Hardly a month goes by without a new story that such-and-such a plant or animal evolved earlier or later than thought, often by hundreds of millions of years. Are they converging on a clearer picture, or just shuffling the chairs on the deck?
Cichlid fish: PhysOrg tells us that cichlid fish (small freshwater fish found in South America, Africa, Madagascar and India) “evolved after the ancient Gondwana continent drifted apart, rather than before, as some have suggested.” That’s “approximately 65 to 57 million years ago—long after the continent came apart approximately 135 million years ago.” This ruins a favored explanation that the fish showed up where they live today because they were “along for the ride” after the continental breakup. That sent the Oxford evolutionists scurrying into theory rescue mode:
They suggest that the fish likely found its way across the oceans to settle on other continents, either by hitching a ride on some floating piece of debris or by following strong currents. They note that there are some types of cichlid fish that can tolerate salt water. There is also still a remote possibility that cichlid fish did exist prior to the breakup of Gondwana (leaving behind fossils) but they looked so different (due to evolutionary changes afterwards) that scientists don’t realize they are the same fish.
Flowering plants: Darwin’s “abominable mystery,” the origin of flowering plants (angiosperms), has been moved earlier in the timeline by 100 million years, according to reports on the Live Science and the BBC News. Pollen found in core samples from Switzerland have been dated in the evolutionary scheme at 245 million years old, putting them into the age of the earliest dinosaurs, the articles claim. “Our findings suggest that the origin of flowering plants is rooted much deeper than originally thought,” said Peter Hochuli (U of Zurich). While this gives evolutionists more time for the spectacular diversification of flowering plants, it puts the origin of many specialized features (flowers, pollen, and broad leaves among them) earlier as well; but still, no ancestor is known. Live Science commented, “The ancestors of flowering plants currently remain a mystery, and scientists aren’t sure what kind of events or conditions might have spurred their origin.” In the BBC News article, Hochuli remarked that not much changed in that 100 million years: “With a few differences… the pollen from the Middle Triassic look exactly the same as the angiosperm pollen from the Early Cretaceous.” The article noted another conundrum: “this does leave a period of 100 million years for which there are no records of flowering plant-like pollen.”
Tepui toad tall tales: Another supposed Gondwana-distributed animal is in the midst of a paradigm shift. Unique tree-climbing toads called pebble toads inhabit the summits of South America’s tepuis (tall mesas). These tepuis, considered “crucibles of evolution,” became isolated from each other and from the jungle 10,000 feet below, it is thought by evolutionists, some 40–50 million years ago. This should have allowed the denizens on the summits to evolve their own ways for tens of millions of years. Yet, many plants and animals are strikingly similar to ones below and on separate tepuis. (See 8/09/12 entry, “Brazil’s Islands in the Sky Defy Evolution.”)
National Geographic posted an adventure story featuring an interesting on-site video clip by Bruce Means, a white-bearded herpetologist who studies the summit flora and fauna. “We assume the toads are as ancient as the tepuis,” he said, “but guess what.” He was surprised to find that the pebble toads (though related to others in Africa) got up there more recently than the time the mesas separated, because they show evidence of gene flow “only a few tens of thousands of years ago, if that.” This is also true of other reptiles and amphibians on the summits. Stuck with an anomaly, he’s considering options that seem weird: Did the animals climb up the cliff? Did a storm suck them up and drop them on top? Did climate change spur them on? “A paradigm shift means everybody thought one thing, and the whole world has to change now to think another thing,” he explains with sweeping gestures. At the end of the video, he says, “As in all science, when you investigate something, you always come up with a lot more questions than you get answers.” One question he is not asking is whether the tepuis and the toads are really millions of years old.
Note: If someone has the itch to do original scientific research on virgin territory, the article states “some tepuis have yet to be visited by any human beings.” There aren’t many places left on the planet with that distinction.
Evolutionists play fast and loose with dates, because they’ve carved out an impossibly large playground that gives them unlimited capacity for storytelling. No one has ever experienced a million years. Human recorded history only goes back a few thousand. The rest is all inferred indirectly with theory-laden dating methods built on the assumption of evolutionary naturalism bequeathed by Charlie & Charlie (Lyell & Darwin): ‘Everything is very old. Every natural process is slow and gradual. Stars form over billions of years. Planets take billions more. Life evolves slowly and gradually over hundreds of millions of years.’ This worldview requires lots of time, so the evolutionists imagine it. It gives them ample storage space for their ad hoc rescue devices.
With a system like that owned and guarded by the power brokers in science, anything is possible. Even when grotesque anomalies are found – huge discrepancies from previous assumptions, requiring a paradigm shift that requires “the whole world” having to “change now to think another thing” – Darwinians love it, because it keeps them employed as storytellers (12/22/03 commentary). They get all tingly being able to move things around and change the plot a bit. They aren’t bothered by flowering plants popping into existence much earlier than thought, only to remain absent from the fossil record for a hundred million years, thereafter exploding into thousands of diverse, beautiful plants like roses, orchids and petunias. They aren’t bothered by delicate little toads climbing sheer cliffs 10,000 feet. They aren’t bothered by freshwater fish crossing saltwater oceans, or floating the Atlantic on rafts to keep the plot from unraveling. Aren’t those much more interesting stories? That’s the whole game! They love it. The more “abominable” the “mystery,” the better. Everybody likes a great mystery story. If they can keep the mystery running for 154 years, all the better. Nothing ever falsifies their scheme. They smile and chuckle and pat each other on the back when anomalies come. The only thing that makes them mad is the suggestion that the framework Charlie & Charlie bequeathed to them is questionable, if not unscientific. How dare anyone think such a thing! That would ruin our stories! Expel the heretics! Call them “anti-science.”