Modern Creation scientists and Flood geologists follow in the footsteps of such notable members of the early Royal Society as William Stukeley, allowing Scripture to inform science about the origin of the fossil record. This evidence further shows the weakness of claims that creation science is an endeavour that only began in the early 20th century.

In late 1718 Robert Darwin of Elston (Charles Darwin’s great-grandfather) obtained a limestone slab, which contained a significant fossil (figure 2). The fossil was brought before the Royal Society on 11 December 1718. A meeting, chaired by Sir Isaac Newton, was arranged in early 1719 for a formal discussion. Robert Darwin had thought it was a human skeleton, but the members, including Stukeley, considered it to be of marine origin. Stukeley wrote that it was a considerable rarity, “the like whereof has not been observed before in this island”, and that it was either a “Crocodile or Porpoise“— it was subsequently identified as a plesiosaur which was then unknown to science.

The fossil he considered to have been buried with the Noahic Flood. He wrote: “… and so great a confirmation of what I had the honour to present to the Royal Society, in a late Discourse, where I hinted at a solution of some obvious and remarkable phenomena, in the external Face of the Globe, consequent to its formation, as set forth in the Mosaic Account; and of some changes, it suffered at the universal Cataclysm, and proof of that great Catastrophe of the animal and vegetable world in plants, shells, and parts of living creatures found in Rocks and Quarries.”

This description is noteworthy in that it shows that leading members of the British Royal Society at this time upheld the biblical Flood and were willing to use it for the purposes of scientific explanations. This was at a time when there was pressure from deists and atheists. For example, one leading French academic, Bernard de Fontenelle, the secretary of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris, was undermining belief in the biblical Flood through his position. However, through such men as Stukeley, the Royal Society continued to take the Noahic event seriously, and there was a desire to uphold the Protestant Christian faith in Britain among the Anglican clergy.

Extracted from an article in The Creation Journal 2022 Volume 36, Issue 3 Section Perspectives William Stukeley, and an early 18th-century plesiosaur by Andrew Sibley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.