Living fossils page of Was Darwin right

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At the start of time................

Evolution puts bacteria as the first self replicating organisms, but scientists have no irrefutable evidence of how such complex organisms arose by chance?

Bacteria to amoeba...............

A small step size wise, but a change from the Kingdom of Prokaryotic organisms to the Kingdom of Eukaryotic organisms with many new cell parts.

Fossils showing stability over time...............

Many fossils, like this jellyfish fossil, actually show stability of some species over time rather than change and there is a lack of intermediates. Species that are the same as their fossil ancestors are called "Living fossils".

Evolution or diversification...............

Dogs are a wonderful example of diversification within a species that can be applied to many other species, not to be confused with evolution.

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Brief videos

  • Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed - No criticism of evolution allowed - 7 minute trailer
  • Simple cells and fossils - 9.5 minutes
  • Fossil intermediates and living fossils - 10 minutes
  • Genetics, selection and mutations - 10 minutes
  • Embryonic recapitulation fraud and origin of information - 9.5 minutes
  • Mutations and evolution - 9.5 minutes


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A Living fossil is an animal or plant that is alive today and identical (or virtually so) to that shown in the fossil records. Such living fossils show stability of some species over time. This page gives some examples of different living fossils.



Introduction. A Living fossil is an animal or plant that is alive today and identical (or virtually so) to that shown in  the fossil records. The coelocanth is one of the best known examples of a "living fossil" but there are many other examples and a few are shown below, although the list is by no means complete. 

The prominent British evolutionist Richard Dawkins speaking of the Cambrian fauna, has made the following comment: "And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists". Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1987).

TarsierThere are over 500 living fossils documented (c. 2000). However, John Mackay, of Creation research, suggests that in a sense all living organisms alive today are living fossils, in that even those organisms that are not identical to creatures in the fossil records are related (John Mackay, Personal communication, 2002). 

If there were just a few examples of living fossils in one or two groups of plants or animals, one might explain this as organism that were well adapted to an environment that has not changed markedly over time. 

The following is a quote form the Talk.Origins website. "In fact, in an unchanging environment, stabilizing selection would tend to keep an organism largely unchanged. Many environments around today are not greatly different from environments of millions of years ago". 

However, there are living fossil examples of bacteria, many different types of plants, most insects, many fish and other sea creatures, some amphibians, reptiles and even some mammals (see below for more details). If the environment for all these organism was such that they did not need to change, where was the environment that caused all the changes? 

Furthermore, if we are to believe that life began in the primordial broth as single celled organisms such as bacteria, then why are fossilised examples of bacteria such as cyanobacteria identical to living cyanobacteria today? To top

Accuracy of DNA replication "Living fossils" are living proof of the accuracy with which plants and animals canreproduce themselves and the fact that many are not changing at all. To top

Bacteria.Cyanobacteria are among the easiest microfossils to recognize. Morphologies in the group have remained much the same for billions of years, and they may leave chemical fossils behind as well, in the form of breakdown products from pigments. Small fossilized cyanobacteria have been extracted from Precambrian rock as picture left, and studied through the use of SEM and TEM (scanning and transmission electron microscopy).

Plants The following plants are examples of lack of evolution since their fossilised ancestors:- Maple, cycads, walnut, fig, magnolia, willow, ginko tree, birch, fan palm, monkey puzzle, sea lilly, tassel fern, grape, sponges, seaweed and wollemi pine (John Mackay).


The fossil liquidambar leaf (above left) is allegedly about 20 million years old on the evolutionists’ time-scale. This specimen is from ‘Miocene’ brown coal in north-western Germany. Yet the leaves are almost identical to the living variety (right), showing no evolution. The above pictures are from the article "Living fossils" - Answers in Genesis. To top

Insects Of the 12,000 fossilised insects the majority are similar to living types of insect found today, e.g. ants, cockroaches, cicadas and dragon flies (John Mackay, of Creation research). Whether bees or ants, cicadas or beetles, termites or cockroaches, the fossils of these and other insects are always practically identical with (though often larger than) their modern descendants. The same applies to the arachnids and myriapods. 

Pictures of fossilised insects

Amber ant Dragon fly Bee Spider Millipede

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Aquatic animals and reptiles. The following aquatic animals alive today are a few examples of creatures that havenot evolved since their fossil ancestors:- Lobsters, crayfish and rays (fossils found in Jurassic rock), lampshells, molluscs, mussels, oysters, thumb nail shells (fossils found in Carboniferous rock), sharks (fossilised teeth found in Devonian rock). Also slitsnails, green sturgeon, lungfish, mackerel, perch, herring, the horseshoe crab, the coelocanth, jelly fish, frogs, toads, the nautilus, crocodiles, alligators, turtles etc (John Mackay, of Creation research).


Original article

Above. The oldest known fossils of jellyfish have been found in rocks in Utah that are more than 500 million years old, a new study reports This is another example of a living fossil, with little change in appearance as far as can be seen from the fossil record to the modern equivalent. 

These jellyfish left their lasting imprint because they were deposited in fine sediment, rather than coarse sand. The film that the jellyfish left behind shows a clear picture, or "fossil snapshot," of the animals.

"You can see a distinct bell-shape, tentacles, muscle scars and possibly even the gonads," said study team member Paulyn Cartwright, also of KU. Original article.

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Mammals. Mammals such as bats, squirrels, shrews, opossums, tarsiers, etc., are all (and many, many others) practically identical with their fossilrepresentatives. 

Nicknamed the living fossil, the opossum dates back to the days of the dinosaur. The opossum is the only living marsupial (mammal with a pouch) in North America today.

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Suggested reading and videos


Creation Facts Of Life, by Dr Gary Parker.

Darwinism And The Rise Of Degenerate Science, by Dr Paul Back - A chapter is devoted to the age of the Earth.

Darwin's Black Box, by Professor Michael Behe..

Darwin's Enigma, by Luther Sunderland

Evolution, A Theory In Crisis,by Dr Michael Denton.

Evolution, The Fossils Still Say No, Dr Duane Gish.

Genesis Flood, by J. C. Whitcomb and H. M. Morris.

Grand Canyon: Monument To Catastrophe, by Dr. Steven Austin.

The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed, by Antony Latham

Thousands not millions, by Don De Young.

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Army ants, as voracious as ever, have defied evolution for 100 million years

Cyanobacteria: Fossil Record.

Cycads, living fossils

Jurassic pot plants on sale soon

Living fossils 1

Living fossils 2 

Living Fossils At Palomar College

Living fossils of the deep

Plants of Jurassic Park

Seven-foot living 'dinosaur' lurks in Oregon

The profusion of living fossils 

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John Mackay on revelation TV creationism discussion fossils living fossils.

Richard Dawkins interviews creationist John Mackay (Part 1 of 2)

The videos below are in the Christian Answersweb site, with permission for linkage requested.

ch10-thumb.gifThe Fossil Record: Intermediate Links
2:54 mins.

ch11-thumb.gifArchaeopteryx: A Feathered Reptile?
1:06 mins.

ch12-thumb.gifThe Ape-Man: Missing Link
2:26 mins.

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