In Our Time: “The Late Devonian Extinction”.

Unless you’re a hardened, determined relativist, real, observable, empirical facts don’t change. So if the “facts” you’ve been given become denied or altered, something is wrong. In my science classes at school-admittedly quite a long time ago now, I was taught “uniformitarian” doctrine: the present is the key to the past…

Change occurs over eons of time at the rate of processes we observe now, was the instruction I received at school, in a theory named “uniformitarianism”. This was, at the time, considered to be obvious, proven fact. Well, that proven fact has changed drastically… as we all know facts change (joke). Today, while you may well not have been told it yourself, the common view in the world of evolutionary theory concerning the history of the earth is that there have been at least five mass extinctions, and many “lesser calamities”. These have altered the course of earth’s history sometimes at rates very different to those we observe today.

This BBC “IN OUR TIME” episode focuses on what’s called “The Late Devonian Extinction”, but also relates the current belief in other global mass-extinction events, which, say the expert panel of evolutionists, were “world-wide” (1).


Secular geology has therefore taken us on a circuitous route away from catastrophism and back again, being careful to strip us of our faith in God in the process. It first took us away from what had been the prevailing belief in geology, that a global Flood as recorded in Biblical Scripture rearranged the surface of the earth; then through the temporarily “proven fact” of uniformitarianism”, and finally on to a sanitized and naturalistic version of global catastrophism.

Mass-extinction events affected, say the evolutionists, the entire world. Hmm, mass extinction events…affecting the entire globe. That sounds familiar indeed.

Some of these events can happen “instantly” says our intrepid host in his introduction, but some can take millions of years. The Late Devonian extinction was the slower kind, but was still “devastating”. Roughly three hundred and seventy five million years ago, says Melvyn, half of the species on earth disappeared, which event is still something of a “mystery”. How does that square with slow and gradual processes, or with “the present is the key to the past”? Obviously it doesn’t.

Evolutionists have numerous explanations for what they see as many unrelated extinction events, ranging from stagnating oceans to asteroids, vast eruptions to global climate change, a “single gene transfer event” to burning coal (3). Oh, and there was Gary Larsen’s theory: the dinosaurs smoked too much.

Many of these mass extinction events and lesser calamities are said to have occurred in a “geologically abrupt” period of time. The current definition of “geologically abrupt”, according to experts interviewed on the BBC’s “In Our Time”, is anything up to millions of years, but ICR relays a statement by one evolutionist, MIT graduate Seth Burgess, related to timing. “Mass extinction can take 10,000 years or less—the blink of an eye, by geological standards”. However, as Frank Sherwin points out:

“Such a statement does not line up with the fossil record that clearly shows the sudden and catastrophic formation ofossils, a process that kills creatures in their prime and entombs their fresh carcasses in just minutes or less” (2).


These mass extinction events, by all contemporary evolutionary accounts, saw thousands of species wiped out. But as Sherwin asks, how did literally billions of fossils form, sometimes in completion or even in perfect detail? Huge animals were entombed, and even in entire herds, as I noted in my post “The Real Reason Dinosaurs Became Extinct” (6). They’ve been found all around the earth: most commonly buried rapidly or instantly in sediment, and commonly ripped apart or twisted by force. Isn’t it a well known fact that dead organisms on the surface will rot or be eaten long before they can be fossilized? How many fossils of large animals are being formed now over long time periods? Try to find one!

Most interestingly, and least commonly broadcast, is the fact that land-dwelling animals, including dinosaurs, were commonly fossilized alongside marine animals. Dr Clarey documents some of these finds (5). How does this happen in slow and gradual processes? Did sharks live with dinosaurs? Wouldn’t this have to happen in some monumental catastrophe?


In Our Time evolutionists also revealed, in the course of “The Late-Devonian Extinction”, the consensus view that there was once a “super-continent”, in which most of the earth’s land-mass was in one place. The pre-Devonian world, say the experts, could you go back and see it, would immediately look very strange. For one thing, the arrangement of the continents was completely different to that of today:

“Most of the continents, in fact, were in the southern hemisphere, forming a super-continent…”

What is now Britain, and Europe, and North America, were all joined together. There was no Atlantic Ocean, says the expert.

That’s interesting, because the Bible speaks of a super-continent thousands of years before the evolutionists came up with the idea:

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so (Genesis 1:9).

If the water was all in one place, presumably so was the land.

Image result for dinosaur graveyard

How do we know about this mass extinction? asks Melvyn on “In Our Time”. We know by looking at the fossils in the rock layers, replies the expert. As Ken Ham has succinctly observed, there are billions of dead things buried in rock layers all over the earth, and this fossil record speaks of a global catastrophe in which nearly all life on earth died, as recorded in the account of the Flood in Genesis chapters 6 and 7. Evolutionists observe different types of layers and different types of fossils in the layers. This can be explained perfectly by the geological and physical process of the Flood, and you can read about that process in a semi-technical work called “Carved In Stone”, by Dr. Timothy Clarey, published by ICR.


In evolution every theory is on the table except the one recorded in the Bible for thousands of years, long before any acknowledgment of mass extinctions in the secular world. The Flood account was there before Darwin and Lyell and others formed their ideas. They and others wanted to remove the Flood from consideration, thereby removing God also.


“The Late-Devonian Extinction” episode dove-tails nicely in my observations with another, titled “The Evolution of Crocodiles” (4). The discussion of the demise of numerous ancient crocodile species in this episode was, to me, further confirmation of the Biblical story of origins. The supposed evolution of the croc has been largely affected, say the experts, by two of the claimed mass-extinction events.


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. Eat that hamburger I say, with no shame! We are being herded with a colossal lie and fear-mongering.


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) all the continents were in one place, until they began to drift apart. With all the resultant “cataclysmic” eruptions, the sun was blocked out, say the experts (creationists agree here) 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 including myself as “fact”. Isn’t it amazing how proven facts change!


The images I’ve posted of animals floundering in water, mud, lava and ash are all secular representations of proposed mass-extinctions. How close they now are to seeing the one real mass-extinction event recorded in Genesis 6, and yet willfully so far away.

This post is a re-vamped edition of a post I wrote called “Avoiding the Flood”.


1 BBC Radio 4, In Our Time: “The Late Devonian Extinction”.

4 IN OUR TIME: “The Evolution of Crocodiles”, BBC Radio 4

5 Institute for Creation Research:



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