Oldest Fossil Footprints

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Oldest fossil footprints found, according to a report in Ohio State University Research News, 5 October 2008 and ABC News in Science 6 Oct 2008. Loren Babcock, professor of Earth Sciences at Ohio State University and Stewart Hollingsworth of the Institute for Cambrian Studies have found a rock containing the fossilized trail of a small many-legged creature in Nevada, USA. They believe the fossil is the footprints of a centipede or worm with legs. The Rock is dated as belonging to the Ediacaran period, about 570 million years old, making the fossil the oldest footprints so far found. The Ediacaran period is considered to be a period when only single celled and simple multi-cellular creatures had evolved, but these tracks indicate more complex creatures were around. Loren explained: "We keep talking about the possibility of more complex animals in the Ediacaran - soft corals, some arthropods, and flatworms - but the evidence has not been totally convincing. But if you find evidence, like we did, of an animal with legs - an animal walking around - then that makes the possibility much more likely." He went on to say: "I expect that there will be a lot of scepticism. There should be. But I think it will cause some excitement. And it will probably cause some people to look harder at the rocks they already have. Sometimes it's just a matter of thinking differently about the same specimen."

ABC, Ohio State University

Editorial Comment: Thinking differently about the same evidence is exactly what the creation and evolution debate is about. But notice who may be forced to change their beliefs when new evidence is found. These fossil footprints are no problem for Biblical creationists. Genesis reports that fully formed animals with legs were created along with all the other animals that live in the sea or land in a time span of only three days. Therefore, it is no surprise that evidence of them is found in sedimentary rocks, whatever age they are believed to be. (Ref. invertebrates, palaeontology, locomotion)

Evidence News 8 July 2009

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