An ink sac from a fossilized Jurassic cephalopod said to be 160 million years old looks identical to those from living cuttlefish.
Science Daily did not blink at the surprise that something would not evolve for 160 million years. Indeed, the reporter seemed to relish what this means for evolution. Quoting John Simon (University of Virginia), the article even highlighted the fact that this cephalopod had a complex machinery to operate its inky escape:
“It’s close enough that I would argue that the pigmentation in this class of animals has not evolved in 160 million years,” Simon said. “The whole machinery apparently has been locked in time and passed down through succeeding generations of cuttlefish. It’s a very optimized system for this animal and has been optimized for a long time.”
Live Science, similarly, did not consider this a problem for evolution. Reporter Stephanie Pappas even dubbed the fossil a “cuttlefish ancestor” even though its ink sac looks like that of an identical twin.
Generally animal tissue, made up mostly of protein, degrades quickly. Over the course of millions of years all that is likely to be found from an animal is skeletal remains or an impression of the shape of the animal in surrounding rock. Scientists can learn much about an animal by its bones and impressions, but without organic matter they are left with many unanswered questions.
But melanin is an exception. Though organic, it is highly resilient to degradation over the course of vast amounts of time.
National Geographic called this an example of “exceptional” soft tissue preservation, adding that the ancient ink is “indistinguishable from modern ink.”
In short, the articles all stated unequivocally (yet without doubting evolution), that (1) protein degrades quickly, but melanin is an exception that can last 160 million years, (2) no evolution occurred over 160 million years because the ink sac system was “very optimized” from the start, and (3) lack of evolution constitutes evidence for evolution. This is clear from the final quote by Simon in the last paragraph of Live Science:
“The ‘aha moment’ for me was when we looked at the techniques for chemical bonding and we couldn’t find anything that distinguished the pigment in the fossil from the pigment in a modern-day cuttlefish, which suggests the pigment hasn’t changed in 160 million years,” Simon said. “When I think about other evolutionary transitions that just amazes me.”
Simon next hopes to look for original pigment samples in fossils dating back (in evolutionary terms) from 500 million years ago.
Simple Simon needs another ‘aha moment,’ as in: “Aha! Darwin was wrong!” Simon needs to be amazed further by another Aha: “Lyell was wrong!” 160 million unobserved years cannot, therefore, be assumed for purposes of keeping the two Charlies (Lyell & Darwin) in the science race. Falsification is the main thing Charlie & Charlie have in common.
Since Simon has apparently not thought very deeply about this evolutionary transition (which is not a transition at all, but rather evidence for stasis and exceptional soft tissue preservation in the recent past), what should he “think about other evolutionary transitions”? Be amazed yourself — at the gullibility and complicity in what passes for science reporting these days.