Botany: Living Fossils- Relics or Survivors?

Dawn Redwood Français : Séquoïa de Chine Neder...

Dawn Redwoods turn colors and drop their leaves in the Autumn

For a couple of weeks I had a plant in my kitchen that everyone agrees hasn’t changed since dinosaurs were plentiful: a dawn redwood seedling.  Unfortunately, I forgot to water it too long and it bit the dust.  One thing I didn’t lose was the story of how it was rediscovered (by the world at large).

If you’ve ever looked at a book on dinosaurs at your library, you will see paintings of them with volcanoes in the background and some very strange plants growing around them.  Why do they draw them that way?  Because of what we see in the fossil record.

English: Cycad Specimen tree within RHS Wisley...

Cycad Specimen tree within RHS Wisley’s Glasshouse.

One of the main beliefs of Genesis-rejecters is that the lower down a fossil is, the more millions of years old it must be. They look at the types of fossils in a certain layer and assume that all the things found in that layer were alive at the same time, but not alive at the time of layers under or over it.

So, what do they do with living things that look the same both as fossils and today?  Darwin himself gave them an answer.  He just called them Living Fossils.  As a creationist, I would call them Flood survivors, just like humans and everything else still alive.

Here are some of the plants we all agree lived with dinosaurs that are still making it today:

Norfolk Island Pine Deutsch: Norfolk-Tanne

Norfolk Island Pine

  • Cycads (sighkadz) (they look kind of like palmettos) the ones alive today show signs of having had a major population bottleneck when the dinosaurs were wiped out.  They also show mutational changes, but no where close to turning into something else.  Are we surprised?
  • Araucaria: the Norfolk Island Pine is one of the surviving species.  Do you think it took “millions of years of erosion” to wear off the fossilized prickles?  Or, could it have happened much faster?
  • Ferns, horsetails (sphenophytes), club-mosses (lycophytes) and whisk ferns (psilophytes) are ALL “living fossils.”  Again we find a far greater variety of types in the fossil record than we find living today.
  • Ginkgo tree: the lowest fossils of this family are assigned to the Permian (supposed 251-299 million years ago).  The fossil record tells us they were buried in places across the globe.  Now they are being reintroduced to a lot of old places and are doing great.
  • Dawn Redwoodtree: check out the story of it’s discovery during WWII. Now that we know about
    Acer grandidentatum

    Acer grandidentatum Just your average Living Fossil

    it and are collecting and caring for the seeds, this tree is doing well in a number of places through the temperate world.

  • Elm (Ulmus), redwood (Sequoia), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga), oak (Quercus) and maple (Acer) are ALL living fossils.  Who knew?
  • Wollemi Pine: like the dinosaurs, scientists were sure the wollemi pine had been extinct for millions of years until a park ranger in Australia ran into a living one.  Did they change their worldview and give up Evolution?  Not a chance, they just added it to the long list of living fossils

Wollemi Pine

Naturally, all these things are much harder to

explain using the framework of biological evolution than our belief in a perfect creation that had a major catastrophe interrupt it.  I’ve collected a few pages on these plants that were fossilized but still survived from creation sites for you:

Creation Revolution has an Article 4 Kids on Living Fossils.  They open with a photo of an Ariziona

English: ADD PLANT DESIGNATION HERE Botanical ...

Botanical Garden Meran Forest Gardens, Ferns and living Fossils

sycamore leaf!

Creation Studies Institute has an all-inclusive page on Living Fossils (great pictures)

John MacKay of the Creation Research Group really likes the Wollemi Pine.  They even grow some in their living museum.

There’s a whole website called Living Fossils.com

Northwest Creation Network has covered a number of Living Fossils. Click on their links to read more

English: Fossil flower, collected August 2010,...

Florissant, Colorado, USA. This flower fossil dates back to the late Eocene epoch, 35 million years ago, or does it?

Creation.com has more, but I’m linking to their article on Horsetails (they have links at the bottom to the rest)

The Institute for Creation Research has lots of articles on Living Fossils.  I’m linking you to the shortest (the titles alone to other articles are cool “Dinosaurs ate Rice”?  What?

And last, but not least, Answers in Genesis’ take on Living Fossils with the history of scientific thinking on how they continue to be.

and from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the faithful witness. He is first among all who will be raised from death. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.  Jesus is the one who loves us and has made us free from our sins with his blood.  Revelation 1:5 Easy-to-read Version (mostly)

For more on Cycads, Fossil News (evolutionary) has a detailed page

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9 thoughts on “Botany: Living Fossils- Relics or Survivors?

  1. Pingback: The Nautilus: Flood Survivor | Creation Science 4 Kids

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  4. Pingback: Laos: ‘living fossil’ rock rat Laonastes captured alive | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Thursday Re-blog « My Studies

  6. Pingback: How to Read a Biology Article: Cycads | Creation Science 4 Kids

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