Drastic Fossil Date Revisions Never Deter Evolutionists
by Dr Jerry Bergman
The best illustration of dogmatism among evolutionists is seeing how they cling to their beliefs even when fossil dates change radically. Three recent examples from PBS illustrate this fact.
Early Precambrian Shells?
One PBS NOVA Next article written under the headline “New Fossils Push Back Earliest Single-Celled Skeletons 200 Million Years” claims that “life has been making its own hard parts for at least 810 million years, about 200 million years longer than previously thought.”[i]
Evolutionists made this statement based on finding biomineralized structures in rocks that date older than they expected. Biomineralization is the process by which living organisms use minerals to harden or stiffen certain tissues, such as bones and teeth. In this case, microfossil skeletons were revealed within a 200-foot-thick section of lime, mudstone, and slate. The microfossils looked very much like they were intelligently designed (see photo), so the researchers concluded that they must not be natural crystals but rather were made by some unknown life form.
They believe that the minerals, consisting of a phosphorus compound called hydroxylapatite, functioned as an armor-like casing that was constructed by some now-extinct type of organism. Hydroxylapatite is the main inorganic constituent of both tooth enamel and bone of higher animals, but is not found in single-celled organisms. This is another problem for evolution: what is hydroxylapatite doing in primitive life forms? The old story was that biomineralization in soft-bodied multicellular animals led to the Cambrian explosion, but the evolutionists involved in this discovery were forced by their methods of dating rocks to radically revise their ideas, even when it led to untenable positions and new questions.
The new study leaves a few questions unanswered, and poses a few new ones of its own. For one, biomineralization has evolved several different times. This study illustrates how one branch of life gained the ability to make skeletal parts, but there are still several others to puzzle out. And then it blasts open a period of more than 200 million years in which scientists so far have found no evidence of biomineralization, a range of time that Cohen points out is as wide as that between the present day and the dawn of the dinosaurs.
Early Modern Humans?
Last month on PBS NOVA Next, Robin Kazmier reported on another astonishing claim:“Oldest Known Human Fossils May Push Back Homo sapiens Evolution 100,000 Years.“ Kazmier added that this discovery may force scientists to “change our understanding of prehistory.”[ii] These fossils were estimated to be about 300,000 years old, which is “a full 100,000 years older than the previous oldest fossils” known (see 6/08/17). Evolutionists have so-far uncovered the remains of at least five individual humans plus tools and animal remains. Furthermore, using tomographic X-ray scans and 3-D statistical shape analysis allowed the scientists to determine that the individuals “would have had faces just like modern humans.” This is a problem because some putative primitive human ancestors have been dated much younger! That is why this find forces evolutionists to “change our understanding of prehistory.”
Another report from PBS NOVA Next last year was even more dramatic. In this article, reporter Alison Eck says that “Complex Life May Have Emerged One Billion Years Earlier Than We Thought.” Being off by a billion years is no small error! It illustrates how imprecise these guesstimates are, and how evolutionists will cling to their beliefs despite falsifying evidence. The article opined that for “billions of years, life remained stagnant—stuck in a mode of single-celled simplicity.”[iii] In other words, for some unknown reason evolution stopped occurring for billions of years. What happened to the inexorable force of slow-and-gradual Darwinian change?
The authors of the paper in Nature Communications admit that “Fossils of macroscopic eukaryotes are rarely older than the Ediacaran Period (635–541 million years (Myr)), and their interpretation of a billion years earlier remains controversial.”[iv, italics added.] They also admit they discovered fossil evidence of what appear to be multi-celled eukaryotes, organisms that contain organelles such as mitochondria and a nucleus. Such things were not supposed to exist so far back in evolutionary time.
The team found unexpected complexity. Fully a third of the 167 samples they identified exhibit what the researchers termed regular cell structure. As is common in evolution, while the team used “these details to claim that the leap from single-celled to multi-celled organisms happened earlier than once thought, some scientists are skeptical,” Eck says. “They argue that these specimens are merely ‘colonies’ of single-celled bacteria.”[v] Perhaps a billion-year error is too much for some evolutionists to swallow. 100 million years is OK. 200 million years (a gap longer than “the present day to the dawn of dinosaurs”) is tolerable. But a billion? No wonder “some scientists are skeptical.” But Nature published it anyway.
[iv] Zhu, S. et al. 2016. “Decimetre-scale multicellular eukaryotes from the 1.56-billion-year-old Gaoyuzhuang Formation in North China.” Nature Communications. 7:11500 doi: 10.1038/ncomms11500 7, May 17.
[v] Eck, 2016.
Dr Jerry Bergman, professor, author and speaker, is a frequent contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. See his Author Profile for his previous articles.