Darwin Was Wrong, Part 9: Fossil Fraud

Missing lynx

[Here is the next installment of my experience at the Darwin Was Wrong lie-fest put on by Logos Research Associates. You can start from the beginning of this story in Part 1, or you can jump to the first speaker in Part 4. You can also watch the videos of this conference at the Logos website (not recommended for the sane).]

The first talk of the morning was given by Marcus Ross, and it was titled “Darwin Was Wrong about the Fossil Record”. Here is how Logos describes this talk:

In Origin, Darwin admitted that the fossil evidence contradicted his theory, but he hoped future discoveries would come to his rescue. Now, 150 years later, the problem of missing intermediates is even more glaring.

Marcus Ross

Who is this guy? It turns out we’ve met him before. This is the guy who made headlines in 2007 for lying in order to get a PhD (See brief BoF article here. See longer, better Larry Moran article here.).

Ross is a young-Earth creationist. He believes the Earth is 6000 to 10,000 years old, yet he wrote his PhD thesis as if he actually understood the true age of the Earth (4.5 billion years).

He does not understand geology at all. If he did, he would know the true age of the Earth. Therefore, he has failed geology and did not deserve the degree. University of Rhode Island was too cowardly to stand up for academic integrity and gave him the degree so he’d go away quietly and not make trouble. They have devalued their graduate program, and they have disrespected everybody who has ever earned a degree there.

University of Rhode Island is an academic whore.

University of Rhode Island

URI evaluates Ross’ application

Marcus Ross is an academic fraud. And a john. He paid URI money for the empty pleasure of a cheap degree, and he infected URI with the venereal disease of creationism.

Marcus Ross goes back to school

Now that we know who we’re dealing with, let’s look at what he had to say.

He told us that he would cover three main topics:

  1. The use of fossils in geology
  2. Looking back: Darwin’s views on the fossil record
  3. Our present understanding

The Use Of Fossils In Geology

He said fossils are used for four purposes:

  • Organismal reconstruction
  • Environmental reconstruction
  • Correlation/Biostratigraphy
  • Reconstruction of evolutionary lineages

Prior to Origin of Species, fossils had only been used for the first three functions. Once Origin appeared, all the God-hating atheists out there realized they could put together a fake natural history based on the fossils, thereby “proving” that God doesn’t exist.

He didn’t phrase it the way I’ve described it, but it’s clear that this is what he means. He told us how all of the strata containing all of these fossils were laid down during Noah’s Flood. All these freakish-looking prehistoric critters were just wandering around the world minding their own business, and the next thing you know — FLUSH! — a giant flood wipes them all out. Apparently velociraptors, triceratops, and tyrannosaurs were not on Noah’s list of “clean animals” or on his list of “everything else”.

According to Ross and some of the other speakers at this event, atheistic evilutionists just draw lines connecting similar-looking fossils and claim that X must have evolved into Y, because they look similar, and X was in a lower strata than Y. Yet according to Ross and friends, all of these critters existed in that brief 2000-year pre-flood period.

Maybe he explained it and I missed it, but I don’t understand how Ross rationalizes these two issues:

  1. Why are certain critters only associated with certain strata? This is true no matter where in the world they are found. Ross freely admitted these associations.
  2. Why are the simpler critters (what we would call less evolved or an earlier species in a given evolutionary line) always in strata below the more complex critters (what we would call a later species in the same evolutionary line)?

Steve Austin presented diagrams purporting to show how dozens of layers (totaling hundreds of feet) of the Grand Canyon were deposited in a few hours. If everybody is intermingling and walking around at the same time, how do they sort out so nicely when the Flood comes?

He did show a diagram showing some of the geological eras:

  • Cenozoic
  • Mesozoic
  • Paleozoic
  • Proterozoic

He claims those middle two (Mesozoic and Paleozoic) happened during the Flood. My questions above would apply to those eras. There aren’t many fossils from the Proterozoic, but what about the gobs of fossils from the Cenozoic? If all of that is post-Flood, where did they come from? According to Ross’ timeline, all of those fossils would have to be from the last 4000 years. So nobody noticed the giraffe camels or bone-crushing dogs or elephant-sized ground sloths wandering around? Nobody thought they were the slightest bit strange and bothered to write about them?

Looking Back: Darwin’s Views On The Fossil Record

The next main point of his talk was what Darwin said about fossils. Darwin was concerned about the fossil record, so he devoted two chapters in Origin to it.

Ross then did some Darwin quote-mining.

We need a Godwin’s Law for Darwin quote-mining. Godwin’s Law itself is:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

However, the corollary is more appropriate here. Wikipedia describes it:

[T]here is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress.

Our new Creatard’s Law could be:

Any creationist quote-mining Darwin has automatically lost the argument.

Our Present Understanding

This was Ross’ final topic of his presentation. He gloated about gaps in the fossil record. Then he started talking about “baramins” and all of the different horse “kinds”. He said that all of the modern horse variants (zebra, donkey, quagga, zedonk, zorse, etc.) descended from that first created “kind” that Noah had on the Ark.

Here’s a question for all of the creationists out there. You people claim there are no transitional fossils. You people claim that any fossil that looks transitional is actually just a diseased specimen of a known species.

So how do you know that all of these different horse kinds descended from Noah’s horse? By your own definition, you have no transitional fossils to support your claim.

The only “horse kind” creationists can produce is the ass.

Ben Stein

12 Responses to “Darwin Was Wrong, Part 9: Fossil Fraud”

  1. Imroy Says:

    Hydrologic sorting:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH561_2.html

    That’s how creationists explain different fossils ending up in different strata. Except, like most creationist claims, it doesn’t explain what is actually found – the fossils aren’t sorted by size or density, the sediment isn’t sorted either, and catastrophic floods wouldn’t be expected to cause much sorting anyway.

  2. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Hydrologic sorting – it’s like the joke we tell about “intelligent falling”. If you made it up to discredit creationists, no one would believe you.

    That YEC from Harvard whose talk I attended last summer quoted one of his colleagues at DI – “the world doesn’t look old; it looks flooded!”

    This young man is the poster boy for my argument against allowing them into graduate science programs at legitimate universities. Giving him a PhD was a crime against science.

  3. Ron Britton Says:

    Imroy:

    That’s really lame. And they claim evolution isn’t credible.

    I’m amazed that after years of doing this blog I’m still encountering new lies.

  4. Sabazinus Says:

    Um, there is no Rhode Island University (RIU). There’s a Rhode Island College, or The University of Rhode Island (URI).

    It’s my understanding he completed his PHD at URI.

  5. godlizard Says:

    This is all very disturbing. The twisted ethics, the ridiculous lies (hydrologic SORTING? really? floods … SORTING things? neatly, in symmetrical layers all over the planet? SERIOUSLY? Because, if there’s anything we know about floods, it’s how NEAT they are?)

    It’s difficult to fathom how stupid you’d have to be to fall for this crap.

    I feel terribe for all the people who did hard, honest work for their degrees from URI.

  6. alex Says:

    So, they argue against the theory of evolution, and claim that donkeys and zebras “descended” from the horse “kind”? Then how come they are different species and cannot produce a fertile offspring? Doesn’t that mean that the animals… (drum roll) evolved?

  7. Ron Britton Says:

    Alex:

    Sometime in the last 20 years, creationists went from denying all evolution to accepting microevolution only. Evolution within the “kind” was OK.

    It actually solved one of their biggest problems: How did Noah fit every animal on the Ark? Easy. He only needed one pair of each kind.

  8. Parrotlover77 Says:

    It should be noted too that they claim microevolution in more of a “de-evolution” sense in that the animals are becoming less perfect as time goes on. They use this to also explain why Moses et al lived eleventy hundred years while we can only live a meager 80 if we are lucky.

    This then all lines up with the “all mutations are bad” crap. Maybe neutral, but never positive.

    Don’t you see?? that’s why we have genetic diseases from mutations and not X-Men from mutations! DUH!

  9. Jeff Eyges Says:

    X-Men from mutations

    That would be cool, though, wouldn’t it?

  10. Helena Says:

    Steve Austin presented diagrams purporting to show how dozens of layers (totaling hundreds of feet) of the Grand Canyon were deposited in a few hours.

    I thought they insisted that the Grand Canyon was cut by the flood. So which is it?

  11. Ron Britton Says:

    Helena:

    It’s both a floor wax and a dessert topping!

  12. the problem child Says:

    Thanks for your blog. I live near the real bay of fundy, and also near some real “bays” of fundie. The tide washes over all. Doesn’t give a shit if you are a believer or not if you are stuck out on the ‘flats.