How does one interpret the meaning of fossils? The world view adopted by a scientist—that determines the meanings that scientist derives from fossils; basic assumptions greatly influence the interpretation of any scientific evidence. Education or lack thereof—that forces nobody to adopt or reject the popular materialistic philosophy of Naturalism, namely the strict naturalistic philosophy adopted by Charles Darwin. What we conclude about one fossil or about fossils as a whole is determined by our basic assumptions about life, including our belief or disbelief in God and in the divine origin of the Bible.
Believe what you will about scripture, but the results of your choice are not for you to choose. Reap tomorrow what you sow today, not that weeds cannot be plucked out later. The point? The Bible need not be perfect in its presently handed-down form, having been handled by imperfect mortals for centuries. But truth revealed through scriptures still shines through, enlightening each reader who allows that truth to be known.
The worldwide destruction of the Flood of Genesis—that event was mentioned by Jesus Christ himself, a firm believer in the literal Flood. And what might one expect would be left from that worldwide catastrophe, that worldwide flood? Of course, many living things would have been buried in sediment, causing some of them to have become fossilized: a testiment of that ancient destruction several thousand years ago: evidence of a literal flood.
That world view, with faith in the literal Flood, awakens us to the possibility that fossils sitting in museums and in university storage cabinets are not really millions of years old. Is that shocking? More shocking than the discovery of “living fossils” that Darwin himself recognized as posing a problem for his ideas? For one who has assumed that the Biblical account of Noah is fictional, there is no choice: Be shocked. But that sceptic does have a choice as to what the shock will be: Standard models based on Darwin’s philosophy are false (one heavy shock) or supposedly ancient organisms continue to be discovered (many moderate-to-heavy shocks). Some scientists have chosen the former: Have the tumor removed by a surgeon (in one surgery) rather than doing it yourself, slowly, by poking your tweezers wherever each new tumor festers, month after month.
How does all this relate to eyewitness accounts of living pterosaurs? It fits the overall pattern: Fossils, for the most part, represent organisms greatly resembling presently-living ones. It fits well with the Genesis-Flood model; not well with Darwin’s ideas about unlimited common ancestry over long periods of time. Darwin recognized the “problem” of “living fossils.” We should acknowledge his good judgement in that instance. Also acknowledge that fossils are organisms buried by flood sediments, and Genesis gives us a clear picture of what and why that happened.