One living fossil and one dead fossil strain the credibility of evolutionary dates and mechanisms.
Cuttlefish melanin: PhysOrg reported on intact melanin from the ink sac of a Jurassic-era cuttlefish (see also 8/20/02, 5/21/12) . The spectrum of the melanin matches that from a living specimen. The article did not question why an organic substance would be expected to survive for 160 million years. It just assumed that it did, and launched into a speculation: “Because melanin survives so long, an analysis of the melanin from old cancerous tissue samples could give researchers a useful tool for predicting the spread of melanoma skin cancer in humans.”
Israeli frog: The Hula painted frog (no, it does not use a Hula-Hoop), feared extinct 60 years ago, has been rediscovered in Israel, reported the BBC News and National Geographic. Thought to be a casualty of the draining of wetlands in the Hula Valley in northern Israel, this strange-looking brown amphibian with white spots on its belly caused a stir of excitement when a frog, a kind of “idol of Israel” was found alive two years ago. Thirteen more have since been seen, leading to estimates of a couple of hundred remaining alive.
That’s good news, but not the only point of interest: it’s also a “living fossil.” According to the evolutionary timeline, members of the Latonia group of frogs didn’t learn to keep evolving. National Geographic commented, “the Hula painted frog is considered a rare example of a so-called living fossil, an organism that has retained the same form over millions of years and that has few or no living relatives.” The BBC article said, “These frogs were once widespread throughout Europe for millions of years, but all apart from the Hula painted frog died out about 15,000 years ago.” That would appear to make this frog a member of “Lazarus taxa,” groups thought extinct long ago only to be found alive and well today.
National Geographic erred by claiming that “Only about a dozen other ‘living fossils’ are known, the most famous of which may be the coelacanth, an ancient fish that can trace its ancestry back to the days of the dinosaurs.” As explained on CMI, Dr. Carl Werner has documented hundreds of them. Not only that, Dr. Werner has documented 432 mammal fossils (100 of them complete skeletons) in Cretaceous strata—almost as many species as dinosaurs. He has also found representatives of modern plants, crustaceans and insects in dinosaur rocks, as his video explains. Yet in 60 museums he visited, not a single one displayed a complete Cretaceous mammal fossil, or any modern animal or plant displayed with the dinosaurs.
We agree with what Dr. Werner said in the CMI article:
For example, if a scientist believes in evolution and sees fossils that look like modern organisms at the dinosaur digs, he/she might invent an hypothesis to ‘explain’ living fossils this way: ‘Yes I believe that animals have changed greatly over time (evolution), but some animals and plants were so well adapted to the environment that they did not need to change. So I am not bothered at all by living fossils.’ This added hypothesis says that some animals did not evolve. But if a theory can be so flexible, adding hypotheses that predict the opposite of your main theory, one could never disprove the theory. The theory then becomes unsinkable, and an unsinkable theory is not science.