Ever since my earliest days, I was always fascinated with, and collected, fossils. I was a country kid (still am–although the kid part is euphemistic–I hope). There were no close neighbors or friends for me to play with during one period. But there was plenty to do. We had a big woods behind our house (probably 4 square miles). I spent enumerable hours exploring. My father showed me two of his childhood discoveries, which gave me a great deal of pleasure. One was a limestone-bottom creek that was fed by a spring, and the other was a cave system. Both the creek, and the cave were lined with fossils of ancient marine life. Beware, there are chiggers out in the sticks.1 I became accustomed to having scabs on my legs from poison ivy, chiggers, and mosquito bites. That was just part of summer.
There were entire sheets, or masses, of limestone with the same type of fossils. Certain of which, must have been rapidly covered and fossilized. Brachiopods2 were at the top of my list of most coveted fossils (most often Neospirifer or Derbyia).
My father gave me the standard uniformitarian view–that this part of middle America was once an ancient sea bed–millions of years ago. He also told me that he thought it could be from the great flood, because it was clear that the ancient life forms had been covered rapidly. I think I just imagined then that it was from millions of years ago, but the wonder of the sheets of fossils stuck with me. Millions of years is a quite compelling romantic notion for youth (of the tall and short variety).3
Most of these forms are extinct today. But the ones that continue to live are virtually unchanged from their fossilized forms.4,5
So, as always, the problem of the blind search of evolution will be up to you to decide. It’s difficult for me to look at the illustration above, and believe that a virtually blind process can create the complexity of this organism. Perhaps that’s a failure of my imagination, or perhaps I am correct. Your personal beliefs and views will determine what you decide.
1 City folk warn on the ‘disaster’ of chiggers for fossil hunting (amusing)
2 Wiki – Brachiopods
3 Milton Erickson — “You will see many children in your practice. Some of the short variety and some of the tall variety.”
4 Wiki – Craniidae
5 Wiki – Rhynchonellida