Extinction is the state of nonexistence of a previously existing type of living thing. Note that while extinction usually refers to the end of a species it can just as well apply to that of a higher taxon.

Now and in earlier times

In the case of contemporary organisms, extinction occurs when the last representative of a type dies. Organisms in the fossil record are identified as having become extinct after the last fossil of a type is noted. Note that in the latter case it is difficult to differentiate extinction from anagenesis, that is the evolution of one type of living thing into another.

The earth's history consists of constant background levels of extinction and additionally includes a handful of major extinction events. Failure to survive the former is generally attributable to an inability to adapt to environmental changes while failure to survive the latter seems to be random.

Paleontologist David Raup has argued that extinction plays a significant role in the evolution of life.[1]

Bringing back extinct species

Interestingly, some believe that it may become possible to bring back extinct species, although it would probably require years of more technology in genetics, it is definitely very possible. [2] Still we don't know if it will work and it's not something we should rely on.

Creationists' views

Creationists do not like the conclusions of mainstream science regarding extinction because of the implications for the age of the earth and for evolution. Answers in Genesis (AiG) cites the controversies regarding extinction as including "taxonomic difficulties, the unknown time-stratigraphic range of most species, the multiplication of names for the same organism, and the unknown palaeobiogeographic distribution of many taxa."[3] They conclude that "much of what is known so far [about extinction] fits quite well within the Flood paradigm."

As evidence that the extinction of dinosaurs observable in the fossil record supports the hypothesis of a worldwide flood, AiG presents a quote from paleontologists John Horner and James Gorman regarding the discovery of some broken bones: "How could any mud slide, no matter how catastrophic, have the force to take a two- or three-ton animal that had just died and smash it around so much that its femur-still embedded in the flesh of its thigh-split lengthwise?" AiG implies that this question is left unanswered, however later in that same document (pp. 129-131) Horner and Gorman explain that acidic groundwater could have eaten away some of the bones and that subsequent local flooding could have moved the bones into their current location and orientation. Note that even if Horner and Gorman had been unable to explain the broken bones, their existence would not compel belief in a worldwide flood.[4] CreationWiki claims that by applying Occam's razor "the simplest explanation is that the dinosaurs survived [the] flood, but they could not survive mankind."[5]


  1. Raup, David M. (Jan.-July 1994). "The role of extinction in evolution." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  2. Bringing Back Extinct Species
  3. Oard, Michael J. (Aug. 1997), "The extinction of the dinosaurs." Answers in Genesis.
  4. "Digging Dinosaurs." Scribd.
  5. "Dinosaur extinction." Creation Wiki.

See also

References and external links