What in the world are nautiloids, and what do they have to do with the layers of the Grand Canyon? It’s an amazing story of an amazing discovery with startling implications in the debate over the age of the earth.
Nautiloids were extinct marine creatures that resembled squids living in hard, chambered shells. Paleontologists have known about nautiloids for a long time but, until the past decade, these fossils have been thought to be extremely rare in the Grand Canyon. However, research by Dr. Steven Austin from the Institute for Creation Research has revealed an extensive nautiloid bed running the whole length of the Canyon and extending all the way to Las Vegas, NV. It is now estimated that there are millions of nautiloid fossils in the Grand Canyon itself.
How could such an extensive display of fossils remain hidden for so long? To be fair, they are in the depths of Grand Canyon, on rock ledges in the Redwall Limestone – not exactly an easy place to get to. However, they are accessible and easily visible to the trained eye. So why haven’t they been discovered before now? Dr. Austin believes it is because traditional geologists have not been asking the right questions. He says, “You find what you’re looking for.” Because of his worldview which includes the historical accuracy of the Genesis Flood, Dr. Austin believed there should be evidence of this Flood left in the rock layers of the earth. Through some rather serendipitous events, careful attention to details, and faith in a God who answers prayer, the discovery was made.
The significance of this find is truly staggering – both in its extent and implications. The sheer numbers indicate a mass-kill event and the orientation of the fossils indicated burial under a fast-moving, Iaminar flow. This totally demolishes the traditional interpretation of the slow and gradual deposition of the Redwall Limestone under shallow, placid seas. It also cuts out “millions” of years of time from the rock strata – time in which evolution was thought to occur. These findings fit perfectly with the biblical account of creation, followed by a catastrophic Flood.