Archive for the 'Palaeontology' Category

Rare marine fossil find but no Noah

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

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Platypterygius (image courtesy Wikipedia)

By Spencer D Gear

There has been a rare fossil find in outback Queensland, Australia.[1]

In July 2014, the Wilson family from the state of Victoria went as tourists ‘to search the local free fossil hunting sites’ around Richmond, Queensland. It’s a long way to go for a holiday. Seven-year-old, Amber Wilson, found a fossil of ichthyosaur Platypterygius australis. Found what? It’s an extinct dolphin-like marine reptile and the fossil has a one metre long skull with teeth that are six metres long.

The fossil has been dug up and taken to Kronosaurus Korner, a palaeontological centre at Richmond. The interpretation manager and curator of the Korner, Dr Timothy Holland, considered that this is a ‘landmark’ find for the region. His comments were:

blue-satin-arrow-small ‘I have never seen tourists uncover such a beautifully preserved fossil before’.[2]

blue-satin-arrow-small  ‘It is easily the most complete ichthyosaur skull in our collection and one of the best from Australia’.[3]

blue-satin-arrow-small  ‘I was completely stunned. A professional palaeontologist might search their entire career to find a fossil of this quality. It only took the Wilson family a few hours’.[4]

The fossil has been temporarily called ‘Wilson’ after the people who found it.

Reason for ocean fossils in outback

How could a dolphin-like marine animal fossil be found 500 kilometres inland from the ocean (that’s the distance from Townsville – on the ocean – to Richmond). The Flinders Highway starts at Townsville on the Pacific Ocean coast. Here are the distances from Townsville.

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(image courtesy Wikipedia)

The reasons given in this article for the location of this fossil in the outback were:[5]

  • ‘100-million-year-old fossilised bones’;
  • ‘An extinct dolphin-like marine reptile that once swam through Australia’s ancient inland sea’;
  • ‘Platypterygius lived 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period; at a time when dinosaurs still ruled on land’.
  • ‘Kronosaurus Korner is Australia’s premier marine fossil museum, showcasing more than 1000 fossils of creatures that once inhabited Australia’s ancient inland sea’.

These kinds of statements tell us something about the reasons behind some of the following statements. There is a worldview that is being displayed and promoted. The explanation from a scientific palaeontological perspective is that these fossils were from a time when Australia had an inland sea in ancient times.

The Australian government also supports such a view with this kind of statement:

Why do scientists think this big sea animal existed?

Layers of rock from the Cretaceous Period in the Great Artesian Basin contain many fossils of marine (sea) dwelling animals, proving the area was once covered by the sea. These animals included some very large reptiles such as the plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, and crocodiles. You may like to investigate these animal groups (Accessed 20 November 2014).

 

Kronosaurus queenslandicus (image courtesyWikipedia)

A piece of the puzzle is ignored

What piece is that?

The explanation for this extraordinary fossil find of an extinct, dolphin-like marine reptile 500 km from the ocean is that it once swam through Australia’s ancient inland sea. That may have been the case but how are we to know that piece of information? From some evolutionary text book that feeds us with that kind of worldview?

But there is a missing factor that palaeontologists don’t like or don’t want to discuss.

This is what happens when one’s worldview ignores other evidence. This explanation has been disregarded:

‘The waters completely inundated the earth so that even all the high mountains under the entire sky were covered’ (Genesis 7:19 NET).

A global flood is what happened to the earth in the time of Noah. Read about it in Genesis chapters 6-9 (NET Bible). This world-wide flood would have left lots of fossil evidence all over the world, in the outback and on mountains. To me, that reads like a more reasonable explanation of the origin of this dolphin-like animal fossil in the western Qld fossil find. This flood would have left a humungous amount of dead animals and people who would turn into fossils over time.

It is expected that evolutionary scientists who have been educated in and have imbibed a secular worldview will not want to understand or consider the impact of a global flood on the palaeontological remains of a marine creature in Australia’s outback.

Nevertheless, they need to be called to account in at least giving this explanation equal air-play. They don’t do that. For other examples of the impact of the universal Noahic flood, see:

Landscape with Noah’s thank offering (painting ca. 1803 by Joseph Anton Koch) [image courtesy Wikipedia]

It gets us talking

One great advantage of this kind of fossil find is that it gets interested people talking about the ‘how’ of fossil formation and the origins of the earth. This in turn may, but not necessarily, lead to discussion of Jesus’ view of the flood. You’ll find references to Jesus’ view on Noah’s flood in,

‘ For just like the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. 38 For in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39 And they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. It will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man’ (NET Bible).

Here is where the information from Lita Cosner’s article (link above) is especially helpful. Jesus believed in Noah and the flood. Why don’t you take a read of her insightful article?

For some penetrating analyses of divergent world views, see James W. Sire 2010, The universe next door (IVP). This is James Sire’s definition of a world view: ‘A world view is a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic make-up of our world’ (Sire 1988:17).

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(image courtesy Inter-Varsity Press)

Works consulted

Sire, J W 1988. The universe next door: A basic world view catalog, updated & expanded ed. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Sire, J W 2010. The universe next door: A basic worldview catalog, 5th ed. Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

Notes


[1] These details have been obtained from the Brisbane Times article, ‘Seven-year-old girl’s rare fossil find in outback Queensland’, available at: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/sevenyearold-girls-rare-fossil-find-in-outback-queensland-20141119-11pgpm.html#comments (accessed 20 November 2014).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] From ibid.

 

Copyright © 2014 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 November 2015.