pushing Ornithuromorpha back 5 to
6 Ma. 22 This may seem insignificant,
but in many cases the extensions
are changing ‘inch by inch’. Over a
longer period of investigation, these
extensions add up and show how the
fossil record looks less and less like a
Dinosaur footprints push origins
back around 20 Ma
It has been widely taught that
dinosaurs evolved about 230 Ma ago.
But there are now dinosaur tracks
that date back to around 250 Ma
ago, right after the massive ‘Permian
extinction’. 23 It is interesting that these
tracks are quadrupedal, while the
earliest dinosaurs are thought to have
Origin of pterodactyls pushed
back over 5 Ma
A new pterodactyl fossil has been
discovered in north-west China. 24, 25 It
pushes the origin of pterodactyls back
by more than 5 Ma.
Two new living fossils
Two new living fossils have been
discovered. A certain dinoflagellate
was thought extinct in at least the
Atlantic Ocean in the early Pleistocene,
but has been discovered recently in
a warm pool in the western Pacific
and Indian Oceans. 26 A marine worm
from the Northern Hemisphere, called
Protuliphila, was thought extinct 4 Ma
ago, but has been found alive and well
near Picton, New Zealand. 27
These fossil range expansions
show that a precise fossil order is
not yet established. When fossils are
found older than expected, it shows
that stasis is the predominant pattern
in the fossil record, which evolution
does not predict, considering that some
organisms have supposedly evolved
rapidly from primitive primates to
humans while others have stayed
essentially identical for the same
period of time. In some cases, it can
also show there was little time for them
to ‘evolve’ and they change very little
afterwards. Living fossils challenge
evolution and uniformitarianism
because there are often vast time gaps
between their last appearances and
the present. This pattern of stasis and
increased ranges is however perfectly
consistent with seeing the fossil record
as a general burial order in a single
cataclysm like Noah’s Flood.
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