Fossils Without Evolution
New fossils continue to turn up around the world. Many of them have an amazing characteristic in common: they look almost exactly like their living counterparts, despite being millions of years old, according to the evolutionary timescale. It’s interesting sometimes to hear how the evolutionists explain the remarkable lack of evolution in all that time.
- Fig wasp: Don’t evolve a good thing: Science Daily reported that the world’s oldest fig wasp fossil has been discovered on the Isle of Wight. “The fossil wasp is almost identical to the modern species, proving that this tiny but specialized insect has remained virtually unchanged for over 34 million years.” That’s nearly double the previous record for this species (20 million years), and almost six times the amount of time apes are said to have come down from the trees and evolved into Platos, Mozarts and oil executives. Dr. Steve Compton of London’s Natural History Museum stated an evolutionary theory rescue device called “give the mystery a name” when he said, “Although we often think of the world as constantly changing, what this fossil gives us is an example of something remaining unchanged for tens of millions of years – something which in biology we call ‘stasis’.” Science Daily tossed in a little humor on that point in its headline: “World’s Oldest Fig Wasp Fossil Proves That If It Works, Don’t Change It.” But is that an evolutionary law of nature? If monkeys worked, why did they change into humans, and why are there still monkeys?
- Amber alert: Scientists at Oregon State look into amber and use them as crystal balls to see visions. PhysOrg reported that the static images of dead insects and other animals become to them moving pictures of behaviors that tell evolutionary stories: “All kinds of behavior, ranging from the nurturing protection of a mother, mating and reproductive instincts, to the behavior of pathogenic microbes can be observed in extinct life that’s millions of years old, and was captured in oozing tree sap that later turned into the semi-precious stone amber.” A captivating picture of a millipede clutching its newly hatched young at the moment it died accompanies the article.
If hoping to find evidence of evolution in the article, though, the reader will be disappointed. “The range of evidence, the researchers said, suggests a different view of evolution – that most behavior appears to be retained, and when it doesn’t serve the long-term survival of the species, extinction occurs.” The article mentions a 100-million-year old fossil of a gecko “the same sophisticated method of toe adhesion that allows it to walk easily on vertical and even inverted surfaces – a capability that served it well when it was skittering away from dinosaurs then, or is skipping through the jungles of Southeast Asia today.” But how did the traits and behaviors arise in the first place? Gecko toe adhesion is a very complex trait (12/06/2006).
Even speaking of humans, the authors of Fossil Behavior Compendium (George Poinar and Arthur Boucot), said “from what we know of basic human behaviors, it is clear there has been no significant change since the beginnings of recorded history.” Based on analysis of Neanderthal skull injuries, sexual behaviors, aggression, violence against members of their own species appear to be “hard-wired,” they claim (though it would seem drawing such inferences from skull marks is profoundly subjective).
In short, if there were examples of fossils in their book that do show evolutionary change, they were not mentioned in the article. It appears the authors did not mention them because they could not. Poinar said, “Species may evolve physically, but behavioral changes are much less obvious and many species will go extinct because they cannot change the way they act.” Yet it is not clear from this statement why natural selection should be impotent to act on behavior, if it is presumed to be so powerful as to produce an elephant or a giraffe from a small Cretaceous mammal in a few tens of millions of years. Presumably, natural selection outfitted these animals with the behaviors needed to operate their bodies in their new habitats, so why could it not also modify behaviors of animals when environments change, to prevent extinction? This seems to be a very subjective application of evolutionary theory after the fact to explain opposite things. Extinction, furthermore, is not evolution. It may clear the playing field of misfits, but surely it does not add any genetic information for innovation.
- Pelican evolution? Not here. The earliest known pelican fossil, said to be 30 million years old, has been found in France, reported the BBC News. “What has surprised them most about this ancient pelican is that it is almost identical to modern species.” Other than slightly different proportions, there is nothing primitive about it. “The discovery has surprised the researchers, because it reveals just how little pelicans have evolved over huge expanses of time.” The article began to sound like a broken record about the lack of evolution: “That means that pelicans and their huge beaks have survived unchanged since the Oligocene epoch.” The discoverer said, ”It is so similar to modern pelicans, despite its 30 million years.”
Can evolutionists explain why there was no change in all that time? “That suggests that pelicans quickly evolved their huge beaks and have maintained them almost unchanged since because they are optimal for fish feeding.” Another possibility: “However, it could also be that the giant beak has not evolved in the past 30 million years because of constraints imposed by flying.” But that idea seems a stretch. It does not seem to have affected other birds, that grew large beaks, small beaks, large wings, small wings, in all kinds of different habitats.
Dr. Antoine Louchart, the discoverer, offered another explanation for the missing evolution. He suggested that while the skeleton shows stasis, “perhaps changes in other characterisics [sic] occurred, such as plumage or behaviour” – though, conveniently, none of those are open to observation or testing. Louchart also made the odd claim that this is a rare example of an animal showing little or no change in the fossil record. “The only other good examples, says Dr Louchart, are bats, which have a body shape that appears to have survived unaltered for around 50 million years.” Perhaps he had a memory lapse; horseshoe crabs are still living virtually unchanged after an alleged 500 million years (06/21/2002) as are other members from the Cambrian explosion and many “living fossils.” Also, there was no mention of a bat ancestor or a pelican ancestor in the article. Just as the first bat fossil was 100% bat, if this was the earliest pelican ever found, it was already 100% pelican.
Update 06/22/2010: Jeff Hecht reported on this fossil in New Scientist that it poses an “evolutionary puzzle.” He said it “raises interesting questions over why evolution has left the birds so little changed over such a long period.” Any hopes for solving this puzzle, however, evaporated within the article. After mentioning only one suggestion, Hecht said, “Louchart is not convinced that either of these hypotheses offers a complete explanation; he thinks something else may be involved but does not know what that might be.” No other possibilities were even mentioned. In fact, the puzzle grew deeper: “The find not only pushes back the origins of pelicans, but of related birds too.”
- Mammal evolution? Gnaw. Large gnawing marks were found on dinosaur bones, reported PhysOrg. Experts identify the bite marks from the alleged 75-million-year-old late Cretaceous bones: “They think they were most likely made by multituberculates, an extinct order of archaic mammals that resemble rodents and had paired upper and lower incisors.” Even though the species are extinct, Nicholas Longrich of Yale noticed something about them that made him pay attention: “The marks stood out for me because I remember seeing the gnaw marks on the antlers of a deer my father brought home when I was young.” Extinct or not, rodent tooth marks have not changed that much in 75 million years.
The article hastily added an evolutionary spin to make it appear that at least something has evolved in all that time: “But he points out that the Late Cretaceous creatures that chewed on these bones were not nearly as adept at gnawing as today’s rodents, which developed that ability long after dinosaurs went extinct.” It’s not clear how that claim could be tested. They must have been good enough to gnaw on the rib bone of a large dinosaur. That’s pretty adept. How much more adept did Longrich expect them to become?
- A hippo’s tale There was an article in PNAS trying to figure out where hippos, whales and other mammals relate to each other.1 Their concern was to try to reduce the long (40 million year) “ghost lineage” between the earliest whale and the earliest hippopotamus, assuming they had a common ancestor. Their hypothesis reduces this ghost lineage down by a third. With more finagling they felt they could reduce it further. Perhaps that represents progress, but it still means there is at least a 15 million year gap with no evidence for an evolutionary relationship. Here’s what they said next. The reader can decide if the outlook is promising:
Different hypotheses, reflecting the poorly understood basal relationships of Cetartiodactyla, have been proposed for the origin of anthracotheriids. Eocene Asian Helohyidae and Diacodexeidae were suggested as stem groups. However, recent phylogenetic analysis did not support close relationships between those taxa and anthracotheriids (e.g., refs. 10, 15, 22, and 35). Alternative sister taxa to the Hippopotamoidea were recently suggested, notably archaeocetes, cebochoerids, or larger clades including cebochoerids, raoellids, cetaceans, and hippopotamids (e.g., ref. 15). The Raoellidae (Eocene, Asia) have also been suggested to be related to anthracotheriids, but to our knowledge, no formal phylogenetic analysis supported this hypothesis or included a suitable taxa sample to test this relationship. Additional confusion was recently introduced with results supporting a polyphyletic Anthracotheriidae, markedly at odds with the paleontological literature. Our results offer another hypothesis for hippopotamoid origins by suggesting close affinities with the middle Eocene European Choeropotamus (Choeropotamidae) based on molar and premolar morphology (Fig. 3). This hypothesis is congruent with older hypotheses (e.g., ref. 69), but disagrees with most recent ones (43, 70, 71). Choeropotamidae occur far back into the earliest Eocene of Europe, ~54 Ma (Cuisitherium), and are thus roughly contemporary with the first archaeocete known in the Indian subcontinent deposits. This hypothesis needs to be further investigated with review of additional evidence, notably the craniomandibular morphology. If confirmed, the basal history of the Hippopotamoidea would be filled in, reaching probably very close in time to the hippopotamid�cetacean last common ancestor.
The authors did not explain how all these animals might have developed their complex traits, behaviors and body types. Basically, to get these animals related by evolution somehow, they just compared teeth between 26 species. There is nothing in the outward appearance of a hippopotamus and a whale that would suggest to a neutral observer a shared ancestry between them; is a “ghost lineage” a scientific concept or an artifact of imagination?
- Modern teeth 1 million years BC: Another paper in PNAS demonstrates that our ancestors a million years ago, if they lived that long ago, had tooth development just like ours.2 At a cave in Spain, scientists tested the teeth of a juvenile “hominin” and found that “at least one European hominin species had a fully modern pattern of dental development with a clear slowdown in the development of the molar field regarding the anterior dental field.” This indicates that the youth had a prolonged childhood, just like modern children have. That hasn’t changed in a million years, they say, even well before Cro-Magnon man supposedly overtook the Neanderthals in Europe: “If this hypothesis is true, it implies that the appearance in Homo of this important developmental biological feature and an associated increase in brain size preceded the development of the neocortical areas leading to the cognitive capabilities that are thought to be exclusive to Homo sapiens.”
What does this finding do to other ideas about human evolution? “These results push back the date of the earliest appearance of a prolonged childhood in hominins to more than 600 kya than previously thought,” they said in their conclusion. “Therefore, the appearance of a prolonged childhood and an associated increase in brain size preceded the development of the neocortical areas leading to cognitive capabilities, such as language, which are thought to be exclusive to H. sapiens.” But if people had larger brains and the propensity for language and culture farther back in time, it puts more stress on the evolutionary conundrum of why culture and civilization did not originate sooner. Recorded history with written language begins in Sumer about 3500 BCE – and with it cities, agriculture, shipping, and long-distance trade. What was going on for the other 994,500 years?
Archaeology is a subset of paleontology that deals with human cultural remains. A few articles about that appeared recently, and they also showed that we humans have not changed much. PhysOrg reported a new set of cave paintings in Romania alleged to be up to 35,000 years old that show black-paint drawings of a horse, bear, buffalo and rhinoceros – the human propensity for representational art.
Several science news sites, such as National Geographic, reported the discovery of the world’s oldest leather shoe found in a cave in Armenia – stunningly preserved with laces and all. The shoe was created about the time (3500 BCE) that cuneiform writing was being invented in Sumeria. One shoe designer remarked, “It is astonishing how much this shoe resembles a modern shoe!” The desire to keep feet away from thorns by using human ingenuity is something we can understand immediately by looking at the picture; we can even sense the maker’s appreciation for style as well as function.
Moving to Iron Age times (1000-900 BCE), scientists in Israel found evidence at Tell Rehov in the Jordan Valley that Israelites were using some of the finest honeybees for their apiculture (honey farming) by importing hives from Anitolia instead of using the local Syrian species, finding “imported bees superior to the local bees in terms of their milder temper and improved honey yield.” Their paper, published in PNAS3, was summarized by Live Science. Add some cows from Bashan and you have the Biblical land of milk and honey.
1. Orliac et al, “Early Miocene hippopotamids (Cetartiodactyla) constrain the phylogenetic and spatiotemporal settings of hippopotamid origin,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print June 14, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1001373107.
2. de Castro et al, “New immature hominin fossil from European Lower Pleistocene shows the earliest evidence of a modern human dental development pattern,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print June 14, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1006772107.
3. Block et al, “Industrial apiculture in the Jordan valley during Biblical times with Anatolian honeybees,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print June 7, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1003265107.
The first realization that should sink deeply into the consciousness of readers is that evolution is not happening and has not happened by the one empirical measure available: the fossil record. Ponder that. Extinction, yes – but not evolution. Fossils show that we live in an impoverished world compared to the biodiversity that once was. Evolutionists attempt to parcel out fossils into their geological scheme to make it appear that there has been progressive change, but the examples above, and many others we have reported over the decade, show an abrupt appearance of complex life, extinction and stasis – the absence of evolution (03/27/2003, 12/26/2006, 07/14/2007, 03/26/2009, more).
Michael Oard published an article in the recent Creation Magazine (Vol 32, No. 3, 2010, pp. 14-15) that asked, “Are fossils ever found in the wrong place?” His answer is, yes, “all the time.” Evolutionists have various explanatory tricks to brush away the evidence. We saw one above with the use of the word “stasis” – using it like a magic wand. The Darwin Magician holds up the Stasis Wand and waves it over the fig wasp, and says, “And you, little fig wasp, you shall have the magical power to withstand the all-encompassing force of Natural Selection! I declare thee exempt from its power!” The fig wasp goes into a hypnotic trance, and like Rip Van Winkle, enters STASIS for 34 million years, while all the world around them swirls in its fluid evolutionary continuum of change. If the magic show doesn’t impress you, maybe the comedy act will: “World’s Oldest Fig Wasp Fossil Proves That If It Works, Don’t Change It” (see Humor in the Baloney Detector). How did you like their ghost story? The Darwinists invoke “ghost lineages” to fill in gaps in their story. Hey, Dawkins, what were you saying about people who believe in fairies, hobgoblins, and ghosts? Talk to your buddies in the Darwin Party.
Oard describes other tricks of the Darwin trade: inventing terms like “living fossils” and “Lazarus taxa” (there’s a plagiarism from the Bible; for an example of the term in use by evolutionists, see 09/04/2009). These terms refer to species thought to be extinct for 60, 100, 200, 300, million years or more – leaving no trace in the record – suddenly to rise from the dead and be found alive on some remote part of the earth (to see how they try to explain these away, see 12/04/2007). Out-of-order fossils cause their lineages to get pushed upward (old to young) and downward (young to old, e.g. 03/26/2009). We see this happening over and over again, all the time. Conclusion: the geologic column, with its representative fossils showing an evolutionary history, is a myth: “the fact is that evolution is assumed and then used to explain the fossils,” Oard said. “So, when fossils are found in odd places and not known before, the evolutionists just change their story about evolution.” For another explanation on how evolutionists morph their stories when the data don’t fit, read Paul Nelson’s “Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes” articles on Evolution News & Views, Part 1 and Part 2, where he goes into more detail about evolutionists and their “ghost lineages.” We must be wise to their tricks. That is the first realization that should sink deeply into our consciousness.
The second realization follows logically from the first. All those millions of years of stasis evaporate upon logical reflection. Think about it. Here’s a fig wasp fossil in the UK the Darwinists tell us is 34 million years old. Here’s a fig wasp fossil in the Dominican Republic they say is 20 million years old. Here is a living fig wasp. They all look identical. Question: if we already know the Darwinists are tricksters, why should we trust them with their millions-of-years talk? On the one hand, they tell us evolution is so powerful, so pervasive that it can turn a dog-size mammal into a sperm whale in six million years. Is it credible that these wasps really did nothing for many times that amount of time? Furthermore, are we to believe that the Wollemi pine lived throughout 150 million years since dinosaurs walked the earth, leaving not a single trace in the fossil record, till it was discovered in 1995? Similar questions could be asked about the many other “living fossils” that should be a huge embarrassment to the Darwinists.
Why not take the simpler, more parsimonious explanation? Cut out the needless millions of years, which are not observable anyway, and recognize that probably not very much time has passed between those fossils. “But the dating methods prove it!” someone screams. No, they don’t. Evolutionists pick and choose the dating methods they like – the ones that give them the deep time they need. They ignore many other dating methods that set severe upper limits on the fossils and strata. Deep time was invented as a philosophical choice before the evidence spoke (07/25/2008). It was a choice intended to free geology from dependence on the Bible (and with the secular geologists came the Darwinian biologists). Deep time has become the Darwin Party’s deep pockets. Like a government slush fund, it has become an endless source of explanatory resources from which they borrow, with no responsibility or accountability. Like a dusty museum archive, it is a place to stash the stasis out of sight of the public. The evolution is just out there, in the millions-of-years somewhere, where we don’t have to show it. Meanwhile, the schoolchildren are shown the marbled halls and multimedia displays honoring Darwin – not the ugly truth of stasis, stasis, stasis.
This is why Baloney Detecting is so vital in our Darwin-drunk age. The reporters are not doing critical analysis. If you learn to read science news articles carefully – if you are up to their tricks – if you sieve out the actual data, then you can see what it actually indicates. Then you ask the right questions: where is the evolution? Where is the actual empirical evidence of slow, gradual progress from bacteria to man? Where is the millions of years? When all you actually see is stasis, and humorous evolutionary dances around the data to keep you believing in the Darwin regime, while the Darwin damage control people are sneaking in behind the facades, then you understand. It’s not science; it’s an act. And it’s high time somebody clean up this act.