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Sea fossils have been found on mountaintops (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Sea fossils have been found on mountaintops (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Seashells and other marine fossils have been found on mountaintops, even very tall ones. These indicate that the sea once covered the mountains, which is evidence for a global flood.


  • Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 203.

CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Shells on mountains are easily explained by uplift of the land. Although this process is slow, it is observed happening today, and it accounts not only for the seashells on mountains but also for the other geological and paleontological features of those mountains. The sea once did cover the areas where the fossils are found, but they were not mountains at the time; they were shallow seas.

This is an out of date claim from a very poor source. It predates the idea of plate tectonics and is no longer a problem for uniformitarian geology, so it is out of date; that happens in science all the time. Both sides of the origin issue have loads of out of date claims.

2. A flood cannot explain the presence of marine shells on mountains for the following reasons:

  • Floods erode mountains and deposit their sediments in valleys.

The Genesis Flood was more than just a Flood. The flooding was just part of a massive geologic upheaval during which mountains were pushed up and valleys sank down.

"Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a vesture; The waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; At the voice of thy thunder they hasted away (The mountains rose, the valleys sank down) Unto the place which thou hadst founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; That they turn not again to cover the earth." --Psalm 104:6-9 (ASV)

So when viewed as the catastrophic even it was the Genesis Flood is quite capable of explaining marine shells on mountains.

  • In many cases, the fossils are in the same positions as they grow in life, not scattered as if they were redeposited by a flood. This was noted as early as the sixteenth century by Leonardo da Vinci.

Since such mountains were pushed up during the Flood most if not all such fossils could have transported alive and actually lived in those areas for a time before being buried, assuming they were transported at all, which in some cases they may not have been.

  • Other evidence, such as fossilized tracks and burrows of marine organisms, show that the region was once under the sea. Seashells are not found in sediments that were not formerly covered by sea.

No kidding, and in a global flood the entire Earth was under the sea. During the Flood living marine organisms come into freshly covered areas and live for a time, leaving tracks and burrows before fresh batch of sediment came in and buried them.


External references

  • Video: The Record and the Flood, Geoscience Research Institute, Loma Linda, CA;
  • Taylor, Ian T., "In the Minds of Men," 1991, 3rd Edition, TFE Publishing, P.O. Box 1344, Stn. * F., Toronto, M4Y 2T1 Canada, p. 110.
  • Velikovsky, Immanuel, Earth In Upheaval, 1955, First Edition, Doubleday & Co., Garden City, New York.
  • Huggett, Richard, 1989, Cataclysms And Earth History, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 26-36.