What happens when a Young Earth Creationist discovers a 60,000,000-year-old fossil?

Reblogging this great piece. I live in Calgary, the place where these 60 mya fish fossils were unearthed during excavation of a basement. The fellow who spotted the fish in a block of sandstone during the construction deserves credit for calling the university and getting them properly identified. The fossils are rare for this part of the world (we have lots of dinos, not so many fishes) so they will be displayed at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, about an hour east of Calgary.

Primate's Progress

Five nearly perfect fish fossil specimens were found in a block of sandstone excavated in the northwest Calgary community of Evanston. Photo courtesy Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary Nearly perfect fish fossil specimens found in a block of sandstone excavated in the northwest Calgary community of Evanston. Photo by Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary

Fortunately, Edgar Nernberg of Calgary is a keen Young Earth Creationist, and indeed sits on the board of Alberta’s very own Creation Museum, at nearby Big Valley. Fortunately, because this has given him a keen interest in fossils, and a sharp eye for spotting them.

So when he came across something out of the ordinary while backhoeing out a basement in Calgary, he immediately recognised it as important. What he had found was a group of five small fossil fish, a few inches long, embedded in the 60 million year old sandstone of Alberta’s Paskapoo Formation. Fossils from this time are rare, and give insight into what was happening directly after the dinosaurs and their marine relatives were so dramatically removed from their ecological niches. For this reason…

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About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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