June 4, 2013 | David F. Coppedge

Two More Fossils Challenge Evolution

One living fossil and one dead fossil strain the credibility of evolutionary dates and mechanisms.

Cuttlefish melaninPhysOrg 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.


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  • John S says:

    The climatologists are also using this strategy effectively. When global warming didn’t cooperate they redubbed it ‘climate change’. The experts have set the template ‘however they weather changes don’t be surprised, it’s man’s fault in any possible scenario’.

    I have lived long enough to see this play out in many fields from many people, few appear interested in the truth. I am officially cynical. I don’t trust anyone except God in His Word.

  • Pikaia says:

    If Intelligent Design proponents don’t believe in the fixity of species, they must believe that some animals can have evolved into different species over a few million years or fewer. Therefore, animals that haven’t evolved as much in the same amount of time would be just as in need of an explanation to them. The most reasonable explanation? Changing a lot, at least visibly, for whatever reason, is maladaptive. Try to keep consistent!

    • Editor says:

      Two remarks; (1) if evolution can explain both rapid change and stasis, it is so flexible it explains opposites, therefore it explains nothing. It collapses into the “Stuff Happens” Law. (2) Some ID advocates accept a lot of change, and some even accept common ancestry. The age of the earth is not a question ID addresses. What they deny is that change is the result ofunguided material processes. They argue that from our uniform experience, complex specified information requires intelligent causation. (3) A third comment: nobody believes in fixity of species, so that’s a red herring. Avoid the either-or fallacy.
      No more comments till after June 21.

  • Pikaia says:

    I don’t get what is being implied with the melanin story. That geological dating methods are flawed? Again, this seems to be transitioning from Intelligent Design into young earth creationism.

    • Editor says:

      Yes, we argue the dating methods are flawed. This is a site that provides evidence, gleaned from scientific literature, for Biblical creation, and disputes Darwinian evolution and long ages. Intelligent design is a bigger tent than our view, yet does not contradict it, any more than believing that Jesus is Messiah (specific) contradicts dualism (general). If you want to believe melanin survives 160 million unobservable years, be our guest; we don’t have that kind of faith.
      No more comments till after June 21– CEH taking a hiatus.

  • Pikaia says:

    Newton’s laws of motion explain both a rocket leaving the Earth and a rocket falling to Earth. That doesn’t mean they explain nothing. The details are just different. You say that you don’t have the faith to believe in melanin survival for 160 million unobservable years, yet some of you obviously do according to your logic, because you’re not all young earth creationists. Even the young earthers must admit they didn’t observe the creation either, so they also have that kind of faith, but worse because their inference or assumption is not backed up by geological evidence.

    • Editor says:

      Pikaia, your appeal to Newton fails, because rockets going up and down according to his laws do not involve a logical contradiction. Furthermore, Newton’s laws are mathematically precise; Darwin’s are not.
      Those creationists who believe melanin can survive 160 million years are beholden to the assertions of secular geologists about dates. They are not thinking about the observation logically. They have no independent evidence on melanin to extrapolate its survival recklessly into the past, whereas evidence for degradation is plentiful and acknowledged by non-creationists.
      Nobody observed the universe or earth coming into being except the Designer himself, and He told us what He did.
      Not backed up by geological evidence? How can you back such a bald assertion? Geologist Andrew Snelling’s book Earth’s Catastrophic Past is loaded with evidence.
      Don’t impute faith to creationists alone. Everybody has faith. If you believe melanin can survive 160 million years, you have faith based on your prior belief in evolutionary timescales, else why would you ever believe such a thing?

  • Pikaia says:

    While the levels of complexity and specificity do differ in this example from that of life, gravity specifies that massive objects should be near eachother, and increases complexity by forming planets, stars, and black holes. Evolution is also a process that builds on itself. Molecules that can reproduce better produce more copies, some of which can reproduce even better. Since self-replication is the goal, more complexity can be achieved. That would be specificity and complexity through unguided trial and error. The evidence seems to warrant this conclusion. There is no need to posit an intelligent designer. If one existed, where did its level of complexity and specificity come from? It only pushes the question back.

    • Editor says:

      Pikaia, your comments are wavering off topic and becoming a soapbox for your evolutionary beliefs. That is not the purpose of comments. I won’t get into the tautological nature of natural selection theory here, but I could if that were the topic at hand. As for ultimate origins, you need to recognize that evolution “pushes the question back” just as much. What banged? No one can tolerate a belief our universe came from absolutely nothing (no fields, no laws, no categories). If you ask where the Designer came from, I will ask where the “something” came from.

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