Dear Ken Ham: About those kangaroo fossils…

Dear Ken Ham,

In recent years, your ministry has gained unprecedented publicity by cranking its ‘apologetics’ amps all the way to eleven. Between provocative billboards, a life-sized ark, and a lawsuit over religious freedom, we can’t help but to lend our ears and wonder how you came up with these entirely novel campaigns.

Of course, the pinnacle of your message was delivered through mock debate with a celebrity spokesperson for science, who—although proficient and knowledgeable in general science—does not conduct the sort of primary research regularly challenged by your ministry. Nonetheless, it was your time to shine and demonstrate to the world how “science supports the Bible”, as is purported by the sign off catchphrase in your comments-disabled podcasts.

Now, having followed your ministry for almost two decades, I know well that you’re not interested in how (or if) science supports the Bible. Rather, you seek to persuade the evangelical community that your highly nuanced, overly simplistic approach to reading the Bible is corroborated by superficial reports of censored scientific data. I know this personally because your ministry is specially catered to those with little background in science, and—more importantly—you avoid meaningful dialogue with the scientific community like Leninists at an Austrian economics fair. The latter invites great suspicion, because communication of research, including publication, peer-review, and open critique, is the most valuable and difficult step in the scientific method.

Ne’er did a kangaroo hop from Ararat to Oz

Your ministry, Mr. Ham, cannot meet its stated goal of supporting the Bible with science because 1) its claims are not scientific and 2) it refuses to read (i.e. exegete) the Bible. To demonstrate the first point, I want to consider your response to Bill Nye’s challenge regarding kangaroo fossils and Noah’s flood:

If there’d really been a global flood, we should find fossils of kangaroos that traveled from Noah’s Ark to Australia, and we don’t.

Bill Nye may not be a paleoecologist/paleontologist by training, but his challenge is perfectly valid because it is scientific. In other words, Bill Nye just handed you a testable hypothesis that could potentially corroborate your interpretation of the biblical record: if A, then B. As a scientist, therefore, I would expect you to respond thusly: “We conducted systematic searches for kangaroo fossils between Turkey and Australia in recent sediments and found the results do/do not support the hypothesis.”

But you’re not a scientist, Mr. Ham, and this is evident by your actual response:

Millions of  buffalo once roamed the prairies in America, but we don’t find millions of fossils of these buffalo.

Bison latifrons fossil

Fossil reconstruction of Bison latifrons, which, according to Ken Ham, should not exist. Image from Wikimedia commons.

Notwithstanding that you’ve misidentified American bison as “buffalo”, I can’t help but to wonder, Ken, how do we know about species like Bison latifrons and Bison antiquus, who went extinct before we of European descent populated the American continent? Are you unaware that at least four species of bison have been described solely by their fossil remains, which are found in dozens of excavation sites across North America? Perhaps it would refresh your memory to know that even Lewis and Clark unearthed American bison fossils in your home state of Kentucky. Your attempt to evade Bill Nye’s challenge, therefore, has only unveiled a suspicious level of ignorance for a would-be authority in paleontology with unusually bold claims.

To be fair, you did specify “millions of fossils”, and I am personally unaware whether current museum collections top one million fossils or only tens of thousands. However, this distinction is inconsequential to the discussion, because the total number of American bison fossils (which is far from comprehensive) is infinitely greater than the number of kangaroos documented outside of the Australasian region, which—to my knowledge—is precisely zero.

So how is it that kangaroos specially avoided fossilization on their way to your native land? You suggest the following:

A plant or animal has to be covered quickly by sediment to preserve it, so you won’t normally expect to find fossils of animals like kangaroos just because they lived in an area.

We can agree that in most terrestrial environments, fossilization is the exception rather than the rule. Most animal remains will not fossilize, and those that do will not necessarily be unearthed by paleontologists. In light of the abundance of Quaternary-age terrestrial fossils, however, it is terribly misleading to imply that we should expect so few kangaroo fossils along the yellow-brick road. Did the entire post-Flood kangaroo population ‘beeline’ it to Australia and nowhere else, meanwhile avoiding death near any rivers, floodplains, caves, or lakes? Keep in mind that certain bones (like teeth and vertebrae) are especially resilient to decay and certainly would have been preserved in these environments.

If we consider nearly any other mammal species, your evasion of the question becomes increasingly absurd. Mammoth and mastodon, for example, have been documented in the millions along the route from western Siberia to North America over a period of tens of thousands of years. The same is true for wolves, deer, horses, and even humans, to name a few. While no serious scientist would accept these fossil records as evidence for a post-Flood migration from Ararat only ~5 thousand years ago, at least the documented migration path does not falsify our previous hypothesis.

About those kangaroo fossils…

You cannot have it both ways, Mr. Ham. Either fossilization is so rare an event that it requires a hydraulic catastrophe, in which case all fossils were preserved by a Noah’s flood, or it is sufficiently common that we should find kangaroos in Quaternary (“Ice-Age”) sediments between Turkey and Australia, alongside the millions of other vertebrate specimens found to date.

“Reconstructed skeleton of a leaf-eating kangaroo on display on the Victoria Cave fossil chamber… The skeleton in the fossil chamber was used by the tour guide to enliven an interesting presentation explaining fossil deposits.” Original caption from the image source.

Since we know that fossilization is not so rare as you claim, we must reject the first option. In fact, the Australian landscape is dotted with thousands of fragments of fossilized kangaroos, described by dozens of peer-reviewed articles. Not only are Quaternary kangaroo fossils abundant (contrary to your previous statement), but they represent dozens of individual species that span a wide range of morphologies. It is precisely by this extensive fossil record that we understand kangaroos to be endemic to Australia. In other words, kangaroos didn’t hop to Oz from Ararat. They evolved there from ancient marsupial ancestors, which are found outside of Australasia (as early as the Cretaceous in North America), after becoming geographically isolated due to falling sea level.

In closing, I want to reiterate that you cannot reject Bill Nye’s hypothesis simply because it falsifies the premise of your multimillion-dollar Ark Encounter. Upon testing, I have repeatedly found your ministry’s claims to be scientifically inept—a fact that is particularly troubling given the association of your claims with sincere evangelism. By drawing together bad science with bad theology, you have brewed a potent cocktail from which the youth of America may never recover.

I beg you, Mr. Ham, for the sake of the church and of science, please stop this madness.


42 responses to “Dear Ken Ham: About those kangaroo fossils…

      • Doug,

        The actual maximum speed of sloths is irrelevant. Modern sloths can move a few meters per minute (as you state), but it seems to me that you misunderstand the purpose of Julio’s comment. First of all, they cannot sustain these speeds for more than a few minutes and certainly can’t cross oceans or icy corridors like the Bering land bridge.

        Secondly, animal migration doesn’t work like 19th-century Mormon pioneers making their way for the coast. They don’t have a map and a goal in mind. Populations do what they can to stay where they are and are driven to new areas only by persistent environmental pressures. Such mechanisms are absent in Ham’s fanciful scenario, hence it is absurd to suggest that sloths made their way only to the Americas from Turkey/Armenia without leaving a trace of their existence or populating any of the other continents. Sloths evolved in the Americas just as kangaroos did in Australia, and for this we have abundant fossil evidence.


      • Nope. Marsupials today are abundant in South America, but all belong to the opossum-related group (the Ameridelphia). They survive there today in the presence of placental carnivores such as cats and dogs. The North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana, is a recent (late Pleistocene) immigrant to that continent from South America, and also does not appear to be threatened by native placental carnivores.

        Marsupials are not known today from Europe, Asia, or Africa. While some rare marsupial fossils are known from these continents, they are only of the teeth of small, opossum-llke animals, and have not been known from there for the past 40 million years or so.

        Neither of these issues has any bearing on the marsupials in Australia, which are as different from the opossum group as primates are from sloths. The problem of how the Australian marsupials all got there from the ark, without leaving any evidence in the form of fossils or relict species, remains unresolved. At least, by religion.


  1. I suspect that once anybody becomes a high profile YEC, they cannot break free even if they wish to because they have invested some much effort and ‘personal credibility’ into the enterprise – after all if you confess to peddling pseudo-science and spreading untruths about real scientific understandings for the ‘sake of the gospel’, the fallout and disillusionment amongst your following and more widely is likely to lead to MORE damage to the reputation of Bible believing Christians and Christianity in general than persisting with lies will do (with the risk that potential Christians will no longer be converted/saved and some believers might fall away because their trust was based too much on how “science supports the Bible”).


  2. Ken Ham’s argument is valid. We don’t find lot’s of bison fossils from the last couple of hundred years (since Europeans have been in America), even though there used to be millions of them roaming the prairies. How would it be, that a much smaller population (which started out as 2) travelling who knows what route from the mountains of Ararat in modern day Turkey to present day Australia, would leave behind any trace of their migration? I’m not surprised at the lack of fossil evidence for this. I am surprised at the lack of fossil evidence for evolution. If evolution occurred there should be BILLIONS of transitional fossils – and we should see transitional creatures alive today! Where are they all? –completely missing–


    • A couple hundred years is too short an interval for true fossilization to occur (e.g. on prairies and floodplains). However, there are millions of bison remains on those prairies in process of becoming fossils. These data have been used in the past to document the demise of wild bison populations:

      Additionally, thousands of fossils of older bison populations have been recovered from sites across North America. I mentioned this in my post and even linked to the FaunMap project, which allows you to search and map fossil localities on your own. Therefore, your argument (like Ham’s) is not valid, because it draws from a faulty premise.


    • With respect to kangaroos, why do you suppose an initial population of only 2? You would have to suggest that 2 kangaroos evolved into more than ~30 species (all of which were fossilized) with millions of representatives each in less than 5,000 years. This proposal is beyond absurd, from a biological standpoint. Evolution does not occur this rapidly, especially in tiny populations of large mammals with long gestation times.

      As for transitional fossils, you need only research more to satisfy your curiosity. 🙂 They too are abundant throughout the geological record and exist everywhere today. Any species that does not go extinct (today, this is quite a challenge) but leaves ancestral populations is technically a transitional species. Potentially, that means you and I!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adding to Age of Rock’s comment about transitional forms, it seems strange to assert that evolution requires the existence of transitional forms today. Modern organisms can’t be transitional creatures in virtue of them existing in the present. Common descent necessarily implies that all modern lineages have had the same amount of time to evolve, but different characters can evolve at different rates within a lineage. As a consequence of this all organisms are a mix of characters that range from very close to the ancestral state of that character to highly derived from it. So, what paleontologists are really interested in are transitional characters.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “We don’t find lot’s of bison fossils from the last couple of hundred years (since Europeans have been in America), even though there used to be millions of them roaming the prairies.” Older bison fossils HAVE been found there. But no fossils of kangaroos of any age (long enough ago to allow fossilisation) have been found outside Australia.

    Ken Ham is not right.


  4. “Notwithstanding that you’ve misidentified American bison as “buffalo”, I can’t help but to wonder, Ken, how do we know about species like Bison latifrons and Bison antiquus, who went extinct before we ”

    this is so stupid and only a bad semantic argument. you know we interchange the words bison and buffalo all the time.

    “They evolved there from ancient marsupial ancestors, which are found outside of Australasia (as early as the Cretaceous in North America), after becoming geographically isolated due to falling sea level.”

    this is also stupid and inane as you have not one shred of evidence that kangaroos only evolved in Australia. Given that fossilization is rare, you do not know where the kangaroo lived outside of that country nor can you prove they evolved.

    the person looking ridiculous is you


    • “this is also stupid and inane as you have not one shred of evidence that kangaroos only evolved in Australia. Given that fossilization is rare, you do not know where the kangaroo lived outside of that country nor can you prove they evolved.”
      Two points :
      1) If fossil kangaroos are different than the ones today, then they changed, therefore they evolved 🙂
      2) it is impossible to absolutely prove the absence of anything. Some examples:
      – Can you prove that little green men do NOT inhabit mars?
      – Can you prove that there is NO flying spaghetti monster?
      – Can you prove that mythical beings like yetis / bigfoot / trolls / orcs etc do NOT exist?
      That is exactly why, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Until someone finds little green men on mars, until someone documents the existence of trolls beyond fiction books, until someone finds evidence of fossil kangaroos outside of Australia, there is no reason to believe that they are there. If you claim to have a valid working hypothesis, why don’t you sign a contract with ICR and go looking for fossil kangaroos in Armenia?


    • The misnomer is acceptable in conversation among travelers on a train heading through the ‘Wild West’, but Ken is positing here the true origin of the American bison, contra every biologist/paleontologist on the planet. At the very least, therefore, he ought to identify precisely the animal in question—in particular, that 6+ species comprise his catch-all term “buffalo”.

      “this is also stupid and inane as you have not one shred of evidence that kangaroos only evolved in Australia”

      No, personally, I have not done the primary research documenting marsupial evolution of endemic Australian genera, but others have. This information is available to anyone with internet access and a working knowledge of the taxonomic terms. 😉

      It’s unfortunate that you’ve now resorted to “this is stupid”, David, in expressing your inexplicable dissent from our God-given knowledge of the natural world. It’s not befitting to someone who claims to hold a doctoral degree…


    • It’s not just the 50 or so species of kangaroos that are lacking outside of Australia (inc. New Guinea), it’s all of the Australodelphid marsupials, including 100s more species of marsupial “mice”, Tasmanian devils and “wolves”, quolls, bandicoots, bilbies, possums (different from the American opossums), wombats, koalas, plus extinct forms like diprotodonts, palorchestids, marsupial “lions”, etc.

      Hundreds of related species (as shown by their DNA as well as their anatomy) found only in Australia and New Guinea as living animals and fossils (with the exception of a few recent possums and wallabies that have recently made it to some of the islands on the Australasian side of the Wallace Line). This is precisely what one would expect if they had all evolved from a common ancestor. The rarity of preservation in the fossil record cannot account for this, especially as *other* kinds of marsupials, the Ameridelphids (related to opossums) are found as rare fossils all over the world (as well as in abundance in their native South America.


  5. “this is so stupid and only a bad semantic argument. you know we interchange the words bison and buffalo all the time.

    this is also stupid and inane as you have not one shred of evidence that kangaroos only evolved in Australia. Given that fossilization is rare, you do not know where the kangaroo lived outside of that country nor can you prove they evolved.

    the person looking ridiculous is you”

    Oh look. A YEC blogger spouting drivel and pretending that he has refuted somebody he disagrees with. Even though the person he disagreed with explained how YEC Ham either deliberately ignored or was totally ignorant of fossils of extinct US species of buffalo/bison. Even though the person he disagreed with re kangaroos has the weight of evidence on his side that kangaroos have never ever existed in Turkey (or wherever Noah’s Ark is supposed to have ended up after the supposed worldwide flood implied in Genesis).


  6. The problem with most of your arguments is that you ASSUME you know which animals were on the ark, which ones traveled to different countries and which ones were bred from the original pairings.

    No one knows those details so you cannot use the absence of the kangaroo fossil as evidence the flood did not take place.


    • I directed my comments toward Ken Ham, who has made the claim to know these details. In other words, I am testing the ‘hypothesis’ that he puts forth.

      You’ll need to be more clear as to why we cannot consider the absence of kangaroo fossils. Do you believe that none were on the ark? Where did the fossil species of kangaroo (known from Australian sediments) originate? Why are they not present in any other country or along the path to Australia?

      Please, offer your counter hypothesis if you disagree with both me and Ken Ham.


      • i think it is Bill Nye’s challenge that is the problem as it is based in silence not science as well as unreality. Since fossils are rare, why would one expect kangaroos to be fossilized?

        There is no person pointing a stick at an animal and saying you will be fossilized, you will not, Fossilization is totally a random act thus to expect to see kangaroos fossils and then to make them the criteria to support the flood is absurd.

        Your why question is also unrealistic because how are we to know the reason why an animal from 5,000 years ago did not fossilize over time? Are we diviners of the mystical arts that can see into the past? NOoooo.

        I do not know which animals were on the ark, nor do I venture a guess especially since i have studied genetics.

        Again, you ask an unrealistic question. How am I or any other Christian going to know where an animal from possibly 5,000 years ago originated?

        There are a myriad of reasons why we do not find them in other countries. one being hunted to extinction and another, other animals gnawed on their bones.


      • “Since fossils are rare, why would one expect kangaroos to be fossilized?”

        I explained this in the post, which it seems you did not read attentively. Fossilization is (relatively) rare, but we have thousands of kangaroo fossils within Australasia. Therefore, we should expect evidence of a migration path if there were one.

        “Are we diviners of the mystical arts that can see into the past? ”

        No, we are scientists utilizing remnants of the past to reconstruct it according to a pre-defined method.

        “How am I or any other Christian going to know where an animal from possibly 5,000 years ago originated?”

        Paleontology is an excellent tool for this, which has been amply successful in the past. However, it contradicts here your insistence that modern species originated from the ark (and thus the near east) less than 5,000 years ago.

        “There are a myriad of reasons why we do not find them in other countries”

        These are copouts, plain and simple. Elsewhere, animals were hunted to death and gnawed by scavengers. We know this, because we find their fossil remnants nonetheless. 😉


      • theologyarchaeology said:

        “Fossilization is totally a random act —-”

        No it’s not. Large animals are much more likely to preserve than smaller ones, for example. Kangaroos have an excellent fossil record in Australia — if the issue was rare fossilization then we would not expect to see kangaroo fossils anywhere


  7. As I understand it, kangaroo fossils have been found in places where they live today and nowhere else. Which is not what you would expect from reading Genesis. The burden of proof re a ‘recent global flood’ and subsequent re-colonisation is on the young earth creationists – rather than the scientific community.


  8. YECs also argue that MOST fossils found date from the claimed Flood.

    Thus kangaroos were it would appear only in Australasia BEFORE the claimed Flood (or in the 3rd millennium BC which scientists would certainly agree was the case I think and I doubt any YEC could show otherwise). Apart from two of that hopping marsupial ‘kind’ that God brought from Oz to the Middle East and to Noah and his ark – the same two, or their non-fossilised descendants (diversifying into numerous further species as they purposely travelled southeastwards using log rafts where necessary to bridge oceans), then returning from whence they came to replenish to population back in Australasia and nowhere else.

    There’s a ‘scientific’ hypothesis for you. Thpugh Ken Ham did not elucidate it at the big debate, preferring to say “I have a book”.


  9. Tee is making arguments on his own blogs that he has NOT tried to deploy HERE including ones linked to a fossil find in (aimed at a different ie anti-evolution and pro-Flood audience presumably):
    To be frank, I do not really understand what point(s) Tee is trying to make (could there be a typo or is he simply not being sufficiently clear for my brain to grasp):
    “My mind was brought back to fossils because of the article over at age of rocks
    as they were arguing about the absence of a kangaroo fossil between where the ark landed and Australia proves that the flood did not take place. Well here is evidence that it did take place because those animals do not populate America today and none in recent history, i.e. 5,000 years ago and forward. You can dismiss the 12 million year date as that is read into the evidence for evolutionary purposes. That time frame is moot.
    The fact that volcanic ash is at that site is more evidence for the biblical flood for we know that volcanic action was present when the flood took place. If we are to take the logic from the people at age of rocks seriously, then we must conclude that evolution is not true because we find no transition from these animals found in Nebraska anywhere in America nor in migration to their modern counterparts or their current homes. There is nothing to support their argument against the flood for they will defend their theory stating that fossilization is rare and that absence does not disqualify their process from existence or reality. Something they are attacking Ken Ham for using in defense of the flood.”

    The rest of this post is the usual accusatory simplistic propaganda routinely deployed by YECs who seek to use their ‘science’ as an evangelistic and apologetics tool/weapon.

    And this fundamentalist ideologue is claiming (‘behind your back’ since he does not inform readers here of his parallel propaganda posts) that he is winning/has won the argument here since all Baker’s “best arguments fail” (he has IGNORED mine incidentally):

    Tee’s argument appears to be ‘scientists know nothing therefore Noah’s Flood is the truth and anybody who disagrees is wrong because I say so and I have the truth’.

    Tee’s strategy – which contradicts the more reasonable assumptions of AiG (really!) that kangaroo-like creatures must have been on any recent ark during a worldwide flood disaster – seems to be to obfuscate and say ‘we know nothing and we weren’t there and the Bible doesn’t provide enough detail – and Bill Nye’s argument must still be rubbish even if I don’t agree with Ken Ham, whose alleged argument Jon has addressed though of course Jon’s best arguments all ‘fail’ because he ‘lacks knowledge”.

    PS I see however that Jon has discovered the earlier Tee blog, dated 6 July, on his own. I tried to comment flagging the various issues posted here that Tee has so far failed to deal with properly, but I had technical problems and was unable to do so. I have read the four posts by Baker and Tee – I would say that Tee’s comments do not demonstrate that “evolution does not exist”. People think scientific hypotheses are ‘unreality’ yet his own musings, inspired by the Bible only it would seem, are ‘not’ (even though his strategy is to claim that we can learn nothing about the recent past that is not found in the Bible). These people are anti-science.


  10. Two typos – my preceding post, currently awaiting moderation, should have read “fossil find in Nebraska”. And “people think” should have read “people like him think”.

    According to Tee’s logic, NO kangaroo fossils found between Turkey and Australasia (or found elsewhere of the creatures found in Nebraska or of transitional versions of them he seems to be claiming) is NOT evidence against Genesis – but it IS evidence against evolution. Perhaps he would care to explain how that could possibly be?


    • sure, because you have no transitional animal fossil in Australia showing evolution. You may have fossils showing a sudden appearance which would point to a pre-flood population or a post-flood animal graveyard, i.e. like the elephants do.

      For evolution, you are reading into the remains what you want to see and have nothing to support your theory except bones showing that kangaroos have existed in history as they do today.


      • David, you can’t just make up your own facts and pretend that no transitional fossils exist in Australia. These have been documented for decades. Such accusations turn your comments into spam.


  11. Tee has tried to diss evolution (surely he knows that fossils are far from the only evidence available to those who believe microbes to Man evolution has occurred over billions of years) but he still has not shown how the lack of kangaroo fossils found anywhere else apart from Australia is ‘not’ evidence AGAINST Genesis 8:17 which has God instructing Noah to bring out the animals, post-Flood, from the ark wherever it came to rest – so that they could “multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it” (not just where the ark was but on all continents since that is what is observed today).

    Also, Tee is now saying here:
    “Yes I have, I said ‘I do not know which animals (ones) were [on the ark]” (when asked, essentially, whether kangaroos were on Noah’s ark and migrated afterwards to Australasia only – or whether instead they must have evolved from other related species apparently in Australasia only).
    That is one huge cop-out.

    Does Tee agree that kangaroos of some description, and probably all of today’s species, were in existence around 4,500 years ago (the time of the claimed worldwide flood)? I suppose he will again say “I don’t know”? But I am not aware of any scientific evidence – including anything that might have been put forward by YEC apologists – suggesting otherwise. And the Bible clearly states at Genesis 6 19-20 (quoting from the NIV) a command of God to Noah: “You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal, and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive”. (See also Genesis 7: 14-15.)

    Thus I suggest that the ‘biblical’ position is that at least one pair of a kangaroo species/genus/’kind’ WAS on the ark.

    But the reality is that kangaroo fossils have ONLY been found in Australasia, where they are found today. As Bill Nye pointed out. And Ken Ham pretty much ignored even though he is Australian himself.


  12. Pingback: Really Recommended Posts 7/10/15- Kangaroos, Cosmology, Fidelity, and more! | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason"·

  13. the whole point is a nonstarter and just shows how desperate the author is to attack all things YEC (not one myself but integrity indicates you cannot go after everything an opponent says – no matter how wrong they may be overall – because almost always your opponent makes at least one good point). The absence of fossils has been proven long ago not to be a sure indicator of absence of presence. We learned that when we used index fossils for years to date rocks because we were certain they no longer existed based on the fossil record – only to find them alive and well on planet earth in the here and now.

    A much better argument can be made for say the lack of terrestrial mammals in New Zealand due to the entire missing class but Nye’s response about not finding Kangoroos migrating is weak. A species can flourish in certain areas where they didn’t in others and therefore increase the chances of fossilization. Plus we are finding fossils all the time of species that disappeared from the fossil record for tens of millions of years and showing up again. Its a weak argument and despite the author’s zeal to go after all arguments YEC it cannot be logically saved.


    • I sound desperate? 🙂 I’m sorry you feel that way, but I did provide reasons that absence of evidence—in this particular case—is evidence of absence. Your examples from the longer-term record are simply not relevant here.


  14. The post today prompted me to make this point.

    Yes, the fossil record is spotty in places and could never be “complete” (for the simple reason that the geological record isn’t complete). But one place where it is *extremely* good is for the past few hundred thousand years, in the late Pleistocene, especially for large mammals. There are many places where we have a plethora of fossils that will be unlikely to be still preserved in a few million years time, such as tar pits and peat bogs.

    To provide an idea of the quality of the Pleistocene fossil record of large mammals: One of the best places in the world for mammal fossils (where I am lucky to do research a few weeks out of every year) is the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The Frick Collection of fossil mammals has 7 floors of fossils, each encompassing 5234 square feet. One entire floor is devoted to fossil horses, with an estimated 50,000 specimens, from the early Eocene (55 million years ago) to the late Pleistocene. Of this floor, fully half of it contains Pleistocene specimens of the extant genus Equus (the only genus to survive into the Pleistocene in North America).

    Almost all of the iconic large extinct mammals are the “Ice Age” mammals: saber toothed tigers, dire wolves, mammoths, bison and giant ground sloths from the tar pits in North America (as well as across the continent); more ground sloths, glyptodonts, and rhino-like toxodonts from South America; “Irish” elk, mammoths, cave bears and woolly rhinos from Europe; giant lemurs and pygmy hippos from Madagascar; and giant “wombats” (diprotodonts), 6 foot tall kangaroos, and marsupial lions from Australia. And there are dozens and dozens of these fossils, many of them complete skeletons in excellent condition.

    So: if there were any kangaroos lurking around between Ararat and Australia in what creationists consider the Pleistocene to represent (post flood deposits), the probability that we’d know about them would be extremely high. Or perhaps Ken imagines that one pair got off the ark, hopped over to Australia in a single journey without pausing, and then when they got there not only speciated into the diversity of kangaroos, regular wallabies, pademelons, rock kangaroos, tree kangaroos, New Guinea forest wallabies, hare wallabies, nail-tail wallabies, swamp wallabies, bettongs, and potoroos seen today within 4,000 years, but also gave rise to the Pleistocene giant browsers, genera Sthenurus, Procoptodon, and Protemnodon (and several others, each with many individual species). Amazing how rapidly creationists maintain that evolution can take place when there’s a biblical story to uphold. (I’m wondering how the marsupial moles got there, myself.)


  15. What a poor and biased article. I skimmed it and this stood out “You can’t have it both ways Ken Ham. Either all fossils were created by global catastrophism such as the Flood….” No where does Ken or any legitimate YEC make such an idiotic claim. They state what science has shown us – fossilization occurs from rapid burial by mud and pressure. You get good fossilization from any flood. Aside from a global flood, there have been many other floods ranging in size. Just turn on the global News….


    • Thanks! But you’ve quite misunderstood the dichotomy I set up, which I didn’t actually attribute to anyone. Rather, it was meant to reflect the inconsistency in what YEC’s say about fossils.

      “…fossilization occurs from rapid burial by mud and pressure…”

      Sure, it can… But more frequently, fossilization results from calmer and less rapid processes than flooding. I believe that was my major point. 😉


  16. How do you explain the millions of PLANT fossils which HAD to be buried very quick or they would have rotted and been eaten by bugs.
    We have millions of ferns, roses, flowers, leaves, fossilized. Had they just been sitting around for thousands of years or millions of years they would have rotted LONG before.
    It HAD to be a very FAST and rapid burial.


    • Believe it or not, plants are preserved in massive quantities in modern settings, without the aid of floods or other ‘rapid burial’ events. Every study of recent sediments (e.g. Holocene, Quaternary) shows that plant preservation (and the path to fossilization) is common under everyday circumstances.

      Therefore, yours is a hypothesis contrary to fact. Keep in mind, geologists have been dealing with these questions for a very long time. Do you really think nobody has thought to ask how plants could be preserved in the fossil record without rotting or being eaten?


  17. Pingback: Armadillo, um caso de teste para a velocidade de Dispersão pós-inundação YEC. | A HISTÓRIA NATURAL·

  18. One cannot argue the fact of the presence of all the evidence such as local fossils. But it begs the question of connectivity. It is assured that all the fossils and linage are correct, but were they all present before the great flood, and that catastrophic incident did indeed wipe them all out, or were the total collection of evidence a formation post flood? To illustrate this, let’s assume pre-flood all living creatures had their respective domains and areas of habitat, i.e.. kangaroos lived in Oz. Now we have God warn Noah to go and get a few of these rascals and crate them up, give them a boat ride, and post apocalypse bring them back “home”. You would now have pre-flood evidence, and present day evidence. Thinking outside the “box” of robotic trained dogma, whether it be scientific, or religious in nature means “not how I think it was done, or was taught how it happened”, but to acknowledge none of us are witnesses, and forensic analysis can be misleading. Just food for thought and God is a lot trickier than we give him credit for. As for Ken Ham, it isn’t always what it appears to be, and he should realize that as well.


      • Nor potoroos, dendrolagines, koalas, wombats, numbats, possums, cuscuses, sugar gliders, feather-tailed gliders, noolbengers, mulgaras, kultarrs, dasyures, quolls, antechinuses, Tasmanian devils, phascogales, dunnarts, planigales, marsupial moles, bandicoots, bilbies, platypuses, echidnas, and hydromyine rodents, — not to mention extinct forms such as diprotodonts, wynyardids, iliarids, balbarids, bulungamyines, ektopodontids, palaeochestids, malleodectids, thylacoleonids, thylacines, sthenurines.

        And they all made it back without leaving a trace on any other continent! A tricky God indeed.


  19. I get tired of Young Earth Creationist saying that Noah’s Ark landed in what is modern day Turkey. It only confirms their love of TRADITION over and above what the Bible actually states.

    The Bible doesn’t say anything about a “Mt. Ararat”. It only states that the ark came to rest somewhere in “the hill country (or mountains) of Ararat”. (The Hebrew word does not distinguish between mountains and hills.)

    Nobody knows the exact location of the ancient Ararat region. Ancient traditions place it all over the Fertile Crescent and even the Sinai region. (I vaguely recall one of my grad school professors of long ago telling of traditions placing it in India and in Egypt.)

    You would think that an emphasis on “literalness” and an “inerrant text” would make such details important to the Young Earth Creationist church of my younger years. But no.


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