January 13, 2015 | David F. Coppedge

Fish Ancestry Turned On Its Head

A so-called “primitive” bony fish with traits of sharks confuses the usual story of fish ancestry.

They’re calling it Janusiscus, part two-faced Janus and part piscus (fish).  This fragmentary two-faced fossil from Siberia, claimed to be 415 million years old, has lots of bone but also some traits from cartilaginous fish—the second major branch of fish that includes sharks and rays.  Because it has a mosaic of features, Science Magazine says it “may rewrite [the] fish family tree.”

Although the fossil had previously been classified as a bony fish based on its external features, such as the shape of the skull roof and the enamel on the scales, the CT scan revealed a surprising mosaic of features from both cartilaginous and bony fish. For example, the fish’s skull was made of large, bony plates similar to today’s bony fish, but the traces of the nerves and blood vessels around the brain more closely resembled those of cartilaginous fish.

PhysOrg, which displays a 3-D model of the fossil, quotes an Oxford paleontologist who says, “It tells us that the ancestral jawed vertebrate probably doesn’t fit into our existing categories.”  Despite her pro-Darwin spin on the fossil, Laura Geggel in Live Science admits that the fossil shows that sharks, often considered less evolved than bony fish, “are more evolved than had been previously thought.”  The lead author of the paper in Nature says, according to Science, “These findings as a whole could correct the misconception that cartilaginous fish are more primitive than bony fish.”  PhysOrg quotes him saying of that notion, “The results from our analysis help to turn this view on its head.” The evolutionists seem surprised that natural selection would cause cartilaginous fish to lose the bones their putative ancestor had.

Lateral line:  Many people may not know this, but fish have a “sixth sense.”  Another PhysOrg article describes the “lateral line” in fish, a line of sensors along each flank that detects water flow patterns, allowing them to quickly respond to changes in their environment.  “It is well known that fish respond to changes in their fluid environment,” the article explains. “These include avoiding obstacles, reducing swimming effort by slaloming between vortices, or whirlpools, and tracking changes in water flow left by prey—even without the aid of vision.”  Geggel says of the fossil fish that it appears to have had this sixth sense: “The incredibly detailed scans show that the fish has sensory line canals on its skull,” she writes.  “Bony fish use these canals, located on the outside of the body, to sense changes in pressure around them and avoid predators.” This means this network of sensors and brain responders were already present in the ancestor, 415 million years ago in evolutionary time.

None of this matters in the evolutionary story, because they have a bigger problem: vertebrate fish exploded onto the scene in the Cambrian, along with almost all the other animal phyla (Evolution News & Views).  Explain that, Darwin!  (He couldn’t; the Cambrian explosion was one of the biggest objections against his theory, he lamented—and it still is.)

Evolutionists would get bad P.R. if they just sat back in their party sofas and said “It evolved” to everything, so to look busy and get grant money, they rearrange the deck chairs from time to time.  This is how they do it; they go to old fossils with their divining rods and crystal balls, and look for new visions to appear.  They upgrade their divining methods with CT and other legitimate-looking technologies.  They move the Scrabble pieces of their evolutionary phylogenies around, trying to form new nonsense words.  It’s all an act, not a search for truth.  Sound incredible?  It’s really not.  Everything in nature, they think, evolved as an evolutionary strategy, including thinking evolutionarily.  (Sound of implosion in the distance.)



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