August 20, 2011 | David F. Coppedge

Living Fossils Rise from the Dead

The oxymoron “living fossil” is suggestive.  Seeing a plant or animal come to life, when it was only known from fossils, might seem miraculous.  Perhaps, though, the phrase was invented to rescue Darwinian theory from the vast ages it requires.  Is it credible to believe the time gaps?  Here are two recent stories about creatures long thought dead, only to be found doing “Quite well, thank you.”

Tick talk.  Researchers in South Africa were sure that the living fossil they found represented an “evolutionary missing link” that might help explain relationships between several lineages of arthropods that “evolved” the blood feeding trait independently.  This led to queer sentences like this in their PLoS One paper.1  “Thus, even though blood-feeding evolved in the ancestral tick lineage, the adaptation to the mammalian and avian blood-feeding interfaces occurred independently in the soft and hard tick families.”  It also seems weird for the ancestor of diverse lineages of ticks to be doing just fine in a living form, with no evolutionary change for many millions of years:

In conclusion, phylogenetic analysis indicates that N. namaqua groups basal to both tick families and is the closest extant lineage to the last common ancestral tick lineage. Its argasid-like feeding behaviour and biology provides compelling evidence for the evolution of a blood-feeding lifestyle within the last common ancestral tick lineage. The semi-arid nature of the Northern Cape as found in Namaqualand and the Karoo has been maintained since Permian times. The partiality of N. namaqua for xeric environments and small reptiles could therefore be an indication of a lifestyle maintained for more than 250 million years. This would truly make this tick species a living fossil.

Real eel:  Another living fossil announced recently is a “primitive” looking eel found swimming in a cave on Palau that PhysOrg said is squirming into the record books.  Why?  “A new species of eel found in the gloom of an undersea cave is a ‘living fossil’ astonishingly similar to the first eels that swam some 200 million years ago, biologists reported on Wednesday.” 

The BBC News included a short video clip of the slick-looking swimmer.  Going on about how “primitive” it looked (at first glance, it looks rather stylish), the article quoted the scientists giving their evaluation:  “In some features it is more primitive than recent eels, and in others, even more primitive than the oldest known fossil eels, suggesting that it represents a ‘living fossil’ without a known fossil record.”  This begs the question of why it survives intact to this day, unevolved.  Even worse, the article put forth an apparent contradiction:  “Their results suggest this new family has been evolving independently for the last 200m years, placing their origins in the early Mesozoic era, when dinosaurs were beginning their domination of the planet.”  If it has been evolving for 200 million years, why does it look primitive?  Why is it a living fossil?

“The term "living fossil" was coined by Charles Darwin in his book On the Origin of Species,” the article on PhysOrg informed its readers.  “It is used to describe species that have survived for millions of years, exploiting niches that are so stable that there is little pressure on them to evolve.”  Of course, to evolve is an active verb infinitive that cannot be applied to dumb eels, as if they had any choice in the matter, environmental pressure or not.  And if stable niches reduce the pressure on evolution, it would be surprising that anything in the ocean, one of the first stable habitats on earth, ever evolved as Darwinians claim they did.

1. Mans, de Klerk, Pienaar, and Latif, “Nuttalliella namaqua: A Living Fossil and Closest Relative to the Ancestral Tick Lineage: Implications for the Evolution of Blood-Feeding in Ticks,” Public Library of Science One, 6(8): e23675. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023675.

Stop letting Darwinists get away with these word games.  If their theory explains extreme diversification alongside extreme stasis, then it is explaining opposite things with equal ease.  Therefore, “living fossil” explains nothing.  As an oxymoron, it is all moron and no oxy.

The evidence only makes sense without the millions of years.  The living creatures resemble the fossil creatures because they are not separated by vast swaths of mythical time, but came from a created world with much more diversity than our impoverished remnant.  Close the time gap.  (This gives “Darwin-of-the-gaps” a new twist.)

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  • bbierman says:

    What is the name of the fossil version of Protoanguilla palau?  I’d like to see the fossil image.  None of the source articles provide that information.

  • Editor says:

    It appears that this one species within one genus is only found in living forms, not as fossils.  If so, evolutionists simply put the prefix “proto-” in front of Anguilla (true eels) because it looked primitive to them.  That’s not only an insult to a handsome eel, it is a misuse of the phrase “living fossil,” which usually refers to species found both as fossils and alive looking virtually identical though separated by millions of years.

  • graceout says:

    I love “Darwin-of-the-gaps”!

  • morfar says:

    Evolutionists are rather like Global warming enthusiasts in that ALL evidence supports their view.

        1.  If it is cold or warm = global warming
        2.  If it is dry or rainy   = global warming
        3.  If it rains or snows   = global warming

    For evolutionists:

        1.  If there are/or are not fossils =  evolution
        2.  if there are or are not “living” fossils =  evolution
        3.  If mankind intentionally “design” experiments which could lead to life = evolution
          (without a designer thank you very much)

    Guess if you are an evolutionist OR a global warming enthusiast you CAN have it both ways.

  • Rkyway says:

    How ‘stable’ can these niches be, considering various ice ages have occurred in the meantime, with substantial lowering and raising of sea levels?

    ‘And if stable niches reduce the pressure on evolution, it would be surprising that anything in the ocean, one of the first stable habitats on earth, ever evolved as Darwinians claim they did.’

    – If stable environments lead to a lack of evolutionary change, how do they account for fish leaving the oceans for dry land?

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