November 27, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Early Platypus Stuns Evolutionists

With the possible exception of a monotreme tooth assumed to be 62 million years old, the oldest known platypus fossil was dated 15 million years old.  Now, a fossil from Australia reported in Science sets a new record: 112 million years old.1
    “It’s really, really old for a monotreme,” Timothy Rowe of the University of Texas (UT), Austin, told the audience at a meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology last month in Austin, Texas.  How to fit this with the evolution of monotremes?

That would push back the fossil record of the platypus quite a bit; the next youngest fossil is Obdurodon dicksoni from 15-million-year-old rocks in Australia.  It is also much older than current estimates from DNA of when platypuses and echidnas diverged from their most recent common ancestor.  Molecular clocks put that date somewhere between 17 million and 80 million years ago.  Rowe speculated that one reason for the underestimate may be that monotremes evolve at slower rates than other mammals do, an idea that fits with their lower diversity.


1.  Erik Stokstad, “Jaw Shows Platypus Goes Way Back,” Science, 23 November 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5854, p. 1237, DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5854.1237a.

Was this platypus a transitional form?  No.  Was it evolving from a simpler animal into a complex creature with a duck bill, poison spur, electrical sensing organ, webbed feet, fur and ability to lay eggs?  No – it was Darwin’s nightmare popping up way, way back in the record, over 100 million years earlier (in their own dating scheme) than the next clear platypus fossil.  Why not consider the obvious, that there was never any 113 million years between the two fossils?
    According to evolutionary theory, most of the other mammals diversified into elephants, giraffes, lions and whales in far less time, but these Darwin-defying furry-duckmammals just lived on and on in their niche as if nothing else was going on in the world.  Rowe’s reply that they just evolved slower (and that lower diversity demonstrates this), should be seen not only as a gratuitous speculation, but as an escape from reality.
    That’s it: Darwin was the prophet of Second Life, a virtual world where any fantasy you want to dream up can come true and be called science.  Whenever their virtual fantasyland has an internal conflict, they can always dream up virtual ways to resolve it.  Science needs to kick the habit and get back to the real world – literally, not virtually.

(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)
Categories: Fossils, Mammals

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.