60 million years ago. This makes the volutionary discordance over 300 million years worse than the 1.3 billion years stated earlier. Coping with conundrum In his original article in Nature, Stainforth reports how opinions on this evolutionary paradox basically fall into two camps (both long-age, of course). The first camp says, in effect, that he radiometric dating shows the rock must be that old. But by evolutionary t reasoning, having plants living at a time more than a billion years before they emerged is impossible. So therefore the pollen must represent some sort of t secondary contamination. In support of their contention, they state that the rock shows significant alteration by metamorphism, 7 making it unlikely that fossil pollen could have survived. The second camp responds that no-one has ever tested the belief that fossil pollen cannot survive metamorphism. (This was true then, but not now: a 2007 paper described “remarkably preserved” fossil spores in rock in the French Alps that had undergone high-grade metamorphism. 8 One of us—ES—is also familiar with fossil spores in Romanian metamorphic rock.) The second camp also points out that he rock’s altered (hardened) nature is evidence for their belief that: “by no conceivable physical means could the pollen (and spores) have ntered the metamorphosed sediments from the outside. They are dense impermeable rocks compressed by an overburden of hundreds of feet… [and] the face which was sampled must have been deep within the formation until quite recent times.” 9 Stainforth’s last paragraph states: “we offer no solution to the paradox.” It ends by calling this “a highly intriguing eological problem.” The rules of the game Ithas long been clear thattheevolutionary/ long-age framework of understanding Creation 33 ( 3) 2011
is a powerful philosophical paradigm
that resists falsification. Evolutionists
have protested that it would be ‘easy’ to
falsify evolution and its associated long-age system—just produce a substantially
out-of-place fossil, e.g. rabbits in the
There have in fact been many
instances where fossils have been found
where they have not been expected.
However, these only serve to demonstrate
the strategies available to long-agers for
coping with such unexpected discoveries.
They can, for instance, extend the known
range of the species to incorporate the
Or they can assume that the fossil
is an example of ‘reworking’. I.e. fossils
from ‘age’ A have somehow entered
a layer of ‘age’ B. Sometimes there is
evidence that such ‘intrusive burial’
has happened. But as we see from the
Evolutionary timescale (Millions of years ago)
position of the first camp regarding the
Roirama pollen, it can be (and often
is) held in defiance of the physical
Simply put, the Roraima pollen ‘can’t
be’ the same age as the rock—or else the
whole long-age geological system, with
its evolutionary progression, collapses.
The only reasonable alternative would be
biblical (supernatural, recent) creation.
So these fossils simply ‘have to’ be
from a much later era, somehow having
become mysteriously emplaced into the
rock countless hundreds of millions
of years after it formed and hardened
(according to the evolutionary story).
What if all such attempts at
explanation fail, and the physical
evidence is faced squarely—as for the
second camp above? Well, one just puts
it on the shelf as an unsolved mystery.
That’s the way it’s been for the Roraima
evidence for around half a century.
Either way, it’s like a game with
loaded dice—the ‘house’ (long-age
belief) wins every time.
References and notes
1. The extent of the mountain ( 31 km2or 12
sq. miles) includes the triple border point of
Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana (previously
2. Stainforth, R.M. Occurrence of pollen
QUARTERNARY TERTIARY CRETACEOUS JURASSIC TRIASSIC PERMIAN PENNSYLVANIAN MISSISSIPPIAN DEVONIAN SILURIAN
Fig. 1 Geologic column
and spores in the Roraima Formation of Venezuela and British Guiana, Nature 210:292–294, 1966. 3. Palynology = the study of present-day and fossil pollen, spores, etc. 4. He was the driving force behind the bulletin of the Asociación Venezolana de Geología, Minería y Petroleo. 5. Bailey, P.B.H., Possible Microfossils found in the Roraima Formation in British Guiana, Nature 202:384, 1964. Bailey was with the Geological Survey of British Guiana, Georgetown. 6. http://rpasmd.org/rms/Annotated_list_ pubns.htm. 7. This is when a rock is changed by recrystallization, through e.g. heat and pressure, to another type—limestone into marble is one such example. 8. Bernard, S. et al., Exceptional preservation of fossil plant spores in high-pressure metamorphic rocks, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 262(1– 2):257–272, 2007. 9. Ref. 2. The pollen at Roraima was also found in hornfels, a very hard rock formed by contact metamorphism.
EMIL SILVESTRU, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Dr Silvestru is an authority on cave geology who
works for Creation Ministries International in
CARL WIELAND, M.B., B.S.
Dr Wieland is Managing Director of Creation
Ministries International in Brisbane, Australia.
He was founding editor of Creation magazine.