In this article, Nevins does acknowledge that certain lycopods
and ferns are commonly found in Carboniferous age coal beds but neither Nevins nor other creationist authors tell their audience that these coal beds have no flowering plant component.
Several years ago, when I took my college class on a field trip to the area, I regaled them with the ancient lineage of the lycopods
and explained that their spores are exceedingly small but of a uniform diameter.
, horsetails, and ferns (spore-producing plants) are some of the best studied groups of plants in Mississippi.
And unlike modern trees, which rely on their wood for structural support, the lycopods
were more bark than anything else.
The free-living sporophytes of ferns and lycopods
were derived from the dependent sporophytes of a bryophyte-like plant by further proliferation and sterilization, and the acquisition of physiological independence from the gametophyte.
There were also giant lycopods
(Lepidoden-dron, Sigillaria, etc.
From this Psilophyton-like type were derived two lines of evolution--the lycopods
, on the one hand, which retained their phylloids and dichotomous cauloids, and, on the other, all other vascular cryptogams, the pteridosperms, all gymnosperms and angiosperms.
In vascular cryptogams (psilophytes, lycopods
, sphenophytes, ferns), the sporophyte, though usually becoming independent, nonetheless has early stages that are heavily dependent on the gametophyte.
Older ideas had conifers linked to groups as different as the lycopods
and the cordaites.