Thirty years and counting, Shark Week! Undeniably, these unusual creatures command our attention! And it can’t be because they are cuddly and fuzzy. So I can only guess that it is because of how mysterious and dangerous they seem to be.
Add to that that they are remnants of a long ago world, that survived into our modern age. Oh wait a minute – is that so?
The Modern View of Sharks
The secular view of geology gives us our modern view of sharks. That view says that the Earth is older than what the book of Genesis states, and that all animals are related via evolutionary processes. For instance, you may had heard it stated this way:
- Sharks began appearing and evolving 450 million years ago
- Variations in living things (including sharks) demonstrate evolution
- Fossils tell the story of the origin and development of the shark
Although scientists tell us that shark evolution continued over those millions of years, sharks have not changed considerably.
A Biblical View of Sharks
There is another view, however, of these creatures, one that does not embrace the long ages that I just mentioned. The Bible has some very clear thoughts about sharks:
- Sharks were created Day 5 of the Creation Week, after their own kind.
- In fact, all sea creatures were created on Day 5.
- Fossils that we find of sharks are most likely related to the Flood of Genesis 7.
Sharks may show variation, but not evolution. This means that the variation that we find in sharks is because of their inherent DNA (just like we see variation in dogs and cats), not
because of evolution. They were created, “after their own kind.” And these fossils that we love to search for tell us of extinction and death, not evolution and advancement.
Sharks and Fossils
You usually find shark fossils in sedimentary rock. These rocks consist of water-born rock like shale, sandstone, and limestone. Sedimentary rocks like these cover the state of Kansas. And, not surprisingly, shark fossils are plentiful in Kansas!
It is unlikely that you will find a shark skeleton. The structure that supports a shark is largely cartilage, and it doesn’t fossilize as well. But we do find vertebrae, teeth, coprolites (poops!), dermal scutes, and stingers. Teeth are probably the most common thing you will find – a single shark can grow upwards of 30,000 teeth in a lifetime. They generally have several rows of teeth for easily replacing others that are lost due to eating and fighting.
A great place to visit to see shark teeth is the Fick Fossil Museum in western Kansas. Many of these teeth came from Castle Rock, Kansas, home to the chalk cliffs which contain lots of marine fossils.
Further Exploration for Shark Week
If you are wanting to learn more about sharks (and other great sea creatures!) from a Biblical perspective, check out these two kits on our web site:
We have other blog posts! Read one here: