, but no one can replicate the formation of the earth or how the rock layers were laid down.

      All scientists are working with the same data given by the earth. We just interpret it differently and unfortunately we can’t recreate the earth to double check our interpretation. Many scientists believe the earth is old becuase they look at the data and interpret it already believing that the earth is old. I do the opposite. I look at the data already believing the earth is young. Both of us are biased based on our world view.

      I love that we can chat about these things. Thanks.

  2. Your creationist ideas have been debunked numerous times by numerous people over numerous years. It is a fact that Earth is very, very old. Science is not based on beliefs – it’s based on facts and observations from nature. Take a geology course some time. Or read a geology book. Thanks for using my own photo of a 450 million year old fossil edrioasteroid in an online write-up that trashes my own profession.

    • Thank you for your comments, James. I can certainly understand your viewpoint–it was mine for many years. I have a B.S. in Geology and worked as a Research Geologist for several years, so I have read a few geology books in my lifetime. The reason I continue to read and write about geology is because I love the earth and I love science. When you say science is not based on belief, I have to ask which types of science you’re referring to. Experimental science is the type of science where experiments are run and data can be replicated, as in the medical sciences, physics and chemistry. Historical science is the type of science where information about what we see in nature now is extrapolated to the past, using assumptions about the conditions that existed in the past. Unfortunately, no one can replicate or run an experiment to re-create the creation of the earth or prove the validity of the assumptions used. So, in the historical sciences, interpretation of current data comes into play based on the scientist’s world view (belief as you referred to it). This distinction is important because we aren’t talking about whether an Xray shows a patient has cancer, we’re talking about an event that will never happen again and that none of us witnessed.

      As for the picture, it’s beautiful and I applaud your photographic abilities. I took it off the free website and credited it accordingly, but if you are offended by my using it here, then I will certainly remove it and use something else. Please let me know if you would like me to remove it.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to comment on this.

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