April 27, 2015 | David F. Coppedge

Improbable Sailors: Do Animals Raft the Oceans?

To keep their phylogenies and dates intact, evolutionists propose ocean voyages by unlikely animals—maybe even all of them.

Monkeys

Evolutionary biologists have a problem with New World monkeys. They are assumed to have evolved from Old World monkeys, but the New World split apart before its monkeys’ ancestors could have gone along for the ride. A new paper in Nature has to get them there somehow. One might call it a naturalistic version of Noah’s ark:

South America and Africa have been separated since the early Late Cretaceous, so vicariance of primates [i.e., geographical isolation] does not appear reasonable as an explanation for their appearance in the Eocene on two continents separated by the Atlantic. Numerous studies have focused on the possibility of primates crossing the Atlantic to reach South America from Africa (for example, refs 20, 21), with rafting across the Atlantic usually considered a feasible way for how primates arrived in South America, presuming they originated in Africa. It has also been proposed that perhaps more than one rafting event carried more than one primate taxon successfully across the Atlantic in the Palaeogene,  suggesting a possible early African diversification before arrival in South America. This might favour the arrival of different higher clades in South America, thus allowing the diversification of more than one lineage.

While they’re on that “possibility,” why not add some more passengers?

A similar means of arrival in South America has often been proposed for the hystricognath rodents, the dispersal of amphisbaenian and gekkotan lizards, and the Opisthocomiformes, a Neotropical group of birds (hoatzins) with weak flight capabilities and alleged African origin. And, with the discovery of the Santa Rosa primates, the re-established, relatively contemporaneous first appearance datum of primates and rodents in South America leads to consideration of possible similarities of intercontinental dispersal mechanisms for the two mammalian groups. However, the derived status of Santa Rosa rodents relative to contemporaneous African rodents hints that rodents and primates might not have had simultaneous crossing episodes. Or, alternatively, the two groups had differing rates of diversification after arrival in South America.

Evolution is sure a flexible concept.

Lizards

Ever heard of “worm lizards”? They’re not worms, but a type of burrowing lizard that spends most of its life underground. There are six families of these critters, found on five continents, “puzzling biologists as to how these creatures became so widespread.” Underground lizards seem like improbable sailors, but once again, phylogenetic problems are making evolutionists look seriously at the rafting hypothesis. Bristol University shows a picture of a little pink specimen, and explains the problem:

Tiny, burrowing reptiles known as worm lizards became widespread long after the breakup of the continents, leading scientists at the universities of Bristol, Bath, Yale and George Washington to conclude that they must have dispersed by rafting across oceans soon after the extinction of the dinosaurs, rather than by continental drift as previously thought.

The scientists used information from fossils and DNA from living species to create a molecular clock to give a more accurate timescale of when the different species split apart from each other.

Dr. Nick Longrich of the University of Bath apparently finds this astonishing conclusion to be worthy of Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” collection of oddities:

“It seems highly improbable not only that enough of these creatures could have survived a flood clinging to the roots of a fallen tree and then travelled hundreds of miles across an ocean, but that they were able to thrive and flourish in their new continent.

“But having looked at the data, it is the only explanation for the remarkable diversity and spread of not just worm lizards, but nearly every other living thing as well.

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever you’re left with, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

Not only that, the article says, these delicate animals survived the asteroid wallop that finished off the dinosaurs.

Evolutionists are funny. They never even think to entertain the possibility that their concepts of time and evolution are just plain wrong. Faced with “highly improbable” consequences of their visions of unobservable history, they just call it “the truth” and move on. This is  known as “science,” you see.

We recall that evolutionists often claim that biogeography is one of the strongest evidences of their theory. Why are these evolutionists wringing their hands?

We propose a test. Take a ship out in the Atlantic and count the monkey rafts, rodent rafts, lizard rafts, and weak-flying bird rafts observed passing by per unit time. If that is too hard, watch how many arrive at the beach in Brazil. Here’s another one: float a tree into the Atlantic from an African beach with worm lizards clinging to its roots and monkeys in its branches. Observe its fate. Report your results in a peer-reviewed journal. Hey, we’re just trying to help.

 

 

 

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Comments

  • tjguy says:

    It is quite revealing what evolutionists will propose in order to save their theory. Vastly improbable events are routinely appealed to for that purpose and as pointed out, these events are often times NOT seen today. This should make anyone skeptical, including themselves! But normally the skepticism is reserved for opposing theories. No bias there, right?

    While all that is true, we do need to remember that creationists also face a similar problem and we too appeal to trans-ocean rafting as a way to solve some of the problems. However, I think the creationists have the upper hand here. I think their proposition makes a lot more sense because after the flood, is it easy to imagine that there would have been a lot of such rafts remaining from the flood. At least that is much more conceivable. Nowadays, as the article mentioned, this is a VERY rare occurrence which strains the credibility of this appeal.

    Fortunately for them, there is no way to test their hypothesis. This is par for the course for many evolutionary hypotheses. Unfortunate for us, but fortunate for them. They are free to propose whatever they want because they know it cannot be tested. They are praised for creative thinking and for maintaining loyalty to the reigning paradigm. They are great “scientists”.

  • Buho says:

    I’ve always been silently observant about the evolutionists’ raft hypothesis. Young earth Creationists use the raft hypothesis as well to explain the spread of many animals after the Flood, and I’ve run into evolutionists who scoff at this explanation, too. For example, in the green commentary, swap out “evolution*” for “creation*” and the first and third paragraphs still work.

    Answers In Genesis reported on this same news, with additional commentary on the creationists’ raft hypothesis. https://answersingenesis.org/animal-behavior/migration/oceanic-dispersal-rafted-worm-lizards-around-the-world/

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