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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CC340:

There are over 200 published occurrences of anomalously occurring fossils, or fossils that show up in strata of ages much different ages than expected.


Woodmorappe, John, 1982. Anomalously occurring fossils. Creation Research Society Quarterly 18 (March).


  1. Few if any of the "anomalous" fossils are truly anomalous. It is fairly common for fossils to erode out of an old formation and be redeposited in a younger formation. (It is usually easy to recognize such reworked fossils by the extra wear they show.) Pollen, spores, and other very small fossils can also be blown or washed into tiny cracks to appear in older formations. The few anomalies that remain might be explained by genuine range extensions (see below), misidentification of the fossil, or uncertain attribution of where the fossil came from.

  2. For most species, the fossil record is quite spotty. The earliest known fossil of a species is likely to be quite a bit later than the earliest appearance of the species; likewise, the latest known fossil is earlier than the species' extinction. There are plenty of opportunities for the discovery of new fossils to extend the known range of a species. It is inappropriate to refer to such new discoveries as anomalies.

  3. Even 200 anomalies is an insignificant amount compared with the estimated 250 million fossils that have been catalogued and the much larger number that have been discovered.

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created 2004-3-22