People have been finding fossils for many years. Millions of fossils fill museums and storage vaults around the world, and we've yet to find a single one of a human. This suggests that the animals and plants that became fossilised are from a much earlier time than humans ever existed in.

How does creationism (and the timeline and events of the bible) explain the existence of fossils?

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    The Bible is rather silent on the subject of fossils. You might try asking how creationists explain the existence of fossils.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 13:25
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    You're assuming that the fossils are millions of years old to start with. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 15:30
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    The Bible doesn't mention the concept of fossils, but it sure does mention where they come from.
    – RolandiXor
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 17:21
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    I think this needs to be re-phrased as "How do young earth creationists explain the existence of fossils?"
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 21:04

6 Answers 6


2nd Peter 3:8 KJV reads:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

This is Peter writing to address the questions saying "Where is the Lord? He said he would return soon!"

Matthew 13:13 KJV reads:

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Genesis 1:5 KJV reads (emphasis mine):

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Every man understands what a day is. It's possible God revealed this using these words so that even the unlearned (us) could understand the basic ideas of his word throughout the ages.

God speaks in parables and metaphors (thanks, Anthony!) because as mortal beings, we are stuck in our own little frames of reference. I don't know exactly what it takes to build a planet from nothing, but from what I've learned in my life it would take a lot of matter, a lot of pressure, and a lot of time.

It could very well have taken billions of years, we don't know. As they say, God works in mysterious ways.


The Bible does not explain anything about fossils. Fossils were unknown when the Bible was written. Fossils only become an issue if you interpret the Bible to believe that the Earth is younger than the fossil record shows. This is far from the only interpretation of the Bible. The question should be: How do people who believe that the Earth is only 6000 years old explain the existence of fossils. That is far too complicated a question to answer here.

  • They were quite likely known, as they are very commonly found in marble. The main point is, IMHO, why should the bible be concerned with fossils? Or any other scientific endeavour?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 17:54

OK, real answer for a real question.

God's revealed truth transcends time and space and doesn't have anything to do with the pursuit of scientific knowledge. The account of the world's creation, the story of human creation, the details of our fall are told to drive a point about man's relationship with God.

Scriptures don't prove that dinosaurs exist. But, God does say in His answer to Job that Job wouldn't want to tangle with any sea monsters. There were creatures (nephilim) who were not quite human in Genesis (Gen 6:4). So you can infer what you like, I personally don't understand either of these passages.

God, exists outside of time so we can't comprehend His mysterious ways.

The only scientific truth in the Bible is that it rains on the just and the unjust. That is, the only scientific truth in the Bible are tautologies.


Wouldn't a better question be "how does anything other than the Bible explain the existence of the 'Millions of fossils'?"

In order to become fossilized, animals must die in a watery environment and become buried in the mud and silt.

A global flood would bury millions of animals in mud and silt, including large animals like dinosaurs.

Now as to fossils that are millions of years old, do they say that they are old because they have found evidence that they are(with no contradicting evidence) or because they expect the world to be that old in the first place(to support their other theories) and format their calculations to fit?

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    Well the nature of science is to question things. To get an answer, call it the "current" thinking, while you're working on looking at testing alternatives. We've invented carbon dating and other techniques that tell us these fossils are millions of years old. There is currently no contradictory evidence, but if any were to be found, then the current thinking would change. The point is always to be seeking for more evidence and to prove/disprove any theory, rather than just be told that it is so.
    – user290
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 16:26
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    There was a time, for example, where scientists thought the sun revolved about the earth. But by making more observations and better measurements and trying new techniques, we realised that it's not the case at all, and that we are a very small part of a very big picture.
    – user290
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 16:29
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    While humans are imperfect (on that I will agree) and there are undoubtably some folk who made up some results to suit their own personal agendas, the "scientific community" is unlikely to have fudged it's numbers to fit the theory, because that's the very opposite of what it's all about - if the values needed fudging to fit, scientists would then start working on why that was the case, and so on.
    – user290
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 16:29
  • Actually, the "scientific community" has a long history of fudging it's numbers just like any other group of people. Power, Politics, and Money effect everyone.
    – Xeoncross
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 21:18
  • But that doesn't last for very long. Especially in our globally connected world. If their were contradictory evidence to the theory behind radiometric dating, then the scientists who discovered it would likely be making a big noise. That's how they get 1) Published, 2) Noticed, so they can get grants and 3) get tenure and 4) paid lots of money. There has never been a global conspiracy among scientists. We're all to eager to be the one to make the next BIG revolutionary discovery.
    – HTG
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 23:58

The existence of fossils is explained by the world-wide flood in Genesis. As for the existence of fossils that are "millions of years old", the dating methods implied are in question by the scientific Christian community.

You can find more information about why Christians believe this at creationism sites like http://www.answersingenesis.org/ or http://icr.org.


You say in your question that we are yet to find a single human. This is not true. "Neanderthal man" (men/women) are very human, despite what is often portrayed in popular culture, and for the large part, are fossils. Not all fossils are stone, actually. Many of them still contain tissue, genetic information etc.

It is actually just an assumption (intentionally) that they are millions of years old. In reality, the evidence (continuous sedimentary rock layers spanning the entire earth, fossils of various species grouped in herding patterns yet apparently buried together, most fossils being disarticulated, and more) points toward the global flood described in Genesis, which in fact also mentions more than water (potential volcanic and tectonic activity is also inferred, because the fountains of the deep were broken up).

It is actually more of a stretch to think that the fossils appear because they are millions of years before us. The very existence of "living fossils" which continue to be discovered over and over, helps to lend to the idea that the species are either contemporaries with mankind, or that we have gotten mixed up somewhere in our thinking to imagine them going extinct millions of years ago.

As to whether the Bible explains "millions of years" for fossils: no. It does not indicate that the earth itself is yet that old, and the evidence we have before us actually fits that model (but this is not the place to go into the full details of that).

Also, the Bible is a book of science. Just to point out how much so; The original Hebrew scriptures contain not only prophetic codes, but also scientific information. (The Bible codes, much disputed, but very accurate).

The Bible is also littered with scientific information: pathways in the sea, the store houses of snow and hail, etc. To cover all, or even a few, would take more time than I have, but of course - the main point is, the Bible is a well rounded book covering all disciplines, because it is the Word of God, and He created all things, and all you need to do, is seek and you will find.

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    Sorry, when I meant that there are no human fossils, I was referring to there being no "stone" fossils of humans in the same layers of prehistoric rock that contain fossils of dinosaurs and other ancient creatures. We've excavated mountaintops and praries and found myriad dinosaur fossils, but at the same depth in the rock (and therefore point in time) we've yet to find fossils similar to humans.
    – user290
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 16:35
  • @NeilBarnwell: you do realize that finding fossils in itself is a rare thing? Finding humans from a time where the entire human population was rather low is thus very unlikely. However, you must admit that human fossils (that have begun to petrify or have already done so) are occasionally found, and there are also cases where fossils of animals that have not fully turned to stone (but should have) have been found.
    – RolandiXor
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 17:20
  • The age of fossils is not just an assumption, we can measure the age of them using radiometric dating. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 18:57
  • @Fabian that was done with a snail once, and the snail had two very different readings. Also you must take into consideration that the conditions of a global flood possibly involving radioactive material exposure on the surface can have skewed what we are getting today; and do I really need to go on? Radiometric dating is known to be flawed and I don't see why people hold on to it? It is mostly based on ratios, but ratios cannot be constant in a changing world when dealing with the level of materials (ran out of comment space...).
    – RolandiXor
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 19:55
  • Radiometric dating is not known to be flawed, its the most exact method for dating we have today. It's a reliable and repeatable method. Just because you and YEC fail to understand it, doesn't make it wrong. Why don't you propose a better method, thats equally reliable? You don't know any!
    – user301
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 21:14