The Trilobite's Defiance of Evolution

Report and photograph by D.W. Cloud

trilobite 17-kath
The Bible does not waste time proving the existence of God, because the evidence for Him is everywhere. The apostle Paul wrote that “the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Consider the lowly trilobite, one of the many icons of evolution that defies evolution.

The trilobite is an extinct arthropod, a hard-shelled, segmented creature that “lived in the Earth’s ancient seas.” The name “trilobite” means “three lobed” and refers to the fact that the creature had three
longitudinal lobes. They existed in a bewildering number of varieties, with 17,000 known species, ranging in size from one millimeter to over feet in length.

Evolutionists place the trilobite in the earliest stages of life, in the so-called Cambrian layer. The earliest trilobites supposedly lived 570 million years ago and the creature is thought to have gone extinct 240 million years ago. It is considered one of the signature creatures of the Paleozoic Era.

But even some evolutionists admit that the trilobite “defies the theories of evolution” (“Trilobites,”

The trilobite defies evolution in that it appears suddenly in the fossil record with no evidence of having evolved from anything else.

Evolutionary writings are filled with accounts of the trilobite, of how it “evolved,” “modified,” “developed eyes,” and such, but there is no evidence for this. The scientific evidence that it evolved from some other creature or that its complex eyes and other organs evolved is non-existent. This proposition is based upon evolutionary assumptions and wishful thinking and not on the actual evidence.

Evolutionists admit that it “appeared suddenly” in the “Cambrian explosion.”

Dr. Andrew Snelling comments on this:

“There are no possible evolutionary ancestors to the trilobites in the rock layers beneath where the trilobites are found, for example, in the Grand Canyon. In fact, the trilobites appear in the geological record suddenly, fully formed ... There is absolutely no clue as to how the amazing complexity of trilobites arose, and thus they quite clearly argue for design and fiat creation, just as we would predict from the biblical account in Genesis” (Andrew Snelling, Ph.D. in geology from the University of Sydney,
In Six Days, edited by John Ashton, pp. 294, 295).

The trilobite defies evolution in that it was a highly complex creature.

The trilobite had retractable antennae, multiple, jointed legs, and gill structures. It is thought to have had a set of gills associated with every leg. It would have had complex muscle systems to move the legs. It is thought to have had a circulation system, including a heart and lung, and a complex nervous system, as indicated by the antennae which probably had a sensory function. It had a complex brain to control all of these systems. The trilobite also underwent a series of life stages.

And it had a compound eye that gives every evidence of being a marvelous design.

“Clarkson and Levi-Setti (1975) of the University of Chicago have done some spectacular work on the optics of the trilobite eye lenses. It turns out that each lens is a doublet, that is, made up of two lenses, while the shape of the boundary between the two lenses is unlike any now in use--either by animals or humans (Shawver 1974). However, the lens shape and the interface curvature are nearly identical to designs published independently by Descartes and Huygens in the seventeenth century. Their design had the purpose of avoiding spherical aberration and was known as the aplanatic lens. Levi-Setti pointed out that the second lens in the doublet of the trilobite eye was necessary in order that the lens system could work under water where the trilobites lived. Thus, these creatures living at the earliest stages of life used an optimal lens design that would require very sophisticated optical engineering procedures to develop today” (Ian Taylor,
In the Minds of Men, p. 164).

Some of the trilobites had 15,000 lenses per eye, and all of these worked together in perfect harmony to provide exceptional vision for this “simple” creature.

In spite of evolutionary claims that “trilobites developed one of the first sophisticated visual systems in the animal kingdom,” there is no evidence that the trilobite eye or any other eye evolved. The eye is found intact on countless fossilized creatures reaching back to the supposed earliest stages of the fossil record, and the eye appears fully formed in countless varieties, but there is absolutely no evidence that one type of eye evolved from another. To lay out a display of eyes from “simple” to more complex is not evidence for evolution. It could just as well prove that each particular eye was designed by God for that particular creature.

In the “Cambrian layer” there are many type of creatures with many different types of eyes, and there is zero scientific evidence that any of the eyes evolved from something “simpler.” The only “evidence” is speculation and evolutionary assumptions.

Those who claim that the trilobite eye “evolved” provide no scientific method whereby such a miracle could occur by “blind” chance. Not only would it be necessary for the bewilderingly complex physical mechanism of the eye itself to have evolved, but it would also have been necessary to have evolved also the accompanying complex wiring in the brain with its mysterious ability to receive and interpret visual signals. And all of this had to “evolve” at the DNA level.

The mind-boggling complexity of creatures at every level of the fossil record disproves evolution.

In fact, modern biology has taught us that there is no such thing as a “simple creature” even at the most microscopic level, but this was evident in the fossil record all along.

The trilobite gives evidence for the Biblical Flood.

The trilobite provides evidence for the Flood, first, through its rapid fossilization. The incredible detail of the fossils, even to the retention of microscopic detail in the compound eyes, proves that the creature was subject to a catastrophic process of fossilization as opposed to a uniformitarian one. The fossils demonstrate that living trilobites were fossilized so quickly that they were still moving! The fossil trilobite that I own, a Hollardops from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, was fossilized while swimming. The fossil is fully inflated, meaning it died and was fossilized in an instant.

The trilobite provides evidence for the Flood, second, because even though the trilobite was a sea creature it has been found in mountains and deserts throughout the world, on every continent, including the Sahara Desert, mountains in Morocco, in Nevada, Arizona (the Grand Canyon), Indiana, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Ontario, South America, England, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Spain, Russia, Siberia, and China--proving that the earth was once covered by the sea!

Only a worldwide catastrophe of biblical proportions can explain the trilobite fossils.

In the trilobite God’s existence is indeed “clearly seen” -- unless one is willfully blind.
Kathmandu Traveler
David W Cloud