News reports reverberated with details from a fantastic new fossil site in southern China. The Cambrian remains supposedly represent some of the earliest creatures to have evolved on Earth, but two telling details show why these fossils fit better with biblical creation.
Researchers described in the journal Science the unique set of animals buried in black Cambrian siltstone layers. Cambrian rock layers are some of the lowest layers on Earth, and thus the earliest to get buried with fossils in them. These sediments bear secular age assignments upwards of 500 million years. Seen through an evolutionary lens, these early layers captured the earliest animals to have supposedly evolved—the so-called basal life forms.
The study authors wrote, “The Qingjiang biota, however, is marked by high abundance and diversity of exceptionally preserved cnidarian fossils, which fills a major gap in knowledge of the morphology [body shapes] and diversity of Cambrian basal metazoans.” Cnidarians include jellyfish and sea anemones. Metazoan refers to any animal made of a variety of different tissues like jellyfish, hagfish, and people. But what do the authors mean when they speak of a major knowledge gap?
The “major gap in knowledge” points back to the challenge of the Cambrian explosion. In short, all basic life forms suddenly appear in their completed forms in these early rocks. Evolution-inspired questions include: From what did the first metazoan evolve? As animals with some of the fewest tissue types, did cnidarians evolve into other life forms? If so, when? When and how did cnidarians evolve? Over a century of fossil studies has answered none of these evolutionary questions, leaving a major gap in knowledge.
The evolutionary story points to simple creatures with few tissue types that supposedly evolved into completely different creatures with new tissue types and whole new organs, organ systems, and body plans. Unfortunately, the only fossil information available to fill this stunning knowledge gap is the presence of regular old jellyfish. Rather than revealing a record of life rising from raw toward refined forms, we find…more jellyfish.
Another group of modern look-alikes found among the Qingjiang rocks include mud dragons of the phylum Kinorhyncha. These tiny worm-like creatures burrow through seafloor mud in search of algae, bacteria, and organic matter. Apparently they were doing that since the dawn of time. The team also found plenty of run-of-the-mill algae.
All these and other living Cambrian fossils like sea pens, entoprocts, and fully formed fish fill that major gap in evolutionary speculations with creation-friendly finds: God made each creature to reproduce in accord with its own kind, not to change between different basic kinds. No wonder we see so many unchanging animals from fossils to today’s animals.
Stable life forms point to Genesis creation according to kinds. Extinct animal fossils show no evolution either. Extensive rapid burial beneath ancient waters points to Noah’s Flood. That’s why biblical creation best explains the Qingjiang biota’s main features.