The existence of what have been named “living fossils” constitutes a baffling enigma to evolutionists.

The eminent palaeontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen J Gould admitted, “The maintenance of stability within species must be considered as a major evolutionary problem.”1

So what exactly is a living fossil and why do they present such a vexing dilemma for the evolutionist?

A living fossil is simply an organism, plant or animal that is alive and well today, yet remains essentially unchanged from the way it appears in the fossil record supposedly millions of years ago with no sign of having evolved into another species.  Examples include the Horseshoe crab and many many insects, but the editor did not think you would warm to the ‘splay-footed cricket’ (alive with all six legs kicking today, a perfect replica of its fossilised forebear) and demanded something prettier, so here is the beautiful Montpellier Maple tree.

There are literally hundreds of examples of organisms that fall into the category of living fossils. Why after such long periods of geologic ages is there no evolutionary change?

This is known as “evolutionary stasis” and it is a perfect example of an oxymoron; evolution implies change over time and stasis implies no change. Simply adding the word evolution in front of it does not explain the problem of stasis and the theory of descent with modification through natural selection does not predict such a preponderance of organisms exhibiting evolutionary stasis.

The Christian, however, should not be surprised at all by these living fossils. They are good evidence of the creation account in Genesis that God created these creatures to reproduce “after their kind”.


  1. Gould, S. and Eldredge, N., Punctuated equilibrium comes of age, Nature 366(6452):223–224, 1993


Thomas Fretwell

Thomas Fretwell
Thomas Fretwell

Thomas is an associate speaker for Creation Ministries International and a tutor in Theology at Kings Evangelical Divinity School (UK). He has BA and MA degrees in Theology from the University of Chester. He serves as an elder and youth minister at Calvary Chapel Hastings.

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