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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CC310:

Fossils are used to determine the order and dates of the strata in which they are found. But the fossil order itself is based on the order of strata and the assumption of evolution. Therefore, using fossil progression as evidence for evolution is circular reasoning.


Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 95-96, 136.


  1. Many strata are not dated from fossils. Relative dates of strata (whether layers are older or younger than others) are determined mainly by which strata are above others. Some strata are dated absolutely via radiometric dating. These methods are sufficient to determine a great deal of stratigraphy.

    Some fossils are seen to occur only in certain strata. Such fossils can be used as index fossils. When these fossils exist, they can be used to determine the age of the strata, because the fossils show that the strata correspond to strata that have already been dated by other means.

  2. The geological column, including the relative ages of the strata and dominant fossils within various strata, was determined before the theory of evolution.


MacRae, Andrew. 1997-1998. Radiometric dating and the geological time scale: Circular reasoning or reliable tools?
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created 2003-5-15, modified 2004-3-7