One of the most frequently touted evidences for evolution is the geologic column. Evolutionary science textbooks routinely tout this construction as evidence for evolution. This article will focus in the geologic column and attempt to clarify what it is, and whether it is evidence for evolution or not.
The Geologic Column is the term for all of earth’s rock strata arranged in order of their supposed evolutionary history. These are divided into four eons of life, beginning with the Precambrian and ending with the Cenozoic, which is supposedly the most recent rock to form. Each eon is further subdivided into periods, such as the Cretaceous and Triassic periods. Each period is then even further divided into epochs such as the Paleocene and Miocene. Epochs are further divided into ages, with examples being the Katian and Norian ages. It is a somewhat complex system for naming earth’s rock strata but evolutionists insist that each named section of the column represents a long period of time, usually millions or tens of millions of years.
With the theory of the Geologic Column out of the way, let us examine what it means in a practical sense. The column was supposedly built slowly, over millions of years and dozens of extinction events. The rock was supposedly slowly laid down one layer atop the other over long periods of time. This supposedly explains why we find more primitive creatures in lower rock strata and more supposedly highly evolved creatures higher up in the column. These finds are supposedly consistent enough that evolutionists have given each layer its own unique index fossil. Finding an index fossil in a rock is indicative of what layer of rock it is and thus its age. An example of an index fossil is the large trilobite genus Paradoxides which is the index fossil for the Cambrian period, estimated by evolutionists to be around five hundred million years ago.
Index fossils provide an excellent introduction to all the problems with the Geologic Column, of which there are numerous. The issue with index fossils is not their consistency. Paradoxides for example, is found nearly exclusively in what evolutionists call Cambrian rock. However, the evolutionists have two problems. Just because a creature is found nearly exclusively in one rock layer does not prove it is ancestral to another creature, nor does it prove the two did not live side by side. The Paradoxides trilobite lived alongside dinosaurs, horses, and man. However, unlike the others, the trilobite was slow moving, and thus easily buried when the global flood swept the world. As the flood laid down layers of sediment, the Paradoxides trilobite was too slow to run and thus was buried in the bottom layers of sediment. Further index fossils put evolutionists in a logical fallacy known as circular reasoning. They date a rock layer using it’s index fossil. If a Paradoxides is found in a rock layer, evolutionists will claim that the rock layer in question is Cambrian and thus around five hundred million years old. However, if asked how they know that Paradoxides is five hundred million years old, their answer generally is that it is found in Cambrian rock, which is five hundred million years old. How do we know that Cambrian rock is five hundred million years old? Because we find Paradoxides in it. The logical loop is never ending.
However this is not the only issue with the geologic column. The geologic column can be found in its complete depth in just one place….a science textbook. The whole column has never been observed. Let me clarify that statement by saying that if the geologic column did exist as evolutionists claim it did, it would be over one hundred miles thick. The earths crust, by contrast, averages less than thirty miles thick. Further, rarely do we see all ten major periods arranged in correct order. Generally some of the periods are missing and in some cases, periods are even flipped so that the supposedly older rock is atop the supposedly younger rock. If the rocks were laid down slowly over millions of years, this would be impossible. Further, frequently there are no erosion marks between layers. Anyone who lives in areas where rain falls can tell you that even a couple of inches of rain can erode significant marks into solid rock. Yet millions of years of weather left no erosion marks. This is a completely ridiculous argument. The only explanation for no erosion is that the layers were laid down rapidly and in sequence, not slowly over millions of years.
The geologic column has been superimposed over the earth’s crust without regard for the geological facts. The lack of erosion between layers is a death knell for the evolutionists use of the geologic column. The fact that there is no evidence the rocks are as old as evolutionists claim and that layers are frequently found to be out of the evolutionary approved order merely drives the dagger deeper. While an interesting idea, the geologic column is best reserved for theory and left out of science textbooks.