Fossils are the remains of formerly living plants and animals, which have been buried and preserved in the earth’s crust.

Most people believe that fossils are millions of years old and that the rock layers in which they are found represent evolutionary stages. Evolutionists claim that the order in the fossil record (e.g. trilobites deep down and humans near the top) is proof that life has evolved from simple forms to the complex forms.

However, creationists believe that most of the fossils were formed during the global flood recorded in Genesis, and that the order in the fossil record is due to the order in which things were buried.

“If there really was a worldwide flood, what would the evidence be? Billions of dead things buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.” This is exactly what we do find in our world and it is a silent witness to the worldwide flood recorded in Genesis. When God sent His judgement upon the sinful world of Noah’s day, all the people, land animals and birds outside the ark were drowned (Genesis 7v21-23). No doubt some sea creatures also died in the massive carnage – the fossil record shows evidence of this.

As the fountains of the great deep broke forth with volcanic action and powerful ocean waves moved across the whole world, tons of earth and rocks were ripped up and moved by the Floodwaters and deposited in layers. The remains of dead plants and animals were buried in mud layers. These layers later dried and became rocks with fossilized remains in them.

When these layers (strata) were still soft, they could be bent like clay and pushed upward into huge mountains by the earth movements during Noah’s Flood. Most of today’s mountains are made of many layers of mud, now turned to rock, stacked on top of each other by water. Many of the other tall mountains we see now are volcanoes that erupted and grew taller during and after the Flood.

How could the Flood produce order in the Fossil Record?

The Burial Order  

A global Flood beginning with the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep would tend to bury bottom-dwelling sea creatures and the less mobile creatures first. They are abundant in the fossil record. As the waters rose to envelop the land, land creatures would be buried last. Also, water plants would tend to be buried before land-based swamp plants, which, in turn would be buried before upland plants. The more mobile and intelligent creatures would tend to survive the Flood longest and be buried last. They could escape to higher ground. Their remains would have been vulnerable to erosion by receding floodwaters. Hence their remains tend to be destroyed. People would have clung to rafts, logs etc. until the very end and would have been last to succumb to the Floodwaters. Their carcases would then tend to bloat, float, and be scavenged by fish. Dead animals must be buried rapidly to form fossils in order to protect them from scavengers, decay, and weather conditions.

Another factor is the Sorting Action of Water.

Moving water tends to sort material carried by it and then deposit this material in layers. The more streamlined and more dense (compact) bodies sink deepest. Although bigger rocks tend to be sorted to the bottom, larger shellfish, for example, are overall less dense than smaller ones and could be deposited after smaller ones in a sorting situation.

Some Problems in the Fossil Record!

Fossil Graveyards 

In various parts of the world great fossil graveyards, containing fossils of all kinds of different climates and habitats. These great conglomerations of living and extinct plants, fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals, all deposited together and fossilized, could never be explained in any present process working at present rates. A remarkable characteristic of the fossils in these graveyards is that many show signs of violent and sudden death. The powerful currents and the violent waves associated with the Genesis Flood account for the violent destruction of organisms and their mass burial, followed by rapid fossilization.

Out-of-sequence Fossils  

i.e. fossils that are found in strata to which they do not belong according to the evolutionary time-scale. Sometimes “young” fossils are found in “old” rocks and vice versa. The Bible accords with the general growth in complexity in the fossil record and yet provides peculiar conditions to cause exceptions to that general rule. Major catastrophe such as the Genesis Flood, with its powerful currents moving in various directions at different rates, provides many peculiar conditions to cause deviation from the natural procedure.

Polystrate Fossils  

e.g. tree trunks running through strata supposedly representing millions of years (these are common in coal) show that the strata must have been deposited in quick succession, otherwise the tops of the trunks would have rotted away. This is consistent with layers being deposited quickly during the Genesis Flood.

Living Fossils  

There are instances where “old” and supposedly extinct fossils have unexpectedly appeared in the modern world e.g. coelecanth, a type of fish which was supposed to have been extinct for 70 million years, has been discovered alive looking exactly like its ancestor. Living fossils disprove evolution as they do not differ from their ancestors and they establish the fact that all living things reproduce “after their kind”.

Fossil Fuels

The worldwide Flood not only produced fossils, it also produced “fossil fuels” – coal, oil, gas. Untold billions of plants and living creatures were rapidly converted to fossil fuels by the tremendous pressure and heat from their burial under billions of tons of mud and water.

Whole forests were ripped out off the ground by the Floodwaters and parts of them were later buried to form large beds of coal, while other organisms were buried in such a way that they turned into oil and gas.

Worldwide Flood Stories

There is striking evidence that all peoples from many cultures on earth have come from Noah, found in the Flood stories from many cultures around the world – North and South America, South Sea Islands, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, China, India, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Hundreds of such stories have been gathered.

The stories closest to the area of dispersion from Babel (Genesis 11v1-9) are nearest in detail to the Biblical account. Wherever people went, they would have told their children the story of Noah and the Great Flood. As time went on, some storytellers would add to or change the true story. Hence, many flood stories exist today.

The remarkable similarities in these flood legends could not have arisen from mere local floods happening at various times in different countries. They are distorted versions of the true account. God made sure that the true account of the Genesis Flood was preserved for us in His Word.

For further information on creation/evolution issues visit:

Answers in Genesis
Creation Ministries International