In his famous ‘Origin of Species’, Charles Darwin wrote: “We may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity.”

By Geoff Chapman

Thus evolution is popularly seen as a process of continuous change over time, so most people would be surprised to learn that hundreds of organisms have remained virtually unchanged.

Ancient Coelacanth fossil
Ancient Coelacanth fossil (
The Coelocanth - a living fossil
The Coelocanth – a living fossil (Adobe Images)

One of the most famous ‘living fossils’ is the coelacanth fish, believed to have been extinct for 65 million years, until a living specimen was caught off South Africa in 1938!

How could these species resist change for so long?

What amazed evolutionists was the fact that the living fish was little different from fossils claimed to be “350 million years old.” Many live coelacanths have since been found. Why are there no fossils in rocks younger than 65 million years? And how could they defy evolution and remain unchanged for 350 million years? This suggests that this timescale is an illusion.

If the fossils really are 50 million years old, where have they been hiding?

a Horseshoe crab
a Horseshoe crab (Adobe Images)

Living horseshoe crabs, and aquatic animals known as sea lilies or crinoids, are almost identical to fossils dated at 500 million years old. How could they resist change for so long? Marine scientists had a big surprise when they caught a “Jurassic shrimp” – a member of the lobster family – off Australia in 2006. They were thought to have been extinct for 50 million years – the date assigned to the most recent fossils. Why haven’t they evolved, and if the fossils really are 50 million years old, where have they been hiding?

There are also some “living fossil” plants. The wollemia tree was thought to have died out two million years ago until it was found growing in a remote part of Australia in 1994. The oldest wollemia fossils are dated at 200 million years old.

The gingko biloba tree
The gingko biloba tree (Adobe Images)

Gingko trees, with their fan-shaped leaves, are unique, and unrelated to any other tree. Fossil gingko leaves are found in rocks said to be 270 million years old. There is no fossil evidence that they evolved from any other plant, and they have clearly not evolved since those first fossils were formed.

gingko fossil (

These, and many other examples, pose a serious challenge to Darwin’s theory of continuous biological change. Lack of change over a short period of time is not a problem, but the idea that any creature remained unchanged for tens or even hundreds of millions of years stretches credibility.

The older you believe the earth to be, the greater the problem. However, this is exactly what we would expect to find if the Genesis account is true. Some things have remained virtually unchanged throughout earth history, some have undergone limited change, and some have become extinct.

There is no evidence of one kind evolving into another kind

But there is no evidence of one kind evolving into another kind. That’s why we can classify organisms, and why there are no transitional forms. Nature — God’s creation — is dependable, just like God himself, and Jesus Christ his Son, who is “the same yesterday, and today and for ever” (Hebrews 13: 8).

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