IN OUR TIME: The Evolution of Crocodiles

Crikey! Isn’t she beautiful!

I think the one thing that made Steve Irwin popular, besides his confident, warm manner and his Aussie accent, was that his chosen occupation was so exciting. We all aspire to being the opposite of boring, and bored.

PAST POSTS

I’ve reviewed a few documentaries from the BBC series “In Our Time” in my own limited and humble way, from the view-point of a Bible-believer. I’m no scientist, but I’ve discovered, and passed on from these documentaries, the fact that according to the experts themselves, there is no hard tangible evidence for the evolution of such things as photosynthesis and fungi, both indispensable for all life on earth. There is evidence though, that evolutionists and their representatives in the media are being more diligent about not exposing that fact. You have to listen harder for the clues, to read between the lines, and to demand to see the evidence of what they’re claiming.

CHALLENGE

In our Time hasn’t been pushing the claims of evolution very much lately, but when I saw the title of this particular episode* I decided I had to tackle it head-on, from the perspective of my faith and conviction that God created the heavens and the earth. He didn’t do it by means of mutation and natural selection, but by the power of His word. Having plucked up the courage and the soundness of mind to tackle this episode, I listened, and as on every other occasion when I’ve listened to or watched hardened and highly educated evolutionists, I discovered that the so-called “evidence” supporting evolution is weak or illusory, and easily questioned, even by a plebian such as myself, once a little faith and observation is employed. Try it sometime, when you’re being told essentially that you are related to slugs and rock… and crocodiles.

CROC HISTORY

The experts tell us that in the distance of earth’s history, there were many more species of crocodile than there are today, and that they mostly were very unlike what we today call “crocs”. Crocs were once dominant on the earth: the age of the dinosaurs came later, we’re told.

I have no doubt that there were once many more species of crocodile. Fossil evidence probably bears this out, and the Biblical story of earth’s past would support it too: life was much richer in the past, and many animals once roaming around are long-ago extinct. There was originally great variation in the crocodile family, although, as one expert admitted, “It’s hard to tease out how they’re related to each other”.

One reason it’s hard to tease out, say the experts, is that the bulk of the fossil evidence consists of fragments only-small pieces of bone, and single teeth. Picture armies of scientists and assistants sitting around, gluing multiple thousands of fragments of bone and teeth together to create a complete animal, like some enormous 3-D jigsaw puzzle. The specimen below is presumably not one of those.

Although they are “extremely rare”, complete skeletons do exist, along with skulls and partial skulls, partial legs and so on, and from these it seems that there were crocodiles of all shapes and sizes: some huge, some small, some running on two legs (!) and some swimming in the ocean. Here one scant piece of discussion of actual evolution is mentioned. Legs turned to fins, the expert tells the world with conviction. We have to take such statements on faith, because no actual evidence for this change is offered at all. I’ve been to the Natural History Museum in London many times, and I’ve seen no actual series of fossils clearly showing legs turning into fins. Have you? Because if you want to believe the experts on this, perhaps you should at least ask to see the evidence, and not just a few vaguely related skeletal likenesses, or artists’ impressions.

THE FOREST OF LIFE

The creationist view on the tree of life is that there was and is no single tree of life. The life that we see today may share similar features in some cases, but it does so because we have one designer. He chose to repeat similar features because those designs work well to perform specific functions in this one single world that we all live in. Different car manufacturers all use bolts, tires, windshields and shielded electrical systems.

There isn’t just one tree of life, in which a bacterium, having evolved from rock, gradually turned into us. Instead, God created many kinds of animals, some with similar traits, in which he placed the capacity for great variation, in order to achieve survival in many conditions, and in order to demonstrate and fulfill his artistic talent. The dog, while producing many varieties, is still a dog. The cat has always been a cat; the elephant has always been an elephant, the horse has always been a horse, and the crocodile has always been a crocodile. That’s the way God made them. When you hear about bacteria evolving in the lab, ask yourself what it evolved into. The answer is that it evolved into bacteria: small change in order to ensure survival and diversity, built into the DNA of every living thing. The fossil evidence bears out this principle. In this regard, I was interested to hear one expert admit that crocodiles were, over the millennia, “re-evolving the same shapes”.

ORIGINS AND DEMISE

Perhaps this is why, on a broadcast about the evilution, I’m sorry, I mean evolution of the crocodile, given by three experts and their willing host, made not even a suggestion of what the crocodile evolved from. When gearing myself up to listen to the discussion which I expected to challenge my faith, I thought I would be hearing detail about how the crocodile came to be, and where I could go to see the evidence of this-you know, the series of fossils. Instead the podcast is a discussion of the one-time diversity of the crocodile which has greatly diminished, and how they think it diminished: not really evidence for the evolution of the crocodile at all, to my mind. It’s more about the record of extinction. One expert lamented the apparent “mystery” that there has been no diversification since the two mass extinctions.

The images I’ve posted of animals floundering in water, mud, lava and ash, and of elephants leaving footprint trails in mud, are all secular representations of proposed mass-extinctions. How close they now are to the real mass-extinction event, and yet, willfully so far away.

The discussion of the demise of numerous ancient crocodile species was, to me, further confirmation of the Biblical story of origins. As I wrote recently, I was taught at school that the present is the key to the past. However, we now have many stories of past catastrophes and cataclysms which were in some cases world-wide, and the supposed evolution of the croc has been largely affected, say the experts, by two mass-extinction events.

REAL CLIMATE CHANGE

Not only that, but crocs once thrived because the world was, said one expert, “much hotter”. There were “more deserts”. Later, “The Miocene was a few degrees warmer” than temps of today. Earth was, in the age of the crocs “much warmer”. Crocs lived on the poles because there was “no ice at the poles”, even up to “thirty million years ago”. How’s that for climate change? Of course, we also had the ice age (which I believe) and, say the experts, other ice-ages.

Oh, really? Do you mean that climate actually changes naturally, and with seriously big changes, not caused by humans? Do you mean that I don’t have to feel quite so guilty about eating my hamburger? Do you mean that I shouldn’t have to pay far more for my energy after all?

APOCALYSE THEN

There were, during these mass-extinction events, “apocalyptic eruptions”. In fact, in the age of the croc, the Triassic Period, two hundred and fifty million years ago (that number varies depending on where you find it) there was, said the experts, a super-continent which they call Pangea. All the continents, they said, were in one place until they began to drift apart. With all the “cataclysmic” eruptions, the sun was blocked out, they said, and entire ecosystems died. The second mass-extinction, sixty-six million years ago, was apparently caused by an asteroid, with the power of billions of nuclear bombs. To think that once, not long ago, the mantra, “The present is the key to the past”, was taught to millions as “fact”. Isn’t it amazing how proven facts change!

INSTRUCTION MANUAL

One thing that doesn’t change is the Bible (and I will answer anyone who claims otherwise with some facts of my own). Even the most hardened skeptic has to admit that long before Darwin and Lyell and other founders of the theory of evolution, who arose to bury the scientific understanding of their time that the Flood shaped the earth’s geological record, the Bible not only spoke of the creation of life in immediate diversity, and stated that all the water was all in one place and so therefore so was the land, but also of a certain cataclysm which altered the surface of the earth radically. Creationist scientists of today can demonstrate that the Flood was accompanied by movement of the earth’s crust and huge eruptions, but evolutionists want to see a different story:

“…in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed (2 Peter 3:3-5).

So now, having realized that the world as it was has been destroyed, evolutionists, determined to block God out of the equation, have constructed a series of disasters to explain away the evidence, all over the world, that there was once a judgment on the earth. Go and look at the layers of sedimentary rock all over the world, filled with the fossils of animals buried quickly in that sediment, and you will see evidence that the Bible really is the word of God.

*IN OUR TIME, BBC Radio 4 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000zmhf

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