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Creation or Evolution? What are the fossils telling us?

A rendering of a Brasilodon and Riograndia
By Jorge Blanco/Plos/Wikipedia/Creative Commons 2.5

Brasilodon: That sounds like the name for something old, like a fossil.

Scientists recently analyzed fossil teeth from an ancient lizard skeleton, that was excavated in Brazil. In geological time, this little lizard lived when the first dinosaurs appeared, about 225 million years ago. The geological era is known as the Early Triassic, not long after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event, which seemed to allow the dinosaurs to dominate the Earth. According to scientists, that event was the greatest mass extinction ever. The estimate is that more than 70% of land animals and more than 90% of the species in the oceans, died out.

The analysis of the tooth from a fossil Brasilodon showed something interesting. That little animal was not a lizard, it was a mammal. It is described as “shrew-like” which means it was the size and shape of a rat.

So, why does this matter?

This information is Earth-shattering. One little animal, that looked like a rat, could change our understanding of where life came from. Darwin would struggle to explain this information.

In the year 1859, Charles Darwin published his book “The Origin of the Species” that explained his Theory of Evolution. According to Darwin, a stable “uniformitarian” universe existed, without any creator God. Somehow, probably in a primordial pond, conditions were just right, and living cells with DNA came together.

As the first living cells reproduced, they evolved. Darwin’s Evolution predicted that species emerged, in the water and then or land. This produced fish, and then reptiles, and then huge dinosaurs, and then mammals. Among the mammals, apes evolved, and they probably lived in trees. When some apes climbed down from the trees and started walking, they started a process of evolution the led to us.

With Darwin’s model, humans are less-hairy apes that evolved to walk and talk; and God is not necessary.

I’m about to use a pun: Darwin gave us no-God, instead of the religious know-God. He made it easy to be an atheist.

Charles Darwin did not prove his theory, or hypothesis. He gave us a model that made sense to him, and let scientists prove the details later. Educated people everywhere believe that science will prove all the details of Darwinian Evolution, as we continue to study the fossil record.

They believe that the theory is true, and the fossils will prove it. That’s like guessing the story and then watching the movie.

The words in the Bible are “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ” (Hebrews 11:1) That describes how we all believe, including both Atheists and religious believers. We never really know until the truth is revealed to us.

You might be a strong believer in Darwin’s theory, or not, but this is the story, so far. If we accept the evolutionary model, for the sake of the argument:

1) Those ‘die-off’ events, including the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, interrupt the uniformitarian stability that Darwin required for evolution to happen, in the time that we measure. Some experts argue that Darwin’s Evolution could not occur, as he described it, with all those ‘pinch-point’ interruptions. Evolution, for some, is mathematically unlikely.

2) Mammals, or proto-mammals, the Synapsids, appeared before the dinosaurs, and even long before the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event that allowed dinosaurs to dominate and flourish.

The steps of Darwin’s model are out of order. Mammals were supposed to evolve later.

3) And now we have Brasilodon, a mammal that looked like a rat, and lived among the earliest ancestors of the dinosaurs. We still have mammals today, like rats and shrews, in the same form, and probably with the same lifestyle. That ancient form has not evolved away.

That does not fit the original model.

In general, the trend is for the hard evidence to tell a story that does not fit the narrative model. Scientists who believe in the model are finding evidence that they cannot easily explain, and it is becoming harder to say “There is no God, and we can prove it.”

We each have our favorite belief system; each to his own.

It is becoming more respectable to believe that an intelligent God made everything, including us. We are back to the possibility of ‘know-God’

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.(Psalm 33: 6 to 9)

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