August 9th

Archaeopteris and Devolution

“Now you shall say to this people, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.

(Jeremiah 21:8) NKJV

We (that’s me and the Holy Spirit) didn’t realize it at the time, but the first nail we hammered into the lid of the coffin of our academic career was a paper about using cladistic phylogenetic analysis to study the Devonian fossil Archaeopteris.

Archaeopteris is an extinct genus of tree-like plant with fern-like leaves. A useful index fossil, this tree is found in strata dating from the Upper Devonian to Lower Carboniferous (383 to 323 million years ago), and had global distribution.

– Archaeopteris (Wikipedia)

In 1990 we were an eager Ph.D. candidate at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, taking a class in Phylogenetic Systematics at Duke University under Brent D. Mishler and John G. Lundburg.

In our term paper we inadvertently showed that cladistics and circular reasoning have gone hand-in-hand with personal bias.

Here’s the problem: It’s only possible to use the variation between species as proof of their evolutionary relationships if you first assumed that they have evolutionary relationships. What if they don’t?

The specimens haven’t changed, we’re using the same computers, the difference is our personal bias about origins. Inducing a narrative of evolution (SciPop) by assuming that we evolved is the way of death. Deducing the sequence of creation by assuming that we were created is the way of life. The way of life: Jesus Christ, or the way of death: mainstream science (SciPop).

First of all, when we use the word “evolution” what are we really talking about? Evolution is an extensively documented process of genetic change over time. Denying evolution is what makes Christians look like ignorant home schooled knuckle-dragging cavemen. That may sound harsh but that’s the perception THAT WE CHRISTIANS HAVE CREATED OF OURSELVES. The nuance which we need to have to discern what parts of evolution are real vs. what parts are narrative isn’t that difficult to parse. There’s a difference between evolution theory vs. process. It’s as simple as the difference between induction vs. deduction.

The process of evolution began at the fall of man in Genesis 3. It the means by which the animals saved on Noah’s ark gave rise to the current distribution of biodiversity. It’s genetic decay over time which is why it’s more helpful to refer to it as devolution.

Archaeopteris and Devolution – Navigation

1Archaeopteris and DevolutionJeremiah 21:8
What’s a Tarheel?Isaiah 29:14
2Archaeopteris1 Timothy 6:20
Archaeopteris (1991) Term Paper(Further reading)
3Carl LinnaeusLuke 12:27
SalvationRomans 10:9-10
– Navigate your way around Archaeopteris and Devolution.


  1. Call upon the name of Jesus Christ,
    • believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
  2. confess your sin.

Read through the Bible in a year

Reading planAugust 9
LinearIsaiah 50-52
ChronologicalJeremiah 7-9
– Read 3 chapters every day and 5 chapters on Sundays

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