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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CC220.1:

Insect fossils appear in abundance, but the record of insect origins is completely blank.


Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, p. 86.
Brown, Walt, 1995. In the Beginning: Compelling evidence for creation and the Flood. Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation, p. 10.


  1. Insect fossils before the major diversification of insects (in the Carboniferous) are far from abundant. Insects are believed, from genomic data, to have originated near the beginning of the Silurian (434.2-421.1 Mya; Gaunt and Miles 2002), but the first two hexapod fossils are from Rhynie chert, about 396-407 Mya (Engel and Grimaldi 2004; Whalley and Jarzembowski 1981). As of 2004, only two other insect fossils were known from the Devonian (Labandeira et al. 1988). Two of these fossils consist only of mandibles, and another is a crushed head. In short, the first eighty-five million years of the history of insects is preserved in only four fossils, three of them quite fragmentary. With such a scarcity of fossils, the lack of fossils showing the origins of insects is unremarkable.


  1. Engel, M. S. and D. A. Grimaldi, 2004. New light shed on the oldest insect. Nature 427: 627-630.
  2. Gaunt, M. W. and M. A. Miles, 2002. An insect molecular clock dates the origin of the insects and accords with palaeontological and biogeographic landmarks. Molecular Biology and Evolution 19(5): 748-761.
  3. Labandeira, C. C., B. S. Beall and F. M. Hueber, 1988. Early insect diversification: evidence from a Lower Devonian bristletail from Quebec. Science 242: 913-916.
  4. Whalley, P. and E. A. Jarzembowski, 1981. A new assessment of Rhyniella, the earliest known insect, from the Devonian of Rhynie, Scotland. Nature 291: 317.

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created 2003-7-25, modified 2004-3-12